U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature Card review

Published: June 17, 2019

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Published: June 17, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
2.8 rating
2.8 rating
2.8 / 5
Introductory Offer: 2.5
Net Value: 3.4
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 3.5

In a Nutshell:

This flexible cash back card gives cardholders more options than most rewards credit cards; however, it charges a relatively high APR for carrying a balance and only gives cardholders 12 billing cycles to pay off a transferred balance.

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0% Introductory Period
12 billing cycles

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Regular APR
16.24-25.74% (variable)

Annual Fee
$0

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Purchase security, extended warranty, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, roadside assistance, travel discounts, concierge services, complimentary room upgrades

Cash Back Rating:
2 rating
2 rating
2 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.9
Rewards Flexibility: 2.8
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 3.5

In a Nutshell:

For cardholders who don’t mind a hands-on approach to earning card rewards, the U.S. Bank Cash+ offers more choice and flexibility than most of its competitors as well as a decent amount of cash back on everyday purchases.

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Rewards Rate

  • 5% cash back on 2 categories of your choice ($2,000 purchase limit per quarter)
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, such as gas stations or grocery stores
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
$150 if you spend $500 in first 90 days

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$265

APR
16.24-25.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on total amount of cash back
  • Redeem for statement credit, direct deposit or gift card
  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • $2,000 limit each quarter on 5% cash back categories
  • Cash expires after 36 months
  • Can’t redeem cash through paper checks
  • Can’t transfer cash to other rewards programs

Customer Experience

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.

Earning rate

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 ($2,000 purchase limit per quarter). Cardholders can also choose an everyday category, such as gas stations or grocery stores, to earn 2 percent cash back. All other 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 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® 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 ($2,500 combined limit on choice category and grocery and wholesale club purchases each quarter). 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.

Sign-up bonus

The U.S. Bank Cash+ comes with a decent sign-up bonus – $150 if you spend $500 in the first 90 days – 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 $20 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 balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles (16.24 to 25.74 percent variable APR thereafter). If you are looking to pay down some debt over time 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, it doesn’t come with an intro APR on new purchases, so you’ll have to be careful not to charge more than you can pay off each month if you don’t want any additional charges. The ongoing APR on the card is on the high side, so it is a good general rule to avoid carrying a balance.

Other features

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card comes with a few extra perks that make it a valuable choice for frequent travelers.

  • Car rental insurance – For rentals booked and paid with your card, you can be reimbursed in case of damage or theft, in excess of your other insurance coverage.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement – If your luggage is lost on a trip paid with your Cash+ card, you can be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Roadside assistance – To ensure you always have access to roadside assistance, you’ll have access to 24/7 service.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card does charge a foreign transaction fee of 2 to 3 percent, limiting its appeal cardholders who frequently travel abroad.

Approval odds

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.

Customer service

Among major issuers, U.S. Bank doesn’t have the best customer service reputation. In J.D. Power’s 2018 customer satisfaction survey, the bank scored 781, a score 70 percent of major credit card issuers beat. While U.S. Bank does offer 24/7 customer service and an online chat feature, the bank’s app receives mixed reviews. It rates 2.9 out of 5 in the Google Play Store, but 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 Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Citi Double Cash Card
Citi Double Cash Card
Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom®
Rewards rate

  • 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale club purchases
  • $2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
Rewards rate

  • 1% cash back on general purchases
  • 1% additional cash back as you pay for those purchases
Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you must activate each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
Sign-up bonus

$200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days

Sign-up bonus

None

Sign-up bonus

$150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Other things to know

  • Redeem rewards for deposit, statement credit and more
  • Change your choice category once per calendar month
  • View spending snapshot each month to help choose a bonus category
Other things to know

  • Redeem rewards for check, statement credit, gift card or deposit
  • Price protection with Citi Price Rewind
  • Lengthy balance transfer offer
Other things to know

  • Redeem rewards for cash, travel, merchandise or gift cards
  • Transfer points to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card
  • Long intro APR on balance transfers and new purchases

Bank of America Cash Rewards card

If the idea of choosing your own bonus category appeals to you, the Bank of America 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 groceries 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.

Citi Double Cash Card

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.

Chase Freedom

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 percent cash back on (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent). Cardholders also earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. The Chase Freedom rotating categories are often very easy to rack up rewards in and match average spending.

Additionally, the rewards you’ll earn on the Chase Freedom card 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 $500 in the first 90 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 12 months 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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All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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