The Olympics Start Today, and This Credit Card Bonus Will Reward You Based On How Many Medals Team USA Wins

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The Beijing Winter Olympics start today, and there’s a new credit card bonus that will give you bonus points for medals won by Team USA. 

Over the course of the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, U.S. Bank is offering a boosted welcome bonus offer on the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card. Already, you can earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend at least $2,000 within the first 120 days of account opening — equal to $500 when you redeem for cash back, travel, and more. And for a limited time, you’ll earn additional points depending on how many medals Team USA wins.

If the Olympic team wins any number between zero and 35 medals, you can get an additional 5,000 bonus points (worth $50). And if they come home with 36 medals or more, you’ll get an additional 10,000 points added to your welcome bonus for a total 60,000 points. And that’s not just gold medals — any silver or bronze wins count as well. 

For reference, the U.S. team won 23 medals at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea — which would have been worth 5,000 bonus points under this promotion.

The limited offer is available to new applicants through Feb. 20, 2022.

The Altitude Connect Visa is a travel rewards credit card with good rewards but few other benefits. Here’s how you can decide if it’s right for you, plus other travel rewards cards with great welcome bonuses we recommend:

What to Look for In a Travel Card

A lucrative welcome bonus like U.S. Bank’s limited-time Olympics offer is a great perk, but consider the long-term value of any new credit card before you apply. 

Travel rewards credit cards often offer rewards on travel purchases, everyday spending, or some combination of both. Consider your regular spending habits to find the best rewards structure for you. If you travel very often, you might prefer the option to accumulate rewards on the flights, hotels, or car rentals you’re purchasing frequently. But if you only travel a few times each year and most of your budget goes toward groceries, gas, dining out, or other expenses, it might make more sense to find a card that earns points on everyday spending that you can use to book your next trip.

Another thing to consider is annual fees. Travel credit cards can often carry very high annual fees — even upwards of $600 for the most premium options. In exchange for the high price, you’ll often get benefits like an annual statement credit, lounge access, and more. But if you don’t use those benefits, you’re not going to get enough value from them to offset the annual fee price. Before you apply, make sure you evaluate the added perks of any annual fee travel card to ensure you’re getting value on spending you would have done anyway. 

Finally, some of the best travel cards are part of robust rewards programs that can add even more value to your spending. Programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards offer a variety of redemption options for the rewards you earn, which can help you maximize every point to fit your travel plans and budget. These programs often offer redemptions through their own travel portals, or potentially even more lucrative points transfers to airline, hotel, and other travel partners. This is one area where the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect falls short, since U.S. Bank does have any transfer partner options.

Travel Credit Cards with Great Welcome Bonuses

Here’s a rundown of other rewards and benefits you can expect from the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect, along with a few of our favorite travel card picks that come with great welcome bonus offers.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
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U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro offer:
    50,000 bonus points
  • Annual fee:
    $0 introductory annual fee for the first 12 months, After that $95
  • Regular APR:
    18.24% – 26.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    740-850 (Excellent)
Rewards rate:

4X points on travel, gas stations, and EV charging stations. 2X points on streaming services. 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, and dining. 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rewards on travel and in everyday categories
  • Good welcome offer
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Visa Signature benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • High APR
  • Rewards don’t transfer to airline or hotel partners
  • $25 minimum required for cash back redemption
The Bottom Line
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is a flexible rewards card that earns points in both travel and everyday categories. The card’s bonus offer and perks like cell phone protection and credits for streaming services make it a good deal — but it lacks the robust rewards program and added benefits of many other travel rewards options.

Additional Card Details

  • $30 annual streaming credit eligible for annual subscriptions of Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, Spotify, Disney+ and more
  • Up to $600 in cell phone protection
  • Up to $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership
  • Visa Signature benefits such as concierge services and car rental privileges

In addition to its limited time welcome offer, the Altitude Connect Visa Signature offers 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through U.S. Bank’s Altitude Rewards Center; 4x points on travel, at gas stations and at electric vehicle charging stations; 2x points at grocery stores, on grocery delivery, dining, and on select streaming services; and 1x points on all other spending.

There’s no annual fee the first year, but after that you’ll pay $95 annually. Other benefits include up to $100 in statement credits toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, no foreign transaction fees, and a $30 streaming service credit after 11 months of streaming purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    18.24% – 25.24% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3x on dining. 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Tiered bonus points categories
  • 25% points boost when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer at airline and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fee
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Need to spend within bonus categories to maximize rewards
  • Other cards have similar bonus categories with higher rewards rates
The Bottom Line
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a tiered, points-earning rewards card geared toward frequent fliers. Its most valuable assets include a solid welcome bonus, premium points redemption options and access to Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • Get 10% value of annual purchases back in points every account anniversary
  • $50 in annual hotel credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Chase Sapphire Preferred is our favorite rewards credit card with an annual fee under $100. For $95 annually, you’ll earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 2x points on all other travel spending; 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

In addition to points rewards, you’ll get up to $50 in annual credits when you book hotels through Chase Ultimate Rewards, a 10% anniversary points bonus, and your rewards are worth 1.25 cents per point when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus, if you spend at least $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus points.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Capital One’s secure site.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    75,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    18.99% – 26.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flat 2x miles on every purchase
  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Flexible rewards redemptions
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • High variable APR
  • $95 annual fee
  • Travel transfer partners options and value aren’t as good as some other programs
The Bottom Line
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great travel credit card option for travel enthusiasts who value flexible rewards over premium benefits or credits. It even ranks among our best credit card picks. Double miles on every dollar you spend, a generous welcome bonus, and numerous redemption options can all go a long way to offset the card’s $95 annual fee — and help you save on future travel.

Additional Card Details

  • Flexible redemption options to use rewards toward future travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership every four years
  • Two complimentary visits to Capital One Lounge locations each year

Unlike other travel rewards cards, Capital One Venture doesn’t require tracking bonus categories. You’ll earn a flat 2x miles on every purchase you make. However, you can get a boosted 5x miles for every dollar you spend on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

There’s a $95 annual fee, and a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. You’ll also get up to $100 in credits toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and up to two complimentary annual visits to Capital One Lounge locations.

American Express Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card
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American Express® Gold Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
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American Express® Gold Card
Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $250
  • Regular APR:
    18.99%-25.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Tiered points system
  • Welcome bonus offer
  • Annual credits
Cons
  • Annual fee
  • Value of points dependent on how you redeem
The Bottom Line
The American Express Gold Card offers a great rewards structure that lets you rack up points when you make everyday purchases on groceries and dining out. You’ll get the most value from your American Express Gold if you use your points to save on travel — especially if you transfer your points to airline or hotel partners. The Amex Gold is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards, and frequent travelers can get a lot of value from it, even in spite of its $250 annual fee.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $120 annual dining credit
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides
  • Up to $100 credit on qualifying activities when booking through the American Express Hotel Collection
  • $250 annual fee
  • Amex Offers
  • Car rental insurance
  • Global travel assistance hotline
  • Baggage insurance
  • Extended warranty on covered purchases
  • Purchase protection
  • Dispute resolution

With the American Express Gold Card, you’ll earn 4x points at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spending each year, then 1x), 3x points on travel booked through AmexTravel.com or directly with airlines, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. There’s a 60,000-points welcome offer after spending $4,000 within the first six months of account opening.

There’s a $250 annual fee, but you can offset that if you’re able to take advantage of this card’s benefits. You’ll get up to $120 in annual dining credits, up to $120 in annual Uber Cash toward rides or Uber Eats, and up to $100 in annual credits toward qualifying activities when you book hotels through the Amex Hotel Collection.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.24% – 25.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service. 1.5% on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flexible, hybrid rewards structure made up of tiered categories and flat cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Valuable first-year bonus
  • Competitive intro APR period can be useful for paying off large purchases over time
Cons
  • Not a great choice for international travelers — you’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Travel bonus rewards only apply to travel booked through Chase
The Bottom Line
Chase Freedom Unlimited is NextAdvisor’s pick for the best cash back credit card for its impressive rewards and flexibility for everyday spenders. But the card’s value goes beyond its primary rewards structure. A standout first-year bonus, introductory interest offer, and boosted redemption options make this card one of the best available on the market today.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory interest offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after account opening, variable 17.24% – 25.99%. interest thereafter; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary 3-month subscription to Doordash’s DashPass, followed by 50% off DashPass for 9 months (activate by 12/31/24)
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a cash back card, but it’s also a great option for travelers. There’s no annual fee, and you’ll earn rewards across a number of categories. You’ll get a base 1.5% back on every purchase, plus 5% on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2025, and 3% back on dining and at drugstores. 

For the first year, you’ll earn an additional 1.5% back in every category, up to the first $20,000 in spending — if you meet that threshold, that’s equal to an additional $300 in cash back. And while you can redeem your rewards for cash, you can also redeem them as points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.