November 9, 2017 in Credit Cards
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The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card and the Chase Freedom card are cash-back credit cards designed for consumers who want to earn a percentage back on their purchases when they shop.

Both cards offer elevated rewards in specific categories that rotate quarterly, without any annual fees, and both cards come with sign-up bonuses after you meet a minimum spending threshold.

One important thing to note with both cards is that there is a quarterly spending cap that goes along with the bonus rewards categories, so the cash-back opportunities do have some limits.

Table of contents



Annual fee



Rewards



Sign-up bonus



APR



U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review



Chase Freedom review

Deciding which card to choose will depend on which of each card’s bonus categories align with your spending habits. Here’s a look at some of the key differences between these two rotating cash-back cards.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card vs. Chase Freedom

U.S. Bank Cash+ Chase Freedom
Annual fee $0 $0
Sign-up bonus $100 $150
How to earn bonus Spend $500 within the first 90 days Spend $500 within the first three months
Rewards Pick 2 categories from a list of 11 that earn 5% cash back up to $2,000 in combined spending each quarter and 1 category from a list of 3 that earns 2%; all other purchases earn 1% cash back 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in pre-selected bonus categories; 1% all other spending
Extras Earn an extra .05% on all spending the first year Can pair with a premium Chase card for increased redemption value
Introductory offer 0% APR offer for 12 months on balances transferred within 60 days from account opening 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the transferred balance,



whichever is greater
$5 or 5% of the transferred balance, whichever is greater
Regular APR 14.99% to 23.99% variable 15.99% to 24.74% variable

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Annual fee

Neither card charges an annual fee. Annual fees are common among some rewards credit cards, particularly cards that offer reward rates of 2% or more.

Rewards

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: 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.) 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).

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
  • Bookstores
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

Chase Freedom: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (you must register each quarter online) and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The Chase bonus categories in 2017 were:

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  • January-March — Gas stations and local commuter transportation
  • April-June — Grocery stories and drugstores
  • July-September — Restaurants and movie theaters
  • October-December — Walmart and department stores

At face value, the U.S Bank Cash+ card offers more generous rewards than the Chase Freedom. Its spending cap on the bonus categories also is higher.

But if you pair the Chase Freedom with another premium Chase card, the value of your rewards can increase. When you transfer your points from the Chase Freedom to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for example, those same points increase in value by 25% when redeemed for travel. So 100 Ultimate Rewards points become worth $125 when redeemed for hotels, airlines tickets or anything else that Chase categorizes as travel.

Alternatively, if you transfer 100 points from the Chase Freedom to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, they increase 50% in value when redeemed for travel, so that 100 points is now worth $150 in travel benefit through the Chase portal. Yes, the math can be confusing, but for some the payoff of increased value is worth the legwork.

Sign-up bonus

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card:  $100 bonus if you spend $500 within the first 90 days.

Chase Freedom: $150 bonus if you spend $500 within the first three months.

APR

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: The purchase APR ranges from a variable 14.99% to 23.99%. There’s 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%. Balance transfers are charged 3%.



Chase Freedom card: Enjoy an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Regular APR is a variable 15.99% to 24.74%. Balance transfers are charged 5%.

This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.

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