U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Quirks, Frustrations & Possible Shutdowns

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U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Shutdowns

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Shutdowns

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve came to market on May 1, 2017 and my wife was among their very first customers. Previously I have covered details about the card, how U.S. Bank is selling it, my wife’s strange application experience and an unboxing of what the card and packaging look like.

U.S. Bank has always been a bit quirky (for example using secondary credit bureaus) and it seems that quirkiness is continuing with the launch of this new premium card. To start, at least two people have reported that their accounts have been shutdown with no notice for buying gift cards. From Miles Per Day

Us bank closed my new reserve card cuz I bought 3 gift cards randomly along with other purchase using my mobile wallet.  No warning ..no fraud alert… mixed purchases too.  Today tried to use card and decline; called and they said your  account is closed…no reconsideration…. so not a good sign for 3X mobile wallet with gc purchase.

Another reader in the comments of that post says they were also shutdown, however we haven’t seen any widespread reports yet. With that said, I have personally experienced some issues of my own.

Fraud Alert City

My wife and I have been out and about the past week shopping with this card and spending a lot of money using Samsung Pay to maximize returns on the 3X Mobile Wallet bonus category. (Not on gift cards.) U.S. Bank is continually locking up the account over and over again for fraud alerts, although they don’t call most of the time. This has meant my wife has had to call over and over, navigate their system then get transferred to get it resolved. Frustrating and it doesn’t stop there.

On her last call, the U.S. Bank agent basically told her to stop spending so much. He said the account will continue to lock up since it is new. He also unapologetically said she shouldn’t spend so much on the card given that it is new. They need time to see how she uses it. For the record she spent about $5K on the card over a week (not that much in my opinion) and they gave her a $25K limit. She has also been a U.S. Bank customer for a decade!

Use Caution

We are planning to now slowly season this card, because I don’t want to get shutdown for simply spending too much. While Frequent Miler reports that U.S. Bank has said a small amount of gift cards are alright, I wouldn’t plan to generate spend via that method in large amounts if you want to keep this card. Also, plan to be patient with fraud alerts while U.S. Bank watches your spending like a hawk.

What sort of quirks have you run into with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve? Please share in the comments.

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  1. “Quirks” is a nice way of describing US Bank.
    I became a customer with their Club Carlson card and their customer service is terrible: from fraud alerts to the elimination of benefits without notice and an unresponsive customer service, they have more “quirks” than any other US bank I’ve done business with…
    Just because they release a new, more expensive card, doesn’t mean they have upgraded their systems or service to provide a premium experience…

  2. I bought 4 x $500 GC without a problem but will not repeat for a month. Reading the terms: …or terminate the account if we determine that purchases or transactions were outside of such use, including, without limitation, excessive or patterned purchases of cash equivalent instruments, such as gift cards, rewards cards, and other prepaid cards.

  3. What percent of that $5k was mobile? I’ve spent a little over $3k without issue, spread across 4 transactions, but none of them were mobile or gift cards.

    It’s feeling like they’re turning up the heat on any mobile transactions and erring on the side of being overly cautious and then maybe they’ll dial it down. Either way, feels like one of those situations where it may be wise to slow down for a few weeks and let any negative data points roll out that hopefully don’t include ourselves.

  4. @Brian Kitaoka one of the many aspects of credit scores is just looking at the number. I can get this card many many others while usually having a score lower than you. Due to a little utilization or inquiries over the years (although not in recent two yrs). The way you posted its as if overall you dont have alot of credit. Since I have cards with large CLs and different banks plus overall long history that will get me more cards and much higher limits.

    Also I dont see this card as being any fantastic deal based on the annual fee. Not at all. The first year bonus and such mught make it worth it. I dont see this card as a game changer in any way.

    • Hi Robert:

      Actually my credit lines and score and credit history is GREAT. However they US Bank (and yes I do have one US Bank Card) said that i had a LOT of inquiries into my credit recently. etc etc etc as to why i was denied.

      I wanted the card since their Airline credit back is good. Unlike my Amex platinum that you have to “choose” one airline” for 12 months….i do travel more than one airlines….Thanks for the reply

  5. FYI over the years I found US Bank to be a very strange one in relation to underwriting etc. I have a few Flexperks cards- business and personal for many years and goot credit lines. I always thought US Bank and Barclay to be pretty weird. I have very high credit and dont do manufacture spend transactions. Usually high spend for business purposes

  6. They lost me when they said no gift cards, but I’m always happy to sit in the shade and watch others hack underbrush out in the sun.

  7. US Bank is crazy aggressive on fraud prevention, they email cardholders constantly about it as if it is the most important thing to customers, yet they provide no email or text message ways to receive fraud notifications or to resolve them. With the Club Carlson cards, purportedly travel cards, I got sick of using them because I lived in NJ, worked in NY, and even small charges in NY they would freeze the cards. Hold times to get through to an agent frequently 20+ minutes. Agents do have some latitude. I got a good agent once who said, “we can loosen things up a little,” and after that I had much fewer issues on that card.

  8. I have Twice denied this card although i have over a 800 Credit score and an American Express Platinum Card. My combined spending is under 5k with my current cards

  9. One more comment. Can anyone think of a reason a Greek foreign payment service wouldn’t take the US Bank Altitude? Works great with the Chase Reserve (renting a house and have been making payments), but will not accept Altitude.

    • For Greek payment services, Visa CC is a Visa CC with no denominations like in USA (Signature etc). I would suggest checking with USBank.

  10. @Hi R Johnson, can you tell me how I get to the link to sign up for the Go Go pass and also register for the rewards points account. “Went online and signed up for the Gogo passes as well as registered for the rewards points account. They had a 500 point bonus for registering.” Quirky site. Thanks!

    • Log in to your US Bank account page – then look under “MY REWARDS”…click on that, then on the “redeem rewards” button…then click on “card benefits” and you can register from there…

  11. Has anyone been able to get this card if they did not have any other accounts with US Bank? Both me and my husband used to have USBank cards but they are closed now. Thought I might try to see if it would slip through. Any thoughts?

    • I’d suggest going to a branch and talking with a manager. From what I’ve read they are holding pretty tight on a 35 day account record before they will consider. Otherwise, just go in, open an account and wait it out.

  12. I just signed up also. They have me a measly $5k limit, while most of my other cards are $20k+. While I understand they try to compete with Sapphire Reserve, they’re not in the same league. Their priority pass only gives you 4 lounge visits per year, points do not transfer, and without Samsung Pay NFC acceptance is still rather limited. Was able to use it at Denny’s yesterday, but SR would’ve given me the same 3%.

  13. I’ve had the card for a week and have had no issues. I’ve spent a bit more than $600 in that time. Went online and signed up for the Gogo passes as well as registered for the rewards points account. They had a 500 point bonus for registering. If it gets to be too crazy, I’ll cancel it next year, but for one week, it’s been just fine for me.

    • $600? thats nothing. They arent talking about ppl like you spending 600 in a week. More like 20k in a day or 2.


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