US Bank Altitude Card – Is This Premium Card Worth The Cost?


High Costs With Big Rewards – Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite

  • 50,000 bonus point sign up offer
  • 3x points for travel and mobile wallet spending
  • $325 annual travel credit
  • 12 GoGo on flight WiFi passes annually
  • Custom engraved METAL card (rare feature)
  • TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit every 4 years
  • $400 annual free

This credit card falls in to the category of a top tier premium travel credit card.  Luxury credit cards will not be appropriate for all consumers but some individuals will be able to bank big rewards with these cards.  Big spenders and frequent travelers will be the primary candidate for a credit card like this.  Cardholders will need to set up mobile wallet spending in order to fully maximize their reward potential (more on this below).  While The Altitude Card may have a high annual fee there are many benefits that may give it a valuable place in your wallet.

Metal Engraved Altitude Reserve Card
The Metal Engraved Altitude Reserve Card

Maximizing Your Points With Mobile Wallet Spending

This credit card has a somewhat unique category for 3x points – mobile wallet spending.  Savvy customers will need to link their card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay in order to qualify for this bonus earning.  These payment methods are extremely easy to use and more merchants are accepting them as payment methods everyday.  Each payment application can be downloaded to your smart phone.  Customers will then be required to link a payment method to their app.  Altitude Cardholders who link their card to their payment app will earn triple points with every purchase they make using the payment method.

Every purchase you make with your card will earn at least 1x points.  However, if a merchant accepts any of the mobile wallet payment methods you will be eligible to receive 3x points.  It will be very important to make sure you use the mobile wallet option anytime it is available.

Becoming An Altitude Cardholder

As mentioned above, this is a luxury travel credit card.  With this in mind, it will have a much stricter approval check than many non-luxury credit cards.  Customers will need to have very good credit in order to be eligible for this card.  Furthermore, this card is only available to US Bank Clients.  If you do not have an existing account with US Bank you will not be eligible for application.

During the application process, which can be completed online with US Bank, you will provide all of the basic credit application information needed for a new card.  One additional portion of the application will be selecting if you would like to have additional cards for another user.  This can be set up during your application and each additional card will cost $75 each year.

Current cardholders can set up their online accounts through

Additional Credit Card Benefits

Many of the Altitude’s best benefits were outlined earlier but there are many additional features available for cardholders.  Additional benefits include:

  • 12 month Priority Pass Access (airport lounges)
  • Access to Visa Infinite Concierge 24/7
  • Discount chauffeur and luxury rental available (when available)
  • Additional hotel perks with Relais & Châteaux
  • Redeem points in real time on your mobile app
  • Travel and Rental card insurance
  • 24/7 fraud protection monitoring
  • No foreign transaction fees

The list above is not exhaustive but it does include most of the most commonly used credit card benefits.  Customers will have access to all of these perks at no additional cost.

Earning Your Initial 50,000 Bonus Point Offer

The 50,000 bonus point offer is worth $750 in travel.  This offer is only available for new credit card customers.  In order to earn your bonus you will need to spend at least $4,500 in the first 90 days after opening your new account.  After you earn this bonus it will be credited to your account after about 6 to 8 weeks.

Redeeming Rewards With Your Card

One very important point is that your rewards for travel can only be redeemed through The US Bank Rewards Portal.  This is not unusual for bank issued travel credit cards.  What this means is that, for instance, you will not be able to purchase a ticket directly from an airline with your rewards.  Instead you will need to book your flight with the US Bank Portal.  You can review the flight for any applicable restrictions that may apply for your travel.  Customers can redeem their points however they would like including flights, lodging, and vehicle rentals.

How This Card Competes With Other Premium Travel Cards

Two similar cards would be the AMEX Platinum and The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.  These cards have similar annual fees and offer big rewards.  What many customers will prefer about the Altitude Reserve is the 3x points for mobile wallet purchases.  This feature is unique to The Altitude Card among luxury travel cards.  As more vendors accept mobile payment this feature will become even more lucrative.

Additional Travel Credit Card Options (Premium and Entry Level Options)

Final Thoughts

This card is only available for US Bank customers and is tailored for frequent travelers.  While there is a high annual fee it is important to keep in mind that the card provides a travel credit of $325 annually.  This makes the effective annual fee of only $75 for customers who travel enough to fully make use of this benefit.  The travel credit will apply for incidentals when traveling such as checked bags when flying.

Overall, customers will need to consider if they can make use of the 3x category.  For customers who will regularly benefit for the mobile wallet purchase bonus this card will be very valuable.  US Bank Travel Portal provides flight and lodging choices with many of the best companies in the industry.  If you are looking for a premium travel card and you are a US Bank Customer, The Altitude Card will be hard to beat.

Do you have a favorite luxury credit card?  Are you an Altitude Cardholder?  Let us know about your experiences in the comments below!


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