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A Miracle: I Got Approved for US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card!

The application link for new US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card is officially live. Here is basic information on the offer:

Direct non-affiliate application link

You have to have an existing relationship with US Bank in order to apply. An eligible U.S. Bank account relationship is defined as: Checking or Savings account, Certificate of Deposit, Mortgage, Home Equity Loan, Home Equity Line of Credit, Auto/Boat/RV Loan, Personal Loans and Lines, Private Banking account or Consumer Credit Card issued by U.S. Bank. Keep in mind, US Bank is usually sensitive to too many recent credit inquiries.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points worth $750 in travel when you spend $4,500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days. Points do not expire.
  • 3X points per $1 for eligible net travel purchases.
  • 3X points per $1 for eligible net mobile wallet purchases.
  • Up to $325 in statement credits annually for eligible net travel purchases.
  • TSA Pre√® or Global Entry — up to $100 statement credit to reimburse you for your application fee — whichever program you apply for first.
  • Relax with airport lounge access and stay connected with 12 Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi passes per year.
  • Redeem points instantly with Real-Time Mobile Rewards Redemption.
  • Elevated service levels with dedicated Concierge and Cardmember Service advisors.
  • Annual fee is $400, not waived. Additional authorized user card is $75.

I’ve highlighted the points that matter to me  most. I know people are super excited about 3X points per $1 for eligible net mobile wallet purchases, but I honestly don’t give a rat’s behind. But you might!

So, I went ahead and applied because it’s definitely a good offer, at least during the first 12 months. At the minimum, it’s worth $425 assuming I utilize the travel credit for our regular travel expenses during the next year (which I probably will). Even if I purchased Southwest gift cards and sold them at a loss, the offer would still be worth close to $400, which is pretty good.

And of course, I’m talking about the worst case scenario. I definitely plan to utilize the sign-up bonus towards travel. So, I decided that applying for this card is a no-brainer (for me). Originally, I was planning on getting Amex Hilton Surpass, but cash/ travel credit is always my first preference due to flexibility.

As expected, the application went to pending status. Few days later, I called this automated number  1(800) 947-1444 to check the status. Approved!!! I honestly can’t believe it because my last application for Flexperks card was denied and calling reconsideration accomplished nothing. So, all of you fellow grizzled hobby veterans, there is definitely hope.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already saw this elated (insane?) message to few of my fellow blogger friends:

I definitely need to get a life…

Plans for the bonus 

Assuming I don’t mess up on minimum spending requirements, in all likelihood I’ll just end up using it for Belarus-USA ticket for one of my parents. Sorry, guys, I wish I had something more exciting to tell you about, as in trip to Maldives etc. But in reality, US Bank Altitude travel portal is best utilized for simple roundtrip or open-jaw flights. It works a bit differently than Flexperks portal because there are no thresholds.

This will provide more flexibility because you won’t be automatically bumped into the next category if your ticket is a dollar more than the cutoff limit. You will simply get 1.5 cents per point towards airfare. Do keep in mind this annoying quirk, mentioned on the website:

When redeeming points for air tickets, the first ticket must be covered in full by redeeming with points before any additional tickets can be purchased. If you do not have enough points for a single or multiple tickets, you have two options:

Option 1- Purchase additional tickets in full by paying for them on your Rewards credit card
Option 2 – Purchase additional points to be used to redeem for the additional tickets by calling 844-357-2015.
Hotel and car reservations must be redeemed in full with points, or can be paid in full by using your Rewards credit card.”

So, it appears that you do have to have enough points to cover at least the first ticket. When it comes to car rentals and hotels, those have to be covered completely via points. I checked car rental and hotel rates, and they appear to be comparable to those you can find on Expedia, Orbitz or a similar booking site.

That means that Altitude travel portal is inferior to one run by Chase. With the latter, you can use a combination of points and cash, not to mention, book vacation rentals and even cruises. Keep that in mind if you are hoping to use points towards a super expensive airline ticket or hotel. Ain’t gonna happen unless you plan to put a significant amount of spending on the card. I’m not.

I do like the fact that there is no minimum redemption threshold for annual $325 travel credit. We have some hotel stays coming up, so we’ll probably just put dining expenses on Altitude Reserve. I will also need a car rental in October, so may utilize this credit to offset it.

Here are the terms:
$325 Annual Travel Credit: 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.”

Is this card a no-brainer for you?

Not necessarily. There are a couple of things to be aware of:

1) Relatively high minimum spending requirements. Let’s face it, $4,500 in 90 days is a lot for most normal families. It is for us. Fortunately, this offer came at just the right time. My home and car insurance policies are about to be renewed. But be careful and don’t bite off more than you can comfortably “chew.”

2) The annual fee is not waived. I’m not going to lie, I cringe a bit at the thought of prepaying $400 upfront. I have to remind myself that it’s an investment that will help me bring my mom to US so she can see her grandkids. But it still hurts. We are a middle-class family, and we already spend SO STINKING MUCH on travel. I haven’t told my husband…yet.

3) This may not be the best card to start with if you are new to  this hobby. Read my post on Chase-centric  strategy for miles and points newbies (hat tip to Joe for coming up with that term).

Bottom line

This is  a very strong offer, but there are few caveats. Still, if you are currently shunned by Chase and got every other bank offer under the sun, this bonus is absolutely worth considering. It is a very good deal. Well, at least for the first year because I certainly won’t be renewing the card.

Will you?

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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18 thoughts on “A Miracle: I Got Approved for US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card!

  1. I am holding off. Can’t meet the minimum spend right now and am hoping the bonus will be increased.
    I do like the TSA credit and primary car insurance coverage though (since I can’t get those 5/24 Chase cards). Wouldn’t use those Go-Go wifi credits either, will be travelling on Southwest exclusively through 2018 🙂

    • @HML Definitely no sense in stressing yourself out by taking on more than you can handle. I doubt the bonus will be decreased soon. By the same token, I seriously doubt US Bank will increase it. I could be wrong, of course, but I think this is as high as it will ever get. That bank isn’t known for handing out huge offers, and this card is packed with valuable features. I strongly believe this is the time to “buy.” We’ll see.

  2. I was also excited to get approved, wasn’t sure at 16/24 but I have been approved for other US Bank cards and it has been several years. Now trying to figure out the tolerance for gift cards to hit the $4,500 minimum spend. Thinking I’ll mix in around $1,500 of gift cards, lower than $500 at a time.

    • @JL100 Congrats! US Bank hasn’t been known for clawing back bonuses due to M/S. However, there is no guarantee that this will be the case going forward. Personally, I’ll be able to meet the spend organically due to insurance premiums renewing this month. I was going to apply for Hilton Surpass and feel bad for passing on that offer. But I just don’t want the stress of juggling several cards and prepaying expenses for the sake of hotel points. I don’t do M/S, so my options are limited.

  3. Wow. You need to have enough points to cover an entire ticket or hotel stay? That will make the points much less fungible. And how are you going to buy southwest gift cards through their Site?

    • @Freqflyer I totally agree with you. For that reason we can’t really say the points are worth 1.5 cents each. For my specific situation it’s probably a wash, though. Roundtrip airfare from Belarus to US is usually $700-$750, so I should be able to use up close to the entire amount. The leftover points will probably be cashed out at 1 cent apiece.
      As to your second point, it appears that the travel credit is automatic, and you don’t have to make travel purchase through US Bank travel portal. I should update the post.
      Here are the terms:
      “$325 Annual Travel Credit:
      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.”

    • @Nancy Thanks! I can totally understand the apprehension. It’s a huge commitment in spending (plus $400 annual fee), and the travel portal is quirky. And not in a good way.
      Well, the good news is, I doubt that the bonus will be reduced in a near future. They just launched this offer, so I think it’s safe to assume that it will be around till the end of the year. Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball. 🙂

  4. The $325 travel credit is per cardmember year, so can’t double dip like with CSR. I’m holding off on this one for now to see about hitting minimum spends on the arrival+ and hopefully the CSP.

    I think the 100k CSR and the 100k signup on the AA Exec spoiled me. I don’t do big annual fees unless the sign up is worth $1000+. But it depends on where you are as far as what cards you have left to sign up for. I’m close to below 5/24 so chase is high priority. In a year when we are both well Above 5/24 and realizing that after almost half a decade of doing this we are running out of obvious options cards like this will be my go tos.

    • @Cheapblackdad Yup, the fact that the $325 travel credit is per cardmember year is a bummer. If it was per calendar year, I would be shouting from the rooftops for everyone to apply. Alas, it’s hot, but not that hot.
      Your logic makes perfect sense. I’m not even close to getting under 5/24 limit. If I was, I would be holding out for CSP card myself. I’m fairly certain I’ll be burning points for my mom’s ticket, so this bonus is extremely attractive. For someone who rarely travels, the value is a bit questionable. Though redeeming for cash isn’t too bad, and I factored it in my decision.

  5. Leana – glad to hear you got approved. I saw all the twitter stuff and was laughing. Glad you can put the points to some good use, but this is one card I’ll be passing on right now.

    • @Stephanie Haha! I really need to watch what I say on Twitter. I also tend to share crazy stuff unrelated to miles and points.
      I totally understand why many people are passing on this card. That’s why I wanted to mention all the drawbacks. Plus, who knows, maybe US Bank will increase the bonus after all.

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  7. @Leana — sure you heard from DrCredit that US Bank already shut down cards for buying gift cards via mobile app.

    • @Stephanie Yes, saw that. Not really all that surprised, US Bank is known for being extremely conservative. I’m shocked that folks were bold enough to jeopardize their sign-up bonus like that. Why not wait till more is known as to how US Bank feels about it? Greed. Anyway, not an issue for me. I plan to use it for regular purchases anyway.

  8. @Leana — quick question — hubby applied for 2 cards back in mid-April – 1 wanted security info mailed to them and the other was a quick phone call to verify info. It’s 5/11, and I still haven’t received an email or letters from either one. How long should I wait before calling them….I need one of those cards soon for a large purchase we need to make in June.

    • @Stephanie If your husband is agreeable, ask him to call now. That’s a long time. The cards may still come within the next week or so, though. I suppose you can wait another few days or maybe a week, but probably not much longer.

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