U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
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The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is the only personal credit card we know of that gives you the option to choose your rotating bonus categories.
Gotta have the latest gear and gadgets? Choose electronics as one of your bonus categories. Take the family to see a flick and splurge on the concessions regularly? Opt for 5% back at the theaters as a second category.
Want maximum rewards and major flexibility in how to earn them? The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card could make your cash-back credit card desires come true.
Every quarter, you can pick two categories from a list of 11 that earn 5.5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases for the first year (5% thereafter), making it a truly custom rewards plan. Next, choose one category from a list of three that earns 2.5% cash back for the first year (2% thereafter). All other purchases earn 1.5% the first year (1% thereafter).
And there’s an easy-to-attain $100 bonus if you make $500 in eligible net purchases in the first 90 days you have the card.
All of this, and there’s no annual fee, either.
No other personal card that offers rotating bonus categories lets you cherry-pick which ones you want. This card in theory insures you aren’t stuck with categories that don’t fit your spending patterns.
Here are the 11 categories from which you can choose the maximum cash-back reward:
- Ground transportation
- Select clothing stores
- Cell phones
- Electronics stores
- Car rentals
- Gyms/fitness centers
- Fast food
- Sporting goods stores
- Department stores
- Furniture stores
- Movie theaters
You can earn 2.5% rewards the first year (2% thereafter) on one of the following: Gas stations, restaurants or grocery stores.
Keep in mind, if you plan on shelling out for some high-priced items within those bonus categories, like a new dining room set or upgraded home entertainment system, you’re likely to exceed the $2,000 quarterly cap and might be better off with a card that gives you a flat 2% cash back.
The 0% APR balance transfer offer for 12 months is nice, but it comes with a 3% balance transfer fee, which can eat away at your savings.
Who should get this card
This card may be a good fit for someone who spends no more than $2,000 a quarter in their two 5% bonus categories. You could pair this card with another rotating cash-back card for maximum savings.
Fees and APR
- This card carries a variable purchase APR of 14.99% to 23.99%.
- Enjoy an introductory 0% APR offer for 12 months on balances transferred within 60 days from account opening. After that, it’s a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.99%.
- There’s a 3% balance transfer fee.
- You’ll pay no annual fee.
- You’ll pay a 2% fee for foreign transactions made in U.S. dollars and a 3% fee for foreign transactions made in non-U.S. currency.
- Late payments won’t affect your overall APR, but there is a $37 fee.
Extras, perks and using rewards
This card comes with Visa Signature benefits, which includes 24-hour concierge service, discounts and upgrades on select travel, and access to exclusive entertainment and fine-dining events.
There’s no minimum redemption amount and you can cash in your awards any time as a deposit into your U.S. Bank checking or savings account, or as a credit on your statement. You do not have to be a customer with the bank to qualify for a card.
How this card compares
You won’t earn one of those huge sign-up bonuses other cards offer, but if you’re looking for a no-frills cash-back card, the Discover it credit card does come with one intriguing feature: Discover automatically matches all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
The Chase Freedom card is fee-free and offers rotating bonus categories that pay 5% back, with a cap of $1,500 in each category and an unlimited 1% back on everything else. You also have to sign-up each quarter to get the bonus. An advantage of this card over the Discover it is it’s a Visa, which is more widely accepted than the Discover card.
When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.
So why, you might ask, does this card not receive a higher score from Bankrate? There are a couple reasons, but the main thing dragging this card down is this: Because Citi Double Cash offers no sign-up bonus, it struggles to compete with many cards in this category.
Longer-term, the Citi Double Cash Card may earn you more rewards. The card earns an unlimited 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay your bill. Big spenders may find this nets more cash-back overall as there’s no ceiling on what you can earn back.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.