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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.
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|
|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||Cardholder can choose their categories||Can pair with a premium Chase card for increased redemption value|
|Introductory offer||0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24% – 25.74%||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||16.24% – 25.74% variable||17.24-25.99% variable|
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.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Every quarter, you can pick two categories from a list of 11 that earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases for the first year. 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.
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
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:
- 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.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: $150 bonus if you spend $500 within the first 90 days.
Chase Freedom: $150 bonus if you spend $500 within the first three months.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: The purchase APR ranges from a variable 16.24% – 25.74%. There’s an introductory 0% APR offer for 12 billing cycles on balances transferred within 60 days from account opening. After that, it’s a variable APR of 16.24% – 25.74%. 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 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.
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