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TravelU.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card review: Full details

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card review: Full details


U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card overview

The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is a premium travel-rewards card that’s all about earning rewards you can redeem quickly, easily and for strong value. Although it comes with a pricey annual fee, it delivers enough statement credits to compensate for most of its cost. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Longtime award-travel enthusiasts know the drill: Accumulate airline miles or transferable points and then hunt to get maximum redemption value out of them. Often, this means traveling at odd times, making additional stopovers or taking a circuitous route to your destination just for the chance to use your miles. (And don’t get me started about the need to avoid outrageous airline fuel surcharges imposed on many award bookings.)

Welcome to the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card, a premium travel rewards card that takes the headache out of award travel. It’s all about earning rewards that you can redeem quickly and easily and for strong value. It comes with a pricey $400 annual fee, but it delivers enough statement credits to largely make up for its cost. Approved applicants have a typical credit score of 750 or higher.

Let’s dive into the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve and see if it deserves a place in your wallet.

The information for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve pros and cons

Pros Cons
  • Annual travel credit
  • No limit on points earning
  • Bonus points when redeeming for travel
  • Travel and shopping protections
  • High annual fee
  • No transfer partners
  • Limited lounge access passes

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve welcome offer

New cardmembers will earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,500 within the first 90 days. U.S. Bank points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents a piece, making this bonus offer worth $750.

THE POINTS GUY

This is a smaller sign-up bonus compared to other travel reward cards, as the Altitude Reserve has a $400 annual fee. Take, for example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, with a 60,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening (worth $1,230 according to TPG’s July 2024 valuations) or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, with a 75,000-mile bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening (worth $1,388 according to TPG’s valuations).

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve benefits

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve has several valuable benefits, but the most easily used is a statement credit of $325 for travel each year that automatically applies to purchases from airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, trains and cruise lines. This statement credit can also be applied to dining purchases.

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Like with many cards, cardholders also get up to $100 in statement credits every four years to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

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Cardholders receive 8 visits to Priority Pass lounges annually that are valid for one person per visit. After the free visits, cardholders can expect to pay $35 per person per visit. With so many credit cards offering full Priority Pass Select membership, limited access from the Altitude Reserve card is a huge negative point for a $400 annual fee card.

Other benefits include trip cancellation and interruption coverage, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement and even emergency evacuation and transportation coverage. Cardholders also receive a free Shipt membership until Dec. 31, which offers free same-day delivery on orders of $35 or more from various retailers. Finally, the card offers no foreign transaction fees, similar to many other travel credit cards.

Related: 9 valuable travel perks that you can get with a credit card

Earning points on the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

The points-earning structure on this card is simple. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center and 3 points per dollar on all purchases made with the Apple Pay and Samsung Pay mobile wallet systems and on all eligible travel purchases. Eligible travel purchases include those made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, trains and cruise lines. Qualifying mobile-app purchases can be made in a store, in-app or online.

You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

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But that’s just part of the story since the points can be worth a strong 1.5 cents each — not the 1 cent per point/mile that most loyalty programs offer.

Redeeming points on the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

Points are worth 1.5 cents apiece for travel purchases, including those made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, trains and cruise lines. You’ll receive a statement credit toward your credit card purchases when you redeem your points. You also have the choice to redeem your points in real time, a unique feature for a credit card. When you make a purchase in a selected category, you’ll receive a text asking if you’d like to apply points to the cost of your purchase.

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Redeeming your points for real-time rewards will net 1 cent per point, so keep that difference in mind. It’s still a valuable option, but I recommend redeeming your points for travel whenever possible.

Related: Getting started with points, miles and credit cards to travel

Which cards compete with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

A few cards go head to head with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve when comparing annual fees, statement credits, earning rates, and benefits.

  • If you prefer Chase: The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a slightly higher $550 annual fee and comes with a $300 annual travel credit that can be applied to purchases on flights, hotels and even ride-hailing services or parking fees. Cardholders will earn 3 points per dollar on most travel purchases and dining and 1 point per dollar on everything else. The card also comes with a full Priority Pass Select membership and access to Sapphire lounges. To learn more, read our full review of the Sapphire Reserve.
  • If you prefer Capital One: The Capital One Venture X Credit Card provides access to Priority Pass, Plaza Premium and Capital One lounges and has a slightly lower annual fee of $395 (see rates and fees). Cardholders earn a simple 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and receive up to $300 in credits for eligible purchases made through the Capital One Travel portal each year. To learn more, check out our full review of the Capital One Venture X.
  • If you prefer a lower annual fee: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has a low annual fee of $95 (see rates and fees). The card offers a simple earning structure of 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. The rewards you earn can be transferred to 15-plus airline and hotel partners for greater redemptions. To learn more, read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

For additional options, check out our picks for the best premium credit cards.

Related: Capital One Venture X vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve worth it?

This is the ideal card for those who want a premium travel rewards card without having to sweat about complicated frequent flyer programs. Instead, you can simply redeem your points for flights, hotels, car rentals and more at a rate of 1.5 cents each. If you’re a frequent mobile wallet user, this card is worth it for the extra points you can earn on most of your purchases.

Bottom line

Compared to some competing cards like the Sapphire Reserve, the U.S. Altitude Reserve card has a low profile. Perhaps that’s because it doesn’t allow you to transfer rewards to airline or hotel programs. It’s also easy to be put off by the card’s $400 annual fee — until you realize it also comes with $325 a year in annual travel statement credits. For trips that are hard to take by redeeming airline miles or hotel points, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve can be invaluable.

Related: U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card review

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