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US Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card 2022 review: Fill your pockets and your gas tank

The US Bank card offers consumers a strong rate for gas and travel purchases, while also providing a nice selection of Visa Signature benefits.
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Written by Evan Zimmer, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Marc Wojno and  Toni Husbands

The average price of gas in July 2022 was close to $4.60. At a time when gas prices and inflation are at the forefront of most consumers' minds, many are looking for a way to put money back in their pockets.

Reward credit cards can offer a slight reprieve, especially considering most consumers don't have a choice about if they can buy gas or not.

Here's why the US Bank Altitude Connect is one of the best to choose.  

The US Bank Altitude Connect card has a lot to offer its cardholders. Its rewards are lucrative and cover a nice variety of travel purchases, it's relatively inexpensive, and comes with a useful selection of benefits.

It does, however, carry an annual fee of $95, but the rewards make it relatively easy to cover it. Were you to only use the card for gas and ignore its other bonus categories, consumers would need to spend at least $2,500 at the pump.

If that sounds expensive, keep in mind that gas prices are currently around $4.60 a gallon. The average US household could spend upwards of $5,000 on gas this year, which would mean $200 back in your pocket with this card. That's a few tanks of gas you don't need to worry about. 

And again, keep in mind the card earns rewards for groceries, streaming, dining, and rental cars, among others. So if you use the card for everything, it'll be even easier to cover its fee. Plus, you won't have to worry about the fee for the first year with the card.

In addition to its lucrative reward program, it's a Visa Signature card, so it includes some useful protections, plus an annual $30 streaming credit, and an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. If you're in the market for a strong general travel card, or are just looking to earn some cash back at the pump, you could do far worse than the US Bank Altitude Connect.

Pros

  • 5x points per dollar for prepaid hotels and rental cards booked through the Altitude Rewards Center
  • 4x points per dollar for gas
  • 2x points for groceries, dining, and streaming
  • Visa Signature protections
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • $30 streaming credit
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • $25 minimum redemption

What makes this a good choice?

Redeeming rewards

Redeeming is simple with the US Bank Altitude Connect card, and your points will never expire. Cardholders can redeem rewards for:

  • Cash back
  • Travel
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Charity

When redeeming for cash back, each point is worth one cent, which means the card earns 5%, 4%, 2% and 1%, respectively. However, you could potentially find even greater value for your points when redeeming for travel, but it'll take a little extra work to find the right transfer deal.

Card benefits

While the card shines through its rewards, cardholders will absolutely find value in the wide array of benefits it brings to the table.

  • Global Entry / TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get reimbursed for the application fee for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
  • Streaming credit: Get an annual $30 streaming credit after paying for an eligible streaming service for 11 consecutive months.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: Access premium benefits at a number of hotels around the world, including best available rates, automatic room upgrades when available, and a daily $25 food or beverage credit, among others.
  • Visa Signature Concierge Service: Get non-emergency help for tasks like finding concert tickets to making dinner reservations, 24/7.
  • Visa Signature Car Rental Privileges: Use your card to book a car with Avis or Budget to get a 25% discount on base rates, complimentary one-car class upgrade when available, and waived additional driver fee, among others.
  • Visa Signature Golf Benefit by Troon: Get automatic Silver Status and 10% off when you use your card to sign up for Troon Rewards. Get discounted tee times and merchandise at over 150 courses.
  • Cell Phone Protection: Pay your phone bill with the card to get protected against damage and theft. It's $600 per claim, with a limit of one claim per year.
  • Roadside Dispatch: If you run into car trouble away from home, call 1-800-847-2869 to get assistance.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance: If you need medical or legal assistance while traveling, call the multilingual call center at 1-800-992-6029. Assistance also includes travel ticket replacement, lost luggage locator assistance, and emergency translation help.
  • ID Navigator Powered by NortonLifeLock: Access tools to help you stay aware of potential threats to your personal information.
  • Zero Liability: You won't be held liable for any unauthorized purchases made on your account.
  • Lost or Stolen Card Reporting: If your card is lost, stolen, or damaged, get a new one sent to you no matter where you are, and gain access to emergency funds if need be.

How to apply

Navigate to US Bank's website where you can securely apply. Fill out the appropriate information, and US Bank should get back to you immediately with its decision. In some cases, it may request additional information.

The US Bank Altitude Connect is designed for consumers with excellent credit, which means their FICO scores would need to be at least 800, and their VantageScores would need to be at least 780.

Will my points expire?

No, your points will never expire.

How much do I need to spend to offset the annual fee?

If the card earns 4% cash back for gas (when redeeming for cash back), you would need to spend at least $2,500 to cover the $95 annual fee. However, if you're using the card for dining, groceries, streaming, hotel and rental car reservations, you'll need to spend even less.

What are the eligible streaming services?

Eligible streaming services include Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV, HBO Max, Peacock, Showtime, Paramount+, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and Audible.

Is this the right card for you?

If you're looking for a way to earn a return on purchases you need to make, such as gas and groceries, this is a good card to add to your wallet. 

While the grocery rewards aren't super high, if you don't have a card that earns rewards for them, every little bit helps. The gas rate is the card's true draw, but it also earns 5x points for prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the Altitude Rewards Center.

It's an all-around great general travel card for consumers who travel every so often, and are looking to earn rewards for necessary purchases.

What's the bottom line?

If you need a card that earns a strong rewards rate for gas in the face of rising fuel costs, look no further. In addition to gas rewards, it covers a variety of other travel-related purchases, with streaming services also thrown in. The card also features a number of useful benefits, including an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for travelers, an annual $30 streaming credit, Cell Phone Protection, and a handful of other protections.

The annual fee shouldn't be too hard to cover thanks to its strong rewards, and redeeming the rewards can be simple and lucrative. Choose cash back or redeem for travel to try to find an even greater per-point value. The card offers plenty of value to consumers.

Are there any alternative credit cards worth considering?

If you aren't enticed by what the US Bank card has to offer, there are a few others that are worth considering.

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash: Use the card for every purchase, including gas and travel, and earn 2% cash back. It's simple and lucrative with no annual fee. It's also issued as a Visa Signature, so it comes with a few useful protections.
  • The Blue Cash Preferred: The best credit card to choose for grocery spending. It offers one of the highest cash back rates at US supermarkets and for select US streaming services. It also provides a decent rate at US gas stations, however, it's not as high as the US Bank card. It carries the same annual fee, and the rewards will quickly and easily cover it.
  • Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card: Best for consumers who don't spend more than $2,500 on gas and other purchases each quarter. Cardholders can choose one "everyday" 3% cash back spend category to earn in, in addition to 2% and 1% static reward categories. The 3% and 2% rewards are limited to $2,500 spent each quarter before rewards fall to 1%.

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