Posted by Chuck on March 27, 2020
Credit Cards

Published on March 27th, 2020 | by Chuck

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US Bank To Launch Two New Altitude Cards; 50,000/20,000 Points Signup Bonus On Connect/Go Cards

Update 3/27/20: Cards showing up on website now, but application links aren’t live. Hat tip to intervested99. (I’ve also removed a bunch of the updates below and added them into the main text of the post for easier reading.)

Update 3/19/20: Sources indicate a projected launch date of June 8th, though it’ll depend on covid-19.

Update 3/18/20: Launch has been delayed beyond the initial March 30 timeframe, according to sources. No clear date for launch is currently available.

Update 3/10/20: Cards are set to launch on March 30 , 2020.

US Bank Go/Connect Cards

We’ve reported that US Bank will launch two new credit cards. Sources gave us many of the details on these cards, which will likely launch before the end of the month. They are also discontinuing all Flexperks cards in deference to the new Altitude lineup.

The two new cards are:

  1. Altitude Go card with no annual fee card
  2. Altitude Connect card with a $95 annual fee

Points are worth 1¢ each on both cards. Points can not be combined with Reserve to increase their value to 1.5 cents. You will be able to send points downward from Reserve to Go or Connect, but not upward from Go/Connect to Reserve.

Both cards will have a weighted metal center and the Connect card with have a red rim.

Altitude Go – No Annual Fee

  • Card has no annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Card earns the following rates:
    • 4x on Dining and Takeout
    • 2x on Grocery, Gas Stations, and Streaming Services
    • (?) I assume 1x everywhere else
  • $15 Free month of streaming for annual streaming services. Annual streaming credit works as follows: after 11 months of consecutive streaming service charges, the 12th month will get the $15 credit. (Not clear if you can combine streaming services, e.g. 6 months Netflix and 6 months Hulu, or if it has to be the same service for 12 months to get the credit.)
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balances transfers

Signup Bonus

  • Altitude Go card card will get 20,000 points after $1,000 spend in 90 days.

At card launch the signup bonus will only be available in branch. (No mention about needing a prior relationship, so should work for anyone in branch.) The card will launch online as well, but we don’t know if/what the signup bonus will be.

Altitude Connect – $95 Annual Fee

  • Card has $95 annual fee, fee is waived the first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Card earns the following rates:
    • 5x on prepaid hotel and car rentals when booked with the Altitude Rewards Center
    • 4x on Travel and at Gas Stations
    • 2x on Dining, Takeout, Groceries, and Streaming Services
    • (?) I assume 1x everywhere else
  • $30 Free month of streaming for annual streaming services. Annual streaming credit works as follows: after 11 months of consecutive streaming service charges, the 12th month will get the $30 credit. (Not clear if you can combine streaming services, e.g. 6 months Netflix and 6 months Hulu, or if it has to be the same service for 12 months to get the credit.)
  • Cell phone protection similar to the US Bank Platinum card; $600 coverage with $25 deductible.
  • Precheck or global entry credit.

Signup Bonus

  • Altitude Connect card will get 50,000 points after $3,000 spend in 120 days.

At card launch the signup bonus will only be available in branch. (No mention about needing a prior relationship, so should work for anyone in branch.) The card will launch online as well, but we don’t know if/what the signup bonus will be.

Altitude Reserve

I’m including the details of the existing Altitude Reserve card just for comparison sake, NOTHING NEW HERE:

  • $400 annual fee (not waived the first year)
  • Card earns the following rates:
    • 5x on prepaid hotel and car rentals when booked with the Altitude Rewards Center
    • 3x mobile wallet
    • 3x travel purchases
    • 1x everywhere else
  • $325 in annual travel credits

Points Value

Points are worth 1¢ each on the Go and Connect card. The Reserve card has the ability to pretty easily get 1.5 cents value with Real Time Rewards redemption; the Go and Connect cards will only get 1 cent value.

Points on Go and Connect cards can not be combined with Reserve to increase their value to 1.5 cents. You will be able to send points downward from Reserve to Go or Connect, but not upward from Go/Connect to Reserve.

Final Thoughts

It’s interesting that the various cards have differing strong points. For example, the Connect and Reserve get 5x with prepaid bookings, the Connect gets 4x on Travel and Gas, the Go gets 4x on Dining, the Reserve gets 3x on mobile wallet payments, the Go and Connect gets 2x on Groceries.

There’s no single card that has it all. These kinds of moves bug me since it seems right for the more premium cards to be strictly an upgrade to the lower card without any trade-offs. Certainly won’t be the first bank to do such a thing. (shruggie emoji)

As noted, the Go and Connect card points will not be worth 1.5 cents per point via Real Time Rewards redemptions like the Altitude. The cards still have some nice angles, for example, a no-fee card which earns 4% on dining and has no foreign transaction fee and $15 streaming credit is a nice option.

It’s likely we’ll see some updates/revamps to the Reserve card as well, e.g. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a streaming credit on the Reserve or to see a 2x Grocery/Gas category added or to see the Travel category go up from 3x to 4x. Then, again, it’s possible they’ll increase the annual fee too. This paragraph is purely speculation. We did see them add the 5x prepaid travel category beginning this month.



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debit
debit

“They are also discontinuing all Flexperks cards in deference to the new Altitude lineup.”

Funny statement.

debit
debit

Also nice. They have a strong eco system now. Should add transfer partners.

aubergine
aubergine

then the system wouldn’t work.

Nun
Nun

Would be a stronger eco system if I saw them as reliable enough to give at least 1 day notice of changes (realtime rewards). If I get their new card, will they pull the rug out from me again?

John
John

For a second, I got excited that its $15 streaming credit per month on the free card lol

Franklin
Franklin

Isn’t that what it says mate?

Abey
Abey

If they can somehow come out with a Hyatt business card we will re-evaluate our options with US Bank.

Youngestofallthebuck
Youngestofallthebuck

Who will then shut you down for MSing towards status

Mark R.
Mark R.

As long as points are worth at least 1¢ each, these are really strong offerings

Rick
Rick

I would guess they’ll change the point value to 1 cpp otherwise it’s too good to be true

YoniPDX

Hopefully they will take the CSR approach and the AR will stay at 1.5cpp, but its hard to see USB paying 6c for dining (1.5c x 4x) That gives me pause and I’m concerned about my banked USB AR points and a devaluation to 1cpp

I’ve planned on using on Int’l air travel late summer (Fiji, NZ and AU short hops in economy). Have awards Biz seats RT to So. Pacific booked but COVID19 is the wild card.

aubergine
aubergine

you’re getting RTR to trigger on intl air bookings?

YoniPDX

Haven’t tried yet, planned on just booking the short hops through portal @ 1.5c (when I checked – price was competitive with other OTA on the coach legs in Oceania ).

You can always check if it will trigger with a cheap flight then cancel within 24hrs – using the card direct with airline – but the old DP i”ve seen they normally didn’t – but when we were in So Africa in December – I got a few RTR text on charges (forget what purchases triggered).

I have found that you do have to double check RTR text – to verify 1.5 cpp.

aubergine

Anon
Anon

100% this. Because they used the ‘x’ instead of cash back, they may go the way of PNC where how you redeem is based on your banking relationship with them. It’s been a few years since I recently checked but at PNC if you don’t have a relationship with them you can only redeem at 0.8cpp, and ranging up to 1.2cpp if you have their premier wallet product.

In the end credit cards are simply the gateway into marketing their other products to you, so there’s got to be a catch with the 1″x”-5″x” brandings.

Alex
Alex

Been denied for the altitude reserve so many times.

James L
James L

Need a prior relationship with USB and also not have lol/24. I was approved on my first try at 2/24.

Ben P
Ben P

But I do have a lot of hard/soft inquiries

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I got my Altitude at LOL/24.

Alex
Alex

I’ve seen data points of folks getting it in branch with a banker at lol/24, but even that route ended in a denial for me. The banker in branch even called recon on my behalf. What was your secret?

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

No idea. I opened a checking account (to get a bonus), waited about 30-40 days and applied online for the Altitude card. I opened the checking mainly so I could apply for the card, the bonus was just a nice extra.

I was somewhere around 20-30/24 and had run out of cards I could apply for. Good credit history / 800+ FICO. Maybe they were in a good mood that day. 🙂

jnrfalcon
jnrfalcon

4x on travel for the $95 one? Pity…

Yuri
Yuri

I haven’t seen anything better than 3x on travel, and only 5x for airfare (Prestige, Amex Plat) and OTAs (Prestige)

Steven
Steven

Does US Bank still waive the $400 Altitude Reserve annual fee for active duty military under MLA?

Matt
Matt

The line about a waiver for active duty military was still in there terms when I checked a month or so ago.

Charlie R.
Charlie R.

Yes. I just received the letter for my Altitude Reserve card opened March 2.

Noble Credit
Noble Credit

@Charlie R. How did you establish the relationship with US Bank before applying for the Altitude Reserve?

Charlie R.
Charlie R.

I got the Cash+ card last year.

Mali
Mali

I just hope they will send out prequalified offers to deposit account customers.

Ross
Ross

Same, their lineup of cards is pretty good now I must say.

Kent
Kent

Any word if the Altitude Go has no foreign transaction fees? I would hope so given that it’s a travel card.

Jeff
Jeff

Did your sources say if those who hold the Flexperks Travel Rewards Visa will get the opportunity to just do a product switch?

Harry Nguyen
Harry Nguyen

I’m in the same boat, I just converted my 365 for the Select+, hopefully they allow a PC. If not, then could always apply for the no AF.

FreeIsGood
FreeIsGood

Intrigued. If new altitude versions get 1.5 cents/pt for real time rewards, that’s amazing.

Can’t be true though. Would guess it would be tiered like the CSR/CSP/CUF.

Regardless, I’ll still apply for one if they allow a second SUB for those who already got one on the Reserve.

BW
BW

The no AF Go card is looking really appealing if that’s the case. I’m with you that it probably isn’t, but Go would be incredible to pair with Altitude Reserve.

tuphat
tuphat

meh …

Andrew H
Andrew H

If you can transfer those points earned from these new cards to the Reserve, this could be pretty good. Especially the dining one since not a lot of sit down restaurants take mobile payments.

Pointz
Pointz

Or since you are greedy and want that extra 1x 🙂

Yuri
Yuri

I have yet to find one restaurant which won’t allow me to pay with mobile.

Frugal Nellie, aka Lela
Frugal Nellie, aka Lela

My favorite restaurant takes cash or checks only, and has a staff of maybe 5 nice folks. You must live in big chain country. Most every restaurant in the seaside town where I live is independent and the owners are my neighbors. They do take cc, and I don’t even know if they take mobile wallet. Prob works if they updated their Cc machine and not if they didn’t.

Yuri
Yuri

If they have CC machine, Samsung Pay will work in 99% of the cases.

Ranga
Ranga

Im planning to apply for Altitude Reserve. Should i wait for the new cards to pop up or would reserve be best irrespective of the new cards?

Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts

May want to wait and see if they nerf the point values to 1cpp

Ric
Ric

I tried to open a checking account and was denied because I am not within the US Bank footprints. I was told to get a Flex card first and after a year get the Altitude Reserve. I am more interested in the Business cards because I am 3/24, that said, Anyone knows if Business cards are easy to get even though I am outside the US Bank footprints? What do you think is the best strategy for me to build up an US Bank relationship?

Youngestofallthebuck
Youngestofallthebuck

Go in branch and open a checking account when you’re in the area. Assuming if you follow this site and are interested in the AR you do some form of travel and will at some point come across a US Bank branch. Bonus points if you open the account while they are doing a promotion

Here’s a handy branch footprint map:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/US_Bank_footprint_2013-03.png

reventon04
reventon04

Except that all your favorite branches have closed their lobbies due to coronavirus. Good luck with that

VML
VML

That’s the route I took. Opened a Biz FlexPerks for 3 or 6 months then applied and got the AR. See post 1846 and 1850. Yes, I have a legit business.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/958276-u-s-bank-flexperks-124.html

Since then, they increase my limit by 5k every year on the biz card and the Reserve application was a breeze with a 44k starting limit. They are a crazy bank but once you’re in, it seems they are good to you. Just don’t MS or buy any gift cards.

GMoney
GMoney

I have found them to be very stingy with credit limits on business cards. I have an existing personal and business checking account with them, a credit score of 750 and personal income of 225k, business income of minimal on 1 business and about 20k anticipated this year of income. I got a 3k limit on one business card and 4k limit on another business card. Also, a hard pull for any credit line increase.

Then my wife, who I added to my personal checking, at the time still had her bankruptcy on her report, used my income and her score was maybe 725, applied for the AR and got a 16k limit….

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