US Bank Cash+ Visa Review

Lots of credit cards offer 1% or even 2% cash back. But how would you like to earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases? Learn how the US Bank Cash+ doesn’t just give a 5% cash back, it lets you pick which categories you want it to apply to.

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Having options is important.

It gives you the ability to do things on your own terms.

We live in a time where we can customize and rearrange most aspects of our lives.

So why should our credit cards be any different?

The problem is that most credit cards still lock you into rigid plans.

Even when it comes to rewards.

Some store brand credit cards might give you extra points or cash back when you shop in their store.

But realistically speaking, how much of your total expenditures are happening at that one location?

Wouldn't it be great to earn extra cash back on the things that you actually buy the most?

Thankfully, the US Bank Cash+ Visa gives you precisely that kind of freedom.

Better yet, it actually lets you change the kind of items that you receive the most cash back on a few times each year.

Allowing you the freedom to change your rewards with different stages of your life.

I'm going to show you how to get as much as 5% cash back on the categories you choose.

But first, let's take a closer look at US Bank and how their Cash+ Visa card works.

US Bank

Learn about a bank with the Visa card that offers 5% cash back on the categories of your choice

US Bank is ranked as the 7th largest bank in the United States. Total Assets of US Bank from 2013-2017

It's also the fifth-richest bank in America.

It has operated under a few different names (including First Bank and US National Bank) since it was established in Portland, Oregon, in 1891.

It offers banking, mortgages, investments, and payment services.

It has 3,106 branches and a total of 4,842 ATMs.

Most of its locations are in the Midwestern United States.

But US bank has branches reaching from California to New York.

The Card

See how the US Bank Cash+ Visa could help with your finances

Cash back. It's the biggest selling point of the US Bank Cash+ Visa for sure.

5% cash back. You're eligible for 5% cash back on your first $2,000 of eligible purchases every quarter.

The best part of it is that you get to choose from two categories that qualify for this higher rate.

The categories are subject to change from quarter to quarter.

At the current time, categories include:

  • Bookstores
  • Department stores
  • Restaurants
  • Electronics stores
  • Cell phones
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Hotels
  • Furniture stores
  • Fast food
  • Car rental
  • Movie theaters
  • Charity

2% cash back. You get to choose one everyday category like gas stations or grocery stores.

On these purchases, you'll gain 2% cash back, which might seem a lot less impressive than 5%, but it's still a nice reward in its own right.

Some cards pay 1% cash back on everything, or no cash back at all.

1% cash back. All purchases that don't fall into the two eligible categories above still earn you 1% cash back.

That's $1 for every $100 that you spend at any location that accepts Visa cards.

The average yearly rewards value on this card is $264 (assuming a $1,325 monthly average spend.)

No annual fee. US Bank doesn't charge you a yearly fee for you to take advantage of the Cash+ Visa.

That means if you're paying off your balance every month, using your Cash+ Visa card will easily earn you free money over the course of the year.

No minimum to redeem. You can redeem your cash back in the form of a statement credit with no minimum amount required.

You can also deposit the cash rewards directly into your US Bank checking or savings account.

Alternatively, you can redeem it as a US Bank Rewards Card, but there's a $20 minimum required for this option.

APR. The US Bank Cash+ Visa has a variable APR of between 15.74%–24.74%.

The rate you get will be dependent upon your creditworthiness when you open your account.

No limit. There's no limit placed on the amount of cash back that you can earn.

Some other cards limit the amount of cash back or points you can earn per quarter or year.

Bonus. You'll get a $150 Cash+ bonus if you spend $500 in eligible purchases within 90 days of opening your account.

If you're using this as your primary credit card, you can easily spend more than $500 within the next three months.

The important thing is to remember to put it all on your card to earn your bonus—and pay it off to avoid interest!

Benefits

Take advantage of these great features that the US Bank Cash+ card can offer

In addition to your 5% cash back and no annual fees, here are a few more great features of this card to look forward to:

0% introductory APR on balance transfers. You can transfer balances from other cards to your US Bank Cash+ Visa within 60 days of opening your account.

The balance will be eligible for a 0% introductory APR for your first 12 billing cycles.

This 0% introductory rate can be a great way to avoid owing more interest while you're paying off existing credit card debt.

Choice of your categories. Other cards like the Chase Freedom card offer a 5% cash back, but there's a forced rotation between categories.

With the US Bank Cash+ card, you're free to select whichever two 5% cash back categories you want to use each quarter.

Extended warranty protection. You can double the time on original manufacturer warranties up to one year on warranties of three years or less.

This protection covers up to $10,000 per claim.

24/7 customer service. US Bank has a dedicated team of US-based specialists on hand to help you 24/7.

You can call the number on the back of your Cash+ card for help with any questions about your account.

Fraud protection. US bank uses sophisticated fraud monitoring tools to look for unusual spending patterns.

Your account also comes protected with zero fraud liability.

That means you'll be reimbursed 100% for fraud losses if someone uses your account without authorization.

Chip technology. All new cards issued by US Bank get embedded with a microchip to give you an added layer of protection.

The microchip makes your card information virtually impossible to duplicate or copy. At least, when used at a chip-enabled terminal.Bank Spending On New Technologies By Region

Free credit score. Cardmembers can obtain their credit score through TransUnion at no cost.

FlexControl Budgeting Tools. US Bank offers free tools to help manage your credit card spending, which will show you how to avoid interest and late fees.

It also provides automatic payment tools to help pay off purchases, accelerate payments to pay down debt, or pay off larger purchases.

Spend Analysis. You can view a chart showing your overall spending information with just a glance, which breaks down your spend into categories such as food, travel, and automotive.

You can review transactions on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis—a great way to see where you're spending the most.

You can then use that info to pick the rewards categories that will give you the greatest bang for your buck.

Drawbacks

Here are a selection of potential downsides of this card to look out for

The US Bank Cash+ Visa comes with a lot of perks, for sure, but here are some potential drawbacks that you should also consider:

No 0% introductory APR on purchases. Although balance transfers are eligible for an introductory 0% APR, this doesn't apply to purchases.

You'll start accruing interest on new purchases from your very first statement.

You have to pick. If you don't choose a category for your 5% and 2% cash back every quarter, everything will default to a rate of 1% cash back.

That means you need to remember to log in and re-confirm your rewards categories every few months.

Unredeemed rewards expire. Cash rewards that you haven't redeemed will expire 36 months after the billing period they get earned in.

If you're using your card, and checking your statement regularly, this probably won't be an issue.

But you want to make sure you're redeeming cash back rewards any time they start to build up because you definitely don't want to lose them!

You need excellent credit. You'll need a credit rating of "Excellent" to qualify for this card, which generally means a credit score in the range of 720–850.

Foreign transaction fee. You'll pay a 3% fee any time you use your card outside the United States.

Limited 5% categories. You can save a significant amount of money by using the existing categories eligible for 5% cash back.

But it would be nice if some other categories like groceries also got included—especially for families where their grocery bill might be one of their most significant expenses each month.

$2,000 quarterly limit. Your 5% cash back category has a $2,000 limit for each quarter, which adds up to $8,000 a year in potential cash back you could earn.

That might be enough for most people. But if you're a big spender, you might end up frequently hitting the ceiling on your rewards.

What qualifies? You'd think it would be obvious, but it can actually be difficult to tell what qualifies as a "clothing store" for example.

Buying clothing at Walmart won't get you 5% cash back if you've selected the clothing category for this quarter.

Not only that, but some stores that sell nothing but clothing won't even qualify.

US Bank has a list of major stores including American Eagle, GAP, and Old Navy that qualify.

Before you make any major purchases to try and take advantage of your 5% categories, it's worth reading the fine print to make sure it applies to the store you plan to shop at.

Applying

It's easy for you to apply for a US Bank Cash+ Visa card

Applying for your US Bank Visa card is fast, simple, and secure.

You can apply for your Cash+ Visa online, or by phone.

You'll need to be at least 18 years old and a legal resident of the United States.

Make sure that you have your Social Security number or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number handy.

You'll need to fill out the basic information that banks require for any credit card application.

That includes your full name and address, employment/income information, and a few more details.

Once you're approved, you can expect to receive your new card within 14 business days.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the US Bank Cash+ Visa

  • Q: Who is eligible for a US Bank Cash+ Visa?

    A: US residents 18 years are older are eligible, subject to credit approval.

  • Q: Can I get a cash advance with this card?

    A: Yes you can.

    Cash advances have an APR of 25.74% associated with them.

    You'll also pay a fee of either $10 or 4% of the cash advance, whichever is greater.

  • Q: Do I need a checking account with US bank to get this card?

    A: No, but it makes it easier to redeem cash back directly to your bank account.

    Otherwise, you can only apply the cash back as a statement credit to your next bill.

  • Q: Can I use this card for online purchases?

    A: Yes.

    You can use this card online or at any merchant that accepts Visa cards.

  • Q: How do I choose my Cash+ categories?

    A: You can log into your account online on usbank.com/cashplus and select "choose your categories."

    If you'd rather talk to a real person, call the number on the back side of your Cash+ card, and an advisor will assist you.

  • Q: How can I avoid paying interest on purchases?

    A: Pay your entire balance by the due date each month.

    Your due date gets shown on your statement and is usually 21–25 days after the close of every billing cycle.

  • Q: Where can I confirm which merchants US Bank includes in various Cash+ categories?

    A: Visit usbank.com/cashplus and choose "how it works."

    Then select "see merchant examples" or click on the ‘merchants' link in the navigation menu.

  • Q: Do I need to choose my categories every quarter? Will they just stay the same if I don't change them?

    A: Yes.

    Every quarter you need to re-confirm your Cash+ categories.

    If you don't choose your categories every quarter, your purchases still earn 1% cash back, but you won't get the additional 2% or 5% cash back rewards.

    You can sign up for free reminders via text message or email to remind you.

  • Q: Why didn't I earn cash back for a specific purchase?

    A: The 5% and 2% cash back categories get based on how merchants classify the transaction.

    US Bank can't control how merchants choose to classify their business.

    As a result, US Bank can't 100% guarantee that a specific transaction will qualify.

    It's best to check with individual businesses to see how they classify themselves in advance.

  • Q: How do I check how much cash back I have available to redeem?

    A: Log into your US Bank account and visit the Rewards Center.

    Your cash back rewards balance gets posted here.

    You can also look up your redemptions, earnings, and available cash back on your monthly card statement.

  • Q: Which credit bureau/s does the credit card report to?

    A: US Bank reports to the credit bureau TransUnion.

  • Q: Does this card include car rental insurance?

    A: Yes.

    All Visa cards come with a complimentary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver.

    That means you have coverage if your rental car gets stolen or damaged while you're traveling.

    Just use your US Bank Visa card to pay for the car rental and decline the damage waiver offered by the rental company.

The Verdict

The US Bank Cash+ Visa can offer you the ability to get rewards on your own terms

I feel like the US Bank Cash+ Visa is a really underrated card.

In fact, I think the ability to personalize your credit card's rewards scheme is a game changer.

I also think it's something we'll see more of in the future.

Once a few banks release this type of card, I suspect people everywhere will soon begin demanding it.

With its no annual fee and cash back as high as 5%, this card really empowers you to enjoy your everyday purchases while allowing you to take control of your own credit card.

I think that strategically using the US Bank Cash+ Visa could really save you a significant amount of money.

Planning to re-do your entire bedroom?

Choose furniture stores as one of your 5% categories for next quarter.

Then you'll get 5% cash back on your new bed, dressers, and more.

Are there students in the family?

It might be worth choosing Bookstores as one of your 5% categories in time to buy the required textbooks and school supplies.

I've even heard that all purchases on Amazon qualify as Bookstore purchases, but make sure you confirm this for yourself.

Like anything, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind as well.

You'll need an excellent credit score to get approved for this card (720 or higher.)

You also need to log in every quarter and choose your cash back categories to take advantage of them.

But things like the introductory 0% APR on balance transfers really outweigh the potential negatives of this card.

I think that getting 12 months interest-free on balance transfers could be a great tool to help you get out of existing credit card debt.

If you're wanting a credit card that rewards you for the things you buy most, the US Bank Cash+ Visa is definitely worth checking out.

Do you have a US Bank Cash+ Visa?

What can you say about the card's perks?

What categories would you choose for your own 5% and 2% cash back rewards?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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