US Bank Altitude Reserve Card

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US Bank Altitude Reserve card
  • 50,000 bonus points after $4,500 spend within first 90 days
  • Up to $325 annually in statement credits for eligible travel purchases
  • $400 annual fee
Travel category is defined as follows: purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies
Mobile wallet category is defined as follows: 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 Google Pay™, Microsoft Wallet

Card provides primary CDW coverage in the US for cars up to $75k in value up to 15 days. In other countries coverage is up to 31 days. Excluded countries: Israel, Jamaica, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Card provides 4 Priority Pass lounge visits for primary cardholder and 1 guest per PP membership year.

Direct link to application:
http://mycard.usbank.com/credit/team...e_reserve.html

Point Redemptions
  • Redeem at 1.5c per point value for travel purchases made directly at the US Bank travel site
  • Redeem at 1.5c per point for travel purchases made at other sites when using the Realtime Rewards feature. Must enroll first.
  • Otherwise redeem at 1c per point.
  • With Realtime Rewards it's possible to redeem for fees such as Delta award charges for example.
  • To redeem for lodging the minimum purchase must be $500 and you must have enough points to cover the whole purchase. For car rentals, the minimum is $250.
  • Some non-US travel charges work with Realtime Rewards even though they shouldn't.



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Old Nov 3, 19, 7:57 am
  #946  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Originally Posted by yugi View Post
This card is $75 cheaper and has much better categories, but it's a cashback only card. I have both of them. If I had to have only one card, I would choose AR.
What I was referring to (poorly) was around the weak PP that the AR offers. While 4 guests can be nice if you want to bring a lot of people, I think more of us would rather have more than 4 visits. That can be used up in 2 trips. Combined with similar travel returns and better insurance on the CSR, the CSR is the better travel card.

The better categories is subjective. I'll be honest, if I wasn't so deep in the UR game, let's say Chase really cut back on the perks, the AR would probably be my next bet. I think it's terribly underrated. The mobile wallet return is huge (I don't see it lasting to be honest). For many people, that is the better deal. For others, the dining return may actually be better. Tossing the CIC, CFU, and CF into the mix overwhelmingly dominates what the AR would give me, albeit with a little extra effort sometimes.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 5:47 am
  #947  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by Super Mario View Post
What I was referring to (poorly) was around the weak PP that the AR offers. While 4 guests can be nice if you want to bring a lot of people, I think more of us would rather have more than 4 visits. That can be used up in 2 trips. Combined with similar travel returns and better insurance on the CSR, the CSR is the better travel card.

The better categories is subjective. I'll be honest, if I wasn't so deep in the UR game, let's say Chase really cut back on the perks, the AR would probably be my next bet. I think it's terribly underrated. The mobile wallet return is huge (I don't see it lasting to be honest). For many people, that is the better deal. For others, the dining return may actually be better. Tossing the CIC, CFU, and CF into the mix overwhelmingly dominates what the AR would give me, albeit with a little extra effort sometimes.
The killer feature of the AR is Real Time Rewards. It makes your points actually worth 1.5cpp each as opposed to Chase where if you use their travel portal you at best are not getting points for the spend and at worst you are paying inflated pricing, and not benefitting from shopping through a cashback portal, and not earning hotel rewards.

Compare a two night $500 Marriott stay with the AR to the CSR:

US Bank — book through Marriott.com via a cashback portal. Earn at least 5000 Bonvoy points depending on your status. Get $16.50 cashback (current highest cashback portal rate on cashbackmonitor). Earn 1500 AR points. Get 2 nights towards Marriott status. Redeem 33,333 points through RTR.

CSR: Book through Chase portal With 33,333 UR. Get none of the extras above.

If you value Bonvoy points at $0.007 each it’s $35 in Bonvoy points plus $16.50 cashback plus $22.50 in AR points = $74 advantage for US Bank vs. Chase.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 9:47 am
  #948  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
US Bank — book through Marriott.com via a cashback portal. Earn at least 5000 Bonvoy points depending on your status. Get $16.50 cashback (current highest cashback portal rate on cashbackmonitor). Earn 1500 AR points. Get 2 nights towards Marriott status. Redeem 33,333 points through RTR.
Do I understand that instead using points (33333 as you mentioned) to book the hotel stay from USB travel portal, one should book the hotel using $, which would give $16.5 additional cashback in form of points and and then use existing points at USB to offset the money paid towards the booking, correct? I do not know what AR and Bonvoy refers to, probably something related to Marriott programm...

Yes, above schema is good if a) one has enough points to offset such spend and b) can book directly with the hotel while knowing that the purchase will be classified as travel and will earn 3 points and there are no, cheaper alternatives offered at OTAs.

But once we go towards some unfamiliar territories, above schema might not be straightforward. I was looking for a place to book at Nikko, Japan and if I would restrict myself to book directly with the hotels, then list of available options would be 1/3 or less compared to what OTAs are offering. Secondly - hotel websites only offering prices without discounts/flexibility at all, while prices for the same properties at OTAs were 15-30% cheaper.

But because OTAs are not classified as 'travel' at USB, you need to find an OTA which offers an app with apple/samsung/google mobile payment option. Agoda is such and works for me 100%
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Old Nov 4, 19, 10:17 am
  #949  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 541
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Do I understand that instead using points (33333 as you mentioned) to book the hotel stay from USB travel portal, one should book the hotel using $, which would give $16.5 additional cashback in form of points and and then use existing points at USB to offset the money paid towards the booking, correct? I do not know what AR and Bonvoy refers to, probably something related to Marriott programm...

Yes, above schema is good if a) one has enough points to offset such spend and b) can book directly with the hotel while knowing that the purchase will be classified as travel and will earn 3 points and there are no, cheaper alternatives offered at OTAs.

But once we go towards some unfamiliar territories, above schema might not be straightforward. I was looking for a place to book at Nikko, Japan and if I would restrict myself to book directly with the hotels, then list of available options would be 1/3 or less compared to what OTAs are offering. Secondly - hotel websites only offering prices without discounts/flexibility at all, while prices for the same properties at OTAs were 15-30% cheaper.

But because OTAs are not classified as 'travel' at USB, you need to find an OTA which offers an app with apple/samsung/google mobile payment option. Agoda is such and works for me 100%
Only redeem your points for cases you know will qualify at 1.5cpp, which is simple enough because you can set Real Time Rewards to only notify you of travel purchases. Because the redemption is so flexible and fixed value it really doesn’t matter how you redeem your points. You can redeem all your points against Uber and taxi purchases. You can redeem your points against a rental car. You can redeem your points against an AirBnB. You can redeem against airline incidentals. I redeem my AR points as soon as I have an eligible purchase. I don’t let them “build up” since it doesn’t make any sense to.

I suppose if you have no travel expenses which would qualify for a 1.5 cpp RTR redemption then the card isn’t for you, but it is undeniably more flexible than the CSR’s 1.5cpp redemption option.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 10:19 am
  #950  
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
I do not know what AR and Bonvoy refers to, probably something related to Marriott programm..."
In this case, "AR" refers to "Altitude Reserve."

"Bonvoy" is the (current) name of Marriott's frequent-guest program.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 10:37 am
  #951  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Western US
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
The killer feature of the AR is Real Time Rewards. It makes your points actually worth 1.5cpp each as opposed to Chase where if you use their travel portal you at best are not getting points for the spend and at worst you are paying inflated pricing, and not benefitting from shopping through a cashback portal, and not earning hotel rewards.

Compare a two night $500 Marriott stay with the AR to the CSR:

US Bank — book through Marriott.com via a cashback portal. Earn at least 5000 Bonvoy points depending on your status. Get $16.50 cashback (current highest cashback portal rate on cashbackmonitor). Earn 1500 AR points. Get 2 nights towards Marriott status. Redeem 33,333 points through RTR.

CSR: Book through Chase portal With 33,333 UR. Get none of the extras above.

If you value Bonvoy points at $0.007 each it’s $35 in Bonvoy points plus $16.50 cashback plus $22.50 in AR points = $74 advantage for US Bank vs. Chase.
Just note that one needs a min $500 lodging charge to trigger RTR, and in some cases a $500 stay might get broken into two charges of $250 each if the property charges first night a few days before arrival and the balance upon checkout.

If one is near the borderline of the $500 cusp, and is reliant on cashing out AR pts via RTR, you might have to push the charge through all at once. In those cases I call the front desk and ask for a prepaid booking, even if not discounted.

AR is a good product and RTR is a very fair system as jags86 notes.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 9:26 pm
  #952  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
I suppose if you have no travel expenses which would qualify for a 1.5 cpp RTR redemption then the card isn’t for you, but it is undeniably more flexible than the CSR’s 1.5cpp redemption option.
In my personal case - I'm rather an exception - I live overseas permanently and AR makes perfect sense for me. I can use mobile wallet for close to 99% of my transactions where physical terminal is involved - all terminals here accept mobile/contactless payments. 90% of my AR charges are via mobile wallet (including charges for hotel stays via OTAs supporting mobile wallet) and the rest goes on flights which then can be offsetted by RTRs.

I ranked enough points over last 5 month to book two flights for three people totaling >$1200 via AR portal. I decided to book these flights via AR portal because prices for tickets there was about 5% cheaper than at airline's website (VN).

I also have noticed that while all charges via United triggered RTR notifications, with other airlines such notifications were spotty... While all airline charges with SQ, TK, TG were correctly classified as airline charges with 3 points per $ spent, I got RTR notification with TK 50% of cases and did not get any notifications with charges at SQ or TG.

Anyone else have encountered similar pattern with other airlines/hotels?

Thanks

Last edited by invisible; Nov 4, 19 at 9:32 pm
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Old Nov 5, 19, 4:31 am
  #953  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by starmie View Post
I paid my progressive bill with Google Pay online but I'm not positive about getting 3x points. The reason is other Samsung Pay transactions I paid offline has "Digital payment Samsung Pay" marked in transaction details, but nothing special is on this Progressive transaction.
I'll check again once the statement closes on 11/4
confirmed Google Pay web checkout on Altitude does not earn 3x

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
In my personal case - I'm rather an exception - I live overseas permanently and AR makes perfect sense for me. I can use mobile wallet for close to 99% of my transactions where physical terminal is involved - all terminals here accept mobile/contactless payments. 90% of my AR charges are via mobile wallet (including charges for hotel stays via OTAs supporting mobile wallet) and the rest goes on flights which then can be offsetted by RTRs.

I've been using my Altitude with my Samsung Galaxy S6 I bought refurb on ebay.

I believe we're less rare than we think we are. The only thing I've found that sucks is authorized users must have a SSN and ITIN/no SSN isn't accepted to issue an additional card. AMEX for example allows for passport/foreign driver's license as identification, but US Bank does not. Barclaycard and Synchrony only ask for names. It makes sharing this card a bit more difficult.

4.5% for all in-person purchases with 0 FTF is a goldmine for travelers (grocery, shopping, any purchases made in person)

The only thing I haven't been able to get it working at is gas stations that don't take tap.
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Old Nov 5, 19, 10:23 am
  #954  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 16
Originally Posted by Snuupy View Post
confirmed Google Pay web checkout on Altitude does not earn 3x




I've been using my Altitude with my Samsung Galaxy S6 I bought refurb on ebay.

I believe we're less rare than we think we are. The only thing I've found that sucks is authorized users must have a SSN and ITIN/no SSN isn't accepted to issue an additional card. AMEX for example allows for passport/foreign driver's license as identification, but US Bank does not. Barclaycard and Synchrony only ask for names. It makes sharing this card a bit more difficult.

4.5% for all in-person purchases with 0 FTF is a goldmine for travelers (grocery, shopping, any purchases made in person)

The only thing I haven't been able to get it working at is gas stations that don't take tap.
I have the same datapoint, two transactions paid with Google Pay online are not showing up as 3x.
I called the customer service and they said they will review these two and reply in next statement.
One funny thing is one transaction marked as toll/bridge fee is not considered as travel, and another parking fee is not either. I remember for CSR they were all qualified.
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Old Nov 5, 19, 3:06 pm
  #955  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by starmie View Post
I have the same datapoint, two transactions paid with Google Pay online are not showing up as 3x.
I called the customer service and they said they will review these two and reply in next statement.
One funny thing is one transaction marked as toll/bridge fee is not considered as travel, and another parking fee is not either. I remember for CSR they were all qualified.
Travel with the AR is much more tightly defined than with the CSR. The only qualifying purchases under travel are airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, taxis, limos and cruise lines. Fortunately many OTAs take Apple Pay
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Old Nov 5, 19, 3:58 pm
  #956  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by jags86 View Post
Travel with the AR is much more tightly defined than with the CSR. The only qualifying purchases under travel are airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, taxis, limos and cruise lines. Fortunately many OTAs take Apple Pay
Yup. My commuter passes code up as travel on Mastercard, but not on Visa.

It's nothing huge, but just a good general discipline to look at all statements and make sure transactions code the way one expects.

And of course every once in a while you get a happy circumstance when something codes better than you were expecting.

There's the other stuff too, like discovering a family members Subscribe & Save stuff, was getting billed to my credit card, rather than their own which you only realize by reconciling your Amazon orders to your transactions.
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Old Nov 6, 19, 8:45 pm
  #957  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 213
Do I need a prior relationship with US bank like an account before applying to the AR card?
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Old Nov 7, 19, 9:42 am
  #958  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by good_boy_1234 View Post
Do I need a prior relationship with US bank like an account before applying to the AR card?
yes, they're fussy about that. and you might read the data points about gift cards & shut downs, if you were thinking of that.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 7:48 pm
  #959  
 
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.....

Last edited by Eurynom0s; Nov 8, 19 at 10:31 am
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Old Nov 8, 19, 6:34 am
  #960  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 246
A few points that might be useful:

1. Travel Credit was not available after AF posted, but before cardmember year started. I made the mistake of thinking they were the same.
2. 10K retention offer (no spend). Offered 2 months ago.
3. Interval International does not count as a Hotel (it is a timeshare) for the Travel Credit or Points purposes. Barclays Arrival + did code it has a hotel, I believe (or at least they counted it as travel).
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