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Who should get the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card?

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The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card has lots to offer the right person — from customizable cash back categories to surprisingly generous travel rewards. But it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card for the next addition to your wallet, read our guide to make sure it’s right for you.

People who like customization

A growing number of credit cards are offering choose-your-own-adventure style cash back programs like that of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature. For those with varied spending habits who want to be able to customize their cash back categories, this structure may be a dream.

You can choose two categories to earn 5 percent cash back on. The selections may vary from quarter to quarter, but currently, they are:

  • TV, Internet and streaming services
  • Home utilities
  • Ground transportation
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cellphone providers
  • Electronics stores
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Fast food
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Department stores
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

There’s one important caveat, though: You must select your categories each quarter, or else you only earn 1 percent back. For some, that may be too much maintenance.

Everyday value seekers

In addition to the rotating 5 percent bonus categories, which tend to be an eclectic mix of medium-spend categories, you do get some stability out of the “everyday” cash back category. The cash back rate is lower — just 2 percent on your choice of one category — but the options currently include three high-use categories: grocery stores, gas and EV charging stations, and restaurants.

The everyday category rounds out the card nicely, especially for those who aren’t sure they’d always take full advantage of the 5 percent categories.

Another everyday category actually falls within the 5 percent cash back bucket: home utilities. For most people, water, gas and electric bills are a given. If you’re spending $300 per month on utilities, that could mean a guaranteed $15 back each month.

People who already have a flat-rate cash back card

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature’s rewards structure is similar to most cards with bonus categories: boosted cash back in particular spending categories, plus 1 percent back on everything else. The problem with using this type of card as your only credit card is that the bulk of your spending would typically fall into the “everything else” category, only earning 1 percent cash back.

The trick is to use a different card for those general purchases: one that earns at least 2 percent cash back on all purchases. Then you can reserve your bonus category card for those purchases that earn a high rate of cash back.

If you already have a flat-rate cash back card, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature may be a perfect complement, giving you lots of ways to boost your cash back earnings.

Frequent travelers

For a cash back card, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature offers a surprisingly high rewards rate on travel purchases: 5 percent back on prepaid airfare, hotel stays and car rentals through U.S. Bank’s Rewards Travel Center. It’s not quite as flexible as some travel cards, which allow you to book flights with third-party services or directly with airlines, but it’s a small hoop to jump through in exchange for a solid cash back rate.

People seeking a balance transfer

Eliminating your debt might be priority one if you’re considering opening up a new card to take advantage of a balance transfer offer. But it pays to think long-term too. With the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature, you can get 15 months of 0 percent intro APR on balances you transfer within the first 60 days. That’s a pretty standard offer. But you also have lots of cash back opportunities to look forward to after your balance is paid, making this card useful long after your balance transfer.

Who should avoid the U.S. Bank cash visa signature card

If your credit card rewards strategy is to keep it simple, you probably already have a hunch that this isn’t the card for you. You’ll end up earning a measly 1 percent across the board if you neglect to choose your bonus categories each quarter. And on top of remembering to make your selections, you also have to remember which bonus categories you selected when you’re using the card.

If you like the idea of customizable bonus categories, there are more hands-off options. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card allows you to change your category selection monthly, but there’s no selection requirement. If you don’t change your selection, it will stay the same from month to month. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is another great option because it automatically awards you 5 percent back (on up to $500 each billing cycle, then 1 percent) on your top spend category.

The bottom line

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is a great cash back card for those looking to maximize their rewards with a variety of customizable bonus categories, from everyday purchases to travel. It’s also a solid option for those considering a balance transfer. But if you’re looking for a simple, set-and-forget cash back program, this likely isn’t the card for you. If you’re not sold, check out Bankrate’s top cash back credit cards to compare your options.

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