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This article was last updated Feb 28, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card may be a lesser known card, but it offers many of the same benefits as top travel rewards cards from major issuers. Cardholders can benefit from one of the highest statement credits (up to $325 annually), rewards geared to travel, easy rewards redemption, and more that make this card worth a look.
We’ll review the benefits and potential drawbacks of the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card and compare it to popular travel cards.
What we like about the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
Numerous travel benefits. The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card offers a wide range of travel perks, such as an annual statement credit and airport lounge access that make it a serious contender for frequent travelers.
No foreign transaction fee. A card with no foreign transaction fee is a great asset for travelers outside the U.S. It will save you the average 3% fee some other cards charge per purchase made abroad.
High rewards for travel and mobile wallet spending. This card provides a high rewards rate on travel-related purchases including: airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies, as well as mobile wallet purchases. Earn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending, earn 1 point for every $1 on all other eligible net purchases. It’s hard to find a card that consistently offers more than 1 point per dollar spent on mobile wallet spending, so that’s a nice perk.
Real-time mobile rewards redemption. Cardholders can conveniently redeem rewards on the go with U.S. Bank’s intuitive mobile redemption feature. Just know, this perk needs to be activated from your online account. Once that’s done, when you make a purchase you’ll receive a text message asking if you want to apply points. If you agree, U.S. Bank will credit your statement to offset your purchase.
Reasonable APR. While it’s not the lowest APR around, a 17.24% variable is decent compared to other travel cards that may have APR maximums over 20%.
What we don’t like about the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
$400 annual fee. Prepare yourself for a hefty $400 annual fee when you open this card. This is comparable to other luxury travel cards, and similarly can be offset by the various travel perks. Using the $325 annual statement credit can alone offset the annual fee to $75.
Low rewards for dining purchases. This card only earns 1 point per dollar spent on dining purchases — unless you use a mobile wallet, which earns 3 points per dollar spent (slim chances a restaurant accepts mobile wallets). Many travel cards offer higher rewards rates on dining purchases, so this is a let down considering this is a travel-centric card. You’ll most likely rack up a dining bill when traveling, and having a card that offers more than 1 point per dollar on dining purchases can come in handy.
No special financing period. There is no introductory 0% APR period with this card. While most luxury travel cards lack special financing offers, this can be a setback if you’re looking to finance new purchases, such as an upcoming vacation.
Rewards: Earn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending, earn 1 point for every $1 on all other eligible net purchases. Eligible travel includes purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies.
New cardmember offer: 50,000 points when you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.
Rewards can be redeemed in several ways:
- Statement credit
- Live event tickets
- Gift cards
Redeem rewards on the go when you activate the real-time mobile rewards redemption feature. Then, it’s as simple as making a purchase and responding “yes” to an automated text asking if you want to redeem rewards to offset the cost. You can expect a credit on your next billing statement. Note, gas stations and restaurants are excluded from this feature, and travel must be purchased directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines to qualify.
- Annual $325 statement credit: Receive up to a $325 credit each year when you use the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card to pay for travel directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
- Free WiFi: 12 complimentary Gogo® Inflight Wi-Fi passes per year.
- Airport lounge access: Receive a complimentary 12-month Priority Pass™ Select membership, with access to more than 1,200 VIP lounges worldwide.
- TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry fee credit: When you apply for either program, receive a statement credit for the cost of the application, up to $100 once every four years.
- GroundLink® black car service: Receive chauffeured black car service at a discount in more than 110 countries.
- Silvercar®: Receive special rental privileges and discounts for Audi vehicles.
- Relais & Châteaux: Benefit from special privileges at more than 500 luxury Relais & Châteaux properties worldwide.
- 24/7 Visa Infinite concierge
- Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage
- Warranty service
- Rental car insurance
- Travel insurance
While the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card provides numerous benefits for frequent travelers, it may not have all the perks you’re looking for. Here are a few alternative travel cards you can consider if you want luxury benefits, no annual fee, or a more robust rewards program:
Luxury travel card
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.*
Up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees & more at one qualifying airline*
No foreign transaction fees & exclusive airport lounge access*
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the leading luxury travel card with a seemingly never ending variety of benefits from a travel-centric rewards program to an annual $200 airline fee credit and access to over 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries with the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. While the $550 annual fee is higher than the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, it can be offset if you take advantage of the numerous perks.
No annual fee travel card
If you rather not pay an annual fee, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is a $0 annual fee travel card that is competitive compared to travel cards with annual fees up to $550. The rewards program rivals the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card — Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases. This includes eating out as a 3X category, which is a common travel expense. Foodies may be won over by this perk, but keep in mind this card doesn’t offer an annual travel credit or lounge access like the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
Travel card with redemption bonus
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
$300 Annual Travel Credit, Airport Lounge Access, and Flexible Redemption Options
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
If you want to get the most value out of your points, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a fantastic choice. There’s a notable 50% redemption bonus when points are redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Cardholders earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. This bonus can effectively increase the rewards rate to an effective 4.5 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else. The $450 annual fee is slightly higher than the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, but considering the $300 annual travel credit and rewards redemption bonus, you have the potential to offset the annual fee.
If you travel often and are looking to save on various excursions, the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card can be a great asset. The annual $325 statement credit is unmatched compared to other travel cards that typically give $200 or $300 and may restrict the credit to specific purchases, such as airline fees. Taking advantage of this benefit and others offered can help offset the $400 annual fee. If you prefer a travel card with no annual fee or a card from a major bank, check out some of the alternatives mentioned above.