U.S. Bank Joins the Luxury Card Market
First Chase wowed travel-focused consumers with its fancy Sapphire card. Then Amex added a Platinum card to its luxury line. Now U.S. Bank debuts its Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card, a luxury travel rewards card that gives extra rewards for using mobile payments.
With the Altitude Reserve Visa, cardholders can earn triple points for every dollar spent on eligible net travel purchases, which includes standard travel merchants like airlines, hotels and car rentals, as well as other ground transportation like taxis and limos. Cardholders can also earn triple points whenever they make eligible purchases with a mobile wallet, meaning that you have to pay for the purchase with a mobile device in-store, in-app or online with ApplePay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay or Microsoft Wallet. If you make a travel purchase with a mobile wallet, it doesn't count as six times the points, unfortunately--it's still just three points per dollar. All other eligible purchases earn one point per dollar.
"We know from customer feedback that any serious premium rewards card must offer accelerated rewards earning, market leading travel redemption value and something new to capture the imagination. We have delivered that and more with U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve," said John Steward, president of Retail Payment Solutions at U.S. Bank, in a statement. "This card provides on-the-go professionals an unmatched combination of innovative and truly valuable rewards, paired with concierge level service and small oases of luxury that help make life that little bit more rewarding and pleasurable every day."
The card also offers other travel perks that can save you time and money, particularly when you travel. One of the bigger perks is a $325 annual travel credit for direct purchases from travel merchants such as airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limos, trains and cruise lines. So if you stay a few nights in a hotel, you could end up with $325 taken off your credit card statement.
Cardholders also get a statement credit for expedited travel service applications. That means an $85 credit for applying for TSA Pre-Check or $100 for Global Entry. This credit is good once every four years, which equals the length of time a single application is good for.
Other travel perks with the card include Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you a year of access to airport VIP lounges. You'll get four free visits for you and a guest, and after that, visits are $27 per person. In the air, you can get 12 free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi passes a year. On the ground there are discounts on GroundLink's chauffeured black car service, Silvercar Audi A4 rental deals, privileges at Relais & Chateaux hotels, full service travel planning from Andrew Harper, and 24/7 access to the Visa Infinite Concierge. The card offers a litany of protection services including fraud protection, travel insurance benefits, car rental insurance and more.
"The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Credit Card offers cardholders premium lifestyle and protection benefits that help ensure its customers experience the best that life has to offer effortlessly and with the highest degree of service," said TS Anil, head, Global Product, Visa Inc, in a statement.
U.S. Bank is currently offering an enrollment bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,500 on the card within the first 90 days you're a card member. This comes out to $750 that you can spend on travel.
The sleek metal card comes with a $400 annual fee, and if you want additional cards, they're $75 each. The APR is 16.49% for purchases and 24.74% for cash advances. While there are no foreign transaction fees--a boon to international travelers--there are fees for balance transfers, cash advances, late payments and returned payments.