U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

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This card puts you in control of your rewards.

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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.

Review

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 5.0% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases for the first year, making it a truly custom rewards plan. Next, choose one category from a list of three that earns 2% cash back for the first year. All other purchases earn 1% the first year (1% thereafter).

And there’s an easy-to-attain $150 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
  • Bookstores
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

You can earn 2% rewards 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 billing cycles 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.

Advantages
  • Most cards that offer bonus categories, have the categories pre-selected. This one lets you choose your own two bonus categories every quarter.
  • If you don't qualify for this card, you'll be automatically considered for U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Platinum Card ,which has the same earning rewards as the Cash+ Visa Signature Card, but does not offer the Visa Signature benefits.
  • The card is part of the Visa Signature network, which includes travel and auto protections and insurances.
Disadvantages
  • You have to log into your account to choose your category bonuses, which may be cumbersome for some.
  • There’s a $2,000 cap per quarter in net spending in the bonus categories so anyone who spends in excess of $8,000 annually in those areas may be better off with a flat rate cash-back rewards card.
  • It will take some organization to track your spending to maximize your earnings.
  • There's a balance transfer fee, which can eat away at your savings if you transfer a debt to this card.

Fees and APR

  • This card carries a variable purchase APR of 15.24% to 24.24%.
  • Enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable 15.24% to 24.24% based on creditworthiness will apply.
  • 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

Discover it®
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

13.24% - 24.24% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% for 14 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 14 months


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.

Chase Freedom®
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

16.24% - 24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

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.

 

Citi® Double Cash Card
  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Credit Needed

Excellent/Good

Regular APR

14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0*

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

0% for 18 months*

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.

EDITORIAL NOTE

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.