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U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
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With the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card, you can earn a decent amount of cash back on everyday purchases and earn lots of bonus rewards without paying an annual fee. However, earning rewards with this card is not easy, and you need to choose the right categories and keep track of your spending in order to maximize earning rewards. You would probably be better off with a flat-rate rewards card if simplicity is important to you.
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Are you looking to generate plenty of cash back with your next credit card? The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card could be the right choice.
This card offers a generous rewards structure of 5 percent cash back on purchases you make in two spending categories of your choice (up to $2,000 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1 percent), meaning you can tailor your cash back bonuses to your spending habits. If you’re always looking for the latest electronic gadgets, you can select cash back for purchases made at electronics stores, for example. Ready to furnish your apartment or home? You can instead select furniture stores to earn high cash back rewards.
If you use this cash back credit card wisely, you could generate plenty of cash on the purchases you’re most likely to make.
Flexibility: You can tailor your cash back rewards to reflect the products and services on which you spend the most each month.
No annual fee: You won’t have to pay an annual fee for this card. If you’re interested in other top credit cards that are free to use, check out Bankrate’s review of no annual fee credit cards.
Zero-interest APR period: The card offers a 0 percent Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (for balance transfers made within the first 60 days) for the first 15 billing cycles, which is decent amount of time to pay off new or existing debt
Spending limits: The chance of earning 5 percent cash back on some purchases is nice, but you’re limited to just $2,000 worth of combined purchases in these categories each quarter. If you’re a frequent shopper, it could be easy to hit that limit each quarter.
Limited redemption flexibility: The card doesn’t allow cardholders to transfer rewards to other rewards programs or participating partnerships
Not many perks: The Cash+ Visa Signature doesn’t come with many additional perks. The benefits pretty much end with the welcome bonus.
If you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases with your U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature in the first 120 days of opening your account, you’ll earn a $200 rewards bonus. This might not be the most generous welcome reward, but it is an easy one to attain; spending $1,000 in three months is not a particularly challenging hurdle.
One of the selling points of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature is its flexible cash back rewards program. Depending on your purchases, you can earn cash back from any of its three-tiered levels.
Each quarter, you have the option of choosing two spending categories that will earn you 5 percent cash back. Just be aware that you’ll only earn that 5 percent cash back on up to $2,000 worth of combined purchases each quarter in your two categories. If you spend too much, you can easily max out the 5 percent cash back bonus before the quarter ends and then earn 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 reasonably rely on. Currently, the 5 percent cash back categories are:
You can also earn 2 percent cash back on all purchases you make in one everyday category. The current category choices are:
Fortunately, you also have the ongoing opportunity to earn 5 percent cash back on prepaid air, hotel, and car reservations booked through the issuer’s Rewards Center. You’ll earn 1 percent cash back with all other purchases you make with your card. Be sure to select your categories each quarter, because if you don’t, all purchases will earn just 1 percent cash back.
You have options when it comes to redeeming your cash back rewards. You can choose to receive your rewards as a statement credit (something that will lower your credit card bill), direct deposit cash back to a U.S. Bank account (savings, checking or money market), a U.S. Bank Rewards Card (a prepaid card) or Real-Time Rewards. The previous redemption options are self-explanatory, but Real-Time Rewards is a somewhat new addition that allows you to immediately redeem your saved up rewards to cover an entire purchase with a statement credit. All you have to do is register your cellphone and list your preferences to single out purchases that you’d typically want your rewards to cover — after that, you’ll get texts after suitable purchases asking if you’d like to use your rewards to offset them.
You’ll need at least $25 in cash back to redeem your rewards for any option (except for Real-Time Rewards, which have a $10 minimum reward redemption requirement) and U.S. Bank Rewards Cards can only be redeemed in $5 intervals starting at that total. However, 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). With that in mind, make sure you don’t sit on your rewards for too long.
How much you receive in cash back depends on how much you spend each year. But if you spend $2,000 a quarter in the 5 percent category, $1,000 per year in a 2 percent category and $500 per month in the 1 percent category, you’ll have earned about $480 worth of cash back at the end of your first year with the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature.
If you also qualify for the $200 bonus — which you’ll get by charging $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of opening your account — you’ll have about $680 in cash back rewards by the end of your first year.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature is ideal for people who like plenty of flexibility with their rewards programs, as well as consumers who spend a lot of money on certain items. But when it comes to its perks, it’s very limited compared to other rewards cards. Besides basic fraud protection, there isn’t much the Bank Cash+ Visa Signature has to offer for additional benefits.
You can receive your cash back as a statement credit, rewards card or a deposit to a U.S. Bank checking or savings account.
This perk protects you in case someone uses your card to make fraudulent purchases in your name.
Though the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card might yield excellent rewards, there are alternative cash back cards that provide more additional perks or a better welcome bonus, such as the Discover it Cash Back Card and the Chase Freedom Flex Card.
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Both the U.S Bank Cash+ Visa Signature and the Discover it Cash Back Card have a 0 percent APR period on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, but the Discover it Cash Back Card has a lower potential APR rate (15.74 percent to 26.74 percent variable APR) than the Cash+ Visa Signature (18.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable APR) after the 0 percent intro APR period ends.
Plus, with the Discover it Cash Back Card, you have the opportunity to earn a higher sign-up bonus with its Unlimited Cashback Match offer. At the end of your first year, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned, and there’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. For example, if you earn $150 cash back during the first year, you could easily turn that $150 cash back into $300 — which is more than the $200 cash back you’d earn with the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card’s sign-up offer.
The Chase Freedom Flex has a lower spending requirement for its sign-up bonus and the same $200 cash back offer as the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll receive a $200 bonus after spending $500 on eligible purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. By contrast, U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa cardholders must spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening to earn the $200 bonus.
The Freedom Flex also has more consumer protection benefits than the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, including zero-liability protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection. It could be a better fit if you’re interested in travel rewards, as it earns 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in categories that rotate quarterly (requires activation), 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3 percent on dining and drugstores and 1 percent on all other purchases.
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 can provide an even bigger boost to your cash back savings when you pair them with the Cash+ Visa Signature.
The Capital One SavorOne is a good choice if you plan on spending plenty of money at restaurants and on entertainment in the future. The card provides unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1 percent on all other purchases.
When you pair this with the Cash+ Visa Signature, you could earn 3 percent cash back at your favorite restaurants while also earning 5 percent cash back at furniture stores, sporting goods stores, gyms and department stores (on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter). It can add up to a significant amount of cash back each month.
The Bank of America Customized Cash card is a solid addition to your wallet when it comes to online shopping. This card provides 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice, with one of those categories being online shopping. The card also offers 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter between the 3 percent and 2 percent categories) and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
By combining this with your Cash+ Visa Signature, you’ll get a good amount of cash back whether you’re shopping online or at brick-and-mortar locations.
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 (over $2,000 every three months), you might blow past the spending limit each quarter. If you’re worried about spending too much, it might make more sense to choose a credit card that comes with flat-rate cash back on all purchases.
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