As the coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a screeching halt, banks and credit card companies have been forced to adjust their benefits on top travel cards. Who wants to keep an expensive credit card when you can't use the perks?
We've seen American Express, Chase, and Capital One add a number of new, non-travel benefits to their cards in an effort to both keep existing cardholders and attract new ones. And now it's U.S. Bank's turn.
Doctor of Credit reports that the popular U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card – the Minnesota-based bank's top travel card – will get two new temporary benefits through the end of the year.
New Benefits on the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Card
The Altitude Reserve card has a $325 annual credit to be used towards travel purchases. It works similarly to the credit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card: Just put any travel expense om your card and they'll automatically reimburse you, up to $325 each year.
Through the end of 2020, cardholders can now use the $325 credit for dining purchases at restaurants. This category should also include takeout and delivery services.
Additionally, the card will now earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining through the end of the year. The Altitude Reserve card typically earns just 1x point per dollar spent on this category.
These new benefits come as no surprise. According to Doctor of Credit, U.S. Bank rolled out these benefits June 1, and will likely inform cardholders directly in the coming days.
The Altitude Reserve is a solid card that provides a lot of great benefits. While it has a $400 annual fee, the annual $325 travel statement credit can easily offset that – and with this expansion, it just got much easier. All you need to do is spend $325 on travel or restaurants through the end of 2020 and U.S. Bank will reimburse you.
On top of that, the card offers 12 complimentary Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year and earns 3x points per dollar spent on travel and purchases made from a mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.). And now, you'll also earn 3x points per dollar on dining through Dec. 31, 2020.
It earns 50,000 points after spending $4,500 in the first three months of card membership, and the points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel. That means the 50,000 sign-up bonus offer is worth $750 dollars.
However, unlike the card’s competitors from Chase and American Express, there are no transfer partners – airlines or hotels to which you can transfer your points. This is easily the Altitude Reserve card's biggest downfall.
And finally, you must be a U.S. Bank customer to be eligible to apply for the card.
This move doesn't come as a huge surprise, but it certainly adds a lot of value for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve cardholders through the end of 2020.