U.S. Bank Creates Secured Versions of Altitude Go and Cash+ Cards
One of the ironies of the current credit system in the United States is that those who have the best credit get the greatest rewards. However, that’s starting to shift as more credit card issuers introduce products aimed at assisting those without excellent credit. Now, U.S. Bank has released two new secured credit card options that boast great rewards for cardholders.
With the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card, customers can help build their credit while also earning rewards on their purchases. To get started, customers provide a refundable security deposit between $300 to $5,000. The selected security deposit will then become the cardholder’s credit limit.
Both of these secured options will feature the same benefits as their unsecured counterparts. In the case of the Altitude Go, cardholders can earn 4 points per dollar spent on dining as well as 2X points spent at grocery stores, gas stations and on streaming services. All other purchases will earn 1X points. Customers can also earn a $15 annual streaming credit after 11 months of eligible streaming service purchases.
Meanwhile, the Cash+ Secured Card allows cardholders to choose two eligible categories each quarter and earn 5% cashback on purchases in those categories (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases). Eligible categories to choose from during Q4 2021 include departments stores, home utilities, cell phone providers, fast food, movie theatres, furniture stores, and six others. On top of that, customers choose one category for 2% back from these options: gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants. All other purchases earn 1% back.
One difference between the secured cards and the “regular” version is that the secured cards do not offer any welcome bonuses. Currently, the unsecured U.S. Bank Altitude Go offers a 20,000 point bonus (worth $200) when customers make $1,000 in purchases on the card within their first 90 days. Similarly, the unsecured U.S. Bank Cash+ card currently also offers a $200 bonus after $1,000 in eligible purchases, although cardholders have 120 days from account opening to meet this requirement.
U.S. Bank’s move to offer secured options of their popular cards comes shortly after Capital One announced similar additions to their line-up. However, in that case, the bank introduced Student versions of their SavorOne and Quicksilver cards. While these alternatives are meant to help build credit and also exclude the welcome bonuses of the flagship products, the Student editions are both still unsecured.
Overall, it’s great to see more mainstream banks offering rewards products to those looking to build or improve their credit. While this has also been a focus for various FinTechs, the ability for customers who may already have a checking account with U.S. Bank to parlay that into a secured credit card could prove to be convenient and beneficial. In turn, expect to see more secured and “fair credit” offerings to be introduced in the months ahead.