Free Baller “Status”

The intangible feeling of wealth is now a commodity that can be bought and sold. It would appear that every new card coming out has some sort of “rich people” edge. AmEx Platinum has it’s VIP Status on Uber, The Ritz Carlton Card from Chase has Marco Polo Status on Abercrombie & Kent. The latest thing is access to this exclusive Andrew Harper Blog with the US Bank Altitude Card. First off I’m an unabashed cheap bastard that brings Tupperware into the United lounge in order to sneak snacks out for later. Of course the lounge access was free to begin with using the SCRA waiver of the Explorer card of which I upgraded to the United Club Card. Having this status is amusing to me, because no one knows what it means, and I don’t think I am going to adjust my spending to accommodate it. Also the whole premise is ludicrous where I doubt even some billionaire like Warren Buffett has the time and need to subscribe to this service to get the best experience in travel.

My most recent acquisition is a presumable baller card that will upgrade my life. This card comes with access to a one man blog know as the Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report. This apparently is the one man yelp of the 1970s who stealthily reviews hotels and destinations. What is interesting is he wants $395 to read said reviews.

With the advent of Yelp, Trip Advisor, and pretty much the internet, it may appear they are desperate to remain relevant. This relationship seems out of the blue, but might be the shot in the arm needed to get the name out there (again).

The site now has travel concierges that will book any trip for you (presumably with money and not points). I don’t know anyone in their right mind that would pay $395 to have the service of paying more money to book a flight, but I went ahead and got US bank to pay me $625 to try them out. This calculation is for the $400 annual fee for their Altitude Product in order to get $750 in travel (50,000 points at 1.5 cents per point) and $325 travel credit for a total of $1,075 bonus for $400. I went to and used the link to open an account. I got online access of some reviews and I am hoping to get a nice glossy magazine some day.

From the website of the US Bank Altitude Card:

Receive complimentary membership in this legendary travel organization, with access to seasoned travel planners who can provide expert guidance to create a more personalized travel experience.

Membership is a $395 value that includes the monthly The Hideaway Report publication, and special benefits at hundreds of hotels worldwide.

It better be a damn fine magazine! It’s going to look great next to Luxury Magazine and Departures in the patient waiting room.




2 thoughts on “Free Baller “Status”

  1. evan westbrook says:

    You say you used the SCRA waiver to wave the annual fee on your mileage plus explorer? Did you have this card before your date of initial entry to military service? I’ve tried several times to get my Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee using SCRA with no such luck do to the fact that I opened the account after initial entry date.

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      I had the original United card before I joined and upgraded (product changed) to the club.

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