A no-annual-fee-card for foodies: U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature credit card review
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U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card Overview
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is a solid no-annual-fee credit card and has a fairly impressive rewards structure — particularly for foodies. You’ll earn an impressive 4x points on takeout, food delivery, and dining. However, the points earned are only worth a fixed 1 cent each, which makes this card essentially a cash-back credit card. Plus, you won’t earn rewards on travel purchases — a major focus area for many TPG readers. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
I have seven credit cards in my wallet right now, and a wishlist of at least three more I’d like to add to it this year. But that’s not the case for everyone — especially beginners and busy families. For many, the goal is to find one (or maybe two) credit card with an affordable annual fee that will earn rewards across most, if not all, of their major spending categories.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card is a solid credit card for anyone who is on the hunt for a simple “one-and-done” rewards credit card. Let’s dive into the details.
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Who is this card for?
The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card is best suited for two broad groups: rewards beginners and busy families.
It comes with a solid (though not groundbreaking) sign-up bonus that’s easy to earn, no annual fee, and a wide range of bonus categories. That makes it ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to juggle multiple cards that each only earn in one or two spending categories. It’s a solid stand-alone card for those on the go who just want a simple way to earn rewards and redeem them.
Sign-up bonus: Worth $200
Currently, the card earns 20,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days from account opening. Points are worth a fixed 1 cent each, meaning this sign-up bonus is worth $200 toward gift cards, travel, statement credits, or cash back.
Main benefits and perks
Since it doesn’t charge an annual fee, you shouldn’t expect a long list of perks to accompany this card.
However, there is one unique benefit to highlight: a $15 annual streaming credit. When you use your U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card to pay for at least one of your monthly streaming service bills for 11 consecutive months, you’ll start earning a $15 annual statement credit to go toward your streaming service subscriptions. Eligible streaming services include Spotify, Netflix, Hulu Amazon Music and more.
Of course, $15 per year isn’t anything to write home about and requiring 11 months of putting a streaming service on your card is a significant hoop to jump through in order to start receiving this benefit. But it’s still $15 a year you wouldn’t have to pay toward streaming services if you don’t already have a card that earns more than 2x/2% back on those purchases.
Those looking for a solid card to finance a large purchase or refinance existing credit card debt will get 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles (14.99% – 23.99% variable APR applies after the intro period ends).
How to earn points
The highlight of this card comes with its earning structure. You’ll earn 4x points on dining (which includes takeout and delivery) and 2x on groceries (including grocery delivery services), streaming services, and gas. The card earns 1x on all other purchases.
This card hits a lot of the most common spending categories — dining, groceries, gas, streaming — with no annual fee and no earning caps. Sure, you can find other cards that earn more in one or two of these categories (though many of those come with higher annual fees), but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a no-annual-fee credit card that earns more points in all of these categories at once.
The only big category missing is travel, but if you are only taking one or two trips a year, or you are a budget traveler who only books a trip when you have the necessary rewards to cover at least part of the cost, the lack of a travel category isn’t a big deal in my opinion.
If you’re looking for a one-and-done credit card that will earn across the majority of your everyday expenses, you’ve got it with the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card.
How to redeem points
Though the card earns points, they are fixed-value points. This makes this card closer aligned with a cash-back credit card than the points-earning cards that can be used to maximize travel purchases via various award charts.
You can redeem points at a 1-cent value for gift cards, merchandise, travel, a statement credit, or as cash back. If you choose cash back, you can choose for the rewards to deposit into your U.S. Bank savings or checking account (2,500-point redemption minimum).
U.S. Bank also offers a program called Real-Time Rewards, where you can enroll and redeem your points in real-time as you make purchases. Essentially, you’ll get a text message anytime you make a purchase with your card that meets your preferences set up through your account. You can then reply to that text message with a “yes” to have the points needed to offset the purchase automatically applied to your account as a statement credit (assuming you have the points to cover the charge). You can opt-in, opt-out, and update your preferences through your online account.
Which cards compete with the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card?
If you’re willing to pay a small annual fee on your credit card after the first year, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the most direct competitor to this card. You’ll earn an industry-high 6% back at U.S. supermarkets. (up to $6,000 in spending each calendar year, then 1% thereafter) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back on transit and gas and 1% on everything else.
However, keep in mind that the Amex Blue Cash Preferred does charge a $95 annual fee (although it’s waived your first year) (see rates and fees) and a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on international purchases (see rates and fees). Plus, the card only earns 1% per dollar spent on dining.
Another no-annual-fee card that earns fixed-value points in a wide range of categories is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card. You’ll get a comparable 20,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, and you’ll earn 3x across the following spending categories:
- Dining (including takeout and delivery)
- Gas stations
- Rideshares and transit
- Travel, including hotels, flights, homestays, and car rentals
- Popular streaming services
The one category it’s missing is groceries. But if you spend more on travel every year than groceries, then this card would make more sense for you than the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card.
The information for the Wells Fargo Propel card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Card offers solid earning categories, easy redemption options, and a decent sign-up bonus — all for no annual fee. But don’t mistake this card as a travel credit card — you’ll bonus points earn on pretty much every major spending category except travel and those points are only redeemable for 1 cent each. It’s more comparable to a cash-back credit card than most point-earning cards from issuers like Amex, Chase, Citi, and Capital One.
But if you’re a beginner to rewards or someone who’s shopping for a busy family, having a one-and-done credit card that charges no annual fee and offers rewards in most major spending categories could be a perfect fit for you — especially during a time when a lot of people are still putting travel on hold.
Featured image by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred, please click here.
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