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. 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.