Both the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card and the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ help you earn cash back on rotating bonus categories and 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.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex
|Card name||Cash+ Visa Signature Card||Chase Freedom Flex|
|Welcome bonus||$150 bonus after you spend $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening||$200 cash bonus after spending $500 within your first three months|
|Rewards||5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose; 2% back on one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores; 1% back on all other purchases||5% cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent); 5% back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases; 5% on Lyft rides (through March 2022); 3% on dining; 3% on drugstore purchases; at least 1% on other purchases|
|Introductory offer||0% intro APR for 12 billing cycles on balances transferred within 60 days from account opening (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter)||0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (14.99% to 23.74% variable APR thereafter)|
|Balance transfer fee||3% of the transferred balance ($5 minimum)||N/A|
Here are the details:
U.S. Bank Cash+
With the U.S. Bank Cash+, 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
- Electronics stores
- TV, internet and streaming services
- Gyms/fitness centers
- Home utilities
- Fast food
- Sporting goods stores
- Department stores
- Furniture stores
- Movie theaters
You’ll also earn 2 percent cash back on purchases in categories like grocery stores and gas stations, along with 1 percent back on all other purchases.
In order to earn 5 percent and 2 percent cash back in the categories of your choosing, you must remember to activate each quarter. To do so, call the number on the back of your U.S. Bank Cash+ card or visit usbank.com/cashplus. You can do so up until five days before the end of the quarter.
There’s also a $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 in eligible net purchases within your first 90 days of account opening. You won’t be charged an annual fee, and there’s an introductory zero percent APR for your first 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR thereafter).
The Freedom Flex card gets you 5 percent cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent), as well as:
- 5 percent back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases
- 5 percent on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
- 3 percent on dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services)
- 3 percent on drugstore purchases
- at least 1 percent on other purchases
You’ll earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 within your first three months of owning the card, plus a first-year bonus cash back category. Redeem your cash back rewards for gift cards, travel or by shopping with points on Amazon.com.
This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and there’s also a zero percent introductory APR offer for 15 months on purchases (14.99% to 23.74% variable APR after that), should you be looking to spurge in the coming months.
Which card is right for you?
If you’re interested in tracking and maxing out rotating bonus categories to earn cash back, either card is a decent choice.
Here’s a breakdown of how much you can earn by 1. maxing out the bonus categories of each card and 2. spending a cool $3,025 a month.
First-year value example
|Cards||U.S. Bank Cash+||Freedom Flex|
|Best for||Choosing your rewards categories||Maximizing rewards potential|
|Spending example||$2,000 * 4 quarters * 5% * $0.01 = $400
$975 * 12 months * 2% * $0.01 = $324
$50 * 12 months * 1% * $0.01 = $6
|$1,500 * 4 quarters * 5% * $0.01 = $300
$125 * 12 months * 5% * $0.01 = $75
$1,000 * 12 months * 5% * $0.01 = $600
$200 * 12 months * 5% * $0.01 = $120
$100 * 12 months * 3% * $0.01 = $36
$50 * 12 months * 3% * $0.01 = $18
$50 * 12 months * 1% * $0.01 = $6
|Welcome bonus||$150 bonus after you apply online and spend $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening||$200 cash bonus after spending $500 within your first three months|
|First-year value||$790 (including welcome bonus)||$1,355 (including welcome bonus)|
U.S. Bank Cash+
By spending $2,000 per quarter (therefore maxing out the bonus category), you’d earn $400 in cash back for the year. If you spend an additional $975 a month in the 2 percent category and $50 in the 1 percent category, you’d earn a total of $640 in cash back for the year.
When adding in the welcome bonus, you’d end up with $790 in cash back rewards at the end of your first year.
With the Freedom Flex, you’ll earn $1,355 by maxing out the capped categories (therefore earning the welcome bonus) and spending an additional $125 in the ride-share category, $200 in the travel category, $100 on dining, $50 on drugstore purchases and another $50 on all other purchases.
Given the number of specific categories to earn in (seven total categories, one being a bonus and the other being rotating), the Freedom Flex has much more earning potential.
Balance transfer example
With the U.S. Bank Cash+, you get an introductory zero percent APR for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers made within your first 60 days (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after) for a 3 percent balance transfer fee.
Say you owe $1,500, for example, and transferred the debt to the U.S. Bank Cash+. You could then pay $125 a month without acquiring interest fees (while still owing a $45 balance transfer fee).
The bottom line
Choose U.S. Bank Cash+ if …
… you want a card that has a wide range of rewards categories to choose from. It also boasts a slightly higher cap on its 5 percent cash back category and a balance transfer offer.
Choose Freedom Flex if …
… you’re most interested in maximizing your rewards earning potential and are interested in paying off a purchase with no added interest.