U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve


I have the Altitude Reserve card and I plan on keeping it due to the Reserve’s 3x points on travel and mobile wallet (worth 4.5% cash back towards travel). The $400 annual fee is really only $75 when you factor in the $325 easy to use travel credit. Additionally, the 12 GoGo in-flight wifi passes each year, primary rental car insurance, and 6-hour trip delay insurance makes it worth the annual fee. Lastly, if you have a Samsung phone or a Samsung smartwatch, you use Samsung Pay almost everywhere to get 4.5% cashback due to Samsung’s patented technology that mimics a physical card and Samsung Pay’s partnership with Visa Checkout for online shopping.


Application Link (Target: 50,000; Current: 50,000) (requires US Bank checking or savings account)

Annual Fee: $400

Earning: 3x on travel and mobile wallet (Samsung or Apple Pay), and 1x everywhere else. Points are worth 1.5 cpp for roundtrip airfare (lower rates for gift cards). Therefore, travel and mobile wallet have a 4.5% return.

  • Altitude Reserve is also supposed to earn 3x with Android Pay, but Google combined Google Wallet and Android Pay into Google Pay. Unfortunately, US Bank has not caught up with the change and Google Pay currently does not earn 3x. 

Benefits: $325 yearly travel credit (easy to use), metal card, 12 GoGo in-flight wifi per year, Global Entry or TSA Pre-check credit (every 4 years), Priority Pass (only 4 free visits), primary rental car insurance, 6 hour trip delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation insurance, and 90 day purchase and return protection. (Fine Print)

Real-Time Rewards– US Bank now allows you to redeem points at 1.5 cents per point for travel purchases after you have bought the ticket, rather than booking through their portal.  However, lodging purchases must be above $500 to trigger the real-time rewards.

Note: To utilize Samsung Pay’s Visa Checkout function to get 4.5% cashback, you must check out on your phones’ internet browser.

Note 2: The trip delay insurance does not work when only paying taxes and fees on award tickets, with the exception of award tickets using Altitude Reserve points. You must pay the full fare using the Altitude Reserve to be covered.