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2021 Review: U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card – More Points for Travel and Gas

Updated Jun 28, 2021 | Published Jun 23, 20216 min read

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U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, $95 thereafter
Regular APR 15.99% - 23.99%* Variable
At a glance

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect has a surprisingly strong two-punch offer, with high reward rates and an enticing set of benefits. If you need a simple travel card, this could be the winner.

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Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We give the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card 5 out of 5 Stars; it provides a highly competitive set of rewards and benefits for a card at this fee level.

Why We Like It

  • High point multipliers for various travel purchases (5X and 4X) and gas stations (4X)
  • $30 annual streaming credit
  • TSA/Global Entry application fee credit
  • Nice set of other benefits
  • No foreign transaction fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • Annual fee (but it’s reasonable)
  • No point transfer partners
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, $95 thereafter
  • Regular APR15.99% - 23.99%* Variable

Rates & Fees

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect is an excellent new contender, with some of the highest rates available for travel and gas.

4X points, on a card with such a low annual fee? It puts some premium travel credit cards to shame.

And that’s not to mention the 5X categories (although you’re limited to the Altitude Rewards Center there), or the 2X categories (on the low side, but nice to have).

This card lacks the point transfer opportunities of some other popular travel rewards cards, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to pay for travel and earn rewards, the Altitude Connect should be in the running.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Book travel practically anywhere, and fill up the tank: With 4X points on a broad range of travel expenses, plus gas, this can be your go-to card for adventures big and small. And with no foreign transaction fee, your overseas trips don’t have to be 3% more expensive.
  • Pay for streaming services: Not only do you get 2X points for streaming services, if you pay for any one eligible service for 11 months you’ll automatically get a $30 statement credit. That’s like getting a month or two free, or even more. Sound cool? See other credit cards for streaming services with similar perks.
  • Utilize the Altitude Rewards Center if possible: Consider U.S. Bank’s own travel booking service for your next trip, because you’ll get 5X points on hotels and car rentals. That may not always be possible to use, so it’s nice to have the general 4X travel category for backup.
  • Get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for free: Even if you don’t travel too often, or internationally, why not get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for free by paying for the application with the Altitude Connect? One or the other would be nice to have when you do travel. And if you travel often, you could save some much-needed time at security and/or customs. Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, so it could be the way to go if you’re able to apply.
  • Pay for your cell phone bill: The Altitude Connect comes with Cell Phone Protection, which covers your phone if you pay its monthly bill with your card. Stolen and damaged phones are covered, up to $600, but not lost phones; you’ll need a police report to submit a claim for a stolen phone.
  • Check out the Luxury Hotel Collection: Visa Signature’s Luxury Hotel Collection provides some nice perks at participating hotels. If you can find one that fits your travel plans, you could get a $25 daily food/beverage credit, complimentary WiFi and breakfast for two, and special discounts and offers.

The Rewards

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 5X points per dollar for prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 4X points per dollar on:
    • Travel
    • Gas
  • 2X points per dollar for:
    • Grocery stores
    • Grocery delivery
    • Restaurants
    • Streaming services
  • 1X point per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 120 days

At 1 cent per point, you’re earning either a 5%, 4%, 2%, or 1% cash back equivalent, depending on what you’re buying.

Redeeming

You have a variety of redemption options, all providing 1 cent per point.

  • Deposit points into a U.S. Bank checking, savings, or money market account (best option)
  • Receive a statement credit (second-best option)
  • Enroll in Real-Time Rewards to redeem instantly
  • Receive a U.S. Bank Rewards Visa prepaid card
  • Pay for the annual fee

Depositing into a bank account is our favorite way to cash in your points, because you quickly get the money and you can use it as you see fit, but you’ll need a U.S. Bank account for this option. When you redeem for statement credits it affects your wallet a bit farther down the line, and it’s your best option if you don’t have an eligible U.S. Bank account. Paying for the annual fee could be handy too, if it’s time to renew your card membership.

The Benefits

  • $30 annual streaming credit: Get a $30 credit each year when you pay for an eligible streaming service with your card for 11 months; eligible services include Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, YouTube TV, YouTube Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music Unlimited.
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee creditPay for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry with your card to get a credit of up to $100, available once every four years.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Get perks at eligible hotels, like a best rate guarantee, $25 food and beverage credit, complimentary breakfast, and VIP Guest status.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call 1-800-953-7392 anytime for non-emergency assistance, like help making reservations, finding gifts, and planning trips.
  • Visa Signature Golf Benefit by Troon: Join Troon Rewards for 10% off golf fees at more than 95 courses around the world.
  • Silvercar Car Rental: Register for discounts of up to 15% on eligible Silvercar rentals.
  • Discounted rates at Enterprise, Alamo, and National car rentals: Get savings on rental cars, Emerald Club status at Enterprise, and advance check-ins.
  • Visa Offers and Perks: Enroll for discounts at a variety of retailers.
  • ID Navigator by Norton LifeLock: Enroll for protection against identity theft, including dark web and credit report monitoring.
  • Cell Phone Protection: Get up to $600 in reimbursement if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, up to once per 12 months with a $100 deductible; must pay your monthly phone bill with the card.
  • Roadside Dispatch: Call 1-800-847-2869 for help if you get stuck on the road, with a set price for eligible service calls including standard towing up to five miles, tire changing, fuel delivery, and more.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance: Get easy access to pre-trip assistance, medical and legal referrals, lost luggage locator services, and more.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.99% - 23.99%* Variable 15.99% - 23.99%* Variable 25.99%
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, $95 thereafter $0
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $40 Up to $40

The Bottom Line

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is one of the simpler and more rewarding cards at the ≈$100 fee level.

If you don’t want to deal with point transfers or complex redemption systems, the Altitude Connect’s easy 1-cent-per-point framework is a more straightforward alternative. It functions a lot like a cash back card, making it easy to know what you’ll get back for every purchase; spend in the 4X categories, for example, and you know you’ll be getting a 4% cash back equivalent.

The benefits are robust, including a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit that you typically only find on more expensive or co-branded cards. There aren’t a ton of shopping and travel protections, but cardholders will get the handy Cell Phone Protection.

All in all, it’s a great card in many respects; but if you want a more valuable reward system with point transfers to your favorite airlines or hotels, you’ll have to look at other travel credit cards.

How Do I Apply for the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Card?

Follow the link below to visit U.S. Bank’s website and apply now.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Card?

The Altitude Connect asks for at least good credit for the best shot at approval — that usually means a FICO credit score of at least 670, or VantageScore 3.0 of at least 700

But if your credit scores aren’t quite there, don’t despair. Credit applications rely on more than just credit scores, so it’s possible to be approved with lower scores. Or, you could be denied even with excellent credit.

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, $95 thereafter
  • Regular APR15.99% - 23.99%* Variable

Rates & Fees

Frequently Asked Question

What streaming services are eligible for 2X points and the $30 credit?

The current list of eligible streaming services is:

  • Amazon Music Unlimited
  • Apple Music
  • AT&T TV Now
  • Disney+
  • Google Music
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • SiriusXM
  • Slacker Radio
  • Sling TV
  • Spotify
  • Tidal
  • Vudu
  • YouTube Music
  • YouTube TV

Find more credit cards for streaming services here.

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Alternatives to the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Why We Picked It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) is a favorite at this fee level, with one of the best point redemption systems: Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The point multipliers here are a bit low compared to the Altitude Connect (just 2X for travel), but Chase provides a 25% bonus for travel redemptions via Ultimate Rewards; that comes out to 1.25 cents per point, or a maximum 2.5% cash back equivalent.

And, Chase also allows for point transfers to partner airlines and hotels. With the right deal, you could score 2 cents per point or more, which could give you a 4% cash back equivalent or higher — equal to or better than the Altitude Connect, but it takes a bit of work.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for:
    • Travel
    • Restaurants
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
Key Features
  • 25% point bonus: When redeeming for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Point transfer: Transfer points at a 1:1 rate to leading airline and hotel frequent travel loyalty programs, like Marriott Bonvoy and United MileagePlus.
  • DoorDash membership: A free membership (DashPass) for at least a year, which provides free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12
  • $60 Peloton credit: Enroll to get up to $60 back for an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership (through 2021). No fitness equipment is required.
  • Luxury Hotel and Resort CollectionBook eligible rooms to get perks like daily breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, room upgrades, early check-in or late checkout, and unique gifts.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn more points by shopping at participating retailers with the Shop through Chase and Chase Offers shopping portals.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Call to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge any time, day or night.
  • Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Get primary coverage on eligible rental vehicles so you don’t have to pay for rental insurance and your premiums won’t go up after an accident.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR17.24% - 24.49% Variable
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Why We Picked It

Simplicity and power: That’s what you get with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (Review).

Where other reward cards have specific bonus categories, the Venture offers a flat 2X miles for everything you buy. No need to use one card here, another card there; just pay with the Venture Rewards to get a decent rate for everything.

This lets you easily turn all your spending into miles you can use to help fund your next trip. Capital One has a variety of airline partners to which you can transfer miles, allowing you to up the value of your rewards if you find a good deal. If you cash in miles for 2 cents per point, for example, you’d be earning a 4% cash back equivalent on everything you buy — an excellent system that few cards can match.

The Venture also plays well with others; consider pairing it with a reward credit card that does have bonus categories, like the Altitude Connect. Then, use that card whenever you’re spending in the bonus categories, and switch to the Venture for everything else.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 2X miles per dollar on all purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 60,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Key Features
  • Mile transfer: Transfer miles to a variety of airline partners, at varying rates.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), once every four years
  • Luxury Hotel Collection (Visa Signature only): Get perks for eligible hotel stays, including a $25 food and beverage credit, room upgrades when available, complimentary in-room WiFi, and more.
  • Visa Concierge (Visa Signature only): Call any time for non-emergency assistance, like help making reservations or finding gifts.
  • Shopping discounts (Visa Signature only): Look for offers from select retailers.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Auto Rental Insurance, Roadside Dispatch, Travel and Emergency Assistance Services, Warranty Manager Service, Purchase Security
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
Apply Now

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0*
  • Regular APR14.99% - 23.99%* Variable

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. That’s a $200 value redeemable towards merchandise, gift cards, cash back, travel and more
  • Earn 4X points on takeout, food delivery and dining
  • Earn 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations and on streaming services
  • $15 credit for annual streaming service purchases such as Netflix and Spotify
  • No annual fee*
  • 1X point per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Low Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Points never expire
Why We Picked It

The low card on the Altitude totem pole, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card (Review) isn’t targeted toward travelers. Instead, it’s a solid general rewards card with a diverse set of bonus categories, good for everyday spending.

Like the Altitude Connect, the Altitude Go punches above its weight, this time with a big 4X category for restaurants, including takeout. That’s higher than you’ll find on most cards from other issuers, making this one of the best credit cards for dining out (or ordering in).

There’s a nice selection of 2X categories, plus a rare feature for an inexpensive card like this: a $15 annual streaming service credit, a lesser version of the Altitude Connect’s $30 credit.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 4X points per dollar at Restaurants
  • 2X points per dollar for:
    • Grocery stores
    • Grocery delivery
    • Streaming services
    • Gas stations
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 20,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Key Features
  • $15 annual streaming services credit: Good for services like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, YouTube TV, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Pandora
  • Free credit score: Check your VantageScore 3.0 credit score whenever you’d like, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • Purchase APR: 0%* for 12 billing cycles on purchases*, then 14.99% - 23.99%* Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 Billing cycles, then 14.99% - 23.99%* Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0*
Apply Now

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$400
  • Regular APR16.24% Variable
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 3X points per dollar for travel, mobile wallet purchases, and restaurants (until 7/1/21)
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership, equivalent to $750 in travel redemptions.
  • $325 annual travel credit.
  • Application fee credit for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre✓ ($85), once every four years.
  • Enhanced status at Relais & Châteaux hotels and resorts.
  • 12-month membership to Priority Pass Select for airport lounge access.
  • 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi passes per year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $400 annual fee, $75 for additional authorized users.
Why We Picked It

If the Altitude Connect isn’t enough card for you, maybe the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (Review) will fit the bill.

The main reason to go with the Altitude Reserve over the Altitude Connect is for the upgraded benefits, although it wouldn’t be a huge upgrade. The rewards, unfortunately, are actually a bit weaker.

You’ll get a decent travel credit ($325) to help offset the annual fee, plus a limited Priority Pass Select membership that only lasts for 12 months (see better cards for airport lounges here, with ongoing Priority Pass memberships). Other benefits include in-flight WiFi credits and perks at Relais & Châteaux hotels.

Overall, the Altitude Reserve isn’t a giant improvement over the Altitude Connect, although the travel credit makes the annual fee quite reasonable all the same. But if you’re in the market for a high-end travel credit card, take a look at the whole field before applying.

 

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X points per dollar spent on:
    • Prepaid hotels booked in the Altitude Rewards Center
    • Car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 3X points per dollar spent on:
    • Travel
    • Mobile Wallet purchases
    • Restaurants (until 7/1/21)
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days of membership
Key Features
  • $325 travel credit: Earn up to $325 in statement credits when you make purchases “directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, and cruise lines.”
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit: Get a statement credit that covers the application price for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) once every four years.
  • Limited Priority Pass Select membership: Take advantage of a 12-month Priority Pass Select membership that offers four free visits for the primary cardholder and one guest.
  • Other travel perks: Complimentary Gogo inflight WiFi, Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel benefits, Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, Silvercar rental discounts, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $400
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, $95 thereafter
  • Regular APR15.99% - 23.99%* Variable

Rates & Fees

Do you use the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect? What are your favorite things about it?

Written by

Brendan Harkness

Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts are accurate and/or questions are answered.

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