We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Last week I shared a rumor about new valuable US Bank card, the US Bank Altitude Reserve.
And now we have new details about the card! Some are a bit disappointing, but some are really exciting!
For example, the $325 annual travel credit is per cardmember year, NOT calendar year. So you won’t be able to get it twice before the second annual fee is due.
But getting approved for the card might be easier than we first thought! I’ll explain.
Here’s what you can expect from the upcoming US Bank Altitude Reserve!
More Details About the US Bank Altitude
Thanks to reader IAD Gr8 for pointing us toward more details of the US Bank Altitude Reserve!
Several days ago, I mentioned some great benefits of this unreleased card. But now we have a few more details to add to the list! Here’s what we know will come with the US Bank Altitude Reserve:
- 50,000 points (worth $750 in travel!) after spending $4,500 on qualifying purchases within 90 days of account opening
- $325 travel credit every cardmember year (you can NOT get it twice before the second annual fee is due)
- 3X points on travel purchases
- 3X points on mobile wallet purchases (like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay)
- 1X points on all other purchases
- Limited access to Priority Pass Select lounges (4 free entries per year for you and 1 guest)
- 12 free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes per year
- Global Entry fee credit
- Visa Infinite benefits
The card also comes with a $400 annual fee, NOT waived the first year. But with the $325 annual travel credit, you can effectively bring that annual fee down to $75 per year as long as you normally spend $325 per year on travel.
Is This a Good Deal?
There are upsides and downsides in these new details. I’ll explain what it means for you!
1. US Bank Points Value
Link: US Bank FlexPoints
The points you earn with the US Bank Altitude Reserve card are NOT US Bank FlexPoints. They are worth a fixed amount of 1.5 cents per point towards travel, similar to points you earn with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.
These points do NOT transfer to travel partners.
Note: You must redeem at least 1,000 points at a time.
2. 3X Points for Mobile Wallet Purchases
The fact that you can get 3X points by using your US Bank Altitude Reserve through mobile payment is incredible. That’s because more and more merchants now accept some kind of mobile payment.
You can use either Android Pay, Apple Pay, Microsoft Wallet, or Samsung Pay in many physical merchant locations, like grocery stores, gas stations, and sports arenas. Or for services that aren’t normally included in bonus spending categories, like doctors and dentists.
So lots of folks can earn 3X points for nearly ALL their purchases! And because the points this card earns are worth 1.5 cents each towards travel, that’s like getting 4.5% back (3X points x 1.5 cents per point)!
2. Approval Odds
I mentioned before that you must already have a relationship with US Bank to be approved for this card. I called US Bank, and they said any product folks have with them (auto loan, checking account, credit card), counts as a relationship. So if you have a US Bank credit card, you have a relationship with US Bank, and are eligible for this card!
Lots of folks might already have the US Bank Club Carlson card from back when it was really valuable. If you’ve since cancelled the card, US Bank probably won’t consider you to have a relationship with them. Although one agent told me it’s possible, if you cancelled the card fairly recently.
And if you do NOT have any relationship with US Bank, you can still apply in-branch for the card starting May 2, 2017. And I’ll let you know when the online application is available!
Note: US Bank is still picky about approving folks for their cards. And they are known for pulling credit scores from unconventional credit bureaus! Here’s how you can improve your approval odds by freezing your credit from these bureaus.
The US Bank Altitude Reserve will be a valuable card. Especially because you can potentially earn 3X points with nearly every $1 you spend! Plus, it has other great benefits, like a $325 annual travel credit, Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes, and much more to help offset the $400 annual fee.
If you’re new to this hobby, I’d suggest applying for the Chase cards you want first. That way you aren’t restricted by Chase’s approval rules. If you can’t apply for Chase cards for a while, this card is a no-brainer!
Do you plan to apply for this card?