US Bank Altitude Connect Credit Card Review
US Bank issues multiple cards within the Altitude family of cards. These include the Altitude Go, Altitude Reserve, and now the Altitude Connect. Today, we will review the US Bank Altitude connect credit card to understand its strengths and weaknesses, plus what it offers to the consumer.
The current welcome offer for the Altitude Connect card is as follows:
- 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first 120 days of card membership
- The $95 annual fee is waived the first year
- Learn More
It’s worth noting that most credit card welcome offers are for 90 days. This offer gives you 120 days to meet the spending requirement–a full month extra.
Welcome Offer Restrictions
US Bank does not have any restrictions against earning welcome offer bonuses from cards within the Altitude family.
However, you should note that US Bank gives application preference to those with existing relationships with them. It is more difficult to get approved for a credit card if you don’t have a checking account, for example. See their application rules here.
The US Bank Altitude Connect card comes with the following earning structure:
- 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
- 4X points on travel, gas stations and electric charging stations.
- 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services.
- 1X point on all other eligible purchases.
- Learn More
The US Bank Altitude Connect card comes with the following primary cardmember perks:
- $30 credit for annual streaming service purchases such as Netflix and Spotify
- TSA PreCheck or Global Entry – Up to $100 in statement credits for application fee once every four years.
- Cell phone protection – up to $600 in reimbursement if your phone is stolen or damaged
- Learn More
Secondary Credit Card Perks:
- Travel assistance center, which includes translation service and pre-travel health information
- Visa Signature benefits, such as travel discounts, trip planning assistance, and more.
- Learn More
The US Bank Altitude Connect card has a $95 annual fee, but this is waived during the first year. If you maximize the streaming credits the net out of pocket will be $65 each year.
Welcome Offer Value – $500 (Net $500)
US Bank points can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent per point. That puts the value of 50,000 points at $500. Because the annual fee is waived the first year, you receive the full net value of this–$500.
This calculation does not take into account the ancillary perks, such as fee reimbursement for Global Entry or credits for streaming services. Using these can increase the net value of the card.
The Altitude Connect card from US Bank is a straightforward card aimed at the everyday user. Because of its low annual fee, simple redemption structure, and a few perks to attract customers, it has a general audience and should attract a wide demographic.
Points are easily redeemed for gift cards, statement credit, or into your US Bank checking account. They also can be redeemed for travel. Additionally, you can use the points for Real-Time Rewards. New users who enroll in Real-Time Rewards should receive 500 bonus points. More info on redemptions can be found here.
Best Card For Several Categories
The interesting thing about the US Bank Altitude Connect card is that it becomes a “best card” contender in several bonus categories.
Firstly, while other cards have higher earning rates on streaming services, almost no other card offers statement credit for payments to streaming services. That is money put directly back into the consumer’s pocket.
Additionally, 4X earning on gas stations and “travel” makes this card a high earner in this categories. This is especially true because the “travel” category is broad. You can earn 4X points on things like rental cars, ride shares, cruises, etc. Gas is a large expense for many and 4X is towards the top end of what is available out there currently.
Long Term Keep or Cancel
For people who enjoy the earning categories or the simplicity of the rewards structure, this is a long-term keeper. Additionally, the low annual fee and the fact it can help with future US Bank approvals may earn it a place in your wallet.
However, those who want to transfer points to travel partners for higher valuations on their redemptions, this card likely is not a keeper.
The US Bank Altitude Connect card is a low-cost card with benefits that most other cards at this level don’t have. Additionally, the earning structure puts it high on our bonus categories list in several areas.
The card comes with perks like TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry, streaming credits, and an extended spending period for earning the welcome offer. Since the annual fee is waived the first year, you are able to retain the full value of the points from the welcome offer.
It is not a flashy card, and the points value is fixed, but the earning structure is worth consideration past the welcome offer period.