Posted by William Charles on April 21, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on April 21st, 2017 | by William Charles

57

What’s The Best Way To Become Eligible For The U.S. Bank Altitude?

Introduction

In case you didn’t know U.S. Bank is launching a new premium card called ‘Altitude‘. The card is officially launching on May 1st and it has some good benefits and sign up bonus:

  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,500 in spend within 90 days of account opening.
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x on mobile payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay & Microsoft Wallet)
    • 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
  • Annual fee is $400 for the primary cardholder and $75 for authorized users. You can offset the annual fee with 35,000 points (1.14¢ per point)
  • $325 annual travel credit. Can be used against purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
  • Priority Pass Select Membership. Limited to four visits and four guests visits each membership year.
  • Gogo Pass. 12 complimentary passes each membership year (same as what is offered on other U.S. Bank cards)
  • Visa Infinite Benefits. Does not come with $100 saving on round trip flight
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry Reimbursement once every four year.
  • Silvercar discount. 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.
  • GroundLink Black Car Service. 15% discount and $30 off first ride
  • Metal card.
  • No foreign transaction fees

The downside to the card is that you need an existing U.S. Bank relationship to be eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

We discuss the eligibility requirements in more detail here. The short of it is as follows:

  • To be automatically approved you need:
    • To be an existing U.S. Bank customer for at least 35 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

Best Way To Become Eligible

The best way to become eligible will depend on your unique circumstances.

Check To See If You’re Already Eligible

A lot of readers will already be eligible, for example if you already have a U.S. Bank personal credit card then you’re eligible. They also had a checking bonus available last year.

Credit Cards

A lot of U.S. Bank credit cards come with a sign up bonus, the downside to applying for one of these cards is that you’re less likely to be approved for the Altitude as U.S. Bank are reluctant to extend too much credit. It’s also somewhat unclear if it is worth freezing your ARS report.

If you do go down the credit card route, here are the current bonuses available on the personal card (thanks to our credit card spreadsheet).

  • US Bank Aeromexico Visa Signature: 20,000 points after your first purchase
  • US Bank Club Carlson Premier Visa Signature: 85,000 points after $2,500 in spend within the first three months
  • US Bank Cash+: $100 after $500 in spend
  • US Bank FlexPerks Select+: 10,000 points after $1,000 in spend within the first three months
  • US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards: 20,000 points after $2,000 in spend within the first three months
  • US Bank FlexPerks Gold: 30,000 points after $2,000 in spend within the first three months
  • US Bank SKYPASS Visa Signature: 15,000 points after first purchase

In terms of what cards are worth considering, Cash+ is a good option if you can max out (or use) the 5% categories. FlexPerks cards can also provide some good value as well, remember that you will be able to transfer those points to Altitude points but they have a higher maximum redemption of 2¢ each. You should also read these things everybody should know about U.S. Bank credit cards before applying.

Deposit Accounts

As mentioned previously they recently had a checking bonus, that has now expired. They have a targeted promotion here, but obviously that won’t help unless you’re targeted. You can get a $50 bonus (and another 1% back on gas and grocery debit card purchases up to another $50) by opening their Silver Checking Package with a Package Money Market Savings account, and enroll in START Smart. Just keep in mind there is a monthly fee of $8.95/$6.95 and that is waived with online statements and combined direct deposits of $1,000+ or combined average deposit of $1,500. For those interested here are more of the basics:

  • Hard/soft pull: Soft (chex inquiry will be done)
  • Credit card funding: Yes, up to $500 
  • Early account termination fee: None

With U.S. Bank’s deposit accounts it seems like you need to live within their service area to be approved. I’m not exactly sure how close to a branch you need to be, this reader was denied for living in Texas but they do have branches in Texas. This reader was denied in NJ but they have no branches there.

It should also be noted that having ARS/SageStream can cause your deposit account applications to be rejected.

F.A.Q’s

Q: Does being a Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature credit card holder qualify you?

A: This card is issued by Elan Financial Services, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank. I honestly have no idea if this will or won’t qualify you, my guess is that it won’t but that’s just a gut feeling rather than anything else.



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Jordon W
Jordon W

Any thought as to if being a previous credit card holder could work? I had the Flexperk card a few years ago and can still log in to my account…

DDG

I was able to open a checking account in NYC, no branches around here. And I already closed the account about a month ago 🙁

Ramzi
Ramzi

Any updated info on if you should have Sagestream and/or ARS frozen to increase US bank credit card approvals?

TomT
TomT

I attempted to open a 2nd savings account to use its $500 card funding a little over 6 months ago. I already had existing savings and checking accounts open with U.S. Bank to earn bonuses. My SageStream and ARS reports were frozen before I opened those accounts and as well as two FlexPerks personal cards (Amex & Visa) opened a few months earlier. To my surprise, the secondary savings account was denied due to my reports being frozen. They said they could resubmit my application if I unfroze them, but I declined. Perhaps they changed what they need to be able to access to approve any new accounts, but I’m hoping it was a special case.

Dan
Dan

i recently had a savings account approved (about 25 days ago). And I have both those reports frozen. For the record, freezing those reports was the difference maker in me getting approved for my first credit card with them.

J T
J T

Same: froze Sagestream & ARS in Sept ’16 to apply for Flexperks Gold and Flexperks Travel. Applied today for gold checking for a targeted $200 bonus and was approved with those 2 bureaus still frozen.

Interesting to note: even though cc funding is limited to $500, a declined card (fraud alert in my case) does not skip the initial funding option like with most (all?) other new bank account online applications. It simply asks for a different card.

Gerald
Gerald

Unless I’m missing something, this seems weak compared to CSR and Amex Platinum. What are the points good for?

Mike L
Mike L

Agreed with the CSR point. It seems like the only benefit this card has over the CSR is the 12 Gogo passes and the 3x on mobile wallet payments, which will most likely be yanked soon after release if it’s abused. The lounge benefits are worse, there’s no 3x on dining, the travel categories seem more restrictive (no OTAs (Expedia, etc.), tolls, etc), there are no transfer partners, and you have to tie up money with them in some other way in order to even qualify for the card. Also, their introductory bonus is only half of that the CSR’s was.

TanT
TanT

You should include the link to the post 22 Things Everybody Should Know About US Bank Credit Cards. It would be useful for some readers.

Vic
Vic

ditto

red
red

Does FIA 2% qualify? It was bought by us bank last year.

Steve
Steve

Anyone know if co-branded U.S. Bank cards count?

Julia
Julia

What about a CD? I would not mind moving part of my “emergency” savings account into a CD there.

alcwj
alcwj

厂 what about business credit cardlike clubcarlson? Will that qualify?

AD
AD

You didn’t list brokerage account but I’d assume having one will make you eligible.

Chucks
Chucks

“U.S. Bank Checking or Savings account”

Is this just personal or does business checking count as well?

Matt
Matt

I’ve been a US Bank checking account customer for forever. New to credit card game though; 5 Chase cards including CSR and nothing else yet.

Is there any reason to get this card over numerous others with 50,000 points offers and a significantly lower min. fee?

Tiffany
Tiffany

Guessing the AF isn’t waived the first year?

J
J

Got denied for checking acct. and a CD. Live in massachusetts. No bad marks on reports. Have always been denied for credit cards from us bank. 780s score. Not sure what it is.

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