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The internet has been buzzing with rumors of an all-new premium travel rewards credit card that’s supposed to hit the market very soon. Recently, details have emerged that all but confirm the new card, called the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite, will be open for in-branch applications May 1 and will be equipped to go head-to-head against some of the biggest names in the industry including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Platinum Card from American Express and the Citi Prestige card.
According to the Wallaby Way blog, this Visa Infinite card will earn 3x points on all mobile wallet (in-store mobile purchases as well as eligible online and in-app purchases) and travel purchases (excluding travel purchased through online OTAs) and 1x points on all other transactions. Upon launch, it will offer a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,500 on eligible purchases within 90 days of account opening, and will come with an annual fee of $400 and an additional $75 per authorized user. Note that you’ll also have the option to redeem 35,000 points to offset the cost of the annual fee. As of the time of this posting, it’s not clear what type of points you’ll earn — it’s possible you’ll earn points in a new currency (potentially called Altitude points), or maybe the card will earn FlexPerks points.
The card boasts a long list of perks, including:
- Up to $325 in annual travel credits — resets every cardmember year and applies to purchases made directly through airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
- 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes per year. Gogo sells 24-hour passes for $19 each, so this benefit alone could provide $228 in value.
- A discount of 15% as well as $30 off your first ride with GroundLink Black Car Service.
- Pre-sale access and $60 off per person per event with the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.
- Ability to use points for flight time as well as flight time and aircraft upgrades with NetJets Private Aviation.
- Priority Pass Select membership with no enrollment fee for one cardmember per account (including authorized users). The member will receive complimentary access to participating lounges for the first four visits as well as four individual guest visits. After the free visits are used, entry fees will apply.
- Benefits at Relais & Chateaux Boutique Luxury Hotels including accelerated access to the Club 5C loyalty program after two nights stayed. Benefits of Club 5C include “room upgrades, personalized services and invitations to exceptional cultural and culinary experiences; and a complimentary breakfast daily at approximately 120 participating properties.”
- Receive up to 30% off Silvercar rentals of two days or more when paying with the Altitude Reserve.
- Up to $100 in a statement credit to enroll in either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
- Complimentary continental breakfast, automatic room upgrade when available, $25 food or beverage credit and more when booking hotels that are part of the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection with the Altitude Reserve.
In addition to all the benefits listed above, the Altitude Reserve comes with an extensive list of coverage, including:
- Car rental collision damage waiver.
- Lost luggage reimbursement — “up to $3,000 if your checked luggage or carry-on baggage and/or its contents are lost due to theft or misdirection by the common carrier.”
- Purchase protection — up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year to replace, repair or reimburse eligible items purchased entirely with the Altitude Reserve if they are stolen or damaged within the first 90 days of purchase.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption — “up to $2,000 when a trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason.”
- Trip Delay Reimbursement — “up to $500/ticket when a purchased trip is delayed for 6 hours or more or requires an overnight stay.”
Clearly, U.S. Bank is eager to jump into the rapidly expanding premium travel credit card space. It’s introducing a lot of features that we’re already accustomed to on some of the existing high-end cards including annual travel credits (though the Altitude Reserve’s will be $25 more than the CSR’s), Priority Pass Select (though Altitude Reserve’s seems to be more restrictive than others), perks at luxury hotels, statement credits for PreCheck or Global Entry and more. The introduction of 3x points for mobile purchases could be a game-changer, however, as it’d earn you 3x points on a greater variety of purchases, though you’ll miss out of the CSR’s 3x bonus category for dining expenses.
Are you planning to apply for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card when it becomes available?
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
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