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Does the Altitude Reserve make sense for me?

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Valued Contributor

Does the Altitude Reserve make sense for me?

Hi all,

I’m considering applying for the AR. DW and I have been taking short trips recently, and I’m interested in getting into better rewards. I like the fact that I can get 3x via mobile wallet (DW uses Apple Pay more than I do, but almost every where we shop accepts Apple Pay, and I’d add her as an AU to help accumulate points).

I’m not sure if any of the other point ecosystems are better than what I can get from the AR, but I’m kind of hung on which way to go.

Thanks all for the suggestions!



Message 1 of 5
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Mega Contributor

Re: Does the Altitude Reserve make sense for me?


@Bbcatcher wrote:
Hi all,

I’m considering applying for the AR. DW and I have been taking short trips recently, and I’m interested in getting into better rewards. I like the fact that I can get 3x via mobile wallet (DW uses Apple Pay more than I do, but almost every where we shop accepts Apple Pay, and I’d add her as an AU to help accumulate points).

I’m not sure if any of the other point ecosystems are better than what I can get from the AR, but I’m kind of hung on which way to go.

Thanks all for the suggestions!

Assuming enough travel, the AR has a net annual fee of $75.  (This ignores things like Global Entry, which people may have on too many cards to count).  If you are redeeming for travel (at 4.5%) you need to spend about $3000 a year on mobile/travel to do better than a free 2% card.

That may be easy, or not (if you have lots of higher earning cards and a lot of your spend is in areas covered by those cards).    

 

Then the travel redemptions are at cost so not great for aspirational travel but comparable to using the Chase portal with URs.

The downsides are: stuff that earns 3x on travel is much more restrictive than Chase and others (more or less plane and hotel and car, no parking, transit etc) and that the portal is far from elegant.   If you can use Real Time Rewards, you can avoid the portal experience!

Message 2 of 5
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Does the Altitude Reserve make sense for me?


@longtimelurker wrote:

@Bbcatcher wrote:
Hi all,

I’m considering applying for the AR. DW and I have been taking short trips recently, and I’m interested in getting into better rewards. I like the fact that I can get 3x via mobile wallet (DW uses Apple Pay more than I do, but almost every where we shop accepts Apple Pay, and I’d add her as an AU to help accumulate points).

I’m not sure if any of the other point ecosystems are better than what I can get from the AR, but I’m kind of hung on which way to go.

Thanks all for the suggestions!

Assuming enough travel, the AR has a net annual fee of $75.  (This ignores things like Global Entry, which people may have on too many cards to count).  If you are redeeming for travel (at 4.5%) you need to spend about $3000 a year on mobile/travel to do better than a free 2% card.

That may be easy, or not (if you have lots of higher earning cards and a lot of your spend is in areas covered by those cards).    

 

Then the travel redemptions are at cost so not great for aspirational travel but comparable to using the Chase portal with URs.

The downsides are: stuff that earns 3x on travel is much more restrictive than Chase and others (more or less plane and hotel and car, no parking, transit etc) and that the portal is far from elegant.   If you can use Real Time Rewards, you can avoid the portal experience!


Another that LTL (indirectly) and I dealt wth is ability to apply. US Bank has restrictions if you don't already have a credit card with them since you already have to be a customer to apply for the card. You can open a savings/checking account and get through that way but they're geo-locked that way as well

2020 is like a steak cooked well-done that needs to get out of my face. - @imapharmacygirl
Message 3 of 5
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Valued Contributor

Re: Does the Altitude Reserve make sense for me?

Don’t add her as an AU. It’s $75 and you get literally no benefit.

Just add your card to her phone. You can add a single card up to 10 devices.

It’s a $75 net AF provided you value the travel credit at face value. If you fly DL the WiFi credits are nice. AA has recently switched to ViaSat for all my flights in the past year. No clue about UA.

Otherwise it’s still fairly easy to get your $75 back. The break even is pretty low compared to other $0 AF cards.




Total Revolving Limits $254,800

Message 4 of 5
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Valued Contributor

Re: Does the Altitude Reserve make sense for me?

@LTL- the extra 3k wouldn’t be an issue. I would use it as a catch all except for gas. It seems that the AR would give me more than the Venture will (once the AF hits)

@simplynoir- I did forget about that. I didn’t consider the geo-lock for the checking. Maybe I will have to app for another card first to get my foot in the door with them.

@Shadowfactor- another tidbit I had forgotten as well. Thanks for the reminder.



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