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

Update 7/16/20: No final word yet, but we’re hearing that Altitude Connect will launch some time in August.

Update 6/8/20: Altitude Go is now live online and in branch. (direct link)

Update 5/31/20: The signup bonus on Altitude Go should be valid for both branch and online applications. (As noted already: bonus is slated to be available from June 8 through August 9th, and should be valid even for those without any US Bank relationship.) A few other revisions/additions below. Update 5/28/20: Various updates in the post below: Altitude Go card will not need existing US Bank relationship to apply (unsure whether Connect will require relationship), added below. Instant card number upon approval, added below. Added some more detail on the streaming credit. Grocery and Restaurant delivery services included, added below. Signup bonus dates, added below. Other minor changes updated below. Update 5/26/20: The Altitude Go will be released June 8th. The Altitude Connect will be released later in the summer. (I’ve 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, and sources now gave us all the details on these new cards. 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. Both the Go and Connect cards will have a weighted metal center and the Connect card with have a red rim.

Altitude Go – No Annual Fee

Direct Link to Altitude Go

  • Card has no annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Card earns the following rates:
    • 4x on Dining and Takeout, including Food Delivery Services (examples include Grubhub, UberEATS, DoorDash, Caviar, BiteSquad, Delivery.com, Eat24, Postmates)
    • 2x on Grocery, Gas Stations, and Streaming Services; includes Grocery Delivery and Meal Kit Delivery (examples of grocery delivery services include Amazon Fresh, InstaCart, Peapod, Shipt; examples of meal kit delivery include Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Freshly, Green Chef, Home Chef, Plated, Sun Basket)
    • 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.
    • You can combine different services, e.g. if you were subscribed to Netflix for 8 months and then to Hulu for 3 months, the following month of streaming will be credited back.
    • Amazon Music, Apple Music, AT&T TV Now, Disney+, Google Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, SiriusXM, Slacker Radio, Sling TV, Spotify, Tidal, Vudu, YouTube Music and YouTube TV are all mentioned clearly to work.
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balances transfers
  • Instant card number upon approval which can be added to your mobile wallet immediately when you use text-to-apply. Text applications are only available when done through a banker, I suppose you can call a US Bank branch and try applying with a banker if this feature is important to you.
  • Standard Visa Signature benefits.

Signup Bonus

  • Altitude Go card card will get 20,000 points after $1,000 spend in 90 days.
  • This offer is valid from 6/8/20 – 8/9/20.

Signup bonus offer should be available both in US Bank branches and for easy online sign up. Notably: Unlike the Altitude Reserve, you will be able to apply for the Go card even without any existing US Bank relationship.

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.
    • You can combine different services, e.g. if you were subscribed to Netflix for 8 months and then to Hulu for 3 months, the following month of streaming will be credited back.
    • Amazon Music, Apple Music, AT&T TV Now, Disney+, Google Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, SiriusXM, Slacker Radio, Sling TV, Spotify, Tidal, Vudu, YouTube Music and YouTube TV are all mentioned clearly to work.
  • 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 using Real Time Rewards redemption which allows cashing out points to offset almost any purchase. 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.

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.

My speculation: 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.

221
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
CGID
CGID

Like Ruger below, I really like the $500 cash bonus for the Connect, so I certainly intend to go for it.

The following DoC article urges anyone who plans to apply for a US Bank card to freeze his SageStream and ARS credit reports. It’s at the top of the “Things You Should Know”:

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/things-everybody-should-know-about-us-bank-credit-cards/

On the other hand, that article was written four years ago. Is it still considered an important step?

SamL
SamL

I’ve never bothered with that (and wouldn’t). It seems people have more problems freezing. On the other hand, when trying for USB CCs, I was denied in 2016, 2017, then when we next tried me and P2 easily got some USB CCs in 2019. I don’t know if they loosened up, and I’m not assuming this one would be easy.

I’m also just going for the occasional “$500” card (though I’ve gone for lots of smaller ones before, and may do so again in the future, so my N/24 is high but dropping) and I will get below 5/24 next year.

John
John

Awesome. Thanks Sam.

Is there a good summary that you or anyone else can give of the big things that USB looks for? Here I am talking about the things BEYOND what is needed for a FICO score in the 800s: no lates or other derogs, very low CC utilization, etc.

For example, are they unusually sensitive to number of accounts reporting a balance? If so I could certainly work on getting down to exactly 1 or 2 cards with a balance (out of 14) with all others reporting $0.

I am at 5/24 currently (cards) with a car loan opened about 8 months ago. When I apply for the USB card I will have opened one card recently and that will be about 60 days before. My three FICO 8 scores are around 810.

SamL
SamL

I really don’t know those kinds of details.

Ruger
Ruger

The Connect card’s bonus is 50,000 points, $500! I’m considering trying to snag that $500 even if it means taking a 5/24 spot.

K
K

Customer service replies to inquiries I’ve emailed about the Go card have referenced Connect too so I think the release of the second card is imminent.

Anon
Anon

Spoke to a US Bank in branch rep and she said that the Connect card is coming sometime in August

SamL
SamL

Thanks for the update. It’ll be interesting to see how tight they are with approvals, and what it is that they are looking at.

nik
nik

Any ideas about how to use the box that the Alitutde reserve comes in? The box is not practical but seems like a waste to throw it away or recycle.

I wonder if US bank branches will take it back to reuse.

Ann
Ann

I doubt US Bank is set up to reuse the boxes like that, unfortunately.

I don’t have this card, so I found photos of the box at https://milestomemories.com/u-s-bank-altitude-reserve-unboxing/ . It looks like the box probably has hidden magnets to hold the lid closed, which is nice. I have a smaller box made that way which something else came in; I repurposed it for storing a small board/dice game that didn’t come with a good box. Or this box might be large enough to use for pens/pencils/markers. Or you could store your sock-drawer-ed cards in it.

Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler

You can keep your weed in there….

SamL
SamL

Any news on when Altitude Connect may become available?

Andy

Denied for the Altitude Go despite being an Altitude Reserve cardholder for the last 3 years. Recon said too many new accounts. My last card was 7 months ago, but I had 12 new cards in 2019.

peter
peter

denied also, said “too many in the last 12 months”…total of 3, 4 including all of 2019. And i’ve put a lot of money through my current cards with them ($5K+ a year), and have an 800+.

maybe the pandemic is making them picky?

Mike B.
Mike B.

Denied as well, at 800+ and 3/24. Will try recon tonight, but not optimistic.

SamL
SamL

Wow, that is strict.

SamL
SamL

Let us know about recon?

DC
DC

Hello,

If you are interested in the Altitude GO card and is in need of immediate card usage, use the link below to be routed to the application and you will receive the card number instantly upon approval.

[removed]

JS
JS

I got approved for the Go, but didn’t get any instant card number. I was on the lookout for it too. Not a big deal for my personally, but figured I’d mention it.

Hari
Hari

As stated in the post below, instant card number is available only through the text-to-apply process done via branch, phone or email. Did you do the text-to-apply or went the regular online route?

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/sources-us-bank-to-begin-issuing-instant-credit-card-number-upon-card-approval/

Wavester64
Wavester64

Do you recall what your x/6 and x/12 were at the time of the app?
Did you have a prior relationship with USB?

usbank sucks
usbank sucks

Got denied, tu fico of 754. 0 inquries past 6 months, Gfy USbank.