U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card Review: Choose Your Bonus

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The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is one of the few cash-back cards earning 5% or more, and you’ll earn that cash on two categories you choose each quarter, along with 2% in another category you choose, such as gas or restaurants. With no annual fee, an easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders, and a high rewards potential, this card can deliver decent cash back if you’re smart about your category choices.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Overall Rating
3.3
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 5% cash back on $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two eligible categories you choose. 2% cash back on one eligible everyday category. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.3
for Fees
3.2
for Rewards
2.5
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

Earn a $200 bonus after you apply online and spend $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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    Savvy Saver

People with good to excellent credit looking for a cash rewards credit card without an annual fee can wring some value out of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Card—as long as you don’t mind a little ongoing card maintenance. The card gives more control over how you earn rewards by letting you choose your own bonus categories, although the categories themselves are underwhelming. While there’s a limit to the rewards you can earn in the highest-earning tier, your other cash rewards are unlimited.

Pros
  • Easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders

  • Choice of bonus rewards categories

  • High rewards cap for a 5% card

Cons
  • Category challenges

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Quarterly registration required to earn the most rewards

Pros Explained

  • Easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders: With a minimum spend of just $500 in about three months, most cardholders will find the new cardholder bonus a breeze to earn.
  • Choice of bonus rewards categories: Other credit cards offering 5% cash back have bank-selected bonus categories rotating quarterly. Cash+ cardholders can choose two bonus rewards categories each quarter. You can also choose your 2% cash-back category from three popular options. 
  • High rewards cap for a 5% card: Competing 5% no-annual-fee cards cap rewards at $1,500, but you can use this card until you hit $2,000. And there’s no cap at all for the 2% back category you choose quarterly. 

Cons Explained

  • Category challenges: Earning 5% back is great, but eligible purchase categories are limited. If you frequently shop online from many retailers, at wholesale clubs, at drug stores, or home improvement stores, or spend a lot on travel or entertainment (other than movie theaters), this card won’t reward you for those popular categories. As well, choosing between groceries, restaurants, or gas for your 2% category may be difficult as these tend to be common, high-spend categories for most people. 
  • Foreign transaction fee: This isn't the best card to use for international purchases. With its foreign transaction fee, you'll pay up to 3% on purchases made in a currency other than U.S. dollars, and on purchases made in U.S. dollars.
  • Quarterly registration window required: While you do get the flexibility to choose your cash-back categories, you have to sign up by the deadline to earn bonus rewards. Otherwise, purchases in bonus categories will only earn 1% back instead of 2% or 5%.

Bonus for New Cardholders

Earn a $200 bonus when you spend just $500 in the first 90 days of opening your account. This is a good sign-up bonus offer for a card without an annual fee, and the low minimum spend requirement will allow most people to earn the bonus within the first few weeks of opening the account.

Earning Rewards

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card lets you earn 5% cash back (which U.S. Bank calls “Rebates”) on your first combined $2,000 in two categories you choose each quarter. You can also earn unlimited 2% back on purchases at one of gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants. You choose which. Finally, earn 1% back on all your other purchases.

To give you an idea of available choices, here are the 5% Cash+ categories for July through September 2020: 

  • TV, internet, streaming services 
  • Home utilities 
  • Ground transportation excluding parking-related fees 
  • Around a dozen chain clothing stores
  • Cellphone providers 
  • Electronics stores 
  • Membership fees at gyms and fitness centers 
  • Fast food 
  • Sporting goods stores 
  • Department stores 
  • Furniture stores
  • Movie theaters

Bonus categories have remained largely the same for the past few quarters, but could change at any time. 

Other credit cards with a 3% or 5% quarterly rotating rewards are dictated by the card issuer, but favor the usual high-earn-and-spend suspects: restaurants, grocery stores, online shopping, and more.

If you’re looking for a lower-hassle commitment, know that a 1.5% flat-rate card could earn you significantly less. However, a card that gives 2% back without caps in total may be a better deal, with less hassle. Based on our calculations and BLS data, this is what your cash back might look like, annually:

Potential Cash+ Card Earnings
Category  Annual Spend % Back U.S. Bank Cash+  Amount Back
Clothing Stores   $1,866 5%  $93.30
Ground Transportation   $1,000 5% $50.00
Grocery Stores   $4,464 2% $89.28
Everything Else $16,967 1% $169.67
Total:  $24,297   $402.25

With a 1.5% back card, you’d earn $364 a year, and with a 2% back card, $485 a year—and you won’t have to do all your clothing shopping from a limited selection of stores, or manage categories.

Many US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card categories have exclusions, so review the guidelines carefully. For example, you can’t get cash back from Walmart, Costco, and Target purchases. You can purchase clothing at Sears, but can’t buy furniture from Sears, nor can you buy online from Sears.com.

Redeeming Rewards

The card comes with a few choices for redeeming your rewards. Options include a statement credit; direct deposit into your U.S. Bank checking, savings, or money market account; or adding to a rewards debit card.

It’s unusual for rewards to expire, but U.S. Bank rewards expire 36 months after they were earned. Use them as they accumulate versus waiting too long. 

There’s no minimum redemption requirement for a statement credit or direct deposit. However, if you opt to redeem your cash back as a U.S. Bank Rewards Visa debit card, there’s a $20 minimum redemption requirement and you must redeem rewards in $5 increments.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card 

Consider your upcoming spending when you’re selecting your 5% bonus categories. To max out spending in the 5% categories, you’ll need to spend $2,000 in the two categories each quarter, which breaks down to $666.67 in monthly spending. For example, you may choose electronics stores if you’re doing a lot of fourth-quarter holiday shopping. 

Based on the available 5% cash back categories, and the two-category limit, reaching the $2,000 spending cap each quarter may be a challenge for many cardholders. Don’t be tempted to overspend in order to earn the maximum cash back.

Consider pairing this card with one that consistently earns in a category that could otherwise be neglected due to category choice, or won’t earn more than 1% in any case.

Set a calendar reminder or U.S. Bank text reminder for the bonus category selection window. Visit your account online or call customer service at least five days before each quarter starts so you have the full quarter to max out your spending. You can choose your rewards up to 45 days before the quarter starts. 

You can still select bonus categories after the quarter has started, but only earn cash-back rewards at the 1% rate until your selection becomes effective. U.S. Bank advises that it can take up to three business days for the registration to take effect. 

Other Features 

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy) 
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranties 
  • Travel and emergency hotline 
  • Roadside assistance hotline 
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Sports, music, and event ticket presales and discount, plus VIP access at some events

Customer Experience

U.S. Bank earns the rating of “about average” in J.D. Power’s 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.

The card comes with a few noteworthy customer experience benefits including 24/7 U.S. based customer service, free TransUnion FICO score, budgeting tools, cardmember agreement guide, credit wellness center, and spend analysis online reporting. 

Security Features 

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card comes with standard security features including zero fraud liability, security alerts, and EMV chip technology.

Fees to Watch Out For

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has two unusual fees. The first is a 2% charge for foreign transactions made in U.S. dollars. The other is a 4% fee for a “cash equivalent advance,” which may likely include gambling chips and lottery ticket purchases, but may also be applied to Venmo and other peer-to-peer transactions using your credit card. 

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
overall rating
3.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 13.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 5% cash back on $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two eligible categories you choose. 2% cash back on one eligible everyday category. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. U.S. Bank. "U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  2. U.S. Bank. "Cash+ Categories July–September 2020." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Consumer Expenditures—2018." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  4. U.S. Bank. "Sample Merchants." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  5. U.S. Bank. "Program Rules U.S. Bank Cash+ Program." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  6. U.S. Bank. "U.S. Bank Cash + Visa Card Benefits and Rewards." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  7. J.D. Power. "Credit Card Rewards War Reaches Inflection Point as Competition Grows, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed July 17, 2020.

  8. U.S. Bank. "U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card Terms and Conditions." July 17, 2020.