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U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard® Review: A “road-warrior” business owner’s dream come true

 /  10 min
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Snapshot

3.9

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5

Bottom line

This card is ideal for small business owners who desire high-level travel rewards, but if you want to earn rewards on non-travel-related business expenses, this card may not be for you.

best small-business credit cards
Image of U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®

U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®

3.9
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
Bankrate score
Info
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

60,000 Bonus Points

Intro offer

Info

$900

Offer valuation

Info

1X - 5X

Rewards Rate

Info

$0 Intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter

Annual fee

20.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

Regular APR

U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard Overview

On-the-go small business owners will find plenty of value in the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard, the bank’s latest business travel card

This card is best for growing small businesses that frequently travel — be it flying or driving — as well as those that generally spend big on travel expenses. Cardholders have access to special perks like travel assistance services, airport lounge access and an extended repayment plan. The card has no foreign transaction fees and offers up to 5X rewards on hotel and car rentals purchases made on the card when booked directly in the Rewards Center. The annual fee of $95 is also waived the first year.

If you want to maximize the rewards your business earns on spending while enjoying a solid range of travel perks, then this card is an option worth considering.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The card has a competitive rewards rate on excellent bonus categories for business travelers, such as car rentals, hotel stays, airfare, gas, dining, cell phone services and more, as well as a large welcome offer.

  • Checkmark

    It offers cardholders a complementary annual Priority Pass™ airport lounge membership, which provides you and your employees with access to over 1,300 VIP lounges globally — plus four complimentary trips each membership year.

  • Checkmark

    With the US Bank ExtendPay® Plan, you have the opportunity to divide large purchases into fixed monthly payments. There are no interest charges, and you can keep your rewards for a small monthly fee.

  • Checkmark

    You can redeem points sooner if you have a personal U.S. Bank Altitude® Go or Altitude® Connect card, as you have the option of transferring points between your business and personal Altitude cards.

Cons

  • The annual fee is $95 after the first year, which is average for a business rewards card, but it may be a deal breaker for people who prefer a business rewards card with no annual fee.

  • To be eligible for the card, you must own a small business. This may be any for-profit venture such as a rideshare driver, online merchant, freelancer, or even as simple as a side gig. If you don't have a business or small money-making side hustle, you'll have to find another card to earn bonus points.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Earn 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the U.S. Bank Rewards Center, 4X points on the first $150,000 in annual spending on airfare, hotels, gas and EV charging stations, 2X points on dining, takeout, restaurant delivery and cell phone services and 1X point on all other eligible purchases
  • Welcome offer: 60,000 points after spending $6,000 in eligible purchases on the account owner's card within the first 180 days from account opening
  • Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: 20.24 percent to 28.24 percent (variable)

Current welcome offer

Cardholders can earn 60,000 points after spending $6,000 in eligible purchases (on the card of the account owner) within the initial 180 days after account opening. Because points are worth around 0.1 cents each, this offer is worth up to $600. The minimal spend is modest and may be simple to meet with growing business expenses. Overall, this is a great value for a business card with a low annual fee after the first year. 

However, if you have high business travel expenses, you may be more interested in a higher return from a welcome offer. The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card  offers a 100,000-point sign-up bonus to cardholders who spend $8,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of opening the card. When redeemed through Chase Travel℠, this enormous incentive is worth $1,000 in cash back or $1,250 toward travel. But, if you are simply running a side gig or a small business by yourself, the U.S. Bank Business Altitude welcome offer may be sufficient.

Rewards rate

You can earn up to 5X points on travel-oriented business expenses, as the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard rewards cardholders for spending in the following categories:

  • 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the U.S. Bank Rewards Center
  • 4X points on the first $150,000 in annual spending on airfare, hotels, gas and EV charging stations
  • 2X points on dining, takeout, restaurant delivery and cell phone services
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases

It is crucial to note, however, that if you are a business owner who does not travel or dine out frequently, you may not be able to fully benefit from the card's boosted points on select category spending and low 1X point rate on all other purchases.

How you earn

The bonus categories are particularly valuable for business travelers. There's no doubt that if you and your employees are frequently on the road, you might rapidly maximize your points. However, when compared to other business travel reward cards, such as the Bank of America® Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard ® credit card, which gets unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and is worth 1.5 cents each dollar spent, for example, you can get a better flat-rate on general purchases — but unfortunately, you would have to forego the tiered-reward categories in exchange.

Besides that, if you want to boost your reward earnings, the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect Card is also eligible for use at the U.S. Bank's online shopping portal, the Rewards Center Earn Mall, which is the simplest way to earn additional points while shopping at over 1,100 stores online using your U.S. Bank Business card. You must first log in to usbank.com and then select "Earn Mall" from the Rewards Center. This way, you can earn additional points on top of what you already spend on your Business Altitude Connect Card.

How to redeem

You can redeem your points on your Business Altitude Connect Card at a 1:1 rate toward merchandise, gift cards, cash back, and travel, and you don’t have to worry about points ever expiring. Additionally, Business Altitude Connect Cards are eligible for Real Time Rewards, a redemption method that instantly converts your business purchases into rewards. By using the text-to-join service with your cellphone, you can immediately apply points earned on your U.S. Bank card toward credit on your monthly bill.

As soon as you enroll, you will receive a text message with the option to redeem points every time you make a purchase with your Business Altitude Connect Card. For redemption, all you have to do is reply 'REDEEM'. To receive a redemption text message, however, you must have enough points to cover the entire purchase. You will receive a credit on your monthly statement upon redemption of your points from your rewards balance.

How much are the rewards worth?

All redemption options through the U.S. Bank Rewards Center is at a 1:1 value, and each point you earn is worth $0.01 cent each. Other business travel reward cards allow you to earn boosted point value on rewards by redeeming through a transfer partner or travel rewards portal, such as with some Chase Business cards. However, the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect has a set value on all rewards, so you won’t be able to see any expanded amount during redemption.

Other cardholder perks

The U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard has some great perks and benefits that are worth taking a look at, especially if you're hoping to score some great travel rewards without breaking the bank. Along with a high rewards rate on rental cars and prepaid hotel reservations, the card also includes benefits like airport lounge access and travel protections.

The U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect is a pretty standard business travel rewards card in terms of perks, but it comes with a couple of features that set it apart from the competition. These include its ExtendPay Plan and airport lounge access, both of which are a nice touch for $95 per year. Benefits such mobile app access, travel services insurance and rideshare credits are relatively prevalent with top business travel rewards cards in the market.

Travel protections

Your Business Altitude Connect Card provides coverage for car rental collision damage and lost luggage in addition to travel assistance services.

Rideshare benefits

Each time you make three consecutive monthly taxi or rideshare payments with your card, you'll receive a $25 statement credit.

Airport lounge access

With your Priority Pass digital membership, you'll have access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the globe, along with four complimentary visits each membership year.

U.S. Bank ExtendPay Plan

U.S. Bank ExtendPay Plans provide a new payment option that allows you to divide eligible credit card purchases into affordable monthly payments with no interest — just a fixed monthly fee.

Mobile app access

You can track your business' spending via the U.S. Bank mobile app, as well as set up fraud alerts and manage employee card accounts, business fees and statements.

Rates and fees

The card has a $95 annual fee after the first $0 initial year, which is on par with similar business travel cards, such as the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.

Besides the card's $95 annual fee, there are other fees to keep in mind, including a penalty APR of 32.24 percent and a minimum cash advance fee of 5 percent or $10 (whichever is greater). You won't incur any extra charges while you travel, however, since the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

Unfortunately, there is no zero-interest offer for purchases or balance transfers in case you have a large business purchase on the horizon or need time to pay down any unexpected expenses. That means you'll pay a variable APR between 20.24 percent to 28.24 percent, which is barely less than the average interest rate on credit cards currently. In addition, the U.S. Bank charges a fee of $5 or 3 percent (whichever is greater) for each balance transfer.

How the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect compares to other business cards

There are a lot of options for business credit cards out there, but the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard stands out, thanks to its unique features and competitive rewards scheme. It's a good choice for traveling business owners who want flexibility and convenience, but it might not be the best option for everyone.

Image of U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®

U.S. Bank Business Altitude™ Connect World Elite Mastercard®

Annual fee

$0 Intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter

Intro offer

60,000 Bonus Points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 5X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card

Bankrate Score
Rating: 0 stars out of 5
0.0

Annual fee

$0 introductory annual fee for the first 12 months, after that $95 per year

Intro offer

$750
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$300
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 3%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 – 850)
Info

U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect vs. U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card

Just like its sibling card, the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card has a $0 annual fee for the first 12 months ($95 thereafter) and no annual fee for employee cards. However, it has more of a flat-rate rewards structure in comparison to the Business Altitude Connect, as it allows you to earn 2 percent cash back in your top two categories where you spend the most. As with the Business Altitude Connect, you have a tiered rewards structure on set categories for each tier. 

You also can earn a larger sign-up bonus with the Business Leverage Card. It offers $750 in rewards when you spend $7,500 in eligible purchases on the account owner's card within the first 120 days of opening your account. But that also means spending $1,500 more than you would with the Business Altitude Connect (60,000 points after spending $6,000 in eligible purchases on the account owner's card within the first 180 days from account opening). 

Ultimately, the best choice between these two U.S. Bank cards would most likely depend on what your business reward goals are. If you want to earn more on business travel expenses and don’t mind a lower sign-up bonus, then the Business Altitude Connect would be the perfect fit, but if you rather earn maximum rewards in categories other than travel and earn a bigger sign-up bonus, the Business Leverage would be better.

U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect vs. Bank of America Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard

If you prefer a rewards card with no annual fee, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card allows you to earn 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice, which includes travel and other common business categories that overlap with some of those offered by the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect. It also offers 2 percent cash back on dining purchases (up to $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each calendar year), but there is a spending cap, so once you reach the limit you will earn 1 percent cash back on everything for the remainder of the year.

Unfortunately, the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Card doesn't measure up to the U.S. Bank Business Altitude's sign-up bonus and cardholder perks. Its sign-up bonus is worth half of what the Business Altitude is ($300 online statement credit bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of your account opening), even though you wouldn't have to spend as much. Also, the U.S. Bank Business Altitude offers superior travel benefits including access to airport lounges, which the Business Advantage Personalized Cash Rewards Card substantially lacks.

If you want to opt for a no-annual-fee card like the Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Card, you would have to lose out on many welcome bonuses and travel perks that are offered with higher-cost business travel rewards cards. But if you're on a tighter budget and don't mind missing out on airport lounge access and other travel-savvy perks, it could be a great option for you.

Best cards to pair with this card

The U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard is a solid choice for business travelers who want flexibility in how they earn points and redeem them — but aren't looking for something too complicated or expensive. Pairing the Business Altitude Connect with another U.S. Bank Altitude card can boost your rewards earnings swiftly.

However, another business rewards card that earns points on business-related travel expenses, such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, then 1X points; 1X points on all other purchases), could prove beneficial as well, as it can provide more variety in how you earn rewards on business trips. 

Bankrate’s Take — Is the U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard worth it?

The U.S. Bank Business Altitude Connect World Elite Mastercard is a reasonably impressive business rewards card with many valuable perks for frequent travelers, a generous sign-up bonus, and no foreign transaction fees. Other attractive benefits sure to win over business travelers include a pay-over-time plan, rideshare statement credit, airport lounge access, and travel assistance services. 

A more well-rounded business credit card may better serve business owners who travel infrequently. But, if you often fly or rent a car for your business and want to earn points on those expenses, this card may be the perfect accompaniment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by
Re'Dreyona Walker
Associate Editor, Credit Cards

Re’Dreyona Walker is an editor for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, focusing on product guides and reviews. As a personal finance expert, she is dedicated to providing honest product reviews as well as in-depth, comprehensive guides to assist readers in building credit and finding the best credit cards for their needs.

Edited by Former Senior Editor, Credit Cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.