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US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon

imaximous
Valued Contributor

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon


@simplynoir wrote:

@imaximous wrote:

@simplynoir wrote:

@imaximous wrote:

@simplynoir wrote:

@imaximous wrote:

I was reading that on DoC too, and I was almost getting excited about the extra points. Then I realized I never book prepaid hotels or car rentals and the fine print says that those bookings through their travel portal do not fall under the travel category. So, does that mean that if you were planning to use points to offset the purchases, RTR wouldn't be triggered because they won't code as travel and you're not booking directly with a hotel or car rental agency? Plus, you can always use a shopping portal for extra points, take advantage of loyalty discounts, etc. I really don't see much or any use for it, TBH.

I do want to see how they restructure their rewards program with the new Altitude cards, and maybe they'll add more benefits to the AR. 


At the minimum I expect the AR to finally get an increase in the annual fee because of this "added perk" they did. They can give it the AMEX Platinum treatment and I'll still pay for it as long as the mobile wallet category is there. For me like you I don't see the point of the new rewards category when cashback portals offer more but I'm willing to bet it's to get those customers who rather go through one website to get everything for their travel needs

 

For the AR itself I don't see how they can add more benefits that are beneficial and at the same time add cards that compliment the AR. What I would like to see is getting the Cash+ cashback convert to points to be added to the AR point pool like Citi did with the DC or Chase's Freedom card. If they have to release a new card in the Altitude family that is a copy of Cash+ except it's a point earner I would consider that for sure


The card is valuable regardless at only $75 net without considering the wifi passes. So I can see an increase even without the 5x bonus.

There are a couple of things they could improve: offer unlimited Priority Pass instead of limited passes; and offer benefits for AUs as well. Right now, you pay $75 for AUs simply for the right to have the card but get no benefits. At least, other premium cards will extend some benefits to AUs like PP or something. I can simply add my card to someone else's mobile wallet and avoid paying the fee altogether. 

They could also try to get a partnership similar to what other cards have with Uber, Lyft, food delivery, etc. IDK what exactly, but something.

I think that if their goal is to compete with other rewards programs, they need to build a good network of benefits to make people jump ship from more established programs. As it stands, the AR is still the card to hold in addition to others instead of being the anchor like what a CSR or AmEx Plat are, if that makes any sense.


Yes, it does but my goodness that mobile wallet category is a hell of a base to work with. That's why I find it hard to see how they can compliment the AR with two other cards. I guess the best they could do is get category cards that cannot be achieved by point of sale like monthly expenses. In essence I want the Cash+ but with points to be used for RTR to go with the AR. We'll see I guess


I agree. Mobile wallet is so unique and hard to beat based on spending habits. But, along with travel, there's dining and I don't see AR as a good dining card in the US unless you only eat at fast food places where you swipe your own card or mobile orders that also allow digital wallet payments. Abroad, it's worked great for me because of the adoption of mobile terminals that servers bring to your table, and the fact that many a time, an eating place wouldn't code as restaurant, which was pretty annoying. Mobile wallet saves you the hassle.

What I also meant is that the AR isn't like Plat or CSR in terms of being a full premium travel card. Just the fact that they limit PP makes it less premium to me -- kinda cheap-ish, y'know? Or not getting you any status or additional benefits in terms of travel, which is why Plat is sort of king in that regard. The way I see it, AR is a great "earner" and I fully take advantage of it, but lacks that status many people are after to make it THE card to get.


Ah, gotcha. To be fair the AMEX Plat is really the only card like that in the public eye where it's more a perk card than an earner like the CSR. The Plat can be a status symbol but that's a marketing choice by AMEX themselves. I can see how some people really don't care about that and just want to the keep the mobile wallet and RTR going. I know I wouldn't mind if the status quo stayed the same

 

I also low-key blame part of that on Socks Bank and their criteria for getting the card. If you're not in their geographical footprint to get a savings/checking account then you gotta go the credit card route first to become a customer, then you can apply for the card and UW for it is not easy either. To some that would be an annoyance I can see them not wanting to deal with


Definitely, and that's probably the one thing that's keeping the card alive. If everyone had easy access to it, I can't imagine USB being able to keep an unlimited 4.5x for everyone. 

I'm happy just the way it is. A low-key workhorse that no one outside of small circles talks about Smiley Happy

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | GS | PenFed | SYNCB (PP MC, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 21 of 133
CreditCuriosity
Moderator

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon

Anyone see and AF increase with this on existing one getting slid in?  I stay say it is bound to happen to keep up with CSR/Plat, etc af increases just when is question or when nerfs are incoming.

Message 22 of 133
Remedios
Moderator

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon


@CreditCuriosity wrote:

Anyone see and AF increase with this on existing one getting slid in?  I stay say it is bound to happen to keep up with CSR/Plat, etc af increases just when is question or when nerfs are incoming.


If they keep all the hoops in place for getting AR, not for a little bit longer.

Good news first, AF increase later. 

 

I think AF increase is almost certain, it's just the matter of when. 

I'd still keep it because when I subtract travel credit, I've made up the difference in a single month, and that's not even counting simple benefits like wifi passes. 

 

 

Undead Danny Trejo looks strangely like dead Danny Trejo, who looks exactly like alive Danny Trejo. Thanks, Netflix!
Message 23 of 133
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon

With AR having the lowest AF of any high end premium card ($400) as well as the highest travel credit ($325), there's certainly room for them to increase it.  That remaining $75 is more than made up for me by the gogoinflight passes, especially since they have been recently nerfed on Amex Business Platinum.  So I am already break-even even without any spending.

 

Unfortunately the prepaid hotels doesn't do a thing for me, since I want to keep my Marriott benefits and status and always book direct.  But curious to see what is coming from them and whether those new cards will offer something novel that pairs well with AR.

Message 24 of 133
mr_suave
Established Contributor

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon


@imaximous wrote:

@simplynoir wrote:

@UncleB wrote:

@simplynoir wrote:
What I would like to see is getting the Cash+ cashback convert to points to be added to the AR point pool like Citi did with the DC or Chase's Freedom card.

This ^^^ would be huge, but it seems too good to actually happen.

 

I really like the AR and the math is currently working out for me even with spend that's modest compared to many, but if the AF goes up I'll have to get out the calculator again.

 

I will say that if they raise the annual fee and add stuff like uber/doordash/etc. credits that will be bad for me.  I understand that I'm at the absolute very edge of their target demographic, though, and I know they wouldn't miss me.


I'm actually in favor of the travel additions @imaximous suggested like more/unlimited PP for not only the primary but authorized users as well if they want to increase the AF. Maybe they'll surprise us and not do anything for awhile on AF increase. In the end their mobile wallet category kind of backed themselves into a corner for what to do with the other cards unless they want to be like Chase's CSP/CSR cards where you can pay a smaller AF for similar benefits


My AF just hit this month -- same with CSR still at $450. At least, I'm good for another year whether they add anything or not Smiley Very Happy 

 

I also think it's safe to say that AF increases in general will happen regardless. Banks just add those 'perks' to soften the blow, but the perks themselves aren't the reason for the increases -- overall costs are.


My AF will hit at the beginning of May. I hope it isn't increased by then. Either way I plan on renewing the earning potential of this card is tough to beat.

Amex Green NPSL, Amex Hilton Surpass 5k, Amex Marriott Bonvoy 1k, AMEX BBP 1k, AMEX Biz Cash 6k, BOA Cash Rewards 5k, BOA Better Balance Rewards 2k, Care Credit 15k, Chase Amazon Visa 19.825k, Discover 11.8k, Discover 12.5k, Nordstrom Store 4.5k , Fidelity Visa 10k, Cap 1 QS 15k, Cap 1 Savor 10.5k, Citi Rewards+ 4.4k, Citi DC 8k, Citi Advantage Platinum 5.5k, US Cash+ 3.5k, Altitude Reserve 12.5k, Paypal Mastercard 4k, Apple Card 6.5k, Wells Fargo Cash Wise 5k, BOA Premium Rewards 8k, Citi AA Biz 1.5k, Flexperks Biz 3k
Message 25 of 133
coldfusion
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon


@simplynoir wrote:

@coldfusion wrote:

I recently completed a directly related marketing survey with them.  Wouldn't surprise me if there were additional shifts in benefits coming that nudge it toward a greater focus as a travel card along with an increase in the AF.


Interesting. Any insight on what is on the table?


Keep in mind that this is effectively a trial balloon they're floating and should be considered as speculative.   From memory the highlights are:

 

1x point = 1 cent. 

 

5x points on travel.

5x points on dining.

2x points on mobile wallet.   

1x points on unstructured spend.

$400 in credits, $250 of that allocated for airbnb/vrbo type services.

$100 Clear credit

$100 TS/Pre/Global Entry credit - specifically referenced TSAPre

Radisson Rewards Platinum status

USBank Platinum checking account with monthly fees waived, much like holding a Cash+ waives the Gold monthly fee

1 x 30% off coupon at REI/REI.com

Unlimited PP usage. 

12 x GoGo Inflight passes 

 

$495 AF

 



(4/2021)
FICO 8 (EX) 815 (TU) 822 (EQ) 808
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$1M+ club

Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 26 of 133
mr_suave
Established Contributor

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon


@coldfusion wrote:

@simplynoir wrote:

@coldfusion wrote:

I recently completed a directly related marketing survey with them.  Wouldn't surprise me if there were additional shifts in benefits coming that nudge it toward a greater focus as a travel card along with an increase in the AF.


Interesting. Any insight on what is on the table?


Keep in mind that this is effectively a trial balloon they're floating and should be considered as speculative.   From memory the highlights are:

 

1x point = 1 cent. 

 

5x points on travel.

5x points on dining.

2x points on mobile wallet.   

1x points on unstructured spend.

$400 in credits, $250 of that allocated for airbnb/vrbo type services.

$100 Clear credit

$100 TS/Pre/Global Entry credit - specifically referenced TSAPre

Radisson Rewards Platinum status

USBank Platinum checking account with monthly fees waived, much like holding a Cash+ waives the Gold monthly fee

1 x 30% off coupon at REI/REI.com

Unlimited PP usage. 

12 x GoGo Inflight passes 

 

$495 AF

 


It would suck if they nerfed mobile wallet to 2x  and nerfed the travel credit but honestly I wouldn't be shocked if it happens.

Amex Green NPSL, Amex Hilton Surpass 5k, Amex Marriott Bonvoy 1k, AMEX BBP 1k, AMEX Biz Cash 6k, BOA Cash Rewards 5k, BOA Better Balance Rewards 2k, Care Credit 15k, Chase Amazon Visa 19.825k, Discover 11.8k, Discover 12.5k, Nordstrom Store 4.5k , Fidelity Visa 10k, Cap 1 QS 15k, Cap 1 Savor 10.5k, Citi Rewards+ 4.4k, Citi DC 8k, Citi Advantage Platinum 5.5k, US Cash+ 3.5k, Altitude Reserve 12.5k, Paypal Mastercard 4k, Apple Card 6.5k, Wells Fargo Cash Wise 5k, BOA Premium Rewards 8k, Citi AA Biz 1.5k, Flexperks Biz 3k
Message 27 of 133
Remedios
Moderator

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon


@coldfusion wrote:

@simplynoir wrote:

@coldfusion wrote:

I recently completed a directly related marketing survey with them.  Wouldn't surprise me if there were additional shifts in benefits coming that nudge it toward a greater focus as a travel card along with an increase in the AF.


Interesting. Any insight on what is on the table?


Keep in mind that this is effectively a trial balloon they're floating and should be considered as speculative.   From memory the highlights are:

 

1x point = 1 cent. 

 

5x points on travel.

5x points on dining.

2x points on mobile wallet.   

1x points on unstructured spend.

$400 in credits, $250 of that allocated for airbnb/vrbo type services.

$100 Clear credit

$100 TS/Pre/Global Entry credit - specifically referenced TSAPre

Radisson Rewards Platinum status

USBank Platinum checking account with monthly fees waived, much like holding a Cash+ waives the Gold monthly fee

1 x 30% off coupon at REI/REI.com

Unlimited PP usage. 

12 x GoGo Inflight passes 

 

$495 AF

 


Any CC waives fees for Gold checking.

If they make those exact changes, I'll be dropping hints that I'm single and looking for new Precious 

Undead Danny Trejo looks strangely like dead Danny Trejo, who looks exactly like alive Danny Trejo. Thanks, Netflix!
Message 28 of 133
Trikoret
Valued Member

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon

Here we go again. First Amex comes up with GrubHub credits, then CSR door dash credits and I hope they don't Nerf the 2x mobile for us AR. I might as well stick with my BofA Premium card for Apple pay and get 2.63-3.5. Sigh

Message 29 of 133
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: US Bank Altitude News: Added Category for AR & Two New Altitude-Branded Cards Coming Soon

Gonna remind myself to breathe.  Chase also floated the idea of not allowing moving UR points to CSP/CSR from Freedom and FU a few years ago.  If they lost the 1.5x value for RTR (or at least using their portal) and dropped the mobile wallet earnings, that would be a deal killer for much of the card's user base.  My Amex cards would kill those earnings (albeit at a much higher cost of entry).  If the travel credit became less flexible, that would be painful.  Clear credit would help, but at this point I already have 9 or 10 cards with GE credits, so that doesn't personally help me.  Radisson status would anger UK Amex Platinum cardholders who only get Gold, and I don't see that making me jump ship.  I don't do checking with them and I have no reason to shop at REI.  I have other cards with better PP, but have only needed to use PP lounges twice.

Message 30 of 133
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