U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card Review
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Earn up to $100 in statement credits to reimburse your TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee once every four years.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points once spending $2,000 in the first 120 days of opening an account.
- Enjoy up to $600 reimbursement if your cell phone is stolen or damaged when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card.
- This card doesn't offer as many travel perks as some other travel cards with similar annual fees. If you travel regularly, you might want to consider a competing option that offers more travel benefits.
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card – a travel-focused credit card – is a solid choice, even for the infrequent traveler.
Although some other cards have more competitive perks, the Altitude® Connect offers an easy-to-use rewards program with the ability to receive cash back (in the form of a statement credit or as a deposit made to your U.S. Bank savings or checking account) instead of travel rewards, should you choose.
Even if you only travel a few times a year the Altitude® Connect may be a good choice for you.
Let's break down why...
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card rewards new cardholders who spend $2,000 on the card within the first 120 days of opening an account with 50,000 bonus points. That's a $500 value that you can redeem for merchandise, cash back, gift cards, travel and more. Depending on your travel plans, you could significantly offset the cost of your next trip with this bonus alone.
Additionally, U.S. Bank offers cardholders a $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
- Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
On an ongoing basis, U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card cardholders earn:
- 5X on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
- 4X points on travel, including airfare, taxis, passenger trains, cruises, and limousines
- 4X points at gas stations - The merchant must be classified as a gas station – if you get gas from a grocery store, for example, the purchase may not qualify for bonus rewards
- 4x points at EV charging stations
- 2X points at grocery stores, on grocery delivery, and dining and streaming services
- 1X point on all other eligible purchases
STREAMING SERVICE CREDIT
The Altitude® Connect offers a statement credit towards select streaming services.
Just charge your streaming service purchases to your card for 11 consecutive months. After the 11th month, a $30 statement credit will be applied to your card's account within two billing cycles.
Only select streaming services are eligible for this benefit, including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, HBO Max, YouTube TV and more.
This is an ongoing benefit, so you will receive the $30 credit annually.
TSA PRECHECK® OR GLOBAL ENTRY REIMBURSEMENT
TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry are programs from the Department of Homeland Security that allow for faster screening at security or U.S. customs.
U.S. Bank will reimburse you up to $100 for the application fee for one of these programs once every four years.
To qualify, you must apply for either the TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry and use your Altitude® Connect card to pay the application fee.
This is a great perk for a card with such a manageable annual fee.
CELL PHONE PROTECTION
The chances of something bad happing to your phone are higher on vacation because it's easy to get distracted by your itinerary or the sights around you.
With the Altitude® Connect card, you can rest easy if your phone is stolen or damaged. U.S. Bank will reimburse you up to $600 for eligible claims, as long as you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Points never expire
- Contactless payment
- Mobile wallet
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card offers decent perks, but competing cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (compared below) outclass it.
If you frequently travel you will likely earn more value from rewards with competitors.
Although the Altitude® Connect offers cell phone protection, it lacks other important travel insurance. That extra security can help you out in a jam and can bring peace of mind on your journey.
|Current Scores||Past Scores|
|Overall Score||67.7||Did not survey|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||7.2||n/a|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||6.9||n/a|
HOW DOES THE U.S. BANK ALTITUDE® CONNECT VISA SIGNATURE® CARD COMPARE TO OTHER TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS?
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a welcome bonus worth as much as $750 in travel, but cardholders must spend a bit more than the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect card to earn it. New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders who spend $4,000 in the first three months can earn 60,000 bonus points - worth $750 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
The annual fee of $95 also isn't waived for the first year like it is with the Altitude® Connect.
With the Sapphire Preferred®, you can earn up to a $50 statement credit every year on the anniversary of your account for hotel stays purchased through the Ultimate Rewards® portal.
You enjoy 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® compared to only 4X with the Altitude® Connect.
With the Sapphire card, you also get 2X points on all other travel purchases such as airfare, hotels, taxis, and trains.
When you redeem your points for travel through Ultimate Rewards®, they are worth 25% more, which is an enticing perk of this card.
Additional benefits include:
- 3X points on online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 3X points on dining
- 3X points on select streaming services
- 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- 1X for every other dollar you spend
- Receive an annual points bonus equal to 10% of your total purchases from the previous year
If you're a frequent traveler, you'll likely accrue more value in rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card because of the higher point multipliers, anniversary bonuses, and increased value purchasing travel through Ultimate Rewards®.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card new cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus miles once spending $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account. This is a value of up to $600 in travel.
The Venture card earns 2X miles per dollar on all purchases and 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Capital One will reimburse the $100 application fee for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry, just like U.S. Bank if you have the Altitude® Connect card. The Venture card also has a $95 annual fee; however, the first year is not waived.
If you're looking for an extra layer of security when you travel, Capital One Venture may be a better card for you. This is because the Venture offers additional travel protections like travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card vs. Discover it® Miles
With the Discover it® Miles cardholders earn 1.5X miles per dollar on all purchases. Plus, at the end of your first year, Discover matches the miles that you earned throughout the year.
You can redeem rewards as a statement credit to pay for travel purchases such as hotel rooms, rental cars, gas stations, restaurants, and more. You can also opt to get cash back if you don't want to use your rewards on travel.
Unlike the other cards listed in this review, Discover it® Miles does not have an annual fee.
If you are going to make a lot of purchases within your first year, this may be an excellent card for you because Discover will match them mile for mile. However, it may not be a good choice if you don't see yourself traveling for the foreseeable future since Discover only matches miles for the first year. In that case, you would probably want a card with better ongoing travel rewards such as the Altitude® Connect, or perhaps one of the other travel cards compared above.
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card provides a simple rewards program that's beneficial for many travelers.
Overall, it's a good card if you're traveling within the U.S. a couple of times per year. Earning 4X points at gas stations and EV charging stations will save money on long-distance road trips, especially if you're staying in hotels and renting a car along the way. Plus, bonus points earned at the grocery store, on dining and streaming services can benefit users when not traveling.
Travel rewards aside, cell phone protection is another valuable perk of this card. This is a rare perk for credit cards, so it's an enticing reason to keep the card in your wallet, even through seasons of infrequent travel.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2021 to conduct surveys among 1,524 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2021-Aug. 31, 2021 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey; "Past Scores (avg.)" are the scores averaged over each prior year the card has been surveyed. "Past Scores" indicates a card has only been surveyed in one prior year.