I’ve been struggling with which cards I’m going to keep and which cards I’m going to cancel this year. I was really leaning towards cancelling my Citi Prestige, but my experience on my trip to Zanzibar really changed my mind. I did decide to cancel my Altitude Reserve yesterday. The main reasons I cancelled were:
- The customer service wasn’t the greatest, especially as a traveler
- The 3x on mobile payments was nice but most of the places where I would use a mobile wallet I got the same or better bonuses from other cards
- The points were hard for me to redeem
The customer service for the card was annoying to say the least. When you call in, the system doesn’t recognize your phone number and you are required to enter in your full credit card number. If you need to add the card to Apple Pay or Android Pay, you have to call in and speak to a customer service rep.
The other thing that was a hassle was setting travel alerts. Unlike Chase and Citi, US Bank doesn’t allow you specify multiple destinations with a single travel alert (American Express doesn’t need travel alerts especially if you bought the plane ticket with their card). When I flew to Zanzibar via Doha, I had to tell US Bank the exact dates I was going to be in a certain location with each travel alert. I had to set 5 travel alerts for one trip.
I didn’t use the 3x on mobile payments very much. This was the main draw of the card. Restaurants and grocery stores were the main places where I would use mobile payments. It makes more sense to use my American Express Gold which gives me 4x MR points. Other places like drugstores, I can get 5x from my Discover card and Chase Freedom through their quarterly bonuses. Even without the bonuses, I still didn’t shop in these places enough to justify the Altitude Reserve.
Each Altitude Reserve point is worth 1.5 cents towards travel. Most of the points I accumulated when I first got the card went toward a one way business class flight from Munich to Singapore. The flight was priced around $1000. I went to book the flight using the Altitude Reserve travel portal and found that I couldn’t. The portal didn’t support booking flights that originate outside of the US. This is a huge FAIL on the US Bank’s part. I tried using real time rewards but that didn’t work half the time. Since the Altitude Reserve doesn’t have any transfer partners, I was stuck with a lot of points I couldn’t use.
I called in and was surprised how quick it was to cancel. There was no up-sell or retention offer. I tried to product change the card but the Altitude Reserve can’t be product changed, which doesn’t make sense from a customer retention perspective. The customer service rep is sending me an envelope to send the card back to them. Since I no longer have the Altitude Reserve, there is no reason for me to keep a bank account with U.S. Bank. I’ll probably close that account some time this week.
What are your experiences with the Altitude Reserve? Is it worth it to you to keep it?