U.S. Bank Altitude Go Review: 4X Back at Restaurants for No Annual Fee

For fee-averse foodies, this card's huge rewards rate on dining makes it essentially best in class. It also earns 2X back at grocery stores, gas stations and on eligible streaming services. You'll need excellent credit to get it, though.

Erin HurdSeptember 8, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: If you spend a good chunk of your budget on dining and don't want to pay an annual fee, this card is as good as it gets. But if entertainment rewards are also important, or if your credit is only so-so, you'll want to look elsewhere.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

on US Bank's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0*

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.99%* Variable APR

Intro APR

0%* intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles*

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Need excellent credit

Alternate Pick: Earn 2% back on everything

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Solid rewards no matter the category

Earn cash back twice: 1% when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. You don't have to worry about which categories earn more. But you won't get a sign-up bonus or 0% intro APR period for purchases.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0*

Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.99%* Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0%* intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles*

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Get more smart money moves — straight to your inbox

Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

If you're a foodie 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's main course? Unrivaled rewards-earning potential on restaurant purchases among cards with a $0* annual fee. But it's not a one-trick pony. The card also offers solid earnings in categories like grocery stores, gas stations and eligible streaming services.

Unlike some other cards in its class, though, it doesn't earn bonus rewards on entertainment spending — things like movies, concerts, sporting events, etc. — which may be important if you routinely enjoy nights out on the town. And of course, if you cook at home more than you dine out, there are many better options for your budget. Also, this card requires excellent credit (FICO scores of at least 720), so not every applicant will qualify.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card: Key features

Card type: Rewards.

Annual fee: $0*.

Sign up bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Rewards:

  • 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 on eligible streaming services.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Nerd tip: U.S. Bank points are worth a penny each when redeemed for options like cash back, travel, gift cards or merchandise, although minimum redemption requirements apply. (You need at least 2,500 points for cash back or gift cards; 1,000 points for travel or merchandise.) 

Points don’t expire, and there’s no cap on the amount you can earn.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 Billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Other benefits:

Why you might want the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

It’s a dining rewards powerhouse

The card's 4X rate on dining, paired with no annual fee, is essentially best in class. To be sure, you can find other cards that earn that rate at restaurants — for instance, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card or the American Express® Gold Card. (Terms apply.)

And 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 U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card for dining.

It's super light on other fees

As noted, you won’t pay an annual fee to carry this card. But also, unlike some other $0*-annual-fee credit cards, you'll avoid foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad. (And since it's a Visa Signature, it'll be widely accepted internationally and includes useful benefits for travelers.) Lastly, the card also offers a 0% intro APR period: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 Billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

You get a little something extra for streaming services

If you subscribe to an eligible streaming service, you’ll get a little bit of cash back each year if you charge it on your U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card. An annual credit of $15 will be automatically added to your statement for streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, Pandora or YouTube TV, to name a few.

It's not an immediate, upfront benefit. The credit comes annually, not monthly, and you'll receive it only after you've charged 11 consecutive months of eligible streaming expenses. Still, an automatic $15 credit on a $0*-annual-fee card isn’t too shabby.

It comes with a healthy bonus

While some $0*-annual-fee credit cards don’t offer a bonus to get started, U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offers the following: Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. .

That’s $250 worth of cash back, merchandise, gift cards or travel redemptions.

Why you might want a different card

No bonus rewards on entertainment spending

The dining rewards market is full of stiff competition, and perhaps the competitor that looms largest for the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is the aforementioned Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It, too, earns 4X rewards on dining purchases, but unlike the Altitude Go, it also earns that rate on eligible entertainment spending — including things like movies, concerts, sports events, theme parks and more. Plus, it offers a richer sign-up bonus. Of course, you'll also owe an annual fee. Still, if you plan to go out several nights a week, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card may be the better choice.

Not ideal if you cook at home

If you’re not spending much of your monthly budget on eating out, then the card's standout 4X on dining doesn't do much for you. And while its 2X earnings at grocery stores is a decent rate, you can earn more from a different card. For a $0 annual fee, you could also get the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending annually (then 1%); 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% elsewhere. Terms apply. Or, if you don't mind a $95 annual fee, you could opt for the card's big sibling, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which earns 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year; 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% back on transit including U.S. gas stations; and 1% back on everything else. Terms apply.

Points can’t be pooled or maximized for outsized value

The good news is that U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card points are simple and straightforward. You don’t have to worry about rotating bonus categories or worry about some redemptions being better deals than others. The downside is that because a point is worth one cent no matter what, you won’t be able to find ways to squeeze even more upside from them.

For instance, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® 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 notably, if you have both cards, you cannot transfer points between them.

Other rewards systems, like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards®, allow such pooling.

Should you get the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card?

If you’re a foodie who doesn’t want to pay an annual fee, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card is your best bet. Its stellar rewards rate on dining — combined with solid returns on grocery stores, streaming services and gas stations — add up to an impressive combo.

But if entertainment spending makes up large chunk of your budget, or if you don’t spend much on eating out at all, you can do better. And if you don't have excellent credit, you'll want to explore other options.

To see how this card stacks up against the competition, see NerdWallet's list of the best credit cards to get.

Information related to the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please visit this page.

Comments

NerdWallet reviews are the result of independent research by our editorial team while cardholder reviews are contributions from independent users not affiliated with NerdWallet. Banks, issuers and credit card companies are not responsible for any content posted on the NerdWallet site, nor do they endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.

Write a review

Read Our Posting Guidelines
user avatar
Overall Rating:
Select your rating
undefined reviews

Some of the reviews on the NerdWallet site were purchased through a third party provider. Users who post a review directly on the NerdWallet site will not be compensated in any way. Please see our Terms of Use and Posting Guidelines for more information.