The rumor mills of new credit card launches have been working overtime this week. Following on the heels of reports of Bank of America potentially launching two new Spirit credit cards, it seems that even more significant changes are coming from U.S. Bank. The U.S. Bank rumors relate to their FlexPerks credit cards and their current Altitude Reserve Card.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Changes
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite is the flagship travel rewards credit card from the bank. The card already earned 3X points on travel purchases and mobile wallet purchases – the latter of which made it a popular card for those who prefer flexibility in a rewards card.
U.S. Bank now lists additional categories in which Altitude Reserve cardmembers can earn rewards. As of March, the card also earns 5X points on prepaid car rental and hotel bookings made through the Altitude Rewards Center. This new 5X Category, however, positions the card more closely to the Platinum Card from American Express. That card earns 5X points on hotels and flights booked directly through AMEXtravel.com.
Rumors of New Altitude Credit Cards
Internal rumors at U.S. Bank also point towards two new potential credit cards. These new cards, which will likely feature different annual fees, are stated to carry the Altitude name. The shift towards the Altitude branding appears to be a step towards positioning that term as the pinnacle of the U.S. Bank travel cards.
FlexPerks to Be Discontinued?
The rumors with U.S. Bank don’t end with the potential two new cards. The reason for these new cards seems to be that the bank is discontinuing its relationship with FlexPerks. According to an internal memorandum at U.S. Bank, all three of the bank’s current FlexPerks card offerings, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa, FlexPerks Select+ American Express, and FlexPerks Gold American Express will be closed to new applicants starting as early as March 9, 2020. This move is likely related to the shift towards Altitude branding.
The purported discontinuation of FlexPerks also coincides with a devaluation of FlexPerks Real-Time Rewards. Real-Time Rewards is a redemption method though the program that allows members to sue their points while shopping. Originally Real-Time Rewards points had an approximate value of about 1.5 cents per point, though there are reports of those points now having a value of one cent per point.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank is one of the largest credit card issuers in the United States. The bank currently services approximately 14 million credit card accounts, making it the 12th largest issuer in the nation. The bank issues a variety of credit card products designed to fit numerous purchasing preferences and credit profiles. These include co-branded credit cards with leading retailers, hotel brands, and airlines, including Kroger, Korean Air, LATAM, and Radisson.