U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card Review [2024]: Do the Premium Benefits Outweigh the Cost?

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card provides valuable rewards and benefits for travel-focused consumers. But does it offer enough value to offset its annual fee?
Updated May 9, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Rewards credit cards typically fall into two main categories: cashback cards and travel cards. The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is a premium travel card, so it has a high annual fee but offers excellent earning potential and top-notch travel benefits.

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve has decent rewards rates, but its real value comes from its travel redemption rate: Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through U.S. Bank's portal. That, plus the $325 credit you get each year on eligible purchases, including travel and dining, makes the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve an excellent choice for frequent travelers. 

In this U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card review, we’ll cover who this card is best for, what its benefits and drawbacks are, and how you can use it to earn and redeem points. This will help you decide whether the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card matches well with your lifestyle and spending habits.

Designed for Frequent Travelers

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
4.7

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Current Offer

Earn a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days

Annual Fee

$400

Rewards Rate

5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card review:

Key takeaways

  • The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite has a high annual fee, but its redemption rate and $325 annual credit more than make up for it for frequent travelers.
  • This card comes with a host of extra travel perks, including Priority Pass lounge access, a TSA PreCheck credit, and the Visa Infinite® Luxury Hotel Collection benefits.
  • Unlike many other premium travel cards, U.S. Bank does not have transfer partners that can help you make the most of your points.
  • This card isn’t a good choice for people who don’t travel very often.

Who should get the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card?

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card is designed for frequent travelers. The majority of its benefits are travel-focused, and its earning potential increases if you have regular travel expenses. If you don’t travel often enough to take advantage of this card’s benefits and earn rewards, you may not be able to offset the $400 annual fee. However, the $325 annual credit goes a long way toward making this card worth it.

When you make eligible purchases on things like dining or travel, U.S. Bank will automatically issue a statement credit on those purchases up to $325 per year. It can take a few business days for the credit to come through, but it's easy to get the most out of this perk, and it offsets most of the card's annual fee all on its own. 

When you compare credit cards, be sure to account for their annual costs, rewards rates, and benefits. This can help you determine whether a card would be the right fit for you. It wouldn’t make sense to apply for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card if you don’t travel frequently, but if you’re planning to travel a lot, a premium travel card can really enhance your travel experiences.

Credit card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer U.S. Bank
Credit card network Visa
Annual fee $400
Intro bonus Earn a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
Reward rate 5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent
Foreign transaction fee None

Why we like the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card: benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days.
  • Earning potential: Earn 5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Annual credit: Receive up to $325 in annual credits for eligible travel and dining purchases, which may include purchases with cruise lines, passenger trains, flights, hotels, and restaurant delivery.
  • Increased travel redemption rate: Your points are worth 50% more if you redeem them for travel through the U.S. Bank travel portal. For example, 50,000 points would be worth $750 toward airfare, hotel stays, or car rentals.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass: Receive airport lounge access with a free 12-month Priority Pass Select membership. Priority Pass Select members receive eight free visits per year of membership and can access more than 1,300 airport lounges in airports around the world.
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry: Receive complimentary TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee reimbursement when you use your card to pay the application fee for either membership. Global Entry membership includes TSA PreCheck.
  • Travel benefits and coverages: Receive complimentary travel benefits and coverages, such as car rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, emergency evacuation and transportation coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, and trip delay reimbursement.
  • Shopping coverage: Receive purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty benefits when using your card for eligible purchases.

What we don't like about this card: drawbacks

  • U.S. Bank restriction: You must be an existing U.S. Bank customer to qualify for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. This includes having a U.S. Bank checking or savings account, certificate of deposit, mortgage, credit card, or other types of financial services offered by U.S. Bank. 
  • High annual cost: A $400 annual fee is a hefty sum to pay each year for any type of credit card. However, this card’s earning potential and benefits can offer more than enough value to warrant the high cost.
  • Travel redemption inflexibility: U.S. Bank doesn’t offer an option to transfer your travel rewards to other loyalty programs, including programs from major airlines and hotels. This is a common benefit found on many travel rewards cards, but it’s not possible with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card.

Earning and redeeming U.S. Bank rewards points

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $1,327.50

Year two earnings: $577.50

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee. We also included this card’s $325 annual credit in our calculations and assumed that you will redeem these points for travel. 

Note that the amounts above reflect rewards earned from general travel spending, not specific rewards earned on eligible travel booked through the Altitude Rewards Center. These values also don’t account for this card’s bonus earnings on mobile wallet spending or the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit. If you factor those in, the value you’ll get from this card will likely increase.

Best ways to earn

Categories Rewards rate
Prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center 5X
Eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases 3X
All other purchases 1X

The best way to earn rewards with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card is by using it for purchases in its bonus categories. Prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center earn 5X points while eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases earn 3X points, so travel purchases can earn you loads of points.

However, don’t ignore the fact that mobile wallet purchases will get you increased rewards as well. This bonus category is interesting because it opens up the possible number of purchases that can earn you extra points. U.S. Bank categorizes mobile wallet purchases as any purchase made with ApplePay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and LG Pay. So you can use one of these mobile wallet services to make purchases that wouldn’t normally net you extra points, but this way you get the bonus rewards.

For example, grocery stores aren’t part of this card’s bonus categories, but if you use an eligible mobile wallet service at a grocery store, you’d get bonus points for those purchases.

Maximizing your redemptions

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card offers multiple ways to redeem your points, including travel, statement credits, online shopping, gift cards, event tickets, and more. Your points are worth 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for travel through the U.S. Bank travel portal, whereas other redemption options offer only 1 cent per point. Because travel redemptions offer the highest value, they’re typically the best way to maximize redemptions with your points on this card.

FAQ

Is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card a good card?

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card is an excellent choice for frequent travelers who have an existing relationship with U.S. Bank. This card offers premium travel benefits like Priority Pass membership, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, and more. In addition, you also receive up to $325 in annual credits for eligible travel purchases.

What credit score do you need for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card?

You likely need an excellent credit score to qualify for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. Excellent credit scores are the highest credit scores possible and typically start around 800.

Is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card metal?

Yes, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card is made out of metal. Successful applicants receive their custom-engraved metal card soon after qualifying.

How do you redeem your U.S. Bank Altitude points?

All U.S. Bank Altitude points can be redeemed from your U.S. Bank online account or through the U.S. Bank mobile app. From your online account, select the “My Rewards” option and then choose “Redeem Rewards.” From the mobile app, select the applicable credit card and then choose “Redeem or View My Rewards.”

How many U.S. Bank credit cards can you have?

There is no official limit on how many U.S. Bank credit cards you can have. However, it’s typically harder to qualify for U.S. Bank credit cards compared to cards from many other issuers. 

If you apply for multiple U.S. Bank cards, it may be increasingly difficult to qualify for additional cards. In addition, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card requires you to have an existing U.S. Bank relationship before you can apply for it.

Other cards to consider

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card has plenty to offer if you like to travel and frequently spend money on travel-related purchases. Still, it may not exactly line up with what you’d expect from a luxury travel card. For some great travel credit card options, consider these cards:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best premium travel cards available because of its flexible redemption options. Your Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to multiple Chase travel partners, including many major airline and hotel loyalty programs. You also get travel benefits like travel insurance, a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass membership, and your points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase Travel℠ portal.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express also offers plenty of value with its perks and benefits. This credit card offers up to $200 in Uber Cash (terms apply) and up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each year, plus you get a reimbursement of up to $100 every four years for Global Entry or up to $85 every four and a half years for TSA PreCheck (five-year plan only), along with Priority Pass and Amex Centurion Lounge access. You also get complimentary Gold Elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy program and Gold status with the Hilton Honors loyalty program. In addition, your Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred to more than a dozen Amex transfer partners, such as Delta Air Lines SkyMiles and Radisson Rewards.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite: Bottom line

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite is a good choice if you travel a lot and use mobile payment for everyday purchases. U.S. Bank’s lack of transfer partners is a drawback, but this card still offers enough travel perks and high enough reward and redemption rates to make it worth the high annual fee.

Designed for Frequent Travelers

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
4.7

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Why We Like It

Earn a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Travel℠ (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 on purchases on your new card in the first 6 months
  • Select your metal card design: classic Platinum Card, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu
  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and prepaid hotels booked on Amextravel.com
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Select benefits require enrollment.
  • See rates and fees | Terms Apply

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt