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U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card review: Earn customized rewards for everyday purchases

A customizable rewards card that could be worth a look. 

 /  16 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

3.2

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 3.2 stars out of 5

Bottom line

You can earn a decent amount of cash back on everyday purchases and lots of bonus rewards without paying an annual fee with this card. Although you need to choose your two highest-earning categories each quarter to maximize rewards, you have plenty of options.

Image of U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

*
  • Introductory offer
    Rating: 2 stars out of 5
    2 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Fees
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

$200

Intro offer

Info

1% - 5%

Rewards rate

Info

$0

Annual fee

19.49% - 29.74% (Variable)

Regular APR

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card Overview

This card carries a generous rewards structure, offering its highest cash back rate on purchases you make in two spending categories of your choice, meaning you can tailor your cash back bonuses to your spending habits.

It offers boosted cash back rates on some categories that are commonly excluded on tiered rewards cards, making it a great stand-in if you would instead opt for a flat-rate credit card to cover routine expenses like TV, internet and streaming subscriptions or home utilities. With the U.S. Bank Cash+ you can earn a competitive rate on all of those purchases as long as you activate them as your boosted categories each quarter.

However, the card is hampered by a few fees that some competitors exclude, although this detail shouldn’t be much of a problem if you use your credit card responsibly and pay your minimum balance on time each billing cycle.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 5 percent cash back on purchases in two categories of your choice (up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1 percent)
    • 5 percent back on prepaid air, hotel, and car reservations through the Rewards Center
    • 2 percent cash back on one choice everyday category
    • 1 percent back on all other purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Exceptional
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • Earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Apr

    0% APR offer

    • 0 percent intro APR offer for 15 billing cycles
    • 0 percent intro APR offer for 15 billing cycles if you transfer a balance in the first 60 days of opening your account
    • 19.74 percent to 29.74 percent (variable) ongoing APR

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • Annual fee: None
    • Balance transfer fee: The greater of 3 percent of each transfer or $5
    • Convenience check cash advance fee: The greater of 3 percent of each advance or $5
    • Cash advance fee: The greater of 5 percent of each advance or $5
    • Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent of each transaction
    • U.S. Bank ExtendPay® Fees: A monthly fee of up to 1.6 percent of the principal amount in ExtendPay® plans or loans
    • Late payment fee: Up to $41
    • Returned payment fee: Up to $41

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats
    Other cardholder perks
    • Zero fraud liability
    • Prepaid travel rewards
    • Issuer Rewards Center Shopping Deals

    Expert Appraisal: Typical

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    You can tailor your cash back rewards to the products and services on which you spend the most each quarter, earning you maximum rewards.

  • Checkmark

    You won’t have to pay an annual fee for this card, which is a plus considering how much control you have over where you earn.

  • Checkmark

    This card offers an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers (for transfers made within 60 days of account opening), saving you a bit on interest.

Cons

  • You’re limited to just $2,000 worth of combined purchases in your 5 percent categories each quarter, which could be a stifling cap for big spenders.

  • This card doesn’t allow cardholders to transfer rewards to other rewards programs for increased value.

  • This card lacks additional perks readily available on its top competitors.

Why you might want the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+ card offers several customized rewards categories to choose from at its highest rewards rate. Along with rewarding a modest amount of cash back in one of four everyday staple categories, this card can be a great addition to wallets of cardholders who value flexibility.

Customized rewards: Excellent cash back rates in choice categories

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature has one of the most flexible cash back rewards programs. Each quarter, you can choose two spending categories that will earn 5 percent cash back. You’ll need to designate your 5 percent categories each quarter, but this is a simple caveat for earning the top rewards rate in many of the card’s eligible categories. However, you’ll only earn 5 percent cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter in your two chosen categories. If you spend too much, you can easily max out the 5 percent cash back bonus before the quarter ends, and then you’ll earn just 1 percent back on each purchase.

Although the bonus category selections may vary from quarter to quarter, U.S. Bank typically keeps the available roster consistent enough to rely on. Currently, the 5 percent cash back categories you can choose from are:

  • TV, Internet and streaming services
  • Home utilities
  • Ground transportation
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cellphone providers
  • Electronics stores
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

You can also earn 2 percent cash back on purchases you make in one everyday category. The current category choices at this tier are:

  • Gas and EV charging stations
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores

While you’ll only earn at this rate for one of the categories included, this rate matches what you’ll find on a flat-rate credit card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. This additional boosted category makes the U.S. Bank Cash+ a great catch-all credit card if you want to hold as few cards as possible. Although its spending cap might hold some cardholders back from maximizing rewards, and many of its 5 percent categories are not everyday purchases, the Cash+ brings a ton of value because it costs nothing to hold and lets cardholders choose where they’ll earn the most cash back.

Welcome offer: Attainable with modest spending

A $200 cash bonus for spending $1,000 in 120 days is reasonable, considering you’ll need to spend roughly $250 per month to earn it. Although it isn’t the most generous welcome reward, it’s a welcome addition to a card that is highly competitive in all other areas.

The U.S. Bank Cash+ pairs flexible spending categories with a relatively fair welcome offer. You’ll get to choose the categories that earn 5 percent back while you pursue the cash bonus. The Chase Freedom Flex℠, however, will only reward you with 5 percent back in rotating categories each quarter. Although these categories may align with your seasonal spending, you won’t get to decide which categories earn 5 percent back — and this could mean using your card for purchases that earn just 1 percent back while you aim to meet the welcome offer’s spending requirement.

Intro APR: Skip interest on both purchases and balance transfers during the intro period

The U.S. Bank Cash+ card includes a 15-month introductory period for new purchases and balance transfers (made within the first 60 days of opening your account), followed by a 19.74 percent to 29.74 percent variable ongoing APR. This intro offer may provide enough of a cushion for most cardholders to whittle down the debt they’re dragging with them on another card, or any new purchases they need to carry for a little over a year.

Introductory periods aren’t unusual on cash back cards, but it is nice to find the offer extended to both new purchases and balance transfers. An intro APR might not tip the scales in favor of this card, but it’s worth noting how well all of the card’s best features work together. If you want to earn a solid welcome bonus and get 5 percent back on purchases to get there, skipping interest on new purchases for just over a year is a great excuse to splurge during your first three months — but only if you make a plan to pay off your balance promptly to avoid driving up your credit utilization.

Why you might want a different cash back card

Although the U.S. Bank Cash+ can be a rewarding, customizable card that earns some of the best rates in choice categories, it has a few shortcomings that might not make it a great fit for everyone.

Excessive fees: Charges fees for activities that other cards don’t

You might notice quite a few fees associated with this card. It charges for late and returned payments without warnings, foreign transactions and balance transfers. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, but that’s typical for cards like this one. Its ongoing APR can also be as high as 29.74 percent variable, which is relatively high.

This card’s closest competitor, the Discover it® Cash Back card, only charges a late fee once you make your second late payment, has a lower ongoing variable APR and does not charge for foreign transactions. It’s one of the thinnest lists of fees you can find.

That said, every card may have a different list of fees. The U.S. Bank Cash+ card’s fees come alongside its generous rewards rates and welcome offer. If you use credit responsibly and pay on time, you won’t be subject to most of the issuer’s fees.

To contrast the numerous fees you might pay and the card’s potentially high APR, U.S. Bank may occasionally offer the chance to pay off balances in fixed monthly payments via the U.S. Bank ExtendPay® Plans or ExtendPay® Loans. U.S. Bank will assess fees associated with this payment plan based on your purchase amount and your APR at the time of purchase, but the monthly fee will not exceed 1.6 percent of the principal balance.

Spending cap: A $2,000 limit split between two choice categories

A $2,000 quarterly spending cap is pretty lackluster on a cash back rewards card. For instance, the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card has a spending cap of $2,500 split between cardholders’ top rewards categories. But even that is pretty low, considering the average cardholder spends roughly $16,000 annually.

The U.S. Bank Cash+ caps your best rewards categories at just $2,000 in combined spending between both categories each quarter. Considering this spending cap limits categories like furniture, department and sporting goods stores, it’s quite likely that you’ll spend close to this amount in a quarter. You can strategically time your purchases around this spending cap, but sometimes seasonal sales and bargains come up that you want to take advantage of.

This spending cap might not impact you if you keep your spending with the U.S. Bank Cash+ card to a routine. Some of the most recurring expenses are categories included in the card’s 5 percent rate. TV, internet, streaming services, home utilities and cell phone service are regular expenses in most peoples’ budgets. If you primarily use your U.S. Bank Cash+ card for these category purchases, you likely won’t need to worry about this spending cap because these bills seldom exceed $2,000 in purchases per quarter.

Redemptions: Limited and restrictive redemptions

You can redeem your rewards as a statement credit, direct deposit to a U.S. Bank account (savings, checking or money market), a U.S. Bank Rewards Card (a prepaid card) or as Real-Time Rewards. The Real-Time Rewards option allows you to immediately redeem your rewards to cover an entire purchase with a statement credit.

You’ll need at least $25 in cash back to redeem your rewards for a statement credit or direct deposit, a $10 minimum for Real-Time Rewards redemptions or $5 for U.S. Bank prepaid cards. Plus, unlike many issuers that ensure your rewards won’t expire for the life of your account, your U.S. Bank cash back will expire 36 calendar months after they were earned (at the end of that month). If you sit on your rewards for too long, you could lose them within three years. Although this sounds like a long time, tracking reward expirations if you're building a rewards balance in your account might be hard. For example, rewards you earn in your first billing statement will expire on your third account anniversary if you haven’t used them. 

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Bankrate credit cards writer Ryan Flanigan uses his U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card for utilities and other necessary expenses.

I use this card the most to pay for my utility bills. I choose that category every quarter because it’s one of the only ways to get high earning rates on those necessary expenses. I like that there are many options to choose from to earn extra rewards. With a higher quarterly cap than other rotating category cards and more flexibility, this can fill a lot of gaps in your spending needs.

— Ryan Flanigan, Writer, Credit Cards

How the U.S. Bank Cash+ Card compares to other cash back cards

Though the U.S. Bank Cash+ card might yield excellent rewards, there are alternative cash back cards that carry fewer fees or come with better welcome offers.

Image of U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200 bonus
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Discover it® Cash Back
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Discover's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Cashback Match
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Bankrate Score
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
4.8

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Best cards to pair with the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature provides plenty of flexibility for consumers hoping to earn cash back for their purchases each month. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find other credit cards that provide an even bigger boost to your cash back savings when you pair them with the Cash+ Visa Signature.

Who is the U.S. Bank Cash+ card right for?

Not everyone will get the card’s maximum value, but these types of spenders may find it’s the perfect addition to their cash back strategy.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature worth it?

The Cash+ Visa Signature is a nice choice if you spend a lot each month on the card’s set of spending categories. But if you spend too much in those 5 percent categories (more than $2,000 every three months), you might blow past the spending limit each quarter. If you’re worried about spending too much, pairing this card with one that comes with either a flat rate on all purchases or that earns boosted cash back in your most expensive category might make more sense.

The information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

How we rated this card

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We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Brendan Dyer
Associate Editor, Credit Cards

Brendan Dyer holds a Master of Fine Arts in Journalism from Western Connecticut State University and worked previously as a content editor for Regional News Network, a hyper-local TV news station contracted by Verizon FiOS1 News. As a national service volunteer, Brendan exercised a passion for helping underserved communities and demographics through direct, community service. He constantly seeks to apply his expertise as a journalist to the field of personal finance with the goal of helping people navigate the complexities of the credit card industry.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.