U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card First Impressions

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post about the internet rumors surrounding the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card. This post is to confirm and clarify some of those rumors. Keep an eye out for a full in-depth review soon!

Update 7/2/2018: See full review here

You have to be a U.S. Bank customer to be approved: Confirmed

The Altitude Reserve is offered to U.S. Bank customers who have an eligible consumer U.S. Bank account relationship open a minimum of 35 days prior to submitting an application.

Some data points suggest the 35 day waiting period can be waived if you apply in branch. YMMV.

If you have a U.S. Bank credit card but not a checking account, there’s currently a bug where it doesn’t recognize your account. You can apply and get rejected — call the reconsideration line to get this sorted out.

Visa Infinite Discount Air Portal: False

Some bloggers were speculating the Altitude Reserve may have access to the Visa Infinite Discount Air Portal; the Altitude Reserve does not include this perk.

The only Visa Infinite cards that have this perk are the Ritz-Carlton and the City National Crystal cards.


Mobile Payments: Confirmed

Earn 3x points on mobile payments. Points are worth 1.5 cents per point if you redeem for travel. Samsung Pay is unique because it doesn’t rely on NFC. You can effectively get 4.5x return on spend on all of your in-person transactions with Samsung Pay. Mobile wallet does not work for online services/shopping or sit down services.

From U.S. Bank’s website:

“Mobile wallet” is defined as the method of paying for a transaction by use of a mobile device (in-store, in-app or online) and includes ApplePay®, Samsung Pay, Android Pay™, Microsoft Wallet.
If the transaction is an eligible mobile wallet transaction and an eligible travel category transaction, additional Points will only be awarded for one of the transaction types (Points will be applied as mobile wallet, not travel).

People are concerned that U.S. Bank might remove this perk in a few months.

$325 Travel Credit: per cardmember year, not calendar year

Rumors initially speculated the travel credit would be applied per calendar year, similar to other premium cards.

The $325 travel credit will be applied to your account per cardmember year. Ex: If you sign up for the card in May 2017, you’ll receive 1 travel credit in May 2017, and receive the next travel credit when you pay the annual fee in May 2018.

Travel credit can be applied to any travel expense like airlines, hotels, car rentals, and trains.

From the U.S. Bank site:

Automatic statement credit(s) totaling up to $325 will be applied to your Account when a Card is used for purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines. Credit(s) apply to eligible Net Purchases that post to your Account on a Cardmember-year basis (based on Account opening date).
Only one total credit amount of up to $325 per Cardmember year per Account, regardless of which Card(s) was/were used for the transaction(s).
If eligible purchase is greater than $325, credit will be limited to $325. Net Purchases during each billing cycle will be calculated for transactions that a merchant classifies as travel (such as purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies) and a corresponding statement credit will be applied to your Account the next time it cycles. “Net Purchases” for a statement period are determined by totaling all applicable new purchases charged to the Account during the billing cycle, then subtracting credits posted to the Account during the billing cycle for returned purchases and/or adjustments.
Credit does not apply for transactions posting as Convenience Checks, Balance Transfers, or Advances (including, but not limited to, wire transfers, traveler’s checks, money orders, foreign cash transactions, and ATM disbursements).
U.S. Bank cannot control how merchants choose to classify their business or transactions and reserves the right to determine which purchases will qualify. We reserve the right to adjust or reverse any portion or all of any travel credit for unauthorized purchases or transaction credits.

Priority Pass: Confirmed

Priority Pass Select will be offered to cardholders. You and a guest are limited to only 4 complimentary visits, each visit after that will be $27.

One Cardmember per Account may be enrolled as the member in the Priority Pass Select program, and their first four visits and four individual accompanying guest visits are waived each Priority Pass Select membership year (not Cardmember year).
Per person lounge visit fees will apply after free visits have been used.
After the free visits have been used, the member’s Card will be charged a lounge visit fee of $27 per person per visit for the member and each guest. Lounge benefits, services and facilities differ by location and may only be available at an additional charge.

Unanswered Questions

The following are questions that are yet to be answered about the card. Please feel free to answer in the comments if you can cite a source.

  1. How long will the mobile pay benefit last?
  2. How easy will it be to redeem points?
  3. Aside from having a relationship with U.S. Bank, how difficult is it to get the card? What’s the range of credit score that gets approved for the card?