[Update] U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Review – 50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus ($750 Towards Airfare) + $325 Travel Credits

Update 9/25/22: There’s no longer the requirement of being an existing U.S. Bank customer in order to apply for  the Altitude Reserve card. Though approval odds might be better for someone with a checking account. (ht uscreditcardguide) Updated below.

(This card is not accepting new applications as of November 30, 2020. Open to applications again)

U.S. Bank has officially just launched their new Altitude Reserve credit card. As is tradition, it’s time for our in depth review of this new premium credit card.

u.s. bank altitude reserve

Quick Overview

  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,500 in spend within the first 90 days
  • Annual fee of $400 for the primary cardholder. Authorized users can be added for $75 $0 each.
  • $325 in annual travel/dining credits. This is based on a card member year, rather than calendar year.
  • Card earns at the following rates:
  • Priority Pass Select Membership

Application Information

Who is eligible for this card?

  • To be automatically approved you need:
    • To be an existing U.S. Bank customer for at least 35 days 5 business days
    • Must be an existing U.S. Bank consumer customer
  • You can get the above requirement waived by applying in branch (you still need to be a U.S. Bank customer, but business is fine and the 35 day waiting period is waived).
  • This issue should be fixed in a future release
  • You’re considered an existing eligible customer if you have any of the following:
    • U.S. Bank Checking or Savings account
    • Certificate of Deposit
    • Mortgage
    • Home Equity Loan
    • Home Equity Line of Credit
    • Auto/Boat/RV Loan
    • Personal Loans and Lines
    • Private Banking account
    • Consumer Credit Card

You can view the best way to become eligible by clicking here. If you’re not recognized as an existing customer no hard pull will be done. There also seems to be some suggestion that the following helps:

  • Income of $60,000+
  • FICO score of 720+

What Credit Bureau Does U.S. Bank Pull For The Altitude Reserve?

This varies by the state you live in, you can view more information about this here.

What Credit Limit Will I Receive?

This varies from person to person. The minimum credit limit for this card is $5,000 (lower than the $10,000 limit required for other Visa Infinite cards).

Card Benefits

You’d expect significant card benefits for a card with a $400 annual fee. Let’s go into detail for each benefit this card offers.

$325 Annual Travel Credit

This card provides you with up to $325 in annual travel credits per card member year. Your account is credited whenever your card is used for purchases made directly (e.g not through a travel agent) from:

It doesn’t matter if you make the purchase with the primary or authorized user card it will still trigger the credit. Keep in mind the authorized user does not get their own $325 travel credit. The credits are applied automatically and you shouldn’t need to do anything for the credit to appear (as always it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this to ensure it does post automatically).

12 Complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi Passes

Things to know:

  • These passes are valid for 12 months from the date that you register your card.
  • Each flight segment (takeoff and landing) will use up one of these passes.
  • You must register for this benefit before flying
  • Same benefit as offered on the Visa FlexPerks card

Priority Pass Select Membership

  • Can enroll one card member in the program at a time.
  • First four visits and four individual accompanying guest visits are waived each Priority Pass Select membership reward (per membership year)
  • After the free visits have been used you will be charged $27 per person per visit

Global Entry or TSA Pre✔ Fee Credit

You can receive a statement credit of up to $100 when you use your card for the application fee on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You’re able to receive this statement credit once every 4 years.

GroundLink Black Car Service

  • 15% off the base rate for reservations booked and paid with using the Altitude Reserve
  • One time $30 promotional credit towards a booking

Silvercar

Rent an Audi A4 with no lines or paperwork from airport locations in select cities and receive a discount of up to 30% on rentals of two days or more.

Elite Hotel Benefits At Relais & Châteaux

If you book through the Visa Infite concierge and stay two nights at qualifying Relais & Châteaux properties you’ll receive Club 5C status. Normally you need to stay an average of 18 nights annually to receive this status. It gives you the following benefits:

  • Access to a special reservations line
  • Welcome gifts & amenities
  • Unique experiences/extras (e.g picnic lunch served by Little Nell at the top of Colorado’s Aspen Mountain)

An example of what you receive can be found on the website for the Wedgewood Hotel.

Metal Card

Card is made from metal.

Earning Rewards

50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus

This card has a sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,500 in spend within the first 90 days.

Ongoing Spend

  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x on mobile payments (including LoopPay/MST transactions, see also this post)
    • 3x on travel purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies
    • 1x on all other purchases

Transferring FlexPerks Points

It’s possible to transfer FlexPerk points to Altitude points, but not vice versa. Keep in mind that FlexPerks have a maximum redemption value of 1.5¢.

Redeeming Rewards

Real-time Rewards 1.5¢ Per Point

Real-time rewards lets you redeem points for 1.5¢ per point, more details here.

Airfare, Hotels & Car Rental 1.5¢ Per Point

You can redeem points for airfare, hotels & car rental at a rate of 1.5¢ per point. Keep in mind that you need to use their booking system and that’s far from perfect. Usually it prices the same as elsewhere or by booking directly and you’ll still earn airline miles/credits.

Annual Fee 1.14¢ Per Point

Instead of paying the $400 annual fee in cash you can offset it by paying 35,000 in points for a value of 1.14¢ per point. Can also be used for authorized users.

Statement Credit 1¢ Per Point

You can redeem points for statement credit at a rate of 1¢ per point.

Our Verdict

This card is worth signing up for a lot of people:

  • 50,000 point sign up bonus (worth $500 or ~$750 towards flights)
  • $325 in travel credits
  • $400 annual fee

I don’t think travel credits are worth the same amount as straight cash, but even at 80% of face value that’s $260. Worst case scenario you use 35,000 points to offset the annual fee leaving you with $150 worth of points and $325 ($260 ‘cash value’) in travel credit.  By no means the best bonus ever, but well worth applying for. Obviously if you value the card benefits (and I think they are very weak) then the value proposition gets even better.

What’s really interesting for me and a lot of other people is the ability to get 3x points on mobile wallet purchases. This could be amazing for manufactured spending (and regular spending if you just use Visa gift cards purchased with this for your regular purchases) depending on what stores near you accept mobile payments. Even better for people with eligible Samsung Phones as the MST technology means it can be used on most swipe only payment terminals. We also took a look at the cheapest way to get Samsung Pay in this post.

I personally don’t think this card will be worth keeping after the first year for the majority of people, unless you can really make use of the 3x categories. Let me know if you agree/disagree in the comments below.

Follow-up note: US Bank has been aggressively shutting down accounts of those who buy Visa gift cards. Steer clear.

Tips/Things To Know

F.A.Q’s

I’ll answer the more commonly asked questions here.

What are my options for getting a Samsung

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Hari

William Charles DP : Priority Pass Membership can be opened in the name of anyone and not necessarily the card holder. The application page allows you to enter anyone’s name. My friend got the card delivered in his name but I used my address to be on the safer side.
App page screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/LxYgfrv

Hari

This helps for folks that already have PP through other cards and can get one for your friends/family. Makes this card worth keeping for me.

Kafka
Kafka

Also for people with more than two family members (depending on kids’ ages and each lounge’s policies). Each of the four visits also comes with one guest.

Prologer
Prologer

It can be any name and any address.
Ordered the Priority Pass card for my wife and let them send it to our temporary international address without any problem.

Drew
Drew

Thanks! Was able to do the same for my wife

Floating Heads
Floating Heads

William Charles can this tip be pinned? One of the most helpful comments on here, but it’s super buried.

SleepyScroller
SleepyScroller

After getting this card, I travelled internationally recently and used a lounge access for first time .. I dont think I will ever loose this card .. The lounge access was so amazing

Beat2def
Beat2def

Does it work for the Priority Pass Cap 1 Venture X card as well?
It doesn’t seem to work with Amex cards.

WrightHI
WrightHI

I still see “exclusive to US Bank customers” on the application page. Is there something documenting the change that can be cited to the recon line if needed?

John
John

Applied yesterday got the 7-10 days message, called the backdoor number (DECLINED). Talked to an agent, he said the system automatically declined me and pushed through a request for a manual review. No prior relationship with US Bank. Just got approved for a 5k limit.

charlie
charlie

Just applied – got the 7-10 message. Are one of these the backdoor number you used? I got off myfico, don’t know how up-to-date it is. US Bank: 800-947-1444, 800-685-7680

John
John

Yes the 800-947-1444 number

Avi
Avi

I too am considering applying for it. What’s your X/12 status?

Peter
Peter

I don’t know why this card doesn’t get more attention. I use this card for almost all non-category spend to get 4.5% on travel with no spend limits as long as the merchant accepts contactless payment. As more and more merchants accept contactless payment, I find myself using my BofA Premium Rewards less and less.

It’s so easy to redeem the points at a 50% bonus to get 4.5% using Real-Time Mobile Rewards… you just book a trip on a US airline, and you immediately get a text to redeem the points for a credit. Once the points are redeemed, you can change the trip or even cancel it as long as you booked a refundable fare.

Payments to US Bank credit cards are also still eligible to get 1% cash back using the Enzo debit card via PayPal, which essentially makes it 5.5% cash back.

ND
ND

PP on this card is free for first 4 times only, right? It’s not like it’s 4 times per year?

I wanted to apply for this card, but just first 4 times is not much of a deal unless I am missing something!

Edit: Looks like the benefit is free 4 visits per PP membership year. That’s good! I have been under the impression that it’s one time 4 visits!

From the USBank Page – “One Cardmember per Account may be enrolled as the member in the Priority Pass Select program, and their first four visits and four individual accompanying guest visits are waived each Priority Pass Select membership year (not Cardmember year).”

William Charles You might want to update the verbiage on the benefits to reflect per PP membership year for dumb people like me lol!

FN
FN

Peter Isn’t the Enzo debit card via PayPal cash back limited to $2500 annually?

Peter
Peter

FN Yes, but you would have to spend $250,000 to max out the $2,500 cash back, which would be difficult for most people. Also keep in mind that the Enzo debit card has a daily spend limit of $7,500. If your US Bank bill is higher than that, it could take multiple days to pay it off. A few months ago, my bill was $13,000, so I logged into PayPal a few days before the due date and paid $7,000 the first day and $6,000 the second day. I earned about $130 cash back for those payments.

FN
FN

Thanks Peter . I read the $2500 as the max amount of purchases for which you’d receive the 1% cashback and not $2500 as the max cash back amount. This makes it better.

Stan Lane
Stan Lane

The Gogo® Inflight Wi-Fi benefit on your U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card will be discontinued on April 1, 2022. You may continue to qualify and enroll in the benefit through March 31, 2022 to receive your 12 complimentary inflight Wi-Fi passes, valid for 12 months from date of issuance. Each valid complimentary Inflight Wi-Fi pass is good for one (1) use through March 31, 2023.

Lee
Lee

US Bank’s anti-fraud department has a hair trigger. I don’t engage in MS. Every single charge was a bona fide purchase for my family’s personal use. They shut me down saying that I was engaging in fraudulent activity. They closed my checking account for the same reason. It was an insulting and offensive experience. The branch personnel are of no help.

Matthew
Matthew

What did you buy that might raise their concern?

Dmitriy
Dmitriy

Was trying to see if I qualify for this bonus if I do have a U.S. Bank Altitude Connect c/c . I opened it last year and the bonus was posted on 01/22.

dp
dp

app went pending, 2 days later called the status line says declined, talked to a CSR and said the reason was to many new accounts. 10/24 – 4/12

nik
nik

If you downgrade the AR to a no annual fee card (like their platinum visa card, which has no sign on bonus) after a couple of months after having paid the annual fee:

1) Is it possible to upgrade to AR again in the future in couple of years, or is that door closed permanently?
2) Do they refund the annual fee (pro-rated)
3) Do they take back the $325 and the retention bonus in case you have already used them.

Anyone with experience having done this? With the VentureX card, the AR sees redundant now.

Baked
Baked

William Charles was just denied the 50,000 bonus for my 2nd Altitude Reserve card. Had and closed my 1st one, opened the 2nd a few months later, met the spend and was denied the bonus due to https://www.usbank.com/credit-cards/altitude-reserve-visa-infinite-credit-card.html#12312, footnote # 1, specifically this – “The bonus is not available to Cardmembers who currently have, or had, a U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite account.”

Have you heard of this or is it new ? If new, when did it go into effect ? Any suggestions as to how I can push USBank into posting 50,000 ? Thanks to all in advance!

Midnight
Midnight

That has been there for awhile. Went to the way back machine and it was there in early 2021. I highly doubt they have changed the page much since then besides the card image

Adam Sam
Adam Sam

I am traveling through Europe and used this card for multiple train (Swiss SBB) reservations and again many restaurants and food outlets .. none of them trigger the credit except a very limited few restaurants and one holiday inn (so I known it’s working fundamentally). Any advise on how to get the remaining transactions as credit ?