Posted by William Charles on April 23, 2017
Credit Card Benefits

Published on April 23rd, 2017 | by William Charles

29

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve WILL Earn 3x On MST (LoopPay Transactions)

Frequent Miler was able to ask John Steward (president of Retail Payments at U.S. Bank) if MST or LoopPay transactions would earn 3x on the Altitude card and the answer is yes. This is huge news, that means this card will earn 3x points (worth 4.5¢ towards travel) per $1 spent.

What Are MST Transactions?

MST stands for magnetic secure transmission. Samsung has this technology due to their LoopPay acquisition. In it’s simplest form MST turns in-store payment terminals where you normally swipe a credit card into a contactless card reader.

loopay

This means that even if a terminal does not accept NFC (near field communication) payments (such as a normal mobile wallet) that it will accept Samsung Pay. This technology isn’t perfect and doesn’t work on all terminals, but it will work on EMV terminals as long as they also accept magnetic stripe payments.

What Phones Are Eligible?

 

  • Galaxy S8
  • Galaxy S7 edge
  • Galaxy S7
  • Galaxy S6 edge+
  • Galaxy Note5
  • Galaxy S6 edge
  • Galaxy S6 active
  • Galaxy S6
  • Gear S2 (with NFC only)
  • Gear S3

They also plan to launch Samsung Pay Mini, but as the MST has a hardware component this will not be useful for some people.

What Else Should You Know About Samsung Pay?

The two main things are:

Our Verdict

This is pretty huge news, some readers will be quick to point out that Samsung Pay’s MST transactions don’t work as often as you’d expect/want and some overzealous cashiers will refuse these payments. The fact that Samsung Pay users will have a 3x/4.5x almost everywhere option is insane though.

U.S. Bank are the kings of launching a compelling product and then slowly devaluing it until it’s useless though (see: U.S. Bank Cash+ card). So I don’t expect this to last forever, or even a long time. You can read our coverage of the Altitude here. You can read things everybody should know about U.S. Bank cards here.

Hat tip to Frequent Miler

RelatedCheapest Way to Get Samsung Pay (3x on Altitude, Gift Card Deals)



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ABC
ABC

I miss the “old” version of U.S. Bank Cash+. That version was better than this card. I’ll give this 6 months, max.

joE
joE

All this talk about how to accumulate points and I haven’t seen a single blogger talk or do a write up about how crappy their reservation system is and all it’s flaws. Kind of sad as this feels like a pump and dump. atleast Doc is warning people about how US bank is notorious for nerfing cards so people can’t say they were not warned. But most hardcore readers will know this, it’s just sad that the average joe will read all these blogs, get excited, get the card and have a hell of a time using his points or having the card get nerfed on him 3 month into it. oh well… carry on with building this card up.

Reg
Reg

joE, What is so bad about the reservation system? Is it poor usability / interface or is it bad value because you can find much better prices somewhere else or something else?

Would love to see DOC do a review of the system

joE
joE

This is exactly what I’m talking about Reg. You don’t know anything about the system because no one covers it. I didn’t know either has I have never had to use it but from what I have gathered from user posts here and there, you won’t find say all flights and what you do find is much more expensive so at the end up the day you’re not getting any better value just beacuse you got alot of points.

Now obviously that’s not the case in every situation but I’ve had people say if it’s on the same platform as the flexpoints, which it is, then they will not even bother w the card.

Anyways, my point is the onus falls on these same bloggers that are pumping this card for it’s positives to show people it’s potential negatives, in this case being the end game aka using your freaking points!

Rob
Rob

I agree since this is My experience as well. Have not been able to use my points even though i Have 80k exactly because of overpriced flights or lack of flights.

kalf8483
kalf8483

trying to use MST on every purchase sounds like a huge headache

Lrdx
Lrdx

My wife can practically use Samsung Pay everywhere where you don’t have to give your card to the cashier/waiter, with only a few places where it doesn’t work. I’d say approximately 80% of our in-store payments work through Samsung Pay.

One place it doesn’t work is at gas pumps. They have this insert and quickly remove card mechanics around here, and it looks like it’s shielded and doesn’t detect the phone. Another is the local Walmart, the terminal approves the charge, it goes through at the bank, but then the terminal displays / prints out that it’s cancelled. I remember this as the cashier asked us why the hell did we cancel when it was approved.. (we tried multiple times, this is consistently what it’s doing.)

Eduard
Eduard

Actually you can use Samsung pay at gas stations. Look it up on YouTube, I’ve done it a bunch of times until I found an easier way to rack up transactions. What you have to do is slide a card in with the magnetic strip at the bottom (ie, so it doesn’t actually get read). This will initialize the read sequence, and during this whole time, you quickly place your phone against the reader. Sometimes you have to get the timing right, but I was starting to nail it on my first attempt constantly.

Chucks
Chucks

From my looking at YouTube videos, it looks pretty painless. Considering how many large purchases I make at NFC/POS terminals from stores often not in a bonus category or in a capped one, this is rather exciting.

WR
WR

Yes they may devalue it, but unlike their previous offerings, this is a premium card with a large annual fee. Since customers will be paying a $400 AF upfront for promised benefits later, I would presume that legally they can’t change those benefits within the first year without lawsuits or demands for AF refunds. So those able to get this card should have at least a year of good times.

M
M

Is there any workaround to those very expensive Samsung phones?

Tom
Tom

There is a standalone “Looppay card” that works with android and ios. It’s currently sold out on their website, but it looks like you can get it from Ebay for $40.

I’d be really curious to hear reviews of this card if anyone has tried it.

Kelly
Kelly

Do you think that will work for the 3%? It looks like it use its own app not Android or Apple pay so would it be counted as a mobile wallet?

F798
F798

It’s been discontinued and the app is no longer available. Part of Samsung ‘s effort to make MST exclusive to their phones.

Elmer
Elmer

Any idea which Samsung phones will support a Google Fi card? I am guessing just getting a refurbished T-Mobile Galaxy s6 is my best bet.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Only Nexus and Pixel phones are working with Google Fi: https://fi.google.com/about/faq/#supported-devices-2

Anony Mouse
Anony Mouse

Just get a Samsung phone with dual GSM/CDMA radios and you should be fine. If your only options are GSM-only (AT&T/T-Mobile) or CDMA-only (Verizon/Sprint), then I’d go for the GSM-only one, as you’ll get coverage on T-Mobile with a Google Fi SIM card. There are many DPs of Google Fi SIM cards working on officially unsupported phones, but do your research first.

P
P

Lots and lots of people will apply and before getting their rewards US Bank will devalue. That’s my worst case scenario

Lynn
Lynn

But it’s still worth 500 in cash, plus the 325 travel credit. So, still good for a net of 75 fee.

Paul
Paul

$75 for a hard pull isn’t worth it. Only worth it if you can consistently use the 3x bonus for mobile wallet

lingua
lingua

yall gonna confuse people

750 towards air travel + 325 annual travel credit is clearly stated by DoC

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/confirmed-details-regarding-u-s-banks-altitude-premium-visa-infinite-credit-card-eligibility-requirements/

lingua
lingua

meant to reply to Paul…sorry for the confusion 🙂

David
David

Is it known whether the ability to redeem points to pay for the annual fee will exist for the first year’s AF? Assuming the AF comes due before the minimum spend is complete, will there be an opportunity to redeem points subsequently for a credit in the amount of the already-paid AF?

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