Here Is What U.S. Bank Is Telling Their Employees About Their New Altitude Reserve Premium Card

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U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve FAQs

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve FAQs

Earlier this week I covered the details of U.S. Bank’s new premium credit card Altitude Reserve which is set to launch May 1. Earlier today I also compared this new card with the Chase Sapphire Reserve head to head. Clearly this new card will be a big deal for U.S. Bank, but how are they asking employees to sell it?

A reader sent me a copy of a FAQ U.S. Bank has sent out to employees. This is not leaked considering an employee sent it to him as a potential customer. Thus I am assuming it is alright to make it public. I have no relationship with U.S. Bank other than that of being a customer.

This document goes into great detail about the card along with some of the policies the bank is going to be following for cardmembers. You can also learn a lot about the various protections and elite benefits as well. Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card FAQs

PRODUCT

What is U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve is our new premium rewards credit card with accelerated point earning for everyday life and travel experiences – exclusively for U.S. Bank customers. Altitude Reserve also has forward-looking mobile features to help customers keep up with their fast paced lives. Customers will also enjoy the indulgent travel services and benefits. Altitude Reserve offers rich rewards redemption value and best of all – points never expire.

Why do customers love U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

  • Only card that earns 3x points per $1 spent on eligible net mobile wallet purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay or Microsoft Wallet.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 spent on eligible net travel purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies.
  • Extraordinary value with an industry leading travel credit – Up to $325 each cardmember year and 50,000 bonus enrollment points when cardmembers spend $4,500 within the first 90 days – worth $750 in travel.
  • No foreign transaction fees and access to great travel perks like airport lounges, reimbursement of the application fee for TSA PreCheck®, inflight wifi and more.
  • And points never expire!

Does U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve have an introductory offer or enrollment bonus

Yes, customers can earn 50,000 points after spending $4,500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. This is a one-time enrollment offer worth $750 in travel.

How does the $325 annual travel credit work?

Customers can earn up to $325 every cardmember year in automatic statement credits for travel purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines. Net purchases during each billing cycle will be calculated for transactions that a merchant classifies as travel (such as purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies) and a corresponding statement credit will be applied to their account the next time it cycles. This is the richest travel credit among premium rewards cards.

Will each cardmember on the account be eligible to earn the $325 annual travel credit.

The annual travel credit maximum is $325 per cardmember year per account, regardless of which cards were used for the transaction(s).

EARNING / REDEMPTION

What is the rewards earning structure on U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

Customers earn points at the following rates:

  • Travel: Earn 3X points per $1 for eligible net travel purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies.
  • Mobile wallet: Earn 3X points per $1 for eligible net mobile wallet purchases when using the Altitude Reserve card with your mobile device to pay through Apple Pay,® Android Pay,™ Samsung Pay and Microsoft Wallet.
  • All other purchases: Earn 1X point per $1 spent on all other eligible net purchases.

Does the mobile wallet category include online purchases?

Customers earn 3X points per $1 for eligible net mobile wallet purchases when using the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card to pay using Apple Pay®, Android Pay™, Samsung Pay and Microsoft Wallet wherever they can be used in-store, in-app or online.

What travel categories are included in the 3X for travel purchases?

Customers earn 3X points per $1 for eligible net travel purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies.

Are transportation companies like Uber and Lyft included in the travel category?

It depends on the Merchant Category Code (MCC) the merchant uses for these transactions. MCC 4121 Taxicabs is included.

Will travel purchases made using a mobile wallet earn 6X points? 3X for travel and 3X for mobile wallet?

No. If the transaction is an eligible mobile wallet transaction and an eligible travel category transaction, additional points will only be awarded for one of the transaction types. Transactions which qualify in both categories will be awarded points in the mobile wallet category.

Are travel companies like Homeaway, Airbnb and VRBO included in the travel category?

It depends on the MCC code the merchant uses for these transactions.

  • MCC 7011 Lodging – Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Central Reservation Services is included
  • MCC 4722 Travel Agencies, Tour Operators are not included
  • MCC 6513 Real Estate Agents and Managers – Rentals are not included

Are travel bookings through sites like Expedia and Travelocity included in the travel category?

No

How do U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve cardmembers redeem points?

Cardmembers can redeem points at the Rewards Center for travel, gift cards, merchandise, entertainment, cash back, magazines and more. Except where stated otherwise in the Rewards Program Rules, cardmembers may generally redeem, transfer, and purchase points by:

  • Visiting the Rewards Center online, which is found in online banking at usbank.com, or
  • Calling the 24 Hour Rewards Center at 844-357-2015.

 What can points be redeemed for?

Points can be redeemed for travel as well as gift cards, merchandise, entertainment, cash back, magazines and more, starting at just 1,000 points.

How much are points worth?

Altitude Reserve has a rich point value when customers redeem for travel: 1 point is worth 1.5 cents when redeeming for travel. 10,000 points are worth $150 in airfare, hotel stays, car rental or other travel awards.

When do points expire?

Points don’t expire.

Is there a minimum redemption amount for travel?

Travel redemptions starts at 1,000 points.

What is the maximum number of points customers can transfer from FlexPerks products to U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

At launch, customers will not be able to transfer FlexPoints to Altitude Reserve. The ability to transfer to Altitude Reserve may be available in a future system release.

When available, FlexPerks cardmembers are limited to 20,000 points in and 20,000 points out annually through the online Rewards Center. This limit applies to online point transfers from FlexPerks products to Altitude Reserve. Customers need to contact Cardmember Service directly for transfers over 20,000 points.

Important! In 2017, FlexPoints have a higher average travel redemption value than Altitude Reserve points so it may not be in a customer’s best interest to switch to Altitude Reserve immediately.

What is Real-Time Mobile Rewards Redemption?

Altitude Reserve customers can redeem points instantly from a mobile device for nearly any card purchase with U.S. Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. Cardmembers must enroll in the feature and select their redemption preferences. Some purchases are excluded, like those to which a gratuity may be added.

ELITE BENEFITS

What elite benefits are available?

Altitude Reserve customers have access to a host of elite benefits and personalized services, which are described in more detail in the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Card Guide to Benefits which a new cardmember receives with their card. Cardmembers must register for some benefits at the Altitude Reserve Card Benefit site.

Andrew Harper Travel Club Receive complimentary membership in this legendary travel organization, with access to seasoned travel planners who can provide expert guidance to create a more personalized travel experience.

Membership is a $395 value that includes the monthly The Hideaway Report publication, and special benefits at hundreds of hotels worldwide.

Foreign Transaction Fee No foreign transaction fees for purchases made in foreign currencies.
Gogo Wi-Fi 12 complimentary inflight Gogo Wi-Fi access passes per year.
GroundLink® Black Car Service Enjoy reliable, comfortable chauffeured car service that’s available in 110 countries. Customers using their Altitude Reserve card receive 15% off, and $30 off their first ride.
James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Exclusive benefits for James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dining events in cities around the country. Benefits include pre-sale access and $60 off per person per event.
NetJets® Private Aviation The ultimate convenience of private aviation becomes more affordable with complimentary flight time and aircraft upgrades from NetJets. Cardmembers can also redeem points for flight time.
Priority Pass™ Select Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide with comfortable surroundings, Wi-Fi and free beverages and snacks with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership ($99 value).

 

Enrollment with no membership fee is limited to one Cardmember per Account (including authorized users). One Cardmember per Account may be enrolled as the member in the Priority Pass Select program, and their first four visits and four individual accompanying guest visits are waived each Priority Pass Select membership year. Per person lounge visit fees will apply after free visits have been used.

Relais & Chateaux Boutique Luxury Hotels Experience special privileges at more than 500 Relais & Chateaux properties, each a unique expression of the collaboration between top chefs and renowned hoteliers. Cardmembers enjoy:

·         Accelerated access to the Club 5C loyalty program after just two nights.

·         Club 5C benefits that include room upgrades, personalized services and invitations to exceptional cultural and culinary experiences.

·         A complimentary breakfast daily at approximately 120 participating properties.

Silvercar® Rent an Audi A4 with no lines and no paperwork from airport locations in select cities. Receive up to 30% off rentals of two or more days when using an Altitude Reserve card.
TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry Up to $100 statement credit to reimburse for either a TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee — whichever program the cardmember applies for first, once  every 4 years.
Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection Enjoy exclusive access to a hand-selected portfolio of more than 1,000 of the world’s most prestigious properties. Cardmembers receive the following when booking with Altitude Reserve:

•       The best available rate, guaranteed

•       Complimentary continental breakfast

•       An automatic room upgrade when available

•       A $25 food or beverage credit, and much more

 

What other car rental benefits are available?

Additional card rental and other travel benefits include:

  • Avis — save up to 30% on qualifying rentals at over 1,400 locations worldwide.
  • National Car Rental — save up to 25% on qualifying rentals at participating locations.

What are the Visa Infinite Protection Benefits available to U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve cardmembers?

Cardmembers have access to the following protection benefits, which are described in more detail in the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Card Guide to Benefits which a new cardmember receives with their card:

Protection Benefit Coverage
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Automobile rentals made with your Visa Infinite card. Insurance coverage for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of rental vehicles with an original manufacturer’s suggested retail price of up to seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00) when new.
Emergency Card Replacement Visa processing and delivery of replacement card for those traveling or about to travel
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation Up to $10,000 coverage for expenses not paid by other coverage if you require Emergency Evacuation and Transportation or Repatriation of Remains while on a Trip purchased entirely with your Visa card
Lost Luggage Reimbursement Reimbursement up to $3K if Your Checked Luggage or Carry-on Baggage and/or its contents are lost due to theft or misdirection by the Common Carrier
Personal Identity Theft Reimbursement for covered expenses you incur to restore your identity, up to a maximum of $10,000, as a result of a Covered Stolen Identity Event.
Purchase Security Replace, repair, or reimbursement for eligible items of personal property purchased entirely with your eligible Visa Infinite card if they are stolen or damaged* within the first ninety (90) days of purchase. You may be reimbursed up to a maximum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) per claim and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) per year.
Return Protection Reimbursement up to $300 per item at an annual maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per account for cardmember dissatisfaction
Travel & Emergency Assistance Services Services designed to help you in case of an emergency while traveling. The Benefit Administrator can connect you with the appropriate local emergency and assistance resources available when you are away from home 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Travel Accident Insurance Up to $500,000 coverage for travel accidents using your Visa Infinite card
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Reimbursement of up to $2K when a trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason
Trip Delay Reimbursement Reimbursement up to $500/ticket when a purchased trip is delayed for 6 hours or more or requires and overnight stay.
Warranty Manager Warranty Manager Service provides you with valuable features to help manage, use and even extend the warranties of eligible items purchased with your Visa Infinite card. Extended Warranty Protection extends the time period of the original manufacturer’s written U.S. repair warranty by one (1) additional year on eligible warranties of three (3) years or less for items purchased entirely with your eligible Visa Infinite card and/or with rewards points earned on your covered account.

 

Will there be a cardmember benefits site for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

Yes, the site is usbankaltitude.com and can also be accessed through the online rewards center in online banking. Cardmembers can register for benefits and find more information about special events and promotions. 

ANNUAL FEE

What is the annual fee?

The annual fee is $400 for the primary cardmember and each additional card is $75 annually. The cardmember can redeem 35,000 points to offset the cost of their annual fee plus any additional card fee(s).

Is there a first year annual fee waiver?

No

Can the annual fee be waived?

No –but the enrollment bonus of 50,000 points ($750 in travel redemption value), up to $325 annual travel credit, up to $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry application fee, inflight Wi-Fi and Priority Pass Select membership more than offset the annual fee. Customers also have the option to redeem 35,000 points to offset the cost of the $400 annual fee and all additional card annual fees.

What happens if someone applies for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve with no U.S. Bank relationship?

The application will be automatically declined.

I have a new customer who is bringing their banking relationship to U.S. Bank? Does a new customer need to wait 35 days to apply for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

No, bankers will need to contact underwriting to ensure the new customer application is not declined. Altitude Reserve uses an automated underwriting process that validates applicants are U.S. Bank consumer customers. New customers will not appear in our systems as ‘customers’ for approximately 35 days. This will be addressed in a future system release.

In the meantime, use the existing underwriting escalation process to notify underwriting and credit operations about the new customer application. Underwriting / Credit Operations will locate the application, manually validate there is a U.S. Bank relationship in Hogan, and submit the application through the underwriting process. Relationship must be confirmed within 10 business days of application.

My customer has only has a business relationship with U.S. Bank. Will the automatic underwriting process recognize the customer as a ‘customer’?

No, bankers will need to contact underwriting to ensure the business customer application is not declined. Altitude Reserve uses an automated underwriting process that validates applicants are U.S. Bank consumer customers. This will be addressed in a future system release.

Follow the process outlined in the above question.

Can customers transfer from their existing bank brand or FlexPerks credit card to U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve? 

At launch, customers interested in replacing their existing consumer credit card with Altitude Reserve will need to apply for the card. The ability to transfer to Altitude Reserve may be available in a future system release. 

When will approved customers receive their U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card

Altitude Reserve cards come with expedited card issuance. Approved customers may receive their cards within 3 business days – earlier than our standard 7-10 business day SLA.

Is the card metal?

Yes, it’s a sophisticated metal composite card. One sample welcome kit with a metal card was sent to every branch and office for your reference.

Will the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card work in all chip and magnetic stripe readers?

Yes

What if my customer needs a replacement card?

Altitude Reserve comes with an expedited card replacement service. We will rush a new card to customers in the event of a lost or stolen card at no charge.

VIP SERVICING

What is the dedicated cardmember service?

Altitude Reserve customer can speak with a professional advisor 24/7 by calling (number removed).

What is Visa Infinite Concierge and how does it work?

Altitude Reserve cardmembers have access to Visa Infinite Concierge Service to help with requests ranging from hotel, dinner or theater reservations to tickets for sporting events. Cardmembers are responsible for the cost of any goods or services purchased by the Visa Infinite Concierge on their behalf.


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12 COMMENTS

  1. The mobile payments multiplier is very appealing. Not sure I like the set amount of 1.5 cpp for travel. I have never had a US Bank product before, but the tiered FlexPerks let you up to 2c per point.

  2. Hmm, I’m not sure I like this section:
    “Important! In 2017, FlexPoints have a higher average travel redemption value than Altitude Reserve points so it may not be in a customer’s best interest to switch to Altitude Reserve immediately.”
    Does that portend a devaluation for FlexPerks in the future?

  3. “Customers can earn up to $325 [in travel credit] every cardmember year” — This is rather odd wording: It sounds as if a) the cardholder has to do something to “earn” the credit, and b) it might not be as much as $325. Is this going to be different from, say, the Citi Prestige or Chase Sapphire Reserve, both of which apply the full credit automatically?

  4. What is the best advice for becoming obtaining the card if I have no accounts/relationship with US Bank at the current time. Should I try to go to a bank in person? Open a checking/savings account online? I don’t want to have to wait 35 days. A post on this specific might be a great idea.

  5. I don’t find the Amex transfer partners particularly appealing. So I don’t care if this card has no transfer partners. I might just drop my Amex Platinum card if this one is as good as described.

  6. […] We have more info coming out on the new Altitude Reserve premium card from US Bank. I am surprised this bank is jumping into this dance, no doubt it is good for us! But, again, we are talking about US Bank here. If you thought Barclay Bank was weird…you haven’t seen anything yet! It’s like all talk about tax changes…you just never know what will end up becoming law. So, relax and see when it comes out, okay? Wait, more info is trickling in! […]

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