U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review: Choose your own 5% cash-back categories
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card overview
U.S. Bank is one of the largest retail banks, and it offers plenty of credit cards as well. One of its strengths is in cash-back rewards cards. I know many award-travel enthusiasts who like earning some of their rewards as cash back, if only to help pay for travel that they can’t book with points and miles. The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is one of the rare products that allows you to choose which kinds of purchases are eligible for bonus rewards. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Anyone who’s looked for a cash-back credit card is familiar with cards that offer 5% cash back on purchases from featured merchants or merchant categories. Cards in this category include the Chase Freedom Flex, Discover it Cash Back and the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®.
The information for the Discover it Cash Back and ABOC Platinum Rewards 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.
With these cards, the categories in which you earn bonus cash back are chosen by the card issuer. You have no choice in the categories, and you'll earn 5% back on a maximum of $1,500 of these purchases.
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, on the other hand, lets you choose your categories, and its limit is 33% higher — $2,000 of eligible spending each quarter. Unlike its competitors, it also lets you choose a 2% bonus cash category — rather than just 1% on all other purchases.
This card is ideal for those who want to earn cash back — instead of or in addition to travel rewards. This is also a card for those who prefer to customize their rewards. And because you can pick your 5% and 2% bonus categories, this card is good for those who don’t want to carry multiple cash-back cards for different spending categories. However, cash-back maximizers might still want to hold another card that offers 1.5%, 2% or more on non-bonus purchases.
Here's a detailed look at the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card welcome offer
New applicants for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa can earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within 120 days of account opening. That's a 20% return on spending.
Related: 3 reasons why you want a cash-back credit card in your wallet
Earning cash back on the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
With the Cash+ Visa, you'll earn cash back at three different rates: 5%, 2% and 1% back.
You'll earn 5% back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked through the U.S. Bank Rewards Travel Center. Plus, you can choose two categories for earning 5% cash back each quarter — up to $2,000 of these purchases, then 1% back. The categories include:
- Cellphone providers.
- Department stores.*
- Electronic stores.
- Fast food.*
- Furniture stores.
- Ground transportation.
- Gyms and fitness centers.
- Home utilities.
- Movie theaters.
- Sporting goods stores.
- TV, internet and streaming.
- Select clothing stores.*
*There are some quirks to the bonus categories. Note that "fast food" and "restaurants" are different categories (with one earning 2% back while the other is an option for 5% back). The "clothing stores" category is limited to these merchants: Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Express, Forever 21, GAP, J.Crew, Jos. A. Bank, The Limited, Old Navy and Talbots. Also, you will not receive credit in the "department stores" category for purchases at Walmart, Target or Costco; in-person purchases at Sears will qualify, but purchases at Sears.com won't.
Maximizing the $2,000 spending threshold each quarter will provide $400 in cash back annually.
You'll receive an unlimited 2% back on purchases in one of these categories (which you must choose in advance):
- Gas stations and EV charging stations.
- Grocery stores.
You'll receive unlimited 1% cash back on purchases outside your bonus categories and on purchases past the $2,000 threshold in your chosen 5% categories. And be sure to choose your categories each quarter; if you don't, you'll earn just 1% back on all purchases.
Unfortunately, the Cash+ Visa has a 3% foreign transaction fee. Hence, it's not an ideal card for purchases while abroad. Ensure you bring a credit card with no foreign transaction fees on international trips.
Related: Comparing flat-rate with bonus-category cash-back credit cards
Redeeming cash back on the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
You can redeem your rewards at any time and in several ways. You can call the number on the back of your card, redeem in the Rewards Center section of your online account or can redeem with Real-Time Rewards. With these, you'll receive a text message asking if you want to redeem your rewards against eligible recent purchases.
Additionally, you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit, a rewards card or a deposit to your U.S. Bank checking or savings account. There’s no minimum redemption requirement unless you choose a rewards card with a $20 minimum that can be redeemed only in $5 increments.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card benefits
The real benefit of this card is its cash-back rewards, but there are some other solid perks and benefits.
You'll enjoy several Visa Signature card benefits, such as three months of complimentary Shipt membership for same-day grocery delivery and exclusive access to select Sofar music events. You'll also have access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. Additional benefits include Visa Concierge and travel and emergency assistance services. While these benefits can help you coordinate reservations or emergency medical services, note that you'll pay for any services arranged on your behalf.
As a no-annual-fee card, don't expect benefits like rental car insurance or trip cancellation insurance. If you're looking for those, consult our list of travel rewards credit cards.
Which cards compete with the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card?
- If you want different earning categories: The Chase Freedom Flex offers 5% back in rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 of these purchases, then 1% back), 5% on travel booked with Chase, 3% at restaurants and drugstores and 1% back on other purchases — all without an annual fee. You'll also enjoy several insurance protections, like cellphone protection and extended warranty. For more information, read our full review of the Freedom Flex.
- If you want higher earning rates on entertainment, food and rides: The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card provides 10% cash back on Uber and Uber Eats purchases (plus a complimentary Uber One membership) through Nov. 14, 2024. You'll also earn unlimited 3% back on dining, entertainment, streaming services and grocery stores, and the card has no annual fee. For more information, read our full review of the SavorOne Cash Rewards card.
- If you want bonus earnings from your banking relationship: The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card has no annual fee and allows you to choose a 3% back each quarter and has a fixed 2% back category (limited to $2,500 of these purchases per quarter, then 1% back) and earns unlimited 1% back on other purchases. However, you can earn up to 75% more (for a maximum of 5.25% back) through the Preferred Rewards program, based on your accounts at Bank of America. For more information, read our full review of the Customized Cash Rewards card.
For additional options, check out our full list of the best cash back credit cards and the best no-annual-fee credit cards.
Read more: How to choose a cash-back credit card
Is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card worth it?
Choosing your bonus categories is a growing trend among credit cards. However, few cards offer 5% cash back without charging an annual fee. This is a big selling point, though you should consider your spending habits to see if the $2,000-per-quarter spending limit is sufficient for you or whether you might earn more with a different card.
If you want to earn points and miles toward free travel, this isn’t the card for you. But if you want to supplement your travel rewards with cash back, this card can be a worthy contender. It doesn’t offer great levels of cash back on all purchases, but it does let you choose the purchases on which you’ll receive a bonus — all without charging an annual fee.
Official application link: U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
Additional reporting by Jason Steele.