The best U.S. Bank credit cards of 2020

4d ago

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When you think of the top credit card issuers, U.S. Bank sometimes gets overlooked in favor of Chase, American Express, Citi and Capital One. But U.S. Bank has a full credit card lineup that can provide a lot of value to your wallet. Today, we’ll walk through the top U.S. Bank credit cards that are currently accepting applications.

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Best U.S. Bank credit cards of 2020

  • 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

The information for the U.S. Bank cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

In This Post

Comparing the best U.S. Bank credit cards

U.S. Bank credit card Best for Welcome offer Earning rate Annual fee
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card Cash-back rewards $150 bonus after you apply online and spend $500 within the first 90 days of account opening 5% on two categories you choose (on your first $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter)

2% on one category you choose

1% on everything else

$0
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card Frequent travelers 50,000 points (worth $750 in travel) when you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening 5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked with the Altitude Rewards Center

3x on travel purchases and mobile wallet spending

1x on everything else

$400
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card Beginner travelers 30,000 bonus points (worth $450 in travel) after you spend $2,000 in the first four months of account opening 5x FlexPoints on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked with the FlexPerks Rewards Center

3x at restaurants

2x at airlines and gas stations

1x on everything else

$85
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card Competitive introductory rate 0% intro APR on purchases for 20 billing cycles. After that a variable APR, 13.99%-23.99% None $0
U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card Secured credit card None None $29
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite MasterCard

 

Business cash-back rewards $500 bonus after you spend $4,500 within the first 150 days of account opening

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. After that a variable APR, 11.99% to 22.99%

3% on gas station, office supply store and cellphone/service provider purchases

1% on everything else

$0
U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card Businesses that spend a lot in a few categories 75,000 bonus points (worth $750 cash back) after you spend $7,500 within the first four months of account opening 2x points in the top two categories where you spend the most each month

1x on everything else

$95, waived the first year
U.S. Bank Business Platinum Businesses looking for a competitive introductory rate 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles. After that a variable APR, 9.99% to 17.99% None $0

Best U.S. Bank credit cards

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: Best for cash-back rewards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn a $150 rewards bonus after you apply online and spend $500 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening

Rewards rate: 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose; 2% cash back on one everyday category you choose, and 1% cash back on everything else

Annual fee: None

Who should apply: If you’re looking for flexibility in a cash-back credit card, it doesn’t get much better than the U.S. Bank Cash+ Card. You’ll be able to choose two categories in which to earn 5% cash back each quarter (on the first $2,000 spent) from a pretty extensive list of options. And, you’ll be able to choose a 2% cash-back category each quarter from a shorter list. Note that the options for 5% and 2% categories may change each quarter.

When you’re ready to redeem your cash-back rewards, you can get it as a statement credit, direct deposit into your U.S. Bank checking or savings account or as a rewards card.

Check out the full card review for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card.

Related reading: The best cash-back credit cards

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card: Best for frequent travelers

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn an enrollment bonus of 50,000 points, worth $750 in travel, when you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening

Rewards rate: 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3x points on eligible net travel purchases and mobile wallet spending, and 1x points on everything else

Annual fee: $400 ($75 for each additional card)

Who should apply: The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve is U.S. Bank’s premium travel card option available exclusively to U.S. Bank customers. You’ll earn 5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through U.S. Bank Altitude Rewards, plus 3x on other travel purchases and mobile wallet spending. So, if you are someone who frequently uses mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay, this could be a great way to rack up points on a wide range of spending.

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve also comes with $325 in annual travel credits, 12 Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year, a $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit once every four years, no foreign transaction fees and many other travel and shopping benefits. But, unlike many other premium travel rewards cards, this card doesn’t earn transferable points.

Check out the full card review for the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card.

Related reading: The best credit cards for Priority Pass lounge access

U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card: Best for beginner travelers

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn 30,000 bonus points, worth $450 in travel, after you spend $2,000 in the first four months of account opening

Rewards rate: 5x FlexPoints on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the FlexPerks Rewards Center; 3x points at restaurants; 2x points at airlines and gas stations, and 1x on everything else

Annual fee: $85

Who should apply: The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card features a strong rewards structure for a card that only charges an $85 annual fee. The card also comes with benefits such as a $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit once every four years, complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi and more. While it won’t win any awards for the best premium travel card, it’s a solid option for beginners who are looking for a card with a small annual fee.

Related reading: The best starter travel credit cards

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card: Best for a competitive introductory rate

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: 0% introductory APR on purchases for 20 billing cycles, and after that a variable APR, currently 13.99%-23.99%

Rewards rate: None

Annual fee: None

Who should apply: The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card provides one of the longest 0% introductory APR periods. So, it may be the card for you if you need to float some purchases for a while. Although the card doesn’t provide any rewards on spending, it does provide other perks such as cell phone protection when you pay your monthly cellular bill with your card and free access to your TransUnion credit score.

Related reading: The top no-annual-fee credit cards with a 0% intro APR

U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card: Best for a secured credit card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: None

Rewards rate: None

Annual fee: $29

Who should apply: Secured credit cards can be used to build or repair credit, so you’ll only want to apply if you have limited credit history or a low credit score. With the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, you must deposit $300 to $5,000 to fund your account. Your deposit is kept in an interest-earning savings account as collateral and the amount of your deposit becomes your credit limit.

You’ll need to make payments on your account each month just as you would with a traditional credit card. But, you’ll get your security deposit back once you close your account with a zero balance due or upgrade to an unsecured credit card.

Related reading: The best secured credit cards

U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite MasterCard: Best for business cash-back rewards

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn $500 in cash back after you spend $4,500 on the account owner’s card within the first 150 days of account opening. Plus, enjoy a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles, and after that a variable APR, currently 11.99% to 22.99%.

Rewards rate: 3% cash back on eligible gas station, office supply store and cell phone/service provider purchases; 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

Annual fee: $0

Who should apply: For a no-annual-fee business credit card, 3% back on gas stations, office supply stores and cell phone services is a solid earning structure. And, you’ll get a 25% annual bonus of up to $250. So, if you earned $500 in cash rewards the previous year, you’d get an additional $125 in bonus cash back.

You can also earn additional rewards through the Encore Relationship Program. All in all, the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite MasterCard is a solid small business card for any business owner who spends a lot on gas, office supplies and/or cell phone services.

Related reading:5 ways you might be eligible for a business credit card without realizing it

U.S. Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Card: Best for businesses that spend a lot in a few categories

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points, worth $750 cash back, after you spend $7,500 on the account owner’s card within the first four months of account opening

Rewards rate: 2x points on purchases made in the top two categories where you spend the most each month; 1x points on everything else

Annual fee: $95 annual fee, waived the first year

Who should apply: With the U.S. Bank Business Leverage Card, you’ll get unlimited 2x on the categories you spend most in each month. U.S. Bank lists 48 potential bonus categories that range from advertising firms to airlines to charities to restaurants and just about everything in between.

Since there’s no cap on the number of rewards you can earn, this card has the potential to be quite lucrative — especially with typically high-budget categories like advertising and membership organizations as options. You can also earn additional rewards through the Encore Relationship Program, and employee cards are available for no additional cost.

Related reading: The best cards for each business credit card category

U.S. Bank Business Platinum: Best for businesses looking for a competitive introductory rate

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 20 billing cycles, and after that a variable APR, currently 9.99% to 17.99%

Rewards rate: None

Annual fee: None

Who should apply: If you need to float a large purchase or decrease interest charges while paying off debt, the U.S. Bank Business Platinum may be a good choice for your business. The card offers one of the longest introductory APR offers for purchases and balance transfers that we’ve seen. But, you’ll want to pay off your balance in full by the end of the introductory-APR period to avoid paying interest at the variable APR rate once your account has been open for 20 billing cycles.

Related reading: Your guide to applying for small-business credit cards

How we chose the best U.S. Bank credit cards

For this guide, we focused on the U.S. Bank credit cards that are currently available and not cobranded with a partner airline or other business. When choosing the best U.S. Bank credit cards, we considered the wide-ranging needs of customers. For example, the best credit card for a traveler looking to earn travel rewards is very different than the best card for someone looking to build credit or accept an introductory APR offer. So, we included a wide-range of U.S. Bank credit cards in this guide and considered what types of consumers may benefit from each card.

Related reading: How to choose the right credit card for you

Cobranded U.S. Bank credit cards

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Besides the U.S. Bank-branded cards described so far in this guide, U.S. Bank also partners with the following airlines, retailers and other businesses to offer rewards credit cards to their customers:

  • LATAM
  • Korean Air
  • Quicken
  • REI Co-op
  • Fred Meyer Stores
  • Harris Teeter
  • Ralphs
  • Various companies such as Fry’s and Smith’s in the Kroger Family of Companies

In particular, a LATAM or Korean Air card may be useful if you frequently fly with either of these airlines. The REI Co-op World Elite Mastercard is also a popular card, especially if you want to use your annual dividend toward an REI adventure travel trip.

Related reading: Are cobranded airline cards worth it anymore?

Frequently asked questions about U.S. Bank credit cards

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

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is the easiest U.S. Bank card to get because it is a secured credit card that is designed for consumers who are working to build or repair their credit.

Related reading: How to earn points and miles with fair to poor credit

Are U.S. Bank credit cards hard to get?

Some U.S. bank cards, such as the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, are easy to get since they don’t provide rewards and are designed for consumers with limited credit history or less-than-perfect credit. But, other U.S. Bank credit cards such as the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card and U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card will require stronger credit and may be more difficult to get.

Related reading: 9 signs a credit card isn’t the right one for you

Does U.S. Bank give instant approval?

You can apply for most U.S. Bank credit cards online and you may receive an instant decision within three minutes. However, U.S. Bank will take longer to decide on some applications.

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

What credit score is needed to get a U.S. Bank credit card?

U.S. Bank offers many different types of credit cards, each of which requires a different credit score. For example, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is designed for consumers who are looking to build or repair their credit, so you may be able to get approved for this card with poor or even bad credit. On the other hand, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is U.S. Bank’s premium travel rewards credit card. So, you’ll likely need a good or excellent credit score to be approved for this card.

Related reading: How to check your credit score for absolutely free

Does U.S. Bank automatically increase credit limit?

U.S. Bank generally doesn’t automatically increase credit limits. But, for most U.S. Bank credit cards, you can submit a request for a credit limit increase by logging in to your online account, selecting “Self Service” under the “Customer Service” tab and clicking “Manage Your Account” under the credit card section. You’ll need to provide up to date income and monthly housing payment information to request a credit limit increase.

Note that some U.S. Bank cardmembers who have a Visa Signature, World MasterCard or a FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card will need to call the number on the back of their card to request an increase to their revolving line of credit. And, cardholders with a secured credit card will need to submit a written request to increase their credit limit accompanied by a cashier’s check or money order in the amount of the requested increase.

Related reading: What happens if you go over your credit limit?

How do I use U.S. Bank Flexperks?

To use your Flexperks points, you should log in to your online banking account. From the “My Accounts” page choose “My Rewards.” This will take you to the rewards center, which will display all of your accounts that are eligible for rewards. To redeem rewards, choose “Redeem Rewards” and follow the instructions given to see your options and make a redemption.

FlexPerks are worth 1.5 cents each toward “airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and more” according to the application pages of credit cards that earn FlexPerks. But, U.S. Bank doesn’t publically describe FlexPerks redemption options in further detail for consumers without a FlexPerks card.

Related reading: Comparing the best fixed-value point credit cards

Bottom line

While most U.S. Bank credit cards aren’t as appealing as the top rewards credit cards from issuers like Chase and American Express, some of U.S. Bank’s cards can provide sizable value. Especially if you aren’t interested in earning transferrable points or are looking for a low APR credit card, it may be worth considering a U.S. Bank credit card.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.

Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.