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U.S. Bank hardly comes to mind in the credit card rewards space. With Chase and American Express® dominating the space for some time, U.S. Bank is slowly starting to plant its flag as a noteworthy credit card issuer.
With the introduction of a brand-new credit card product to their portfolio of credit cards – the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card – U.S. Bank is further establishing itself as a contender in the travel rewards space. This card charges $0* annual fee, and delivers flexible points that can be redeemed for hotels, flights, rental cars and more. If you make regular purchases within the spending categories of the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, it is worth considering for your credit card strategy.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card: Outstanding rewards with $0* annual fee
For a card with $0*, the U.S. Bank Altitude™ offers strong point-earning potential as well as a solid set of travel benefits, including car rental insurance. Travel credit cards usually require an annual fee in exchange for valuable rewards, with some charging nearly $600 per year. For many cardholders, that premium is not worth it for how often they travel. However, if you are an occasional traveler and a frequent diner, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is worth considering for your wallet.
Great spending categories
When you use the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, you will earn the following rewards: Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.
These categories are generous for a no-annual-fee, points-earning credit card. The card's 4X rate on restaurants is higher than many competing cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. The card's 4X rate is on par with one of the most generous rewards cards in the restaurant category – the American Express® Gold Card. However, the American Express® Gold Card's points can be transferred to outside airline loyalty programs, making them potentially more valuable (around 2 cents per point, or 8 cents per dollar spent, by our estimates).
For rates and fees of Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, please click here.
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card 2X per dollar earnings at grocery stores is also competitive, though a step below the American Express® Gold Card's earning rate of 4X per dollar on U.S. supermarket purchases.
Keep in mind that the annual fee of competing cards (the American Express® Gold Card, for example, charges $250 per year) can quickly diminish the value of the rewards earned. If you want to earn a lot of points on restaurants and groceries without having to pay an annual fee, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is the better option.
Value of earnings (when redeemed for travel)
Grocery store earnings
Value of earnings (when redeemed for travel)
|U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card||4X per dollar||4 cents per dollar (exact value)||2X per dollar||2 cents per dollar (exact value)|
|American Express® Gold Card||4X per dollar||8 cents per dollar (approximate value)||4X per dollar||8 cents per dollar (approximate value)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||3X per dollar||6 cents per dollar (approximate value)||1X per dollar||2 cents per dollar (approximate value)|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card||3X per dollar||4.5 cents per dollar (exact value)||1X per dollar||1.5 cents per dollar (exact value)|
Consistent points value
When you earn U.S. Bank rewards, your points are worth 1 cent per point across the board. So whether you book a plane ticket, hotel room, rental car, or redeem your points for cash back, each point you redeem will be worth a penny each.
Credit card rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards® and American Express® Membership Rewards allow you to transfer points to select airline and hotel rewards programs. The upside is that you can potentially get a higher value for your points by searching for deals within these programs. The downside is that your point value fluctuates, depending on how and when you redeem the points, plus you may have to navigate a complicated hotel or airline rewards program.
For consumers who don't want to deal with the confusion and stress of transferring points, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offers valuable rewards that are simple to redeem through its own travel reservation portal.
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card also comes with a solid set of travel protections, including:
- Rental car insurance – Secondary rental car coverage (meaning the coverage kicks in after your personal insurance policy) for theft or damage of a car that you rent with the card.
- Roadside dispatch – Towing, tire changing and other roadside services for a fee.
- Travel and emergency assistance services – Access to emergency services while you are traveling, including medical referrals, lost luggage services, legal services and more.
To be eligible to use these benefits, simply use your U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card during your travels.
While these benefits are helpful, many travel credit cards have more comprehensive travel protection policies including trip cancellation/interruption insurance and medical coverages. If you need more comprehensive travel insurance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may fit your needs better.
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
Payment flexibility is useful from time to time. Whether you need to make a large purchase like a kitchen appliance or to consolidate credit card debt, a 0% introductory APR can help you avoid accruing interest.
If you are approved for the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, you will enjoy the following introductory APR offer: 0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases*. Keep in mind that this isn’t the longest introductory balance transfer period offered as other balance transfer credit cards have longer terms.
Healthy sign-up bonus with no annual fee
A no-annual-fee credit card is a great option to earn rewards of your choosing without a pesky fee to pay each year. However, no-annual-fee cards often come with an underwhelming sign-up bonus. That's not the case for the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card. You can Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. That is $200 in value, or 20% back in value for your first $1,000 spent, which is a good return. While cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express offer much larger welcome bonuses, their value is largely undercut by high annual fees.
We compared a few competing no-annual-fee credit cards to the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card in terms of the welcome bonus value.
Value of welcome offer
|Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card||Earn 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.||~$50|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card||Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.||$200|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||$200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.||$200|
|U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card||Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.||$200|
ValuePenguin's verdict: One of the best no-annual-fee credit cards that earns points
With the emergence of credit card issuers battling for dining rewards, along with navigating the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card hits the spot for many consumers.
You can feel less guilty about saving those points for travel at a later date, since it doesn't charge an annual fee. You can earn heaps of points in spending categories like takeout and streaming services, while staying home during the pandemic. And once the pandemic subsides, you may have a gold mine of rewards that are simple to redeem.
How does the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card compare to other cards?
Flashy look and rewards, with a moderate annual fee: American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card is a favorite among foodies and travelers. This card earns outstanding rewards, including Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Terms apply. Spending heavily in these categories can result in outstanding rewards earnings.
However, the card comes with a moderately high annual fee of $250 per year. This annual fee is counterbalanced with a $10/month dining credit and $10/month U.S. Uber Cash for U.S. Uber Eats or Uber rides. Your American Express® Gold Card needs to be added to your Uber app in order to receive this monthly Uber Cash benefit. If you utilize these credits to their fullest, your annual fee is effectively $30/year.
This card is better for someone who can nearly guarantee using the airline and dining credits, along with utilizing the list of American Express® transfer partners.
Similar rewards, with different categories: Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card is a staple for many consumers who enjoy earning cashback rewards. With the Chase Freedom Flex℠ quarterly categories, you will Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. By maximizing these categories, you can earn at least $300 in cash back per year.
In 2021, the announced 5% cashback categories are:
- Q1: Gas stations, internet/cable/phone services and select streaming services
- Q2: Gas stations and home improvement stores
- Q3: Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and select streaming services
- Q4: Walmart and PayPal
To kick off your cashback earnings, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ lets you earn a Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year..
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card may be a better option for consumers looking to save money on their monthly bills. While earning travel rewards is exciting, saving money is never a bad idea.
A small annual fee with large rewards for travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is well known as one of the best beginner travel credit cards. With its low annual fee of $95 and excellent reward categories, it is worth considering for any traveler.
When you spend on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you will earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.
While this may sound underwhelming compared to the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card's 4X earning rate on takeout, food delivery and dining, you should consider the broad range of merchants that fall under Chase's travel category: airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds, passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways and parking lots and garages.
With these broad categories, someone who travels regularly can accumulate Chase Ultimate Rewards® points quickly. To get started, you can Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
FAQs about U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card Card
Do U.S. Bank credit cards cover car rental insurance?
Some U.S. Bank credit cards, including the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, cover car rental insurance.
How do you redeem rewards on the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
To redeem travel rewards earned on U.S. Bank credit cards, visit the My Rewards section under the My Accounts tab. From there, click Redeem Rewards and Access Card Benefits (this will forward you to the Rewards Center).
What is the best U.S. Bank credit card?
The best U.S Bank credit card is the one that suits your lifestyle and financial needs the most. If you make restaurant purchases often and do not want to pay an annual fee, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card could be a great fit for you.
The information related to U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card and Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.