When Paying the Altitude Reserve Annual Fee with Points Makes Sense

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Paying the Altitude Reserve Annual Fee with Points

When Paying the Altitude Reserve Annual Fee with Points Makes Sense

The Altitude Reserve card was launched by US Bank back in 2017. It was US Banks entry into the premier card market. 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 when used on travel. The card also has a $325 annual travel credit, a bonus of 50,000 points and much more. All that will cost you a $400 annual fee. You can pay for the annual fee with points, but should you?  I will show you when paying the Altitude Reserve annual fee with points makes sense.

You can read more details about the card here.

Using Points to Pay Annual Fee

As I mentioned above, the Altitude Reserve card has an annual fee of $400. You can choose to pay the annual fee with points. It will cost you 35,000 points. That’s a value of about 1.14 cents for the points. Not the best use since you can get 1.5 cpp on travel.

But this way of redeeming points could make sense for those who have additional users on their account. There’s an annual fee of $75 for each additional user. But, if you use points to pay for the primary cardholder’s annual fee, then that covers all additional users as well.

So if you have one AU, you’re now getting a value of 1.25 cpp. With two AUs, you get 1.57 cpp, and so on. So the more authorized users you have in your account the better it gets when redeeming points for the annual fee.

Conclusion

This is not a trick that will be useful for everyone. Authorized users on the Altitude Reserve card don’t really get many extra benefits besides the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. But being able to add extra users and not paying anything extra could be a nice boost. The card does earn 3X Flexperks on mobile payments and more cards can mean more spending and more points.

HT: Reader Jim

2 COMMENTS

  1. Assuming you value the $325 at full value the effective annual fee is $75. Since the card is primarily useful for mobile wallet, I’m not sure how many people actually have AU’s. That’s said, one would need to spend $75/(0.045-0.02) = $3,000 year on mobile wallet purchases vs. a 2% cash card. If one has the BoA PR with Platinum Honors (ie 2.625%) then you need to spend $4,000/year. The BoA PR has a $95 AF, but it also has $100/year airline credit, so in my mind those balance out.

    These numbers are totally possible for someone to meet, but I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle. Now, if you are spending $25K/year in mobile wallet purchases and you are making an incremental 2.5%, it’s a net benefit of $625, and it IS worth it.

    However, if you already have the CNB Crystal Infinite card, it would require quite a lot of spend to overcome the $75 AF of the AR and -$600 AF of the CNB. It can be done, but I think it’s only useful to big spenders.

  2. This probably sounds very picky, but the Altitude Reserve does not, in fact, earn Flexperks. It earns Altitude Reserve Points. There is not one mention of the term FlexPerks anywhere in the credit card documentation that I can find. I know it is natural to refer to any points from US Bank as FlexPerks, but in this case it is not technically true. You can transfer Flexperks to become altitude reserve points, but not from Altitude Reserve to FlexPerks.

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