US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

Card Details and Application Link
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
50K points
50K after $4.5K spend in 90 days
Click Here to Apply (this is NOT an affiliate link)

$400 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: With points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel, this card offers an excellent signup bonus. For ongoing use, this card is a winner for those who spend a lot on mobile payments (at 3X, rewards are worth 4.5%)


Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Shop
Other

Earning rate: 5x prepaid hotel & car rental through Altitude Rewards Center ⚬ 3X travel and mobile wallet payments ⚬ 3X dining & food delivery through 6/30/21

Noteworthy perks: $325 in travel/dining credits per membership year ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel ⚬ Real Time Mobile Rewards (redeem points at full value at time of purchase) ⚬ Priority Pass Select airport lounge access (4 per year) ⚬ 12 free Gogo Wifi passes per year. Note: This benefit will be discontinued on April 1, 2022. You can continue to enroll until March 31, 2022 and passes will be valid for 12 months from issuance. ⚬ Primary car rental coverage ⚬ No foreign transaction fees ⚬ Free authorized user cards

Overview

The Altitude Reserve card is US Bank’s challenge to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  Like the Sapphire Reserve, the Altitude Reserve is a Visa Infinite card that offers 3X on travel; and points can be used to purchase travel for 1.5 cents value per point.  Unfortunately, unlike the Chase card, the Altitude Reserve’s points cannot be transferred to loyalty programs.

The Altitude Reserve Card is an ultra-premium travel rewards card that offers an excellent return on spend within its bonus categories and very good travel protections.  This card’s killer feature is that it offers 3X rewards for travel and mobile wallet payments.  The latter part is key: anywhere you can pay in-person with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, or LG Pay you’ll earn 3X doing so.  And with points worth 1.5 cents each, that’s like getting a 4.5% rebate nearly everywhere.

Even though the annual fee is quite high ($400), it is very easy to earn the card’s annual $325 travel & dining credits and so the net fee after rebates is very reasonable.  If you value the rebates at full face value, your annual net cost is only $75.  That’s less than most decent rewards cards (many charge about $95 per year) and yet it has better earning power and travel protections than most.

The Altitude Reserve card’s Achilles heel, in my opinion, is the fact that points are not transferrable to airline or hotel loyalty programs.  Unlike with transferable points programs where it’s possible to seek out high value rewards through transfer partners, with the Altitude Reserve there is no way to get more than 1.5 cents per point value.

Here is everything you need to know…

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Summary

  • Standard Signup Bonus: 50,000 points after $4,500 spend in 90 days
  • $400 Annual Fee
  • Cardholders may redeem 35,000 points to cover the annual fee
  • $325 in annual travel/dining credits automatically applied to account for travel & dining (including take-out and delivery) purchases charged to card. In this context, “annual” means the cardmember’s membership year.
  • Points worth 1.5 cents each when used to purchase travel through the Altitude Rewards Center (flights, hotels, car rentals)
  • Real Time Mobile Rewards: Redeem points for 1.5 cents each for travel purchased directly with the US merchants.  See: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?
  • Earn 3X points per dollar for travel and mobile wallet spend; 5X points per dollar on prepaid hotels & car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center; 1X elsewhere
  • There is no cap on 3X earnings
  • Airport Lounge Access via Priority Pass Select (4 free visits per year)
  • 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes per year (this benefit ends 3/31/22)
  • Travel coverage: Emergency Evacuation and Transportation Coverage; Trip delay and trip cancellation reimbursement.
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver (No benefit is provided for vehicles rented in Israel, Jamaica, the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland)
  • Rental car benefits:
    • National Rental Car Emerald Club Executive membership and “and save up to 25% when you rent with National® Car Rental”
    • Avis Preferred Plus membership + save up to 30% on qualifying rentals with Avis®
    • Hertz: “Enjoy special savings, faster service, extra hours on returns and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® bonus points.”
    • Silvercar: Save up to 30% (register at silvercar.com/partners/vinfinite )
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free authorized user cards: US Bank used to charge $75 per authorized user, but they dropped that charge early in 2021.
  • Issued as Visa Infinite
  • Card composition: Engraved stainless steel
  • Guide to benefits: found here.

Key perks not supported by this card

  • Priority Pass Select membership covers only 4 free cardholder visits and 4 free individual guest visits per year.  After those 4 visits, you must pay $32 per person for lounge access.
  • No ability to transfer points to loyalty programs

altitude-reserve-infinite-card-art

Getting the card

Card Offer
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
50K points
50K after $4.5K spend in 90 days

$400 Annual Fee

  • You must be a US Bank customer to get the card.  Many types of US Bank accounts qualify including checking and savings, credit cards, auto loans, investment relationships, CDs, mortgages, etc.
  • Can I open a US Bank account today so that I can apply?  Yes, but you must wait until your banking relationship is recognized before applying for the Altitude Reserve. Banking relationships are usually recognized in less than 5 days, but may occasionally take as long as 35 days.
  • Can I expedite the process of becoming a US Bank customer so that I can apply right away? Yes, if you apply through a US Bank banker, they can contact underwriting to ensure that your application for the card is not declined.
  • You can sign up online or in-branch

Earning the 50,000 point signup bonus

  • You must spend $4,500 within 90 days in order to earn the signup bonus
  • When does the clock start? Upon approval.
  • Does the $400 annual fee count towards the minimum spend requirement? No! In general, fees imposed by your credit card do not count towards spend bonuses.
  • Can I buy gift cards to meet the spend bonus? It is not recommended.  Some have had their accounts shut down when using mobile wallet payments to buy gift cards.
  • Do you have advice on how to meet the spend requirements? Yes, please see: Manufactured Spending Complete Guide.
  • What about the $325 travel credit? Will that increase the spend requirement? Suppose you spend exactly $4,500 within 3 months and receive $325 in travel credits (because some of your spend was on travel expenses). Will you then have to spend $325 more to meet the spend requirements?  I don’t know for certain.  I recommend spending $325 more just in case.

“Travel” Defined

It’s important to note that US Bank has two different definitions for travel.  To earn up to $325 in statement credits for travel purchases and to earn 3X points, they use one definition.  To get 1.5 cents per point value, they use another.

Earning 3X; up to $325 in travel credits; and redeeming via Real Time Mobile Rewards (“travel” defined)

For these purposes, travel is defined as: airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.

For practical info about which types of purchases work with Real Time Mobile Rewards, see: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?

Redeeming points for travel at 1.5 cents per point value (“travel” defined)

For this purpose, travel is defined as airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals booked through US Bank’s Rewards Center.

Mobile Wallet Defined

The Altitude Reserve card earns 3X points for mobile wallet purchases. Specifically, the card earns 3X points when it is used with a mobile device to pay through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and LG Pay.

Also note that Samsung Pay MST (AKA LoopPay) payments will earn 3X rewards.

Info about Authorized User cards

  • Annual fee: None
  • $325 travel & dining credit? Authorized users do not get their own credits. Travel & dining purchases made on authorized user cards do get reimbursed but it comes out of the same $325 per year bucket as the primary card.
  • Airport Lounge Access? Authorized users will not get their own Priority Pass membership.
  • Gogo Wifi Passes?  I do not think that authorized users get their own Gogo Wifi Passes (but please correct me if I’m wrong!).
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver? Yes

Details About Altitude Reserve Points

Redeem points for flights, hotels, and car rentals in order to get 1.5 cents per point value.  Points can be redeemed for cash, but only at 1 cent per point value.  You can also redeem 35,000 points for the card’s annual fee, but that only results in 1.14 cents per point value.

Points can be transferred to other Altitude Reserve cardmembers for no fee.  There is a 20,000 point cap per year on such transfers.

Points are not transferable to any airline or hotel programs.

You can buy Altitude Reserve points for 3 cents each, but I’m not sure why you would want to.

Card Perk Details

Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel

With most bank programs, points are worth 1 cents each. For example, usually a $300 car rental would cost 30,000 points. With the Altitude Reserve card, though, points are worth 50% more when used to purchase travel through the Altitude Rewards Center (flights, hotels, car rentals) or when you pay for travel directly and use Real Time Mobile Rewards. So, a $300 car rental would cost only 20,000 points.

Real Time Mobile Rewards

Enroll in US Bank’s Real Time Mobile Rewards program in order to redeem points for purchases made directly with merchants. When paying for travel this way, you get the full 1.5 cents value per point.  Keep in mind these restrictions:

  • Works only with US merchants
  • Minimum hotel charge: $500
  • Minimum car rental charge: $250
  • Minimum for other types of travel (airfare, Uber, etc): $10
  • You must have enough points in your account to cover the charge to be eligible to pay with points.

See also: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?

$325 in travel/dining credits per year

  • $325 in travel or dining credits is available each cardmember year.
  • Authorized user travel & dining charges are reimbursed, but they count towards the same $325 credit per account. In other words, you cannot get more than $325 back in total by adding authorized users.
  • Any charge that codes as travel or dining will be automatically reimbursed (up to $325 per cardmember year, total).  See “Travel” Defined, above.
  • Both large and small travel purchases count. Small purchases will be reimbursed until a total of $325 has been reimbursed in a calendar year. Large purchases will be reimbursed up to $325.

Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit

  • Simply pay the $100 Global Entry application fee or $85 TSA Pre application fee with the Altitude Reserve card and the fee will be automatically reimbursed.
  • You can get reimbursed once every 4 years
  • You can gift the once per 4 year fee credit to another person, but they would have to be an authorized user on your account, or you would have to let them use your credit card number to pay for their application.

Airport Lounge Access

  • Cardholders are granted membership to Priority Pass Select.
  • This membership covers only 4 free cardholder visits and 4 free individual guest visits per year.
  • After the 4 free visits within your Priority Pass Select membership year (not cardmember year), cardholders must pay $32 per person for lounge access.

Rental car privileges and discounts

  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • National Rental Car Emerald Club Executive membership and “and save up to 25% when you rent with National® Car Rental”
  • Avis Preferred Plus membership + save up to 30% on qualifying rentals with Avis®
  • Hertz: “Enjoy special savings, faster service, extra hours on returns and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® bonus points.”
  • Silvercar: Up to 30% off rentals of 2 days or more

Travel Protections

As detailed in our Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance Benefits page, the Altitude Reserve card’s travel protections are pretty good, but not as good as those that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ritz cards.

  • Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption (up to $2K per trip)
  • Trip Delay: Covers delays of 6 hours or more (max $500 per claim)
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Emergency Evacuation & Transportation: Up to $10,000

Purchase Protections

  • Return Protection: 90 Days, $300 Per Item.
    “If You are disappointed with an item, within ninety (90) days from the date of purchase, and the retailer will not accept a return, You can be reimbursed for the purchase price, up to three hundred dollars ($300.00) per item of personal property, and an annual maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), per Account.”
  • Extended Warranty Protection: 1 Year Extra Protection.
    “Your warranty coverage can be extended by one (1) additional year on eligible warranties of three (3) years or less.”

Personal Identity Theft

“Personal Identity Theft provides reimbursement up to $10,000 for covered expenses You incur to restore Your identity as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event.”

Coverage includes:

Costs to re-file applications for loans, grants, or other credit or debt instruments that were originally rejected by the lender solely on the basis of incorrect information the lender received as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event

Costs to report a Covered Stolen Identity Event or to amend or correct records with Your true name or identity as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event: including costs incurred for notarizing affidavits or other similar documents, costs for PERSONAL IDENTITY THEFT long-distance telephone calls, and costs for postage

Costs for maximum of four (4) credit reports requested as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event from any entity approved by the Benefits Administrator

Actual lost wages for Your time away from Your work premises solely as part of Your efforts to amend or rectify records as to Your true name or identity as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event

Reasonable fees for an attorney appointed by the Benefits Administrator and related court fees approved by the Benefits Administrator for suits brought against You by a creditor or collection agency or similar entity acting on behalf of a creditor for nonpayment of goods or services or default on a loan as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event

Visa Infinite Benefits

US Bank lists the following Visa benefits:

  • ID Navigator
  • Concierge
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
  • Food & Wine experiences
  • Visa Infinite Golf Benefit by Troon (access high-end, private clubs around the country and join Troon Rewards ® to receive 15% off golf fees and merchandise at over 95 courses)
  • Silvercar Car Rental Discount
  • Hertz, Avis, and National Car Rental Discounts
  • Relais & Chateaux Benefits (VIP welcome and complimentary breakfast daily)
  • NetJets private jet travel
  • Visa Offers

Details about the above can be found here.

Questions?

Have questions about the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve? Please comment below.

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Raylan

DP on this particular passage:

Points can be transferred to other Altitude Reserve cardmembers for no fee.  There is a 20,000 point cap per year on such transfers.

This happened instantly transferring points from my spouse’s Altitude Reserve account to my own.

[…] By Nick Reyes – December 1, 2020 24 Update 12/18/20: This post originally announced that the US Bank Altitude Reserve was no longer taking applications. However, the card is back and available for application once again. No word as to why it was pulled in the first place. The original post follows, but note that the card is now available again (H/T: reddit). Find more information and a link to apply here. […]

KAUSHIK THAKKAR

Quick update: I got this card the second time, after 3 years. I was not given the 50k points bonus as per the terms mentioned below: Did anyone get the bonus second time?
One-time 50,000 bonus Points will be awarded if you are approved for a new U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card and eligible Net Purchases totaling $4,500 or more are made to your Account within 90 days after Account opening. Points are earned on eligible Net Purchases. Net Purchases are purchases minus credits and returns. Rewards are earned based on eligible net purchases. Not all transactions are eligible to earn rewards, such as Advances, Balance Transfers, and Convenience Checks; upon approval, see your Cardmember Agreement for details. Please allow 1-2 billing cycles for your bonus Points to be credited to your Account. The bonus is not available to Cardmembers who currently have, or had, a U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite account. Use of the Card is subject to terms and conditions of the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Cardmember Agreement, which is provided at Account opening and may be amended from time to time. This offer may not be combined with any other bonus offer.

trackback

[…] offers 4X for US restaurants and 4X for US supermarkets (up to $25K per year spend, then 1X); and US Bank Altitude Reserve which offers 3X for travel and mobile wallet purchases (e.g. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, […]

[…] US Bank Altitude Reserve card deserves special mention.  This card offers two 3X categories and then offers just 1 point per […]

[…] US Bank Altitude Reserve is the king of “everywhere else” cards, provided your “everywhere else” is […]

[…] an awesome price on a cool watch that is particularly useful for those who have a card like the US Bank Altitude Reserve, which offers a bonus on mobile payments. That’s because you can use Samsung Pay on this […]

[…] which makes it easy to have the card with the right bonus category — though those with the US Bank Altitude Reserve will probably be happy to earn 3x most places (an effective 4.5% back when redeemed towards […]

[…] 3x almost everywhere with the US Bank Altitude Reserve. The US Bank Altitude Reserve offers an uncapped 3x bonus category for mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and […]

[…] I was going to leave Apple, I’d want to go to Samsung so that I can use Samsung Pay with my Altitude Reserve card (3X rewards on mobile […]

[…] the 2020 Olympics to apply, this is a decent offer if you are more interested in this card than the US Bank Altitude Reserve. Greg recently decided to keep his (See: Keeping my Altitude Reserve), and that card has more […]

[…] you save a few bucks at a number of popular retailers. Stack these with 3x when paying with the US Bank Altitude Reserve or link an Amex card synced with a Current Amex Offer to maximize […]

James

Just got my firat statement and to my suprise none of my google wallet mobile payments were awarded bonus points (rep told me google wallet wasn’t an excepted mobile payment source even though android pay is now defunct). They did say they are going to credit my acct 5k points to fix the error, but have neither an apple or samsung so i’m SOL on 3x. Anybody else having this issue?

[…] Mobile Rewards when I learned that they’ve expanded them to include travel.  If you have the Altitude Reserve card, or a Visa card that earns FlexPerks points, you can now apply your rewards to travel purchases at […]

Bill

any experience applying for 2 US bank cards at once — thinking the altitude reserve and the amex flexperks gold. will it count as just one pull and do they tend to approve two at once?

Ricardo

Be Aware of the Extra hidden fees.
I got the card about a month, and charged above 4500 on it the first month. among the charges were two cruises ticket. when the statement came, they didn’t apply the 325 credit. I called US Bank. they claim the charges went though as something else. I let that flight since i knew i was going to charge 325 before the year ends in another travel. Today I booked a flight to Chicago with the awarded 50k points. I made a mistake on one date and immediately call the bank. with less than 24 hours, the airline will have cancel or change my flight without penalty. US Bank charged me 30 dollars for their conscience service. Absolutely ridiculous, when Im paying 400 for a premium card.

[…] with Samsung Pay / Loop Pay. This means you could essentially get 3X almost everywhere with the US Bank Altitude Reserve. Read more about how Samsung Pay / LoopPay […]

[…] Chase taken a page out of US Bank’s book?  The US Bank Altitude Reserve launched earlier this month with its travel credit as a cardmember year benefit as opposed to a […]

thatirieguy

Hit it first thing. Initially denied due to insufficient history with USB despite USB Club Carlson for last 4 years with average usage. Called recon and put back in the queue after pointing this out. We’ll see.

[…] US Bank Altitude Reserve card is now available for applications.  The current offer is for 50,000 points (worth $750 in travel) […]