Altitude Reserve Card – Yay or Nay?

Recently the details of a new card being offered by U.S. Bank were revealed. The Altitude Reserve card is shaking up the market by being the first card to offer 3x points on mobile wallet purchases. This includes Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Microsoft Wallet. The new Altitude Reserve card also offers 3x points on travel. I will outline the details below to start. But there is another big thing to talk about. Even though this is undoubtedly a great card, should you get it?

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card

Frequent Miler has an excellent complete guide on the Altitude Reserve but here are the key highlights:

  • 3x points on mobile wallet payments
  • 3x points on travel
  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $4,500 in 3 months
  • $400 annual fee
  • $325 travel credit (so effectively a $75 annual fee)
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre credit
  • Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel

Should you get the Altitude Reserve Card?

Ben and I were actually texting back and forth extensively on this card yesterday. We both agree it’s definitely a great card, but neither of us are not the type of people who want to carry around 15 credit cards that we put spend on. For instance, I may have a lot of credit cards for perks but there are only three (my perfect trifecta) that I typically spend money with. So there are some key questions to ask with the Altitude Reserve card:

  • Does my amount of spend justify the annual fee?
  • Do the perks justify the annual fee?
  • Will I use the travel credit?
  • What are my travel goals with points?
  • Do I want another card to add to the rotation?

I personally am pretty happy with using the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), Chase Freedom, and American Express EveryDay Preferred (EDP) cards for day to day expenses. So this is something I’ll really think about in terms of getting it as a long term card to put spend on.

  • CSR: 3x points on dining and travel
  • EDP: 4.5x on groceries, 3x on gas, and 1.5x on other purchases
  • Freedom: rotating quarterly categories that offer 5x points (groceries this quarter)

Based on my spend and my current cards I don’t see a ton of gaps. But the gaps I do have could very well be filled by the Altitude Reserve Card.


In my next post I’m going to break down the 5 questions above. And in my typical nerd fashion, provide spending scenarios to help me decide whether 1) I’m going to get and spend money on the Altitude Reserve and 2) give a guide as to whether you should do the same.

 Anyone already decided they’re going to get the Altitude Reserve card? And more importantly, definitely use it for everyday spending?

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