U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Credit Card review

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Snapshot

3.6

Bankrate rating
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U.S. Bank Image
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Rewards rate

N/A

Annual fee

$400

Intro offer

N/A

Regular APR

16.24% (Variable)

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent  (740 - 850)

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Credit Card Overview

The *U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Credit Card competes in the luxury card category by offering a string of elite benefits as well as an exclusive custom-engraved metal card. The 50,000-point welcome offer adds an additional layer of interest to this card. There’s a strong focus on mobile wallet apps, too, and linking the card to these apps could earn cardholders 3x points per dollar.

If you’re considering this card, take a close look at areas where it falls short when compared to other cards. For example, getting only four free airport lounge visits a year might not be enough for frequent travelers, especially when some cards offer unlimited lounge access.

Also, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card is only available to existing U.S. Bank customers. You can quickly become eligible by opening up a new account, and usually, there’s a U.S. Bank checking account bonus available.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Slightly lower annual fee compared to other cards in this category.
  • Decent APR
  • Valuable annual travel credit that, if used, effectively brings the cost of the card down to $75.

Cons

  • Only four complimentary visits to airport lounges in the Priority Pass network.
  • The card is only available to U.S. Bank clients (U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve and U.S. Bank Altitude Go denied applications may be attributed to no prior banking relationship).
  • Points can only be redeemed for statement credits.

A deeper look at the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3x points on eligible mobile wallet spending and travel purchases; limited 3x points on dining, food delivery and takeout through Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Welcome offer: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,500 on eligible purchases within the first 90 days.
  • Annual fee: $400
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: 16.24 percent
  • Regular APR: 16.24 percent

Current sign-up bonus

There’s a one-time 50,000-point bonus offer available to cardholders who meet a few criteria. After card approval, cardholders must make eligible purchases totaling $4,500 within the first 90 days. If there are credits or returns, these are deducted from the net amount. It takes one to two billing cycles for the points to be credited to the account. According to U.S. Bank, 50,000 bonus points are worth $750 on travel, which makes it a decent offer.

Rewards

Earning rewards with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve credit card is straightforward, especially for cardholders who make use of mobile payment apps and travel.

Earning rewards

Cardholders can earn 5x points on prepaid hotel stays and car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center. If you link your card to mobile payment apps such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay or LG Pay, you earn 3x points on your eligible purchases. You’ll also get 3x per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases.

And, in response to COVID-19, cardholders can earn 3x points for every $1 spent on takeout, food delivery and dining until Dec. 31, 2020. This is a great way for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve cardholders to support local businesses and maximize their spending while staying home.

Redeeming rewards

Customers can redeem their points as statement credits to offset purchases. Travel must be purchased directly from the airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other qualifying vendors to apply. There is a minimum preset for car rentals ($250) and lodging ($500).

How much are points worth?

According to U.S. Bank, the 50,000 bonus points that customers can earn at sign-up are worth $750 on travel.

Key cardholder perks

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card has many competitive benefits you’ll find with other premium travel credit cards, making it an underrated player in the space.

Annual credits

Cardholders receive an annual $325 credit to offset eligible travel purchases. Also, through Dec. 31, 2020, this offer extends to takeout, food delivery and dining purchases.

Complimentary lounge access and Wi-Fi

This card comes with a limited 12-month Priority Pass Select membership. This includes access to more than 1,200 VIP lounges around the world; however, cardholders receive only four free visits per year and four accompanying guest visits. Additional visits will require cardholders to cover the cost.

You’ll also get 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes per year.

TSA Precheck or Global Entry

Cardholders enjoy up to $100 statement credit to reimburse their application fees every four years.

Special treatment

Travelers who frequent Relais and Châteaux properties will have access to special privileges (a VIP welcome and complimentary breakfast) on eligible stays booked with your U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve credit card. Cardholders may also be eligible for up to 30 percent off Silvercar rentals and access to the Visa Infinite Concierge.

No foreign transaction fees

Traveling is a lot less stressful when you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees. This also applies to online purchases through foreign merchants.

Added protection

At home or away, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card protects cardholders with fraud monitoring, ID theft protection, warranty service, rental car protection and emergency evacuation and transportation coverage.

Rates and fees

The annual fee of the card is $400, which is a bit lower than many other cards in this category. It also carries a charge of $75 for each additional card issued. If you’re looking for a U.S. Bank credit card without a high annual fee, consider the U. S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® card, which has no annual fee.

How the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card compares to other luxury credit cards

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve shares many of the features and benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige® Credit Card. All three cards offer great bonus points (though both Citi and Chase have transferable points that can help you get even more value out of your sign-up bonus). Like those cards, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve offers an appealing bonus on travel purchases.

U.S. Bank Image

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

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3.6
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Annual fee

$400

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

N/A

Recommended credit

Excellent(740 - 850)
Chase Image

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual fee

$550

Intro offer

60,000 points

Rewards rate

1x–10x

Recommended credit

Excellent(740 - 850)
Citi Image

Citi Prestige® Credit Card

Annual fee

$495

Intro offer

50,000 points

Rewards rate

1X–5X

Recommended credit

Excellent(740 - 850)

Best cards to pair with U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card

A card that would act as a great companion to the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve is the Hilton Honors Card American Express Surpass® Card. There is an annual fee of $95, and new cardmembers can earn up to 130,000 in Hilton Honors bonus points after they spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months.

In addition to a relatively low annual fee, this card is a great companion because it includes a more generous Priority Pass membership. You can also transfer your Hilton points to airline partners, giving you more ways to turn your travel purchases into future trips.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card worth it?

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve is an underdog in the luxury category, and thanks to stellar rewards and a reasonable annual fee, its shortcomings are forgivable.

*The information about U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.