US Bank Review

US Bank is the fifth-richest bank in America, and they offer plenty of value to their customers. Are they the right bank for you?

Finding the right bank can feel like entering the dating pool. There are a lot of banks vying for your attention and loyalty, but which one is right for you?

As the country's fifth richest bank, U.S. Bank can afford to offer a broad range of banking products and services. It has checking and savings options to fit every lifestyle, and combining these options can be your best deal.

This review offers a deep dive into the nitty gritty of U.S. Bank, with nuanced coverage of its many products, and analysis and reviews from experts and real customers.

The history and origins of U.S. Bank

First, you'll want the background story. U.S. Bank has been around since 1863—that's 154 years of growth and experience. With all that time to grow, U.S. Bank has become quite large. According to the FDIC, the bank is currently the fifth largest bank in the U.S. by total assets.

U.S. Bank branches are found nearly everywhere but in the east

It is also the fourth largest commercial bank by branch count, with 3,013 branches and 5,323 bilingual ATMs spread around the midwest and west coast of the U.S. Unfortunately, few branches exist on the East Coast and in the South.

Some products and services offered by U.S. Bank differ state to state. Investment options are one example. You can search the U.S. Bank website using your state to determine which products are available to you.

What makes U.S. Bank shine

  • Tried and true—a good choice if you're concerned about long-term stability for your money.
  • If you need one bank to offer every service, then U.S. Bank is a strong contender
  • Very American—as per its name. They even have a Harley Davidson branded credit card. (If you spend much time traveling internationally, you should probably pick a different bank.)
  • Convenient to many U.S. locations (if you're NOT on the East Coast or in the South)—and a good choice if you prefer in-person banking.
  • Car loan experts love the bank's low-interest rates, which can be as as little as 2.74% APR.

Would you fit in at U.S. Bank?

U.S. Bank appeals to traditional banking customers who value streamlining their finances into one institution with many different services. Third party reviews of U.S. Bank generally rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

Total Net Revenue of U.S. Bank from 2013-2017 However, customers aren't very satisfied with their experience at U.S. Bank. Consumer Affairs rates U.S. bank with only 1 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction based on customer ratings and reviews. Many of the reviews cite poor customer service in response to unforeseen fund problems. We explore these shortcomings in our section about U.S. Bank's weaknesses and consumer complaints.

What you'll find at U.S. Bank

It's almost easier to list out what the bank doesn't do, given their size and history. U.S. Bank offers a wide variety of products and services that are best served as a package deal, including:

  • U.S. Bank checking services
  • U.S. Bank savings services—savings accounts, money markets, and CDs
  • U.S. Bank credit cards
  • U.S. Bank digital banking
  • U.S. Bank security and fraud alerts
  • Loans and lines of credit
  • Wealth management services

Thinking of going with U.S. Bank? Here's a complete review:

  1. U.S. Bank checking accounts for every lifestyle–including yours!
  2. Save more money with U.S. Bank savings and money markets
  3. Build credit, score perks, and more with U.S. Bank credit cards
  4. U.S. Bank CDs offer another route to savings
  5. U.S. Bank digital banking makes bill pay, deposits, and money management a cinch
  6. Mortgages, loans, business accounts and other key financial services by U.S. Bank
  7. U.S. Bank discounts, perks, and benefits for signing up
  8. U.S. Banking Strengths
  9. U.S. Banking Weaknesses and customer complaints
  10. How to get started banking with U.S. Bank
  11. How to cancel U.S. Banking services
  12. All the FAQ about U.S. Bank answered

1. U.S. Bank checking accounts for every lifestyle–including yours!

Trying to decide which U.S. Bank checking account to open can feel a lot like a bad game show—choose wrong and unexpected fees can hit you like a cream pie to the face. Unfortunately, U.S. Bank's inconvenient monthly checking fees can add up to as much as $240 a year in wasted money.

To avoid painful surprises, we've put together a cheat sheet to help you choose the checking account that best fits your lifestyle and current financial status.

Basic checking account options

Safe Debit Account: This account is for the minimalist who prefers to handle finances digitally.

Things to know:

  • No physical checks
  • $4.95 monthly fee
  • No minimum balance or other requirements

Student Checking: This account is for students only.

Things to know:

  • Low $2 monthly fee
  • 4 free non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions per month
  • Free personal checks
  • No minimum balance required

Easy Checking: This account is a U.S. Bank's standard checking account.

Things to know:

  • $8.95 monthly fee
  • No required minimum balance
  • No free use of non-U.S. Bank ATMs

Upgraded checking account options

Silver Checking Package: U.S. Bank's most popular option.

Things to know:

  • Requires you to have the Package Money Market Savings Account (no fee)
  • Requires monthly direct deposits of at least $1,000

OR

  • Requires a combined average deposit balance of $1,500

Gold Checking Package: This account is for those who also need credit or loans.

Things to know:

  • $12.95 monthly fee unless you have a U.S. Bank personal loan, line of credit, or credit card
  • Adds a free savings account
  • 2 free non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions
  • Allows free family member accounts
  • Reduced fees on overdraft transfers
  • Gives preferred rates for new loans

Premium Checking: This account is a great deal for senior citizens

Things to know:

  • No monthly fees if you're over 65

OR

  • You maintain an average account balance of $5,000
  • Pays you .01% – .02% interest on your balance
  • Unlimited transactions at any ATM
  • Free personal checks
  • Fee-free money orders

Platinum Checking Package: The luxury vehicle of U.S. Bank's checking fleet—but it'll cost you

Things to know:

  • $19.95 monthly fee unless you clear $25K in combined monthly deposits and/or credit balances

OR

  • You have a relationship with U.S. Bank Trust Services
  • Includes all the perks of Premium, plus, free mobile check deposit, a premier savings account, free investment transactions, and discounts on loans and credit cards

Setting up an account at U.S. Bank

Opening a U.S. Bank checking account is fairly convenient. If you're 18 years or older and a legal U.S. resident, you can apply online, by phone at 800-239-3302, or in person at any U.S. Bank branch. Each account holder will need to show proof of a Social Security number and a driver's license, state ID, or military ID.

U.S. Bank does use your credit score to determine your eligibility for various products, like loans, credit cards, CDs, and more. They don't, however, publish any specific credit score requirements. This means you can apply for any U.S. Bank product even if you don't have a good credit score, but you may want to talk with one of their representatives to check on whether applying is worth your while. The interest rates may not be terribly competitive compared to other low credit score card offers.

How to get the most out of your U.S. Bank checking account

If you don't pay attention to the fine print, your checking account can nickel and dime you out of hundreds of dollars a year. Follow these tips to maximize the potential of your U.S. Bank checking account:

  1. Choose the checking account that works best for you based on which perks you'll use and which account balance requirements you'd normally meet.

  2. Meet the balance or deposit requirements to avoid monthly fees.

  3. Take advantage of offers to add a fee-free money market account.

  4. Use U.S. Bank for more than one financial product. Your checking account may qualify you for a lower interest rate on loans.

  5. Sign up for direct deposit to get the fastest access to your paychecks.

How to minimize those pesky U.S. Bank checking account fees

U.S. Bank's monthly checking account fees are a bit higher than other banks. They currently range from $6.95 to $19.95, whereas TD Bank's monthly fee is just $5.99 and has no minimum balance requirement. Still, while U.S. Bank's fees are tough to avoid, it's not impossible if you're in the know.

Depending on the type of account, you can get away with avoiding monthly checking fees at U.S. Bank. Here's how:

  • Sign up for direct deposit
  • Maintain the required minimum balance for your account. For Premium Checking, for example, you need to have a $5,000 balance to pay $0 in fees. OR pay no fees, if one of the account owners is 65 years or older and registers for online statements (for instance, if you manage an older parent's banking, this could be a good option)
  • Open a checking account and get a credit card
  • Take out a loan

In addition to getting rid of monthly fees, you also want to avoid getting slapped with other unnecessary extra fees. Follow these simple tips to minimize U.S. Bank's extra fees:

  • Sign up for online statements (save $2/month)
  • Use U.S. Bank ATMs (save $2.50+ on each cash withdrawal)
  • Always keep your account balance in the black (avoid the $36 overdraft fee)

What consumers say about U.S. Bank checking

Wondering what other customers think of their U.S. Bank checking accounts? Overall, reviewers are not completely thrilled. Credio's U.S. Bank review notes that the bank generally has " higher checking account rates than other banks," but slightly lower minimum balance requirements.

Customer reviews from Consumer Affairs also mention that things are not always as expected when dealing with U.S. Bank's checking. One reviewer said:

I have banked with U.S. Bank for over eight years now and we had nothing but problems the entire time. They are thieves. I deposited my check on a Friday morning and my funds were [not] available to me until Tuesday.

Another reviewer noted:

I am very tired of this bank, we always get charged a fee for everything… you charge fees for this, for that! You guys don't care about your customers. We have come across this every month it seems like. You are very inconsistent with people's accounts and balances. We had a return for 50 bucks and get charged 72 in fees.

The bottom line is that U.S. Bank's checking account is not its most desired or valuable product (other banks offer lower checking fees). But if you can easily meet the minimum balance or product combination requirements, your carefully chosen checking account may work for you.

2. Save more money with U.S. Bank savings and money markets

U.S. Bank's savings accounts are designed for all varieties of banking customers. They range from basic savings accounts to money market accounts and combo accounts.

A U.S. savings account generally offers low interest rates to customers compared to other types of investment accounts. But, savings accounts require less commitment and less capital.

Check out this breakdown of U.S. Bank's major savings options to see which one is best suited for you:

Basic savings options

Standard Savings Account: offers all the basics

Things to know:

  • $25 minimum balance
  • $4 monthly fee
  • .01% current interest rate

Goal Savings Account: nudges you to save with perks

Things to know:

  • Must be combined with a U.S. Bank checking account
  • Automatic transfers from checking to savings
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • Minimum $25 monthly transfer from checking required
  • .01% current interest rate

Star Savers Club: just for kids

Things to know:

  • For children 17 years and under
  • $25 minimum opening deposit
  • .01% current interest rate

Stand-alone money market options

Determining the difference between a savings account and money market account is like choosing between wheat bread and whole wheat bread—at first glance, they look the same.

SimpleDollar says, "For most people, a money market deposit account is essentially equivalent to a savings account. At your local bank, the money market account is probably a substantially better deal, as local brick-and-mortar savings accounts offer atrociously low interest rates." The major difference between the two is how the bank is allowed to invest the funds—but this doesn't translate into much of a difference for customers.

U.S. Bank's savings accounts currently offer a .01% interest rate, while their money market accounts currently offer at least a .04% interest rate. If you deposited $100 in each type of account and left it alone for 10 years, you would earn only $1 from the savings account, and $4 from the money market account. Clearly, both these accounts are more for tucking away your savings safely than for investing them to gain profit.

Survey: Which Bank Do You Use?

U.S. Bank's money market options:

Retirement Money Market: slow and steady savings

Things to know:

  • Tiered interest rates (currently .05% to .10%)
  • Long-term savings
  • Tax advantages
  • A low monthly deposit requirement ($100 minimum opening deposit or $25 automatic monthly deposit)
  • $0 monthly fee

Money Market Account: less committed long-term savings

Things to know:

  • You want higher tiered interest rates (currently .04% to .05%)
  • You want a more accessible money market account
  • $10 monthly fee unless you can maintain a $1,000 minimum daily ledger balance OR $2,500 average monthly collected balance
  • $100 minimum opening deposit

Elite Money Market Account: long-term savings with a bang

Things to know:

  • You want higher, tiered interest rates (currently .04% to .06%)
  • You can maintain >$10K account balance
  • $100 minimum initial deposit
  • $10 monthly fee unless you keep a $10,000 minimum daily ledger balance

Choose a package deal to score extra benefits at U.S. Bank

If you have a U.S. Bank Silver or Gold checking account, you can also choose a Package Money Market Savings, which only requires a $25 minimum opening deposit. With a Platinum checking account, you can also get a Platinum Select Money Market Savings, which is almost identical to the basic money market, but initially offers a higher bonus interest rate for the first 12 months. Having both these types of accounts can eliminate U.S. Bank's higher account fees.

As with all savings account choices, make sure to look at the monthly fees, required minimum balances, and required monthly deposit frequency and minimums before deciding which account is right for you.

Managing U.S. Bank savings account fees and low interest rates

Savings and money market accounts from U.S. Bank don't offer much in interest (01% – .10%). This means it's even more important to maintain any required minimum balances to avoid monthly fees. For instance, if you're not careful, the $10 monthly fee on U.S. Bank's Money Market and Elite Money Market accounts could eclipse any interest you earn—you'd actually be paying the bank for their storage and temporary use of your money.

You may also want to consider committing to a more long-term investment account that would bring higher returns on your savings. Check out IRAs and CDs to find higher profits, but keep in mind that your money won't be as easily accessible.

What consumers are saying about U.S. Bank savings

U.S. Bank savings account customers are not very pleased with the customer service, and some people say the bank didn't follow through on promised promotions. One reviewer complained on Consumer Affairs's site:

I wanted to open a saving account and transfer the funds in my checking account … At that time the bank could not find the paperwork I had filed… I had to bring in another copy. I told the bank representatives that if I had one more error in my accounts I would close them all and move those accounts to another bank … I tried to set up a meeting with the New Account/Bank Manager several times.

U.S. Bank savings account users on WalletHub rated their accounts 3.7 out of 5 stars. The lowest ratings were about poor problem resolution and unclear disclosure. One reviewer told her story:

Opening up the account was very easy – I logged into my online account, applied, and was approved very quickly… The following month, however, I saw that there was a monthly [fee]. I called and talked with customer service and they said that you had to have monthly deposits to avoid the fee. I do not recall seeing this information when I signed up, otherwise I would not have opened the account.

The moral of the story is this: Know before you go. Call customer service before opening an account to make sure you're aware of all the account's rules and fees.

The bottom line is that U.S. Bank's savings and money market accounts are standard fare. If you're already planning to use other U.S. Bank products, it might streamline your savings process by choosing a U.S. Bank savings account.

However, if you're looking for the most interest on savings that remain accessible, try an online-only bank. Reviews says, "All of the top traditional banks offer interest rates of 0.01%—considerably lower than the 1.05% available with leading online-only banks."

3. Build credit, score perks, and more with U.S. Bank credit cards

Choosing one of U.S Bank's 34 personal credit cards is a daunting task. But the right U.S. Bank credit card can help you build credit, earn free travel or purchases, and even earn money.

To choose the right credit card, ask yourself:

  • What stage of life am I in?
  • How's my credit score?
  • What kind of rewards do I want from my credit card?

To find the right U.S. Bank credit card, check out this breakdown of the types of U.S. Bank's credit cards to find the one that best meets your needs.

Student credit cards

As a student, you'll quickly run into an unexpected financial roadblock—credit. You need to establish a good credit score before you can do some adulting, like renting an apartment, getting a car loan, qualifying for lower insurance rates, and even being considered for certain jobs. Getting a student credit card can help with this.

Getting a U.S. Bank student credit card is advisable if you're going to also open a checking and/or savings account with U.S. Bank. The package deal grants discounts and lower fees on your accounts, which makes the credit card's average benefits look better.

There are several U.S. Bank student credit cards. Each offers different benefits, according to U.S. Bank. Here's how they're presented to customers:

  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card – Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined net purchases each quarter on the two categories you choose.
  • U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card – Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every net purchase.
  • U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card – Generous credit lines and lower APRs.
  • U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card – Build or re-establish your credit.

What are the pros and cons of U.S. Bank Student Cards?

While choosing the specific perks that fit your needs is important, a pros and cons overview of these four student cards is a helpful place to start.

Pros:

  • Tech focused perks like online banking, cell phone protection, auto pay, and FlexControl
  • Low to no annual fees
  • Great starter cards for people just beginning to establish a line of credit (besides the Visa Platinum Card)
  • Foreign transaction fees aren't ideal for the frequent flyer or student studying abroad
  • Minimal and restricted rewards
  • Average to high APRs (besides the Visa Platinum Card)

What do experts say about U.S. Bank Student Cards?

According to a number of accredited reviews, U.S. Bank's Student Cards are average, middle-of-the pack options.

For instance, Christina Majaski, a credit card expert and contributor to WiseBread, highlights the customizability of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card — but with a caveat.

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa credit card is particularly notable in that it lets its cardholders choose which bonus categories they want for each quarter. This means that you can adjust your bonus categories according to the purchases you plan to make in the future…

It's best for those who are diligent in choosing and selecting the bonus categories every three months, along with those who are good at planning their purchases out in advance in order to reap the most rewards.

Over at Value Penguin, credit card industry reporter Robert Harrow advises against the U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card — unless you're already a U.S. Bank customer.

The U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card is an excellent choice if you're looking for a cash back credit card specifically from U.S. Bank. The fixed 1.5% rewards rate is great for individuals with varied spending who want a simple rewards credit card. If you don't mind doing business with other banks, however, you can find better bonuses and returns.

Good to know! U.S. Bank's Campus Cards Program partners with colleges and universities in 16 states and allows students to add banking capabilities to their student IDs. Check this list of partner schools to see if you can take advantage!

The bottom line is that while U.S. Bank's Student Cards don't stand out from the competition, they still might make sense depending on your specific situation. If you're already a customer of other U.S. Bank products, or are affiliated with one of the dozens of schools the bank partners with, the perk combinations and overall convenience might be worth it.

Credit cards to build or rebuild credit

Whether you're just starting to build up your credit or re-establishing it after a financial meltdown, a secured credit card can help. This type of credit card doesn't require a credit score for approval.

Indeed, almost any applicant can qualify for a secured credit card because the cardholder is essentially adding money to a card and then using it as he or she sees fit. It's a win-win in that the bank is protected against the risk of default, you're unable to overspend, and your credit score reaps the benefits of responsible credit card usage.

Personal finance expert Beverly Harzog notes an important feature of the secured card:

If you use the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card responsibly, you can rebuild your credit because U.S. Bank reports your payment history to the three major credit bureaus. Take advantage of this golden opportunity to rebuild—or establish—credit.

If you're focusing on rebuilding your credit, you want to make sure your hard work and responsible monthly payments are being reported to boost your credit score.

There are several U.S. Bank secured credit cards:

U.S. Bank Secured Visa®Card: a classic secured card without rewards

Things to know:

  • $29 annual fee
  • APR 19.49%
  • FlexControl—an online tool for automatic payments to help you avoid late payments and fees
  • Auto Rental Insurance included automatically

Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card: retail reward points go toward earning a Harley-Davidson gift card

Things to know:

  • 1 Harley Davidson Genuine Rewards point for every net $1 spent
  • Redeem 2,500 points for a $25 Harley Davidson Gift Card.
  • $0 annual fee
  • Variable APR (currently 23.49%)

U.S. Bank also offers different types of secured travel rewards credit cards. You can sign up for a credit card with travel reward points linked to Aeromexico, LATAM airline companies or Korean Air:

AeroMexico Visa Secured Card: if you are flying in and out of Mexico or often with this airline, then give this one a look

Passengers On Aeroméxico from 2014-2017 Things to know:

  • Double miles on gas & groceries
  • 1 airline mile per net $1 spent
  • 5,000 bonus miles plus Complimentary Companion Certificate with first use
  • $99 Companion Certificate with renewal
  • $0 introductory annual fee ($25 after the first year)
  • APR 23.49%

LANPASS Visa Secured Card: take a look at this one if you're flying in and out of Latin America often

Things to know:

  • 1 airline mile for every eligible net $1 spent
  • 5,000 bonus miles after first use
  • 10% discount on first LATAM Airlines purchase (up to $500) one time per year
  • $0 Introductory Annual Fee ($25 after the first year)
  • APR 23.49%

SKYPASS Visa Secured Card: Spend time flying over Asia-Pacific? Then give this card a close look

Things to know:

  • Redeem miles for award travel and upgrades on Korean Air and SkyTeam partners
  • 1 airline mile for every eligible net $1 spent
  • 5,000 bonus miles after first use
  • 1,000 bonus miles upon renewal
  • $50 introductory annual fee
  • Variable APR (currently 16.74%)
  • Bilingual automated 24-hour account access
  • Bilingual customer service available

Credit cards to help get out of debt faster

When you're trying to get out of debt, high interest rates can make the uphill climb take twice as long. U.S. Bank has introductory APR credit cards that offer lower interest rates on your credit card balances for a specified amount of time. Some cards offer cash back rewards, and some offer points towards purchases at specific retail stores.

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card: the classic, with no rewards, but the lowest APR

Things to know:

  • 0% interest on purchases AND balance transfers for 12 months
  • $0 annual fee
  • Low balance transfer fees
  • Lower variable APR after 12 months (as little as 10.49%)

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: the same as the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, but boasts more perks (for a price)

Things to know:

  • 13.49% – 23.49% variable APR on purchases
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose.
  • 2% cash back on one everyday category
  • 1% cash back on all eligible net purchases

U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express®Card: unlimited cash back on any purchase anywhere

Things to know:

  • 1.5% cash back on everyday net purchases
  • $100 new member bonus if you apply online
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers within the first 60 days
  • 13.49% – 23.49% variable APR on purchases
  • Emergency Assistance– 24/7 access to medical, legal, and financial help if you're >100 miles from home

U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select+American Express Card: for those who prefer a variety of rewards like air travel, merchandise, and even gift cards

Things to know:

  • Awards FlexPoints that can be redeemed at 150 airlines or retail stores
  • 1 FlexPoint for every $1 spent in net purchases
  • 0% APR for 9 months on balance transfers made within the first 60 days
  • 14.49% to 24.49% variable APR on purchases
  • $0 annual fee

Fred Meyer Rewards Visa Card: if you frequent Freddy's, earn double points

Things to know:

  • 1 point per qualifying net $1 spent
  • 2 points per qualifying net $1 spent on purchases in Fred Meyer stores.
  • 500 rewards points = $5 rewards rebate at Fred Meyer stores.
  • Save up to $1.25 a gallon at Fred Meyer Fuel Centers for ONE YEAR when you redeem up to 1000 Fuel Points and you scan and pay with your new Fred Meyer Rewards® Visa® Card.
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months (14.49%-24.49% after that)

Remember, all of these cards charge $0 annual fees, which means you can spend more of your money paying down the balance instead of fees.

U.S. Bank low APR credit card reviews

Vera Gibbons, a writer for Real Simple, discusses paying off debt with a credit card that offers 0% APR on balance transfers. Her main advice: Be careful!

You should transfer a balance only if you're committed to paying off the debt within an introductory low-interest-rate window (which typically lasts 12 to 18 months after the first billing cycle closes) and to making monthly payments on time…Otherwise your rate could skyrocket, possibly ending up higher than the one you just got rid of.

(Important: You should also avoid making any purchases with the new card, as sometimes the low interest rate won't apply to them.)

In addition, know that you'll probably be charged a balance-transfer fee, which is usually about 3 to 4% of the total amount transferred.

Financial guru Suze Orman echoes this advice if you can qualify for these offers. If you're paying off debt with a balance transfer, she encourages you to "push yourself hard to pay off the balance as soon as possible."

If you want to focus on paying off your debts as fast as possible, choose the U.S. Bank credit card with the lowest interest on purchases and balance transfers for the longest amount of time. U.S. Bank's Introductory APR Credit Cards vary in the rewards they offer, so choose the one with the rewards you'll actually use—cash back, travel, retail gift cards, or Fred Meyer superstores.

Credit cards that pay you back

There are thousands of rewards credit cards out there, and it's tough to decide which one will really give you the most value back. U.S. Bank offers a wide variety of rewards credit cards that can be divided into three categories:

  • Retail rewards
  • Cash rewards
  • Travel rewards

We take a look at all three.

Retail rewards

Once you've picked your rewards category, choose the credit card attached to the brand that you'll really spend the most on. Some names encompass a broader spectrum of products. The most important question to inform your retail rewards choice is, "Where do you usually shop?" U.S. Bank offers 8 different retail rewards credit cards:

1-2-3 REWARDS Visa Card: cut down on local grocery and fuel expenses with every purchase

Things to know:

  • $1 spent = 1 point anywhere visa cards are accepted
  • $1 = 2 points at Kroger stores (excluding fuel centers)
  • $1 = 3 points on Kroger brands
  • $0 annual fee
  • 14.49% – 24.49% variable APR

Gymboree Visa Card: buy your clothes consistently at Gymboree outlets and save big

Things to know:

  • 20% off your first Gymboree clothing purchase + $10 Gymboree store bonus after acceptance
  • 5% off all Gymboree clothing purchases
  • 1% reward on all other net purchases
  • Special cardmember offers throughout the year
  • $0 annual fee
  • 14.49% – 23.49% variable APR

U.S. Bank's other retail cards span the gamut of shopping categories, with similar point systems, discounts, and APR's:

  • Ace Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • Fred Meyer Rewards Visa Card
  • Harley-Davidson Visa Signature Card
  • Polaris Visa Card
  • Ralphs Rewards Visa Card
  • REI MasterCard

Cash rewards

You don't have to number-crunch all the percentages and purchase amounts to decide if the cash rewards offered by U.S. Bank are right for you. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card (detailed above, as it also is a great choice to get out of debt) is highly rated by a number of expert review sites. NerdWallet's review by Kate Hornsby, a personal finance blogger at Credit Sesame, explains her kudos for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card quite simply:

Plenty of contenders vie to be ranked among the best rewards credit cards, and the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature Card comes on strong with a rewards program that's both generous and flexible.

Travel rewards

U.S. Bank's 13 different travel rewards cards connect consumers with flex travel points they can use with various airlines and hotel chains. Some cards connect with only one particular airline. These are best if you always travel with the same airline or often go to the same places.

U.S Bank Travel Rewards credit cards:

  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select+American Express Card
  • AeroMexico Visa Signature Card
  • AeroMexico Visa Card
  • Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • Club Carlson Rewards Visa Card
  • LANPASS Visa Signature Card
  • LANPASS Visa Card
  • SKYPASS Visa Signature Card
  • SkyBlue SKYPASS Visa Card
  • SKYPASS Visa Classic Card

U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature credit card is touted as one of the best travel credit cards available. Check out these pros and cons, courtesy of ValuePenguin:

  • One of the higher travel rewards rates (up to 4%)
  • Enjoy travel perks like free inflight wifi and meals, rental car benefits, and more
  • ow annual fee of $49 ($0 for first year)
  • Less rewards flexibility than similar travel cards
  • Points expire after five years
  • ome limits on point accumulation after certain spending threshold

U.S. Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card rewards you with points to use at any Carlson hotel. ThePointsGuy's TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent, Nick Ewen, is a big fan of this card. He explains:

I think there's a compelling case for this card beingone of the most valuable out there for everyday spending.Of course, even if you don't agree, the card is still a fantastic one to have in your wallet on a long-term basis.

The 40,000 points you get every year upon your account renewal will easily cover the annual fee, especially if you take advantage of the Bonus Night Award benefit and redeem those points for a two-night stay at a Category 4 property (for example).

The bottom line few of U.S. Bank's credit cards, like the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa and the Visa Platinum, stack up well against other banks' credit cards. These cards are worth getting even if you don't use other U.S. Bank products.

The value of many other U.S. credit cards is in combining them with a loan, checking account, or savings account to get lower fees and rates. If you use multiple U.S. Bank products, choose the U.S. Bank credit card that will best help you reach your financial goals and offer the rewards you'll use the most.

4. U.S. Bank CDs offer another route to savings

Deciding the best way to safely increase your savings can be a challenge. There are a variety of CDs and savings options. Customers looking for a solid way to save who don't need access to their savings for a given time will usually gain more in interest from a CD account.

Jeff Rose of GoodFinancialCents lists CD accounts among the lowest risk investments out there. He explains:

No matter how hard you look, you won't find an investment more boring than a Certificate of Deposit…With a CD, you get a set interest rate for that period of time that will not change no matter what happens to interest rates.

You are locked in until maturity of the term length, although you can usually choose to withdraw from the CD early for a penalty that is normally equal to 3 months' worth of interest.

All U.S. Bank CDs are FDIC insured, and offer different interest rates depending on how long you can leave your funds in the CD. But, their interest rates are generally lower than that of their competitor. For example, the current interest rate on a 19-month U.S. Bank CD account is 0.5% APY. EverBank's 12-month CD account's interest rate is currently more than double that at 1.15% APY.

Different types of U.S. Bank CDs

U.S. Bank Certificate of Deposit: a safe, classic CD with a restricted initial deposit of $1,000

Things to know:

  • Offers a variety of terms usually ranging from one month to five years
  • Guarantees a fixed rate of return
  • Requires a minimum deposit of $500 to open

U.S. Bank CD Special: a safe, classic CD without an initial deposit restriction

Things to know:

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  • Special promotional offer with higher interest rates
  • Guarantees a fixed rate of return
  • Requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open
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    U.S. Bank Step Up CD: steadily raises the interest paid

    Things to know:

    • Over 28 months, this CD automatically increases the interest rate paid at 7, 14 and 21 months.
    • Diversifies overall risk in your portfolio
    • Requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open

    U.S. Bank Trade Up CD: requires an initial deposit >$1,000 and investment for at least 30 months

    Things to know:

    • Allows flexibility to trade up for a higher interest rate once
    • Requires a 30 or 60 month period
    • Diversifies overall risk in your portfolio
    • Requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open

    Setting up a CD

    You can apply for a U.S. Bank CD online, by phone, or at a local bank branch. After you apply, it typically takes 2-3 days to process your application. Here's the link to U.S. Bank customer service.

    Although customers who use other U.S. Bank products may prefer the convenience of investing in a CD with the same institution, there are much more lucrative CDs out there. One review site stated that U.S. Bank CDs are some of the lowest yielding CDs you will find on the market.

    5. Digital banking makes bill pay, deposits, and money management a cinch

    Since 51% of U.S. adults bank online, U.S. Bank's digital banking has to be comprehensive. There are so many services available online that users may not be aware of all of them. The U.S. Bank website and app provides the following functionalities:

    • Manage your money—transfer, apply for services, and more
    • Pay bills—just one time, or set up monthly automated payments
    • Deposit checks—by taking a picture (but beware the extra $.50 fee/check)
    • Send money—via Western Union, or electronic transfer via email
    • Online statements—they'll keep your files stored for 7 years
    • Reduced monthly fees for choosing online statements
    • Secure debit and credit card transactions with chip technology
    • Mobile payments with encryption
    • U.S. Bank's Text Banking enable customers to access account information quickly using any phone with texting ("SMS") capability

    A word about U.S. Bank's mobile app

    Mobile banking offers speed and convenience, and is a must-have for those who prefer to bank on the go. The U.S. Bank mobile app is rated between 3.3 and 3.8 out of 5 stars with users on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play. Customers complain about its fees, but appreciate its broad capabilities.

    GoBankingRates advises readers to consider what features they value in deciding whether they'll like U.S. Bank's mobile app. They write:

    If you're looking for a banking app that doesn't charge fees for making mobile deposits or choosing quicker payment delivery options, the U.S. Bank app might not be right for you. But theU.S. Bank app offers functions that could be too good for an account holder to pass up; PhotoBanking and the ability to manage all your U.S. Bank accounts from the palm of your hand are major conveniences.

    U.S. Bank touts its fraud alerts and security features to help safeguard your money.

    In today's age of rampant identity theft and online banking hacks, it's important to have top-notch security technology in place. U.S. Bank has basic online and card security as well as fraud alerts, but it didn't make it onto any noteworthy lists of safest banks.

    U.S. Bank is among several large banks that use the same security system for digital transactions. Because of this, you won't see too many differences in its security features. U.S. Bank offers the following to keep your money safe:

    • Automatic website logouts after 15 minutes
    • Automatic app logouts after 5 minutes
    • Fingerprint security on mobile app
    • Encryption of data sent to and from their website
    • Chip technology?
    • Monitoring for suspicious transactions
    • Fraud alerts via text and email if they find unusual account activity.
    • Chip-enabled credit/debit cards
    • Mobile payments via your phone or personal device with ApplePay, AndroidPay, Samsung Pay and Microsoft Wallet

    Of these standard security features, chip technology and mobile payments are the newest. Chip technology provides unique transaction codes at checkouts that prevent criminals from creating counterfeit versions of your card. Mobile payments are protected with encryption within the various software options.

    Good to know! If you'd like to get a text message or email whenever U.S. Bank is about to make what they believe is an unauthorized change to your account, you can easily go on the website to sign up this alert service online. This protects you from losing funds to fraud if someone gets your password.

    Do's and don'ts for U.S. Bank digital banking

    To make the most of U.S. Banks most popular digital banking features, we made this handy list of do's and don't's.

    Digital Banking FeatureDoDon't
    Transfer MoneyUse it to transfer money to/from any of your accounts in any institution.Use "Next Day Delivery"—inbound transfers have a $5 fee per transaction.
    Account AlertsUse optional payment reminders and balance alerts for all accounts, debit and credit cards to help keep finances in order.Forget to set up all the alerts. Most alerts are optional and you'll need to take initiative.
    Online StatementsSign up to reduce paper filing and monthly fees, and to easily access past statements.Forget to check your email inbox, or to download statements for storage back up.
    Pay BillsAutomate regular bill payments to make sure they get paid on time.Allow your checking account balance to get too low. Avoid overdrafts.
    Send MoneyUse "Pay a Person" to send money using someone's email, phone, or account info without hidden fees.Pay the hefty fees to send cash through Western Unions unless that's the only way to send it.
    Deposit Checks— Only available in the app (not online)Use DepositPoint app feature if you need to deposit a check ASAP and can't get to a branch.Waste your money on the $.50/check fee unless the deposit is really urgent.
    Small Business Payroll ServicesUse the free Paycard Solutions. Sign upPay fees for more payroll services than you really need.

    The bottom line is that if you're generally fond of digital tools, you should make use of U.S. Bank's digital banking products. This will help you keep better track of your money, pay bills on time, and improve your credit. If you prefer to do all of your banking online or via a mobile app, U.S. Bank is probably not your best option. You'll find that solely online banks offer the lowest fees.

    While they have all the basics a modern bank offering online services should have, U.S. Bank doesn't win any awards or beat out its competitors for fantastic security features. If you regularly bank online and value having the most up-to-date security features, you may want to consider banking elsewhere.

    Where Adults Lack Access To A Bank Account6. At U.S. Bank, loan options and other banking services are plentiful

    U.S. Bank also offers other loans and investment services, but it doesn't stand out from the competition in this department. Still, while the bank isn't known for its loans, if you combine a U.S. Bank checking account with a loan, you may get a better deal.

    For example, if you maintain a U.S. Bank auto loan, home equity loan, or personal loan your Gold Checking monthly maintenance fee of $12.95 will be waived.

    U.S. Bank mortgages and home loans

    U.S. Bank offers a complete catalog of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. They have no origination fee. Also, if you already have a U.S. Bank Platinum checking account, you may qualify for up to a $1,000 discount on mortgage fees.

    Mortgage Options:

    U.S. Bank's mortgage and home loan customers are not very happy with these products. But if you have a U.S. Bank Platinum checking account and want to save on fees, U.S. mortgages and loans might work. Here are some selling points and things to know:

    What U.S. Bank does best with mortgages:

    • No origination fees
    • Borrowers who have U.S. Bank Platinum checking accounts may qualify for up to a $1,000 discount on mortgage fees
    • Mortgage rates published on the website are shown with zero discount points

    Where U.S. Bank falls short on mortgages:

    • Online capabilities are currently limited
    • With offices in half of the country, you may not be able to do business face to face
    • Customer satisfaction is below average
    • Some interest rates, like those for CDs, are relatively low compared to other options

    U.S. Bank loans and other lines of credit

    Life happens, needs arise, and at some point or another, you may need a loan. U.S. Bank's loan offerings include:

    • Home equity
    • Auto loans
    • Boat loans
    • RV loans
    • Personal lines of credit

    Good to know! U.S. Bank's auto loans were noted in The Simple Dollar's Best Auto Loans for 2017 as one of the "Best of the Big Banks," and as of April 2017 have rates as low as 2.74% APR. To find the best loan for you, compare interest rates and payment time with how much you'll be able to pay per month.

    To decide if a given U.S. Bank loan is best for you, follow this tip from MoneyManagement: "In general, take the loan with the lowest interest rate/APR and loan term as long as you can afford the monthly payment." And remember, if you can, always look into combining a loan product with a checking or savings accounts to minimize fees.

    U.S. Bank offers lots of perks for business owners

    U.S. Bank offers small businesses several business banking services and products. These include savings and checking accounts, credit cards, online banking, loans, and lines of credit.

    Good to know! If you own a non-profit, U.S. Bank offers a non-profit checking account with $0 monthly fees. Other features include:

    • 1,800 free transactions per calendar year
    • $0.50 per transaction over the free combined transactions
    • 300 free cash deposit units per calendar year
    • Online banking, mobile banking, bill pay, account alerts, and U.S. Bank ATM
    • Earns interest

    If you prefer to talk with a live person when banking for your business and you work near a U.S. Bank, its small business products may be worth your while. The bank offers tools for many small business needs—from accepting payments in all forms, payroll processing, to financing necessary equipment.

    Grow your nest egg with U.S. Bank's wealth management services

    In general, U.S. Bank's investment products are geared toward long-term growth. Concretely, that means less aggressive investment strategies with lower risks. If you're young, you may prefer the possibility of higher gains, even if it means greater risks.

    If you're looking for ways to grow your money beyond savings, U.S. Bank offers a comprehensive list of wealth management services:

    • Retirement and financial planning
    • IRAs and retirement services
    • Investment management
    • Trust and fiduciary services
    • Private banking to customize for your needs
    • Life insurance
    • Education funding

    Check with a certified financial planner to determine the best investment products for you.

    7. U.S. Bank discounts, perks, and benefits for signing up

    Like most American banks, U.S. Bank offers significant discounts and specialized banking services for all current and former U.S. military members. This can be especially convenient if your military family prefers to bank at a local branch. Military benefits at U.S. Bank include:

    • Checking accounts with no monthly fees or balance minimums for military personnel, veterans, and eligible spouses
    • Free online Military Financial Education courses for service members and their spouses and children—get help planning for the future or starting a business
    • VA home loans—buy or refinance with lower or no down payments

    U.S. Bank also offers discounts to customers who sign up for more than one of their banking products or services. With their Silver, Gold, and Platinum Checking packages you'll also get the opportunity to enjoy reduced or eliminated monthly fees on savings, and preferred rates for new loans.

    Like most banks, U.S. Bank offers sign-up bonuses for some of their products. As of June 2017, they will award up to a $50 bonus when you open a new Silver Checking Package account along with other products and activities. To qualify, you'll need to:

    • Open a new Silver Checking Package Account
    • Open a new Package Money Market Savings Account
    • Enroll in SMART Start within the first 90 days
    • Make one qualifying transfer
    • Have at least a $500 balance in your money market account

    These bonus plans for signing up change often. Be sure to check the U.S. Bank website or your local branch for the latest promo.

    Good to know! To get the most from your U.S. checking account, go for a package deal that adds savings and loan services.

    8. U.S. Bank's strengths

    U.S. Bank is a long-standing traditional bank with a broad offering of bank services. Check out this list of strengths to see if it has what you're looking for:

    • Stability
    • Wide variety in banking services and products
    • Package deals combining checking, savings, loans, and credit
    • Military discounts and special services
    • All mediums of customer service interaction—online, phone, and in-person

    People love the convenience of U.S. Bank's many physical branch locations and ease of signing up for banking services.

    9. U.S. Bank's weaknesses and customer complaints

    There are major weaknesses to consider when choosing if U.S. Bank is right for you:

    • Lower-than-average interest rates on savings and investments
    • Monthly fees and balance minimums on checking and savings accounts
    • Low yielding CDs
    • Poor customer service, especially when it comes to problem solving

    What customers hate about U.S. Bank

    Most sites where customers can review U.S. Bank included more negative reviews than positive reviews. Remember, it's always easier to find the energy to lodge a complaint than to give a compliment.

    Account holders on a popular ratings site gave U.S. Bank 1.5 out of 5 stars, with the most helpful reviews mentioning:

    Incompetent customer service

    U.S. Bank is definitely one of the worst run banks that I have had the displeasure of being associated with. Customer service is awful. Mortgage servicing is mediocre at best. Knowledge about their own services when speaking to so-called US BANK representative is minimal. Phone system with an inaccurate wait time…I'm talking about more than 20 minutes! Transferring customers from one US Bank Rep to another US Bank Rep is pervasive.

    Unsatisfactory problem-solving

    Ranks up there with some of the worst customer service I've ever received. All I wanted to do was log into my credit card account but access was denied. So over the course of 2 hours, I was transferred from tech support to the fraud department back to tech support than told to call customer service who said call tech support who transferred me to the fraud department (again) who then transferred me to U.S. Bank (what??!!) who transferred me to customer service who transferred me to tech support. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was on the phone for 2 hours.

    Seemingly hidden fees

    I opened an account with U.S. Bank after having to switch my account with them. While I heard horror stories, I never thought they would be as bad as people say. Upon opening my account I deposited a check in the bank and the money didn't transfer properly. They assessed me a $36 fee. My account was negative $1.88. They didn't take money from my savings to compensate the negative. They charged me 2 $36 fees. When I asked why was I charged they advised me because the account was negative. When I asked why didn't they take it from my savings they advised I didn't have that option set up. I went into a branch, showed the branch manager I had that service setup and was advised there was nothing they could do to waive the fees.

    J

    10. Best ways to get started with U.S. Bank

    First, consider your location. One of the major reasons to go with a traditional bank is the ease of visiting a local branch. If you live on the East Coast or in the South, there are very few U.S. Bank branches there, so you may want to consider other options. If you live in the western U.S., here's what you need to do to decide if U.S. banking is right for you:

    Setting up a U.S. Bank savings account

    Setting up a savings account with U.S. Bank is just like setting up a checking account. You can apply online, call customer service at 866-283-8092, or visit a local branch in person. (You must be 18 years or older and a legal U.S. resident, and each account holder will need to show proof of a Social Security number, as well as a driver's license, state ID, or military ID.)

    Total Deposits of U.S. Bank from 2013-2017

    11. Canceling U.S. Bank services

    Different U.S. Bank services have various procedures and limits for canceling. If you cancel before your commitment period ends, you may be charged fees or you may not earn the reward or bonus you expected.

    For example, U.S. Bank's requirements for the Silver Checking Package state: "To be paid the goal reward and/or bonus, both the associated Silver Checking Package and Package Money Market Savings account must remain open through the program end date, which is 12 months after the enrollment date."

    To understand cancellation policies before signing up for a banking product:

    • Read the fine print and look for how long you're committing to the product
    • Check with customer service to make sure you understand all terms and restrictions
    • Don't cancel your U.S. Bank services before your commitment period ends

    12. FAQ about U.S. Bank

    • How much money do I need to open a savings account at U.S. Bank?

      A $25 initial deposit will allow you to open a savings account, but you'll be charged $4 per month in fees unless you can keep your daily ledger balance above $300.

    • Are U.S. Bank rewards (like $50 for opening a checking account) taxable?

      If it is classified as taxable income, U.S. Bank will send you a 1099-MISC form.

    • What does U.S. Bank do to keep my accounts secure?

      U.S. Bank implements security measures according to federal and industry standards. These include network firewalls, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for online sessions, dedicated security teams, and secured files and buildings.

    • When will my deposit post to my U.S. Bank account?

      Cash deposits to U.S. Bank accounts will post immediately. Checks deposited before 8pm on a business day at an ATM will post the same day; after 8pm they will post to your account the next business day. If you're using the mobile app to deposit, and you deposit your check before 9pm CT, the amount will usually be available the next business day.

    • What is U.S. Bank Bill Pay?

      Bill Pay lets you make payments to anyone with a mailing address in the U.S. from your U.S. Bank checking account. Once you've signed up for Bill Pay, you can make payments with the U.S. Bank Mobile app or Mobile Web.

    • What documents do I need to bring to the bank branch to open a small business account?

      You'll need your business's tax ID, the Article of Organization (or similar legal document to show how your business is formed), government-issued photo IDs, Social Security numbers for anyone who will need account access, and lastly, legal documentation regarding your business structure (sole proprietorship, corporation, non-profit, etc.).

    The verdict on U.S Bank

    U.S. Bank can certainly meet most of your banking and financial needs. But to win your loyalty and business they'll have to work hard to improve their relatively high interest rates, hidden fees, and reputation for poor customer service.

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