I, like many others, got the new US Bank Altitude Reserve card in the first week of its release. It has some nice perks to it, notably its 3X point earning on mobile wallet payments (like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay). You can then redeem those points at 1.5 cents per point for travel, giving you a cool 4.5% return when you buy with a mobile wallet and redeem for travel. Pretty good!
Short of US Bank Altitude Reward Points? What You Need To Know About Buying Them
The downside, as I have mentioned before, is that US Bank Altitude points force you to purchase the first ticket of a reservation wholly with points. If you are booking for more than one person on a reservation, you can then pay for the 2nd, 3rd, and so on with the credit card if you don’t want to use points.
American Express and Chase allow you to do a partial payment with points, which works great if you do not have enough points to cover the whole ticket. Not so with US Bank! So, what happens if you are short of those points and you have a travel reward to book?
Here is what you need to know about purchasing US Bank Altitude reward points.
Purchasing US Bank Altitude Reward Points
If you find yourself short of Altitude reward points for that first reservation, you will (unfortunately) need to call in to have the purchase processed. They are supposed to have this functionality available online but it isn’t available yet. Also, the representative you speak with may or may not know how to process it right away. It took a few minutes to find out this information.
- Call 844-357-2015
- Press 3
- Altitude Reward points cost 3 cents each ($.03)
- The minimum purchase is 3,000 points
- According to the reps I spoke with, there is no maximum
- It takes 4-5 business days for the points to be deposited in your account
I had first had that the points may cost 2.5 cents each so 3 cents isn’t unreasonable if you need just a few thousand to save a lot of money with your ticket redemption. The bad part is the processing time. In this day and age, it should never take that long for the company who processes the payment themselves to deposit their own reward currency into one of their member’s account. Yet, it is what it is.
So, buying Altitude reward points is not a good strategy on a ticket that may go up in price. Since it takes that long, you may be better off just putting some more of your regular spend (preferably with a mobile wallet solution!) if you are near the closing date of your statement.