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US Bank Altitude® Connect Review

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Credit card

US Bank Altitude® Connect

Annual Fee:  $0 Introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $95

Bonus Offer: Get $500 (in the form of 50,000 points) when you spend $2,000 in your first 120 days

Bonus Offer: Get $500 (in the form of 50,000 points) when you spend $2,000 in your first 120 days

★ This card earns bonus points for spend in the following bonus categories:

Car Rentals4x
Gas Stations4x
Other Travel4x
Streaming Services2x

Best for:

Those that want 4% cash back on travel and gas with no annual fee

Card Features and Benefits:

    The US Bank Altitude Connect is a very powerful card for those that prefer easy cash back over transferable points (we get it, not everyone wants to study how to optimize point redemptions!) and that spend a lot on travel and gas which both earn a sizable 4%.

    The US Bank Altitude Connect Signup Bonus

    When you spend $3,000 within 120 days, you'll earn a 50,000 point welcome bonus. This is worth exactly $500.

    It's worth noting that the timeframe to meet the qualifying spend to earn the bonus is a month longer than most cards right now which give you 3 months, although a handful are currently allowing for 6 months to meet the minimum spend requirement.

    Annual Fee

    $95, however it is waived for your first year.

    How the US Bank Altitude Connect Earns

    • 4X points (which equates to 4% cash back) on travel (including air, hotel, and cruises) and at gas stations
    • 2X points at grocery stores and on grocery delivery
    • 2X points for dining (at a restaurant or via delivery)
    • 2X points on streaming services
    • 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

    As described above, each point is worth one cent exactly, so you could substitute a % sign for the X signs above and it would be accurate. For example, it earns 4% back on travel and gas.

    If you are a straight up cash-hound and don't want points, this is the best you can do with a low annual fee credit card on travel and gas.

    However, if you are a "points person" there are other cards that offer more return when spent on travel.

    Let's compare each bonus category against the best possible credit cards for each category as determined by our Your Best Credit Cards credit card rewards calculator.

    Where this card really shines is on gas purchases. Only the Citi Premier and the Amex Everyday Preferred beat it.  If you are a heavy spender on fuel, this card really could make sense.

    For the travel category, I like to compare directly against airfare and hotel earn rates. Eight personal credit cards beat 4% (in terms of points multiplier times our value of the points) while 7 personal credit cards earn more than 4% on hotels.

    However, and once again, those are point values. If you aren't "into points" then take this card and earn 4% cash!

    As far as generically out-earning this card on all travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Premier, and Amex Green card all best 4%. However, the 4% isn't bad!

    As far as dining, I'd personally prefer a Chase Sapphire Reserve (3X points worth 1.75 cents each) or an American Express Gold / Rose Gold card (4X points worth 1.7 cents each) card, but even if you want pure cash, then you would fare twice as well with a Capital One Savor credit card (4% on dining) or US Bank Altitude® GO (Review) which also earns 4% on dining.

    Groceries? Stick to an American Express Gold Card (4X, points are worth 1.7 cents each for a 6.8% yield) or a Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back).

    Streaming probably isn't a massive expense for many, if if it is, the Blue Cash Preferred rocks that category with a 6% earn rate.

    And of course, for spend not in a bonus category my go-to is 2% on everything with a Citi Double Cash.

    There's nothing to learn about the US Bank rewards system as you'll simply redeem for $10 per 1,000 points (1 cent per point).

    US Bank Altitude Connect Benefits

    • Earn a $30 annual streaming credit: When you put eligible streaming services on your card for 11 straight billing cycles, the 12th month will see a credit of up to $30.
    • Cell Phone Protection: You can get reimbursed for up to $600 if your cell phone is stolen or damaged (but lost phones are not covered) as long as you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card. $100 deductible applies and you will be covered for a maximum of one claim per year. Protection is secondary to homeowners/renters insurance.
    • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Credit: You'll get up to $100 in statement credits to reimburse your application fee up to once every four years.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

    US Bank Altitude Connect Review Summary

    The Altitude Connect joins the Altitude Reserve and Altitude GO in the US Bank Altitude series. This card is ideal for someone that spends a lot at gas stations and travel, but does not want "complicated" transferable bank points, this card would offer excellent value due to the 4% cash back in these categories. The streaming credit isn't much, but it will get you back $30 of the $95 annual fee if you keep the card.

    While I wouldn't recommend this card for someone under 5/24, the $500 welcome bonus and the 4% on travel and gas can make it a compelling addition to your wallet.

    It's important to mention that if you already have a US Bank Altitude GO or the premium US Bank Altitude Reserve, you will not be able to combine your points to maximize a redemption and US Bank doesn't have transfer partners, so we have to evaluate this card on its own as a cash back credit card since the points it earns are worth exactly 1 cent each.

US Bank Altitude® Connect

Offer: Get $500 (in the form of 50,000 points) when you spend $2,000 in your first 120 days

Don’t Miss Out On Limited time Offers

Credit card companies regularly offer limited time increased signup bonus offers on their credit cards. They also sometimes change card benefits or otherwise change up their card lineups.
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