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.
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:
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