Full Review of U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
Strong rewards, especially when used for travel
Rich travel benefits
Bonus worth $750 if points are used for travel
$325 in annual travel statement credits
You must be a U.S. Bank customer to apply
No points-transfer options
- Strong Rewards, Especially When Used for Travel: With each point worth 1.5 cents when used for travel, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite’s 3 points per dollar spent on travel purchases or with a mobile wallet essentially amount to a rewards rate of 4.5%. That’s a relatively high rate, and you can earn it on any and all purchases, provided you use a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. (Points can instead be redeemed for cash for 1 cent per point.) Plus, prepaid travel booked through U.S. Bank's travel center earns 5 points per dollar for an effective rate of 7.5% on those purchases.
- Rich Travel Benefits: This card offers a handful of travel-focused benefits to make traveling easier. These include a statement credit to offset a TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee once every four years, a complimentary 12-month Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounges, and 12 complimentary inflight Gogo Wi-Fi sessions per year. The card also offers such widespread card travel benefits as auto-rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, trip cancellation, delay and interruption protection, and lost-luggage reimbursement.
- Bonus Worth $750 if Points are Used for Travel: This card's 50,000 point bonus for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening is worth $750 if you redeem your points for travel; eligible purchases include airfare, hotel, and car rentals. While the spending requirement is a bit higher than some other offers, it still offers a great value.
- $325 in Annual Travel Statement Credits: Purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, and cruise lines qualify for automatic travel statement credits of up to $325 per year.
- You Must Be a U.S. Bank Customer to Apply: This card is only offered to those who already have a bank account, credit card, or other financial product with U.S. Bank. Technically, you must be a U.S. Bank customer who has an open and active account at least five business days prior to submitting your application.
- No Points-Transfer Options: Some other premium travel rewards credit cards allow you the ability to transfer the points you earn to other loyalty rewards programs. The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card does not offer this redemption option, which allows greater flexibility (and sometimes better rewards) for your points.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Flies often for business or leisure
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card is best suited to travelers who both take a lot of trips and would welcome using their rewards to travel still more—and enjoy some premium features in the bargain. It’s a more beneficial card if you use a mobile wallet or are willing to begin doing so. Buying with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or another such app allows you to earn 3-miles-per-dollar rewards on all purchases, rather than only those for travel, as is the case when using a physical card.
You'll also get the most from the card if you're inclined to arrive early for flights, and so are more likely to make use of the complimentary visits to Priority Pass airport lounges, and if you fly on Delta, United, or American and like to stay connected on flights, since those airlines (and some of their partners) use the Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi service, for which the card provides 12 complimentary passes annually.
Finally, this is ideally a card for solo use. U.S. Bank imposes an unusual $75 annual fee for each additional card it issues on the account.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card's Bonus
The bonus of 50,000 points for spending $4,500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening may not seem too enticing when you consider the high spending requirement and $400 annual fee. However, the fact that you can redeem the points for up to $750 in travel makes it a much more attractive offering, as does the ability to erase much of the fee through credits against travel spending.
Bonus points should be credited to your account within one to two billing cycles.
Rewards Earning Details
Rewards with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite are relatively straightforward. You’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on purchases that count as travel. The definition of such expenses is fairly broad, and includes purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains, and cruise line companies, and dining is included through 6/30/2021. Additionally, prepaid travel and hotels purchased through U.S. Bank's travel center earn 5x points.
The 3-points-per-dollar-spent earning rate also applies to purchases made with a mobile device through a mobile wallet provider. Qualifying providers include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent.
Rewards Redemption Details
The optimal redemption option requires you to redeem your points for travel through the U.S. Bank travel portal. By doing so, you’ll get a value of 1.5 cents per point redeemed rather than the 1 cent per point value offered for statement credits.
Other redemption options include a deposit to your U.S. Bank savings or checking account, gift certificates, merchandise, and magazines.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Making the most of the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite begins with acquiring a mobile wallet, which allows access via app to this and all your other credit cards, and using it as a form of payment whenever possible. That way you will earn 3 points per dollar spent on all wallet purchases. Prepaying for hotels and travel through U.S. Bank's travel center is an easy way to earn an additional 2 points on travel purchases.
Next, be sure to earn the one time bonus by spending at least $4,500 within your first 90 days of account opening. The reward for doing so—in points worth up to $750—should make this worthwhile even if not all of your purchases earn the best rate of 3 points per dollar spent because of certain merchants not having the equipment to accept wallet payments.
Finally, redeem your points for travel in order to take advantage of the higher 1.5 cents per point value rather than the lower redemption rates of the other redemption options.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card's Outstanding Benefits
- 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi passes per year
- 12-month Priority Pass Select airport-lounge membership
- Annual $325 travel credit
- TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee credit once every four years
- Silvercar special privileges and discounts
- Special privileges at more than 500 Relais & Châteaux properties
- 24/7 service advisors and concierge
- Extended warranty
- Auto-collision damage waiver on rental cars
- Silvercar rental car discounts
- Purchase security for theft or damage in the first 90 days
- Return protection
- Trip cancellation, delay and interruption coverage
- Lost-luggage reimbursement
U.S. Bank ranked tenth out of 11 national card issuers in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The bank received a score well below average.
As a U.S. Bank customer enrolled in online banking, you can receive free access to your TransUnion credit score once per month through the CreditView dashboard. You can speak to a U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card customer service representative any time 24/7 by calling 844-357-2015.
This card offers 24/7 fraud monitoring and ID Theft Protection services for its cardholders.
Fees to Watch Out For
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite imposes an unusual $75 annual fee for each additional card issued on the account. Otherwise, the fees for this card are fairly standard for a premium travel rewards credit card.
With its 3-point-per-dollar-spent rewards when using a mobile wallet, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite seeks to appeal to tech-savvy consumers who prefer to use virtual cards, and perhaps to those who are willing to join that group. The card also cultivates cachet through its lofty $400 annual fee, while justifying much of that sum to cardholders when they make their first major travel purchase each year. Despite its large, though largely justifiable, annual fee this card could lure even an occasional traveler with worthwhile rewards and a welcome round-up of travel niceties, including free Wi-Fi on Gogo-affiliated airlines and access to Priority Pass airport lounges.
That said, some others who travel infrequently may find these pluses aren't worth paying anything extra to receive. Those travelers may want to consider a travel-focused card that doesn't emphasize premium features, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Or, even simpler, a generous cash-back card such as the Blue Cash Preferred card which offers 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year) and streaming subscriptions as well as 3% cash back on transit and gas at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on all other purchases. Both of these cards charge a $95 annual fee.