US Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card Review 2022

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Credit Card offers generous travel rewards in addition to generous 4x rewards at gas and EV charging stations. There's no foreign transaction fee, and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
  • Rewards and Travel
    4.6
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Travel point rewards are highly competitive.
  • Introductory bonus offer is easy to earn.
  • Six categories earn more than 1x points.
  • U.S. Bank has an array of accommodations for customers with special needs.

Cons

  • The annual fee is higher than that of some competing travel cards.
  • This card does not offer a promotional annual percentage rate.

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card Overview

A recent GOBankingRates survey revealed that more Americans use credit cards to pay for travel expenses than for any other type of expense besides monthly bills. If you’re among them, you need a card designed for travelers to get the most value in terms of travel-based reward points and other perks. The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card could be the one, whether you use it as your only card or to complement other cards in your wallet.

In exchange for a $95 annual fee, which is waived in the first year, the Altitude Connect card rewards cardholders with up to 5x points, depending on the category. All purchases earn at least one point per dollar spent. There’s no cap on how many points you can earn, and points never expire. The APR for this card is .

Points can be redeemed for statement credits, cash back, merchandise, gift cards and travel. The Rewards Center Earn Mall provides an opportunity to earn extra points by using the card to make purchases from select retailers. Real-Time Rewards, redeemable instantly at the time of purchase, are also available.

Points rewards are just one of the travel benefits cardholders receive. The Altitude Connect card has no foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the U.S. And as a Visa Signature card, Altitude Connect gives you access to additional perks, such as premium benefits at luxury hotels, 24/7 concierge service and discounts on cruises, hotels and car rentals.

Key Features

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Credit Card has a long list of features, benefits and perks. Here are some of the most important, and the ones on which GOBankingRates based its score.

Number of Rewards

Nearly all points-based rewards and travel rewards cards earn at least one point for each dollar spent, and most have two to four categories that earn additional rewards. The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card does better, rewarding cardholders with extra points in six categories, with the highest rewards earned for travel purchases.

Here’s a breakdown of the points rewards:

  • 5x points for each dollar spent on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 4x points on all other travel and at gas stations and EV charging stations
  • 2x points at grocery stores and on grocery deliveries, dining and streaming services
  • 1x point for all other eligible purchases

New cardmembers can receive 50,000 bonus points worth $500 by spending $2,000 in the first 120 days after opening an account.

Points aren’t the only rewards the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card offers. In addition to receiving 2x points per dollar spent on streaming services, you automatically get a $30 annual streaming service credit when you make 11 consecutive monthly purchases from eligible streaming services. Eligible services include Netflix, Disney+ and Pandora as well as ESPN+, YouTube Premium and over two dozen more, subject to change.

As you might expect from a travel card, Altitude Connect comes with special benefits for travelers. For example, card holders receive up to $100 in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry reimbursements every four years, and there’s no foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S.

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card is also eligible for Real-Time Rewards. Unlike regular rewards, which you redeem for things like statement credits, deposits into a U.S. Bank checking or savings account, or merchandise, gift card or travel purchase, Real-Time Rewards are available for instant redemption while you shop using your mobile device.

Visa Signature cards like Altitude Connect earn additional benefits available exclusively to Visa card holders. For example:

  • Travel discounts
  • Rental car discounts
  • Concierge service available 24/7
  • Premium benefits at luxury hotels
  • Access to dining, golf and entertainment events
  • Special member pricing on a selection of products, services and experiences

Cap on Rewards

Some cards cap the rewards you can earn. For example, you might only earn premium points on purchases up to a certain cumulative dollar value, and after that, drop back to one point per dollar. That’s not the case with the Altitude Connect card. Earn as many points as you like, in any category you like, and redeem them whenever you wish — they never expire.

Accessibility

Whether you manage your account online, by phone or in person, U.S. Bank is committed to making its products and services accessible to everyone. Here’s how:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant branches with accessible parking, walkways, entrances, lobbies and ATMs
  • Accessible amenities such as teller counters and safe-deposit vaults
  • Speech-output-capable ATMs for the blind and visually impaired
  • American Sign Language interpreters for branch visits and virtual meetings upon request
  • Telecommunications Relay Services calls
  • Written communications in-branch for customers who can’t or prefer not to speak
  • Help reading documents and filling out forms

Individuals with questions about U.S. Bank’s accessibility as it pertains to disabilities can call the bank at 800-872-2657. Assistance is also available through local branches and via online or mobile banking.

Fees

Many rewards cards — and even the occasional travel rewards card — charge a fee on transactions cardholders make while they’re traveling outside the U.S. A typical fee is 3% of the purchase amount, which can add up quickly on a long trip. In the case of a card that earns 3x points on travel purchases, you essentially forfeit the rewards because of the fee.

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. You can use your card wherever Visa is accepted and reap the full benefits of your rewards.

You will, however, pay a $95 annual fee — not unusual for cards with the kinds of points rewards this one offers. The fee is waived for the first year.

How the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card Stands Out

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card stands out for its excellent rewards. Six categories of spending qualify for rewards worth more than one point per dollar spent, and the top two rewards — 5x and 4x — are travel-related, although 5x rewards are somewhat limited because you must make those purchases through U.S. Bank’s Rewards Center. Gas and EV charging also earn 4x points, so you’ll accumulate rewards quickly whether you travel overseas or stick closer to home.

It’s also worth noting that U.S. Bank is one of the few credit card providers to offer rewards for EV charging.

Comparable Travel Rewards Card Options

With so many travel cards to choose from, it’s a good idea to compare rates, rewards, fees and other factors to make sure you get the best card for your needs. Here’s a look at how the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature card stacks up against its competitors.

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card vs. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The VentureOne Rewards card from Capital One earns five miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. All other purchases earn just 1.25 miles.

The card really can’t compete with Altitude Connect in terms of rewards, but it does have no annual fee or foreign transaction fee, and it comes with a 0% promotional APR for 15 months, followed by APR. The new-member bonus doesn’t compare to Altitude Connect’s, though — it’s 20,000 bonus miles worth $200. Even with the annual fee, Altitude Connect could be a better deal.

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card vs. American Express® Green Card

The American Express® Green Card earns 3x points on travel, restaurants and transit and provides $189 CLEAR and LoungeBuddy credits. But compared to Altitude Connect, it offers little else for the annual fee.

Although the new-member bonus is easier to earn because it requires just $2,000 in purchases during the first six months of Card Membership, it’s only worth $450. Altitude Connect’s bonus is worth $500, and its annual fee is waived for the first year.

How To Apply for the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card

To apply for the Altitude Connect card, head to the card’s main page on the U.S. Bank website and click the Apply button to begin your application. If you already have an account with U.S. Bank, log in first — the application process will be faster.

The application will ask for your name, email address and cell number. When you’ve entered them, click “Save & continue.” Then follow the prompts to complete the process. It should take about five minutes, and you should have your answer a minute or two later.

For assistance with the application, call 800-644-7239 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT.

Who the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card Is Best For

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is best for frequent travelers who can take full advantage of the card’s excellent rewards. EV owners make out especially well because of charging rewards points few other cards offer at all, never mind at four points per dollar spent.

Just remember the high APR — interest charges could wipe out the value of your rewards if you don’t pay your balance in full each month.

Final Take

All cards have strengths and weaknesses, but with the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card, the strengths make this a very appealing choice. Generous rewards, a valuable introductory bonus offer and other travel perks outweigh the annual fee and the absence of an introductory APR.

FAQ

The more you know about the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card, the better able you'll be to decide whether it's the right card for you. These common questions and answers should help.
  • How much are U.S. Bank Altitude Connect points worth?
    • Points are worth one cent each.
  • What credit score do you need for a U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card?
    • U.S. Bank doesn't specify a minimum score, but according to its website, the bank's unsecured credit cards are for individuals with established credit in the good to excellent range. A "good" score is 670 or higher, according to myFICO.
  • Is U.S. Bank Altitude Connect a metal card?
    • This card is not, but the Altitude Go and Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite cards are metal.
  • Does the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect card have foreign transaction fees?
    • No, Altitude Connect does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 7, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by GOBankingRates. The American Express® Green Card is not available through GOBankingRates.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

Share This Article:

About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.
Learn More

1pximage