Get 4.5% back at Costco with the US Bank Altitude Reserve
The Altitude Reserve card was launched by US Bank a little over a year ago and I found it highly underwhelming. Especially after all of the shut down reports for buying gift cards started coming out. The main feature of the card is earning 3X Flexperks on mobile payments. That is a return of 4.5% since Flexperks points are worth 1.5 cents each. I don’t use mobile payments all that much so it didn’t interest me.
To me, the Altitude Reserve was another “premium” card with a large annual fee that fell short, just like the SPG Luxury card. This latest news coming out of Costco has me reconsidering though. Costco has added mobile payments which means you can now get 4.5% back at Costco with the Altitude Reserve card.
Details on the US Bank Altitude Card
Before we dive into why this news is interesting I want to do a quick overview of the card. Mainly because I forgot all of the details of the card :).
- 50,000 points (worth $750) after spending $4,500 within the first 3 months
- 3X points on travel purchases and mobile wallet purchases
- 1X on everything else
- $400 Annual Fee not waived
- $325 in annual credits
- Priority Pass membership
- 12 Gogo Wifi Passes
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
To be approved for the card you need to have an exsisting US Bank relationship. A checking account or another credit card account works.
As you can see there isn’t a lot of meat on the bones, outside of the mobile wallet purchases. With US Bank cracking down on purchasing Visa gift cards via mobile wallet I didn’t see a use for the card. I don’t really shop at many places that accept mobile payments. With Costco joining the fold I think the opportunity is now there.
Why Does Costco Matter
Costco is a huge warehouse store that offers a ton of items. They carry food, furniture, electronics, toys and almost everything else. There is value there for most people, assuming you have a store near. Also the shut downs, from what I can tell, are for buying Visa gift cards only. Costco has 3rd party gift card sales from time to time which I think would be fine, although I can not guarantee that. If you add that with the 2% back you get from a premium membership then you are saving 6.5% on Costco’s already reduced prices.
I don’t think this news will get me to sign up for the Altitude card but if I already had one it would probably push me towards keeping it. There is an opportunity to get a lot of value out of Costco adding mobile payments. Whether through regular spend or on 3rd party gift cards. And the Altitude Reserve is the best way to do that.
Let me know if this announcement changes your thoughts on the Altitude Reserve as well.
Hat Tip – DoC