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If you're a foodie and you're looking for a fee-free rewards credit card, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature Card may be the creme de la creme.
The card — introduced in June 2020 — features unrivaled rewards-earning potential on restaurant purchases among cards with a $0 annual fee. Its launch came amid a surge in carryout and delivery dining thanks to consumers being homebound by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the card also offers solid earnings on categories like groceries, streaming services and gas. It has definite staying power.
Here are five things to know about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature Card.
1. It's a dining rewards powerhouse
With the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature Card, you’ll earn:
4 points per $1 spent on dining, including takeout and delivery.
2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores (including grocery delivery), gas stations and streaming services.
1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
Points are worth a penny each when redeemed for options like cash back, travel, gift cards or merchandise.
That 4x rate on dining, paired with no annual fee, is essentially best in class.
To be sure, you can find other cards that earn 4x back on dining — for instance, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card or the American Express® Gold Card. And a product like the Citi Prestige® Card will even earn you 5x back at restaurants.
But in all of those cases, you'll be paying an annual fee, ranging from almost $100 to nearly $500.
And while 5x back on restaurants is often an option on some no-annual-fee credit cards with rotating quarterly rewards, that's only for three months out of the year, and there's a cap on those rewards.
Among rewards credit cards with no annual fee, few products if any match the Altitude® Go in terms of dining.
Nerd tip: You don't need an existing relationship with U.S. Bank to get the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature Card. However, the card does require you to have a U.S. Bank savings or checking account if you want to redeem points for a cash-back deposit. The minimum redemption requirement for this is 2,500 points.
2. It comes with a healthy bonus
While some no-annual-fee credit cards don’t offer any bonus to get started, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature Card gives you 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
That’s $200 worth of cash-back, merchandise, gift cards or travel redemptions.
3. It's super light on fees
You’ll go fee-free with the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature Card on several fronts. First, as noted, you won’t pay an annual fee to carry the card.
Second, unlike some other $0-annual-fee credit cards, you also won’t get hit with foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad. And since the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go is a Visa Signature card, it also includes benefits that might be useful to travelers.
Third, the card offers a 0% intro annual percentage rate for 12 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After that, a variable APR will apply.
4. You'll get a little something extra for your streaming services
Another perk that could be especially useful during COVID-19 times (yet still valuable beyond quarantine) is cash back for streaming services. Just charge your Netflix, Hulu or Spotify subscription to your Altitude® Go card, and you’ll get an automatic annual credit of $15 on your statement.
It's not an immediate, upfront benefit. You'll receive the credit only after you've charged 11 consecutive months of eligible streaming expenses. And since it's a credit you get annually, not monthly, it won’t cover much of those expenses.
Still, an automatic $15 credit on a $0-annual-fee card isn’t too shabby.
5. Don't confuse the Altitude cousins
The Altitude® Go card has a premium cousin called the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card. It's a travel rewards card that gives cardholders the ability to redeem points for 1.5 cents each on travel. (To get this card, you must first have an existing relationship with U.S. Bank.)
But the Altitude cards are not created equal, so be careful not to confuse them when you're pulling out your wallet. While the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card will earn 3x points on travel and mobile wallet purchases, the Altitude® Go card will only earn 1x points. The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card will give you perks like airport lounge access and credit toward a TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee; the Altitude® Go won't.
On the flip side, the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card comes with a hefty $400 annual fee, while the Altitude® Go costs nothing to carry.