|Cash Back Rating:||3.2 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||3.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||1.0|
U.S. Bank Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: Purchase security, extended warranty, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, roadside assistance, travel discounts, concierge services, complimentary room upgrades
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card Review: More Details
If you are the kind of spender who prefers the ability to customize their rewards, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers a unique rewards rate designed to shift as your spending does. Cardholders get to choose their own bonus categories to earn a generous rate of cash back, making it a good choice for users looking to tailor rewards.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ card has a unique rewards earning setup – allowing users to choose two categories each quarter to earn 5 percent cash back (up to $2,000 combined purchase limit per quarter). You can also earn 5 percent cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center. Cardholders can also choose an everyday category, such as gas stations or grocery stores, to earn 2 percent cash back. All other eligible purchases will earn 1 percent cash back.
The ability to choose your own bonus category is a recent trend among rewards cards, as it allows the user to shift rewards to match their spending. Since you can update your choice categories each quarter and match them to your budget, the 5 percent choice category can be incredibly lucrative. It does, however, come with a spend cap that can limit earning.
|Tip: Don’t forget to select your bonus category each quarter. If you don’t enroll in the categories of your choice, you’ll only earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases for that quarter.|
Unfortunately, the categories you have to choose from on the U.S. Bank Cash+ card aren’t always the most high-budget options. In the past, choices for the 5 percent category on the Cash+ card have included categories such as gym memberships, utilities and fast food. For many spenders, these can earn you quite a bit in rewards, but other cards allow cardholders to choose from categories that have a higher average spend.
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, for example, lets users choose a category to earn 3 percent cash back, from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings, and an automatic 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs ($2,500 combined limit on choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1 percent). With lucrative categories like gas and dining, we estimate the overall earning rate on this card is higher than the U.S. Bank Cash+. In fact – even with a 5 percent category – we estimate the U.S. Bank Cash+ earning rate falls below many popular cash back cards. (Note: To calculate the estimated earning rate, we took average spending statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate category and overall spend.)
Despite a low average rate, the U.S. Bank Cash+ can still be a good option for cardholders who spend a lot in the card’s 5 percent bonus category options.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ comes with a decent sign-up bonus – $200 if you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases the first 120 days of account opening – which can be a great perk for users looking for a quick influx of cash. Though the intro offer is certainly a plus, it is average for a card of its class.
Redeeming cash back
While redeeming cash back with the U.S. Bank Cash+ card is fairly simple, it comes with a few drawbacks. Once you’ve earned at least $25 in cash back, you can choose to redeem it for a statement credit or a direct deposit into a U.S. Bank checking, savings or money market account. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to redeem for a paper check or a deposit into an account with another bank. Also, unlike many of its competitors, U.S. Bank puts an expiration date on your rewards. You’ll need to redeem your rewards fairly often, as cash back expires 36 months after the billing cycle in which it is earned.
Additionally, U.S. Bank doesn’t allow cardholders to transfer rewards to any other account.
Transferring a balance
In addition to a customizable rewards rate, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card comes with a modest balance transfer offer. New cardholders receive a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles (18.99% to 28.99% variable APR thereafter). If you are looking to pay down some debt over time or finance a large purchase without accruing interest – but don’t want to sacrifice a rewards program – this can be a huge benefit. However, if you are looking for a long period to pay down a balance, you can find cards with much longer introductory periods.
On the downside, the Cash+ card does charge a 3 percent (or $5, whichever is higher) balance transfer fee. This can add up to quite a large charge on larger balances. Plus, the ongoing APR on the card is on the high side, so it is a good general rule to avoid carrying a balance.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card is designed for users with good to excellent credit (above 670), so you’ll want to ensure you meet those qualifications before you apply. Additionally, the sign-up bonus is only available to new account holders, so if you have ever had the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, you won’t be eligible for the offer.
Among major issuers, U.S. Bank doesn’t have the best customer service reputation. In J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction survey, the bank scored 782, a score 90 percent of major credit card issuers surveyed beat. That said, U.S. Bank does offer 24/7 customer service and an online chat feature, and the bank’s app receives good reviews. It rates 4.6 out of 5 in the Google Play Store and 4.8 out of 5 in the Apple App Store.
How does the U.S. Bank Cash+ card compare to other cash back cards?
While the U.S. Bank Cash+ card can be very lucrative for some spenders, we estimate its average rewards rate below many other cash back cards. Here are a few popular alternatives — that might make more sense for many cardholders.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Chase Freedom Flex℠
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
$200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
$200 if you spend $500 in first 3 months
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
If the idea of choosing your own bonus category appeals to you, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card has a similar earning scheme. Cardholders can earn 3 percent cash back on a category of their choice – gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings. Users also earn 2 percent cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases ($2,500 combined purchase limit on 2 and 3 percent categories each quarter) and 1 percent cash back on general purchases.
All of the choice categories on the Bank of America card have the potential to be lucrative, especially because cardholders can update their choice once per calendar month. Plus, Bank of America provides detailed spending data on their mobile app to help you determine which category is best for you.
For cardholders who prefer a flat rate of cash back to keeping track of bonus categories, the Citi Double Cash offers one of the most generous rates available. Users earn 1 percent cash back on everything they buy, plus an additional 1 percent cash back as they pay for those purchases – for up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase. If you are the kind of spender that prefers to put all your charges on one card, the Citi Double Cash is a great option.
The Chase Freedom also offers bonus categories for users to earn a little extra cash back, but it works a little differently to the U.S. Bank Cash+. Rather than allow users to choose their own bonus categories each quarter, Chase Freedom cardholders have the option to enroll in rotating bonus categories (determined by Chase) to earn 5% cash back on (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent). Cardholders also earn 5% cash back on Ultimate Rewards travel, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% back on all other purchases. The Freedom Flex card’s rotating categories are often very easy to rack up rewards in and match average spending.
Additionally, the rewards you’ll earn on the Freedom Flex are much more flexible than cash back with the U.S. Bank Cash+. Chase allows you to redeem rewards for cash back, merchandise, travel purchases or even transfer to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card to potentially boost their value.
Why get the U.S. Bank Cash+ card?
- You want the flexibility to choose your own bonus category.
- You prefer cash back to points or miles.
- You want time to pay off a balance transfer interest free without sacrificing rewards.
How to use the U.S. Bank Cash+ card:
- Spend at least $1,000 in the first 120 days to earn the sign-up bonus.
- Keep track of your spending each quarter to help choose your bonus categories.
- Be sure to enroll in your bonus category choices on time each quarter to avoid earning less rewards.
- If you transfer a balance, make a plan to pay it off in the first 15 billing cycles as the interest rate can be high.
Is the U.S. Bank Cash+ card worth it?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ card is a decent option for cardholders seeking flexibility, but its relatively low earning rate and lack of redemption flexibility limit its appeal. Cardholders can likely earn more cash back by opting for a generous flat rate card or a similar bonus category card with a more flexible rewards structure.
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