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What credit score is needed for a U.S. Bank Card?

June 01, 2020
8 min read
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U.S. Bank offers many different types of credit cards ranging from a secured credit card to a premium travel rewards credit card. If you want to apply for one of these U.S. Bank credit cards, you may be interested in your likelihood of being approved.

Although U.S. Bank will likely consider many aspects of your creditworthiness when deciding whether to approve your application, one important factor is usually your credit score. So, let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be approved for a U.S. Bank credit card.

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What credit score do you need for U.S. Bank cards?

U.S. Bank offers many different types of credit cards. Although U.S. Bank does not publicly state what type of credit score is needed for each of its cards, each card is designed with a different target consumer in mind.

Some U.S. Bank credit cards, such as the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, are designed for consumers who are looking to build or repair their credit. So, you may be able to get approved for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card even if you have fair or poor credit. However, note that this card is a secured credit card, so opening the card will require a security deposit.

Likewise, other U.S. Bank credit cards are exclusive to current U.S. Bank customers. One such card is the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, which is U.S. Bank’s premium travel rewards credit card. So, you’ll likely need to be a U.S. Bank customer with a good or excellent credit score to be approved for this card.

Related reading: The best U.S. Bank credit cards

How to check your credit score

(Photo by cnythzl/Getty Images)

First off, it’s important to realize that you don’t have just one credit score. Instead, there are multiple calculation methods such as FICO and VantageScore, as well as multiple credit reporting agencies such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. So your credit score depends on both the calculation method as well as the credit reporting agency that is used.

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Luckily, it’s relatively easy to check your credit score for free with each credit reporting agency. For more information, check out our guide on how to check your credit score for absolutely free.

Related reading: 6 things to do to improve your credit

How to improve your credit score

If your credit score is lower than you’d like, you may be wondering how to improve it. Although the actual method used to calculate credit scores using FICO Score or VantageScore methods isn’t publicly available, FICO does state that the following components are considered in set proportions:

  • Payment history (35%): Whether you've paid past credit accounts on time
  • Amounts owed (30%): How much of your available credit you’re using. Generally, you want to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%
  • Length of credit history (15%): How long your credit accounts have been established, how long specific credit accounts have been established and how long it has been since you used certain accounts
  • New credit (10%): How many other credit accounts have you opened recently
  • Credit mix (10%): Your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans

So, if you want to improve your credit score, working on these components should help.

Related reading: Increase your credit score instantly: A guide to Experian Boost

Which U.S. Bank credit card is the most difficult to get?

U.S. Bank’s premium travel rewards card, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card, is likely the most difficult U.S. Bank credit card to get. First, you need to be a U.S. Bank customer, which is defined as having one of the following products:

Checking or savings account, certificate of deposit, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, auto/boat/RV loan, personal and small business loans and lines, commercial loan & lease, premier lines, private banking account or U.S. Bank credit card

But, even if you have an eligible relationship with U.S. Bank, you may not be approved for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card. After all, the Altitude Reserve is a premium travel rewards card, so you’ll likely need good or excellent credit to be approved.

Related reading: The best credit cards for excellent credit

Which U.S. Bank credit card is the best?

The best U.S. Bank credit card for you depends entirely on what you’re looking for in a card as well as your creditworthiness. However, our guide to the best U.S. Bank credit cards identified the following superlatives:

  • U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: Best for cash-back rewards
  • U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card*: Best for frequent travelers
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card*: Best for beginner travelers
  • U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: Best for a competitive introductory rate
  • U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card*: Best for a secured credit card
  • U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®: Best for business cash-back rewards
  • U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card*: Best for businesses that spend a lot in a few categories
  • U.S. Bank Business Platinum*: Best for businesses looking for a competitive introductory rate

U.S. Bank also offers some cobranded credit cards, including LATAM and Korean Air cards as well as the REI Co-op World Elite Mastercard. These cards may be useful if you fly with either of these airlines or if you want to use your annual dividend toward an REI adventure trip.

Which U.S. Bank credit card is the easiest to get?

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is the easiest U.S. Bank credit card to get since it is a secured credit card. This means that you’ll need to fund your account with $300-$5,000, which will be held as a security deposit in a separate U.S. Bank secured savings account. The amount of your security deposit becomes your credit limit, but you still must pay your credit card bill each month just as you would with a traditional credit card. By using your card responsibly, you can build credit and improve your credit score.

Does U.S. Bank provide credit scores?

You can get access to your VantageScore from TransUnion at no cost when you enroll in online banking with U.S. Bank. You can even opt-in to receive email alerts when there are big changes to your credit report. Your score is updated once a month, but you can use the score simulator to estimate what your score might be if you made certain changes.

Related reading: Your FICO score and which credit cards offer it for free

Does U.S. Bank give instant approval?

(Photo by Johner Images/Getty Images)

You can apply for most U.S. Bank credit cards online. According to U.S. Bank, you’ll receive an instant decision within three minutes for most cards.

Related reading: Credit cards that offer instant card numbers upon approval

Bottom line

U.S. Bank offers a wide variety of credit cards. So, there are U.S. Bank credit cards for consumers who are rebuilding their credit as well as for consumers who are looking for a travel rewards credit card.

Before applying, it’s best to determine whether the card is right for you as well as whether you’re likely to be approved for the card. Some issuers provide pre-qualified credit card offers that allow you to determine whether you’re likely to be approved without getting a hard credit pull -- and may even provide access to higher welcome bonuses targeted specifically to you.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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