Both the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ will help you to earn cash back on rotating bonus categories and select everyday purchases — but which is the best option for you? The distinction lies in what type of spending you’d like to earn rewards on, the cap on those rewards and more.
|Cards||U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card||Chase Freedom Flex|
|Welcome bonus||$200 rewards bonus after you apply online and spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening||$200 cash bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (16.74% to 26.74% variable APR thereafter)||0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.24% to 25.99% variable APR thereafter)|
U.S. Bank Cash+ vs. Chase Freedom Flex highlights
Welcome bonus winner: Chase Freedom Flex
The U.S. Bank Cash+ offers a $200 cash bonus when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening, while the Chase Freedom Flex offers a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening.
Although these cards’ welcome bonuses are very similar, the Chase Freedom Flex wins in this category since its bonus is slightly easier to obtain. With it, you’ll only need to spend about $167 per month for three months to earn the bonus. With the U.S. Bank Cash+, you’ll need to spend $250 per month for four months to earn the bonus.
Rewards rate winner: Tie
The rewards rates for these two cards are very similar. The U.S. Bank Cash+ pulls ahead with its wider variety of 5 percent categories and higher cap on 5 percent categories, while the Chase Freedom Flex pulls ahead by offering more bonus categories (including a higher rate on dining).
With the U.S. Bank Cash+, you’ll get 5 percent cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two categories of your choosing. You can pick from the following categories: ground transportation; select clothing stores; cellphone providers; electronics stores; TV, internet and streaming services; gyms and fitness centers; home utilities; fast food; sporting goods stores; department stores; furniture stores; and movie theaters.
You’ll also earn 2 percent cash back on purchases in one everyday category. Eligible 2 percent categories include grocery stores and grocery delivery, restaurants and gas stations and EV charging stations. Plus, you’ll get 5 percent cash back on prepaid airfare, hotel stays and car rentals through the Rewards Travel Center and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
The Chase Freedom Flex provides 5 percent cash back on activated bonus category purchases that change each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent). Five percent categories frequently include grocery stores, gas stations, select streaming services and popular retailers. You’ll also get 5 percent back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases, 5 percent on Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025), 3 percent on dining and drugstore purchases and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Note that cash back earned is technically in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Annual fee winner: Tie
Neither card charges an annual fee, so they tie in this category.
Foreign transaction fee winner: Tie
Both cards charge a foreign transaction fee. The Chase Freedom Flex charges a 3 percent fee on all foreign transactions, and the U.S. Bank Cash+ charges a 3 percent fee for each foreign purchase or ATM transaction in a foreign currency and a 2 percent fee for each foreign purchase or ATM transaction in U.S. dollars.
Which card earns the most?
Here’s a breakdown of how much you can earn by maxing out the capped bonus categories of each card and spending on everyday purchases like groceries, dining and more.
U.S. Bank Cash+ vs. Chase Freedom Flex spending example
U.S. Bank Cash+
By spending $2,000 per quarter (therefore maxing out the bonus category), you’ll earn $400 in cash back for the year. If you spend an additional $500 per month in the 2 percent category — you can choose from one of the following: grocery stores, gas stations or restaurants — you’ll get $120 in cash back. Say you also spend $100 on miscellaneous items per month (that aren’t a part of the 5 percent category) and $1,000 on travel per year. You’ll earn $12 and $50 back, respectively. Add it all up and you’ll earn a total of $582 in cash back for the year. Then, when adding in the welcome bonus, you’ll end up with $782 in cash back rewards at the end of your first year.
Chase Freedom Flex
With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll earn $300 by maxing out the capped 5 percent category. Say you also spend $125 in the rideshare category, $300 on dining, $50 on drugstore purchases and another $50 on all other purchases each month, plus $1,000 per year in the travel category. With this spending, you’ll earn a total of $557 in rewards. Add in the welcome bonus and you’ll earn $757 in cash back at the end of the first year.
Ultimately, how much you earn with each card comes down to your spending habits. If your spending habits better align with the Chase Freedom Flex, for example, then you’ll likely earn more with that card than with the U.S. Bank Cash+.
Why should you get the U.S. Bank Cash+?
The U.S. Bank Cash+ offers the chance to earn 5 percent cash back on a wide variety of categories, including a number of less common categories like home utilities, cellphone providers and specialty stores. However, it’s important to remember that, in order to earn 5 percent and 2 percent cash back in the categories of your choosing, you must remember to activate them each quarter. To do so, simply log in to your account. You can also sign up for email or text message reminders so you never miss category enrollment.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ doesn’t have as many benefits as the Chase Freedom Flex, but you’ll get access to:
- U.S. Bank’s ExtendPay Plan, which allows you to divide large purchases into fixed monthly payments for a small fee
- The Rewards Center Earn Mall, where you can earn a higher cash back rate on purchases with select merchants
- Visa Signature benefits, which include zero fraud liability, lost or stolen card reporting, pay-per-use roadside dispatch and more
There’s also a 0 percent intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (16.74 percent to 26.74 percent variable APR thereafter). Note that you’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 3 percent (minimum $5).
Cash back can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit to a U.S. Bank account or a prepaid rewards card. You can also enroll in Real-Time Rewards to instantly cover a purchase. Note that cash rewards will expire 36 months after the billing cycle in which they were earned.
Recommended credit score
The recommended credit score for the U.S. Bank Cash+ is good to excellent (670 to 850).
Why should you get the Chase Freedom Flex?
One of the main reasons to go with the Chase Freedom Flex over the U.S. Bank Cash+ is that the former technically earns rewards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which is one of the most valuable credit card loyalty programs today. The Chase Freedom Flex also offers an incredible number of benefits for a no-annual-fee card, plus more ways to redeem rewards.
Additionally, you’ll get a 0 percent intro APR offer for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (17.24 percent to 25.99 percent variable APR after that). You’ll also get an intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent (minimum $5) for the first 60 days (5 percent after that).
The Chase Freedom Flex’s numerous benefits include:
- Three free months of DoorDash DashPass, then 50 percent off for nine months (must activate by Dec. 31, 2024)
- Mastercard World Elite benefits, which include perks like a complimentary ShopRunner membership and a $5 Lyft credit every time you take three or more rides in a month
- Security, item and travel protections like zero fraud liability, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, cellphone protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, 24/7 fraud monitoring, fraud alerts, an auto rental collision damage waiver and travel and emergency assistance services
- Access to Chase Offers and Shop Through Chase, both of which offer limited-time, exclusive deals with select retailers
You can redeem your rewards for a statement credit, direct deposit, travel and event bookings through Chase Ultimate Rewards, gift cards, merchandise or by shopping with points on Amazon.com or via PayPal. Unlike the U.S. Bank Cash+, Chase rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.
Recommended credit score
The recommended credit score for the Chase Freedom Flex is good to excellent.
The bottom line
If you’re interested in tracking and maxing out rotating bonus categories to earn cash back, either card is a decent choice. That said, choose the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card if you want a card that has a wide range of rewards categories to pick from. It also boasts a slightly higher cap on its 5 percent cash back category. If you’re more interested in card benefits, maximizing your earning potential and redemption options, choose the Chase Freedom Flex. Ultimately, the better card for you will largely depend on your spending habits, the benefits you’re looking for and how you’d like to redeem your rewards.