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The Amex Gold card is annual fee waived for military. It's even better than the Amex Platinum for everyday spending on dining and groceries.
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The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card is a great travel rewards credit card for military servicemembers and their spouses. The annual fee of $400 is waived for active duty US military and their spouses with the Military Lending Act (MLA).
This military annual fee waiver is similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve MLA and American Express Platinum military fee waiver. Eligible military servicemembers and spouses who apply for the US Bank Altitude Reserve card automatically have their Social Security numbers checked against the MLA database here. If there is a positive match, your annual fees are waived.
- US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card
- Earn 50,000 points worth $750 towards travel when you spend $4500 in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through Altitude Rewards Center
- 3x points on mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay) and travel purchases
- $325 annual statement credit on travel purchases
- You must be a U.S. Bank customer before applying
Altitude Reserve Points Value
Altitude Reserve points are earned at 5x for prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through the Altitude Reserve center, 3x on mobile wallet and travel purchases, and 1x on everything else.
US Bank has a unique rewards system called “Real Time Rewards.” You can use your points earned instantly to offset charges as you make them. The credit will post to your account within 3 business days. Points are redeemed at 1.5 cents per point when redeeming for airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, and cruise lines.
This gives you effectively 7.5% cash back on prepaid hotels and car rentals, 4.5% back on mobile wallet and travel, and 1.5% on everything else.
The value of these points are fixed and there are no travel transfer partners to move the points to. That makes this card weak for scoring big military travel hacking redemptions, but good for offsetting travel purchases.
Altitude Reserve vs AMEX Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve
Military servicemembers and their spouses don't need to worry about comparing the US Bank Altitude Reserve vs the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can get all 3 cards without paying an annual fee!
|US Bank Altitude Reserve||Amex Platinum||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Welcome Bonus Points||50,000||75,000||50,000|
|Value of Welcome Bonus||$750||$1500+||$1000+|
|Bonus Categories||3x Travel and Mobile Wallets||5x on Airfare||3x on Travel and Restaurants|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||None||None|
|Airport Lounge Access||Only 4 Priority Pass Visits Per Year||Unlimited Priority Pass + Guest and Centurion Lounge||Unlimited Priority Pass + Guest|
|$100 Global Entry Credit||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Annual Fee Waived||$400||$550||$550|
US Bank Altitude Reserve Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You must be a U.S. Bank customer before you apply for a US Bank Altitude Reserve card.
Yes, the US Bank Altitude Reserve waives annual fees for servicemembers with the Military Lending Act (MLA). This is similar to how Chase and Amex waive annual fees for active duty military and spouses.
I'm not sure. Please let me know via contact form or in the comments if you have any data points!
Yes, US Bank waives annual fees on their Altitude Reserve card for military servicemembers.
The $325 travel credit on the Altitude Reserve covers purchases directly from airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies.