Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
If you’re a U.S. Bank customer who loves to travel in style, the Altitude Reserve will help you do so, thanks to a long list of consumer benefits and travel perks.
If you love using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, LG Pay, or Google Pay for most transactions, you’ll like the fact that this card offers 3 points for every dollar you spend using those mobile wallets.
Since this is a higher-end card, applicants will be expected to have a great credit score and ample income.
Valuable welcome bonus
Yearly travel credit
Extensive VIP travel perks
Must be a U.S. Bank customer
No transfer partners
- Valuable new cardholder bonus: The $750 in value you get from your welcome bonus is a good perk compared to other cards like this one. You can use the bonus for a variety of travel purchases, making it both valuable and flexible.
- Yearly travel credit: Receive up to $325 back annually for travel-related purchases, including hotels, taxis, passenger trains, and cruise lines. This credit is the best among travel cards with a high-annual fee.
- Great VIP travel perks: Complimentary enrollment the Priority Pass airport lounge program, 12 passes a year for Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi, reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees, and no foreign transaction fees make this a great card for travelers who want an upgraded travel experience.
- Must be a U.S. Bank customer: If you already have a U.S. Bank account of any type (credit, checking, loan, etc.) or are willing to open an account at least five business days before submitting an application, then this is no big deal. But with other similar travel rewards cards on the market not requiring a bank account, it may be too much of a hassle to open one just so you can apply for this card.
- No transfer partners: Unlike other high-end travel rewards cards in which you can transfer your points 1:1 to airline and hotel partners, you can’t transfer points with this card.
Bonus for New Cardholders
You’ll need to spend $4,500 within three months of account opening to get 50,000 points, which is equivalent to $750 when used toward travel purchases. The bonus is on par with other cards in this category, although you’ll find slight differences when it comes to minimum spend required and/or the annual fee on similar cards.
While the $4,500 spending requirement may seem intimidating, the average household should hit that mark with ease before the 90-day deadline based on Bureau of Labor Statistics spending data.
It will take approximately 4-8 weeks for U.S. Bank to credit the bonus to your account.
Earning Points & Rewards
You earn higher rewards (5 points per dollar) for pre-booked hotel and rental-car reservations you book through U.S. Bank’s travel portal. Other travel purchases and mobile wallet purchases earn 3 points per dollar. All other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar. You must keep your account in good standing to earn and redeem points. If you are even one day past due at the close of your billing period, you won’t earn points for that period.
This card is made for travel rewards, and that’s where you’ll find the most value. Your points are worth 1.5 cents each when you use them for a statement credit against travel you purchase with the card. You have to book directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, and cruise lines, and then ask U.S. Bank to redeem points to offset those purchases. You should see the amount credited to your account during the next billing period.
There are some rules to be aware of when redeeming points for travel, such as a $250 minimum purchase amount when redeeming points toward a car rental, and a $500 minimum for lodging.
The card’s point values are above average. However, because you can’t transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs, you miss out on opportunities for even more value. Similar cards let you transfer points to airlines and hotels enjoy points’ values of more than 2 cents per point, according to our calculations.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Earning the welcome bonus of 50,000 points is the first challenge. Pay your balance in full each month, so finance charges don’t negate your hard-earned points. When spending, use your mobile wallet to score 3 points per dollar on everyday purchases across categories.
From there, take the time to register and use the travel benefits that come with this card, or you’ll be leaving value on the table—a costly proposition when considering the annual fee.
This card would pair nicely with a hotel or airline card if you’re loyal to a particular brand (and have the means to pay multiple annual fees). Use the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card rewards to save on trip aspects not tied to a loyalty program, while working toward elite status on your other card.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card offers four perks our editors have deemed “excellent”:
- Airport lounge access: Enroll in the 12-month Priority Pass Select program (worth $99) and receive four airport VIP lounge passes and four guest passes. Subsequent visits require a fee.
- Emergency medical/dental and evacuation benefits: Your card provides up to $10,000 of coverage for emergency transportation to a medical facility while you’re on a trip of 5-60 days.
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement: Get a statement credit for either the $85 application fee for TSA Precheck or the $100 application fee for Global Entry once every four years.
- Insurance coverage for trip cancellation, interruption, or delay: This benefit can help reimburse your air travel and other eligible transportation ($2,000/trip maximum). Delay-related expense reimbursement ($500 maximum per ticket) for delays of six hours or more, or that require an overnight stay.
- Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: You’re eligible for up to a $3,000 reimbursement per trip if your luggage is lost due to theft or misdirection. The benefit covers airline, ferry, cruise ship, train and bus travel, too.
- Travel accident insurance: You and your family are covered for up to $500,000 with accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
To activate these benefits, the entire purchase/covered trip must be paid for using your U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card has a slew of additional perks, but some (such as the inflight Wi-Fi and car service discounts) do require enrollment:
- Extended warranties
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Refund when merchant won’t accept the returned item
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Roadside assistance hotline
U.S. Bank earned just an “About Average” rating in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Cardholders have 24/7 access to U.S.-based customer service, as well as a mobile app and online banking. You’ll get complimentary access to your TransUnion credit score, too.
This card’s security features are in-line with industry standards.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card has the typical fees you’d find among similar cards. Other than the large annual fee, however, you can avoid other fees like interest with responsible credit behavior.