The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is a fantastic travel rewards credit card for people who aren’t wedded to a particular airline or hospitality family.
Notable perks include a big new account bonus with qualifying spend, competitive rewards on eligible purchases, and potentially valuable add-ons like complimentary airport lounge access.
Is the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card perfect? Of course not — no credit card is. But it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new premium spending aid.
What Is the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card?
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is a cash-back card that offers solid earning rates and travel-related benefits.
It starts with a great sign-up bonus: Spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening to earn 50,000 bonus points. That’s worth up to $500 towards cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise and more.
This card earns up to 5x points on eligible prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center and 4x points on other eligible travel, gas station, and EV charging station purchases.
Other bonus categories (2x points) include grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining, and streaming services. In addition to 2x points on streaming subscription purchases, you also get a $30 annual credit for streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Disney+, Apple Music and more.
Not only does U.S. Bank Altitude Connect earn bonus points on travel-related expenses, the card also has several travel-related benefits:
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you four free visits to over 1,300 airport VIP lounges worldwide
- Trip cancellation/interruption coverage
- Trip delay reimbursement
- SmartDelay access on eligible travel delays
Other notable benefits include a statement credit up to $100 every four years to cover Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fees, plus a cell phone protection plan that provides up to $600 in reimbursement if your cell phone is stolen or damaged when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card.
There’s a $95 annual fee for this card after the first year. There are no foreign transaction fees.
What Sets the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card Apart?
This card has several features that help it distinguish itself from other credit cards in its category.
- Excellent sign-up bonus. This card has one of the better sign-up bonuses in its class (sub-$100 annual fee). It’s worth up to $500 towards cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
- 4x points on gas and EV charging. This is one of the highest rewards rates for vehicle fuel. There are cards with quarterly rotating bonus categories of 5x on these types of purchases, but the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature card earns 4x points year-round without a cap.
- Streaming credit. The card comes with a $30 annual credit for streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Disney+, Apple Music and more. This can help offset the $95 annual fee, since this credit is easy to use.
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS. The card delivers a statement credit up to $100 every four years for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS. Since the annual fee is waived for the first year, this credit makes the card worth holding for at least two years if you want one of these services.
Key Features of the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature card offers a solid earning rewards rate on travel and gas categories, a streaming service credit and other travel-related credits and benefits.
Spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening to earn 50,000 bonus points. This bonus can be worth up to $500 at redemption.
This card earns rewards as follows:
- 5 points per $1 spent on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
- 4 points per $1 spent on other travel and on purchases at gas stations and EV charging stations
- 2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores and on grocery delivery, dining, and streaming services
All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
You can redeem your points for one cent each towards cash back, travel purchases, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
Points can be redeemed in the U.S. Bank Mobile App, in the Rewards Center in online banking at usbank.com, or by calling the 24-hour Rewards Center. They’re generally worth $0.01 apiece at redemption.
This card charges a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transaction and a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction. There is a $41 late payment fee and a $41 return payment fee.
The annual fee is $95 after the first year, when it’s $0. There is no foreign transaction fee.
This card has several additional benefits:
- A $30 annual credit against eligible streaming service purchases
- A complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that entitles you to free or reduced-price access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide
- Up to $600 in cell phone protection coverage when you pay your bill in full with your card
- Trip cancellation/interruption coverage and trip delay reimbursement
- SmartDelay on qualifying travel delays, entitling you to complimentary access to select airport lounges when your flight is delayed
- Up to $100 in statement credits every four years against eligible Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fees.
This card requires good or better credit to qualify. If your FICO score is much below 700, or your personal credit history is limited, then you’ll likely have trouble being approved.
Pros & Cons
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card has some attractive upsides along with a couple drawbacks worth noting.
- Very generous sign-up bonus
- Great rewards program
- Lots of nonrewards benefits, like airport lounge access
- Relatively low fees
- Limited rewards flexibility
- $95 annual fee after the first year
Overall, this is a generous travel rewards card with a surprisingly strong lineup of nonrewards benefits.
- Sign-up bonus worth $500. This card has an excellent sign-up bonus: Spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening to earn 50,000 bonus points. This is a very competitive offer relative to other cash back cards.
- Strong bonus point offers. If you spend a lot on hotels and car rentals, and you don’t mind booking through U.S. Bank’s in-house travel agent, then you could earn 5 points per $1 spent on those purchases. Even if you book another way, you’ll still earn 4x points on travel, at gas stations, and even at EV charging stations and you’ve got a very compelling rewards program.
- Plenty of benefits. This card’s most valuable benefit could be a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, good for up to four visits per year — a rarity on a card with such a low annual fee. The cell phone protection and travel insurance coverages, along with SmartDelay access, are potentially valuable as well. And it’s always nice to get $100 off your Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee.
- Low fees. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year, and there are no foreign transaction fees.
This card’s point system leaves something to be desired, and the annual fee could be an issue for users who can’t spend fast enough to offset it.
- No flexible rewards points. Award travel enthusiasts love Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards points because they can be transferred to airline and hotel programs. When you do this skillfully, it’s possible to realize much more than $0.01 in value per point redeemed. But with this card, you can’t transfer your points to airline and hotel programs, so you can’t get more than $0.01 per point at redemption.
- Annual fee after the first year. Though it’s waived the first year out, this card does have a $95 annual fee after that. This isn’t ideal for light spenders.
How the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card Stacks Up
This card’s closest competitor is probably the Bank of America Premium Rewards card. Here’s how the two cards compare.
|U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards®
|$95, waived the first year
|Up to 5x points
|Up to 2x points, but Preferred Rewards members can earn more
|Foreign Transaction Fee
|Good or better
|Good or better
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card has a more generous rewards program than the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, and it’s nice that it waives the annual fee in the first year. But Bank of America has a slightly better sign-up bonus and better perks for existing Bank of America deposit customers.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is a great card for earning a valuable sign-up bonus and extra points on common purchases. It’s also a card that showers you with valuable perks and benefits, while keeping the fees low. If you aren’t ready to dive into a travel rewards card that lets you transfer your rewards to airline miles and hotel points, then this is one of the best travel rewards cards available.