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U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card Review

overall rating
3.8

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Made of metal, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite is a premium travel rewards card with a fee of $400 that’s partially justified by an annual travel statement credit of up to $325. The card offers unlimited 3 points per dollar spent on travel or with a mobile wallet. Its benefits include airport lounge membership and a bonus worth $750 in travel.

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

overall rating
3.8
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
On U.S. Bank's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Starting with an enrollment bonus of 50,000 points worth $750 on travel. Just spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.24% variable
Annual Fee $400
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending.
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card is not one of our top rated travel credit cards. You can review our list of the best airline credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

Pros
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • You must be a U.S. Bank customer to apply

  • No points-transfer options

Pros Explained

  • 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.) 
  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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

  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner
  • Avatar for International Traveler Persona
    Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
    International Traveler

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. 

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.

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 

Standard Benefits

  • 24/7 service advisors and concierge
  • Extended warranty
  • Auto-collision damage waiver on rental cars
  • GroundLink Black Car service discounts
  • Purchase security for theft or damage in the first 90 days
  • Return protection
  • Trip cancellation, delay and interruption coverage
  • Lost-luggage reimbursement

Cardholder Experience

U.S. Bank received a score of 785 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. This score—which is more than 20 points below the national average—places the bank towards the bottom of the group deemed middling in satisfaction, and just a few points above the group that ranks lowest. 

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. 

Security Features

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.

Our Verdict

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.

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For U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
on U.S. Bank's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
overall rating
3.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.24% variable
Annual Fee $400
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.