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When it comes to choosing the right credit card for your small business, it’s important to choose a card that’s going to reward you in the categories that your business spends the most in. For instance, if gas station spending is your biggest business expense, then you want to make sure you get a business card that offers solid rewards at the gas pump. So, the fact that the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card offers 2X points on the top two categories that you spend the most in each month means that this is a one-size-fits-all card for any business, regardless of your business’s expense structure. 

However, before you sign up for the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card, you should definitely consider some of the other business cards out there. The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card waives the annual fee for the first cardmember year. But, after that, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee of $95. There are many other business cards to consider that don’t have an annual fee and offer even better rewards and benefits. 

All in all, the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card isn’t the best choice for most businesses. For rewards in categories such as dining, travel, gas stations, office supply stores and other common categories, there are definitely other cards that offer more rewards at a lower cost. However, if your business spends the most money in uncommon expense categories, then the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card might be the best option for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card and see why this card might be right for your business (and also why it’s probably not). 

ProsCons
Customizable rewards to fit your expenses Lackluster rewards compared to similar cards
Free employee cards$95 regular annual fee 
$0 intro annual fee
No foreign transaction fees
Welcome bonus

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card Spending Bonuses

Card-spending-bonus

One would expect that the spending bonuses on a card with a normal $95 annual fee would be far superior to those offered by cards without annual fees. However, this is not the case with the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card. Many other cards out there that are equally or less expensive offer better spending bonuses for most businesses. However, if your business spends the majority of its money in very uncommon expense categories, then this card might be a decent option for you. Here are the spending bonuses offered by the Business Leverage® card: 

  • 5X points on prepaid hotels and rental cars booked directly through the Travel Rewards Center
  • 2X points on the top two categories (from a list of 48) where you spend the most each month automatically
  • 1X points on all other purchases

This rewards structure is nice because you don’t have to worry about which expense categories earn the highest rewards rates. The Business Leverage® card will automatically reward you with 2X points in the highest two spending categories at the end of each month. These can be any two of the categories on U.S. Bank’s full list of 48 categories, some of which are fairly obscure. That’s where the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card might come in handy. 

If your business’s top expense categories are uncommon categories such as veterinarians or commercial equipment, parts and supply, you’re going to have a hard time finding a business card that rewards you for spending in those categories. Luckily, those two categories (and many others) are eligible to earn 2X points with the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card. For this reason, if your business’s top expenses are in uncommon categories, the Business Leverage® card might be a solid option for you. 

But, for most business owners, you can find less expensive cards with better rewards and equally priced cards with much better rewards than the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank. For instance, The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from Express offers 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases up to $50,000 in eligible spending per year and 1X thereafter. Plus, this card has no annual fee, making it a better card in pretty much every way than the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card.

One other important note is that all points earned with the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card will expire five years from the end of the quarter in which they were earned. While we don’t recommend hoarding points anyway, this is still a significant disadvantage for U.S. Bank points compared to other popular credit card rewards currencies such as Chase Ultimate Rewards or Capital One miles, which never expire as long as your account remains open.

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card Benefits 

As previously mentioned, most business owners want to go with a card other than the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few positives with this card. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits offered by the Business Leverage® card. 

$0 Intro Annual Fee

When you sign up for the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank, your annual fee will be waived for the first 12 months of being a cardmember. After that, though, you will have to pay an annual fee of $95 to remain in good standing with U.S. Bank. 

While it’s certainly nice not to have to pay an annual fee for the first cardmember year, there are several business cards out there that offer superior rewards and benefits and won’t charge you an annual fee ever. So, while the Business Leverage® might be a decent option for the first year, once the annual fee kicks in, there are better alternatives out there. 

Free Employee Cards

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card allows you to get employee cards at no additional cost. So, you can provide your employees with cards and have them earn rewards for you when they’re spending money for your business. 

In order to add an employee to your card, you’ll need to log in to your account at usbank.com. Then, you’ll need to select “Customer service” from the top of the page, then select the “Self Service” option. From there, you’ll select “Manage Employees” and select which of your U.S. Bank business cards you’d like to view (if you have multiple). Finally, you can select the “Add employee” option, complete the following form and then submit the form for processing. 

After you follow these steps (which can also be completed through the U.S. Bank mobile app), your employee should be approved as an authorized user on your card shortly after and they will receive a physical card in the mail. 

You can also set specific spending limits for each employee in increments of $100 through the U.S. Bank website or mobile app. Once you confirm these spending limits online or through the app, they’ll become effective immediately. 

No Foreign Transaction Fees

One great part about the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank is that you’ll never be charged a foreign transaction fee for using this card for international purchases (regardless of whether those purchases are made in U.S. dollars or a foreign currency). This is especially helpful for cardholders who frequently conduct business internationally. 

Some cards out there charge foreign transaction fees as high as 3%. So, the fact that the Business Leverage® card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees could save you a considerable amount of money if you make international transactions often. 

Welcome Bonus

U.S. Bank is currently offering a welcome bonus to new Business Leverage® cardholders. To receive this bonus, you need to spend a certain amount of money in a certain period of time after opening your account. If you plan on signing up for the Business Leverage® card, we’d highly recommend making sure that you’ll be able to earn the welcome bonus first. It’s a great way to earn a lot of U.S. Bank points quickly and it’s one of the most valuable benefits offered with this card. 

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card Benefits 

While the U.S. Bank Business Leverage card definitely has a few valuable benefits that seem attractive, this card also has some important drawbacks to be aware of before you sign up. And, unfortunately, the drawbacks seem to outweigh the benefits when it comes to this card. 

$95 Regular Annual Fee

As previously mentioned, the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card doesn’t charge an annual fee for the first 12 months. However, you’ll have to pay an annual fee of $95 starting at the beginning of the second cardmember year. For some business owners, a card that charges an annual fee isn’t ideal because it forces them to worry about whether they’re earning enough rewards to offset the annual fee. 

There are also many small business cards out there that don’t charge annual fees, and several of them offer even better rewards and benefits than the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank. For instance, the Bank of America® Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Mastercard® allows you to earn 3% cash back in a category of your choice, 2% cash back on dining purchases and 1% cash back on everything else. These spending bonuses are arguably better than those offered by the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card. On top of that, the Bank of America card doesn’t charge an annual fee. 

Credit Card Annual fee

Lackluster Rewards Compared to the Competition

While we’ve harped on the fact that the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank probably isn’t your best option, this isn’t a bad credit card. The rewards that it offers are flexible and have the potential to earn you significant cash back. The main issue with the Business Leverage® card is that it fails to meet the standards set by other similar small business cards. You would expect a card that has a normal annual fee of $95 to offer superior rewards to every no-annual-fee business card out there. However, as we’ve already covered in this article, there are plenty of no-annual-fee cards out there that eclipse the Business Leverage® card in terms of rewards. 

The ability to automatically earn 2X points in your top two spending categories each month is great for people who don’t want to worry about what categories they’re spending money in. But, the truth is that, if you do pay attention to your expense categories, you can earn far better rewards elsewhere. 

Other Cards to Consider

If you’re reading this article about the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card, we can assume you’re looking for a small business credit card that offers rewards and has a low or no annual fee. As we’ve mentioned, there are many other cards in this category that offer better rewards than the Business Leverage® card. Here are some of the other cards you should be considering: 

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

If you’re looking for a flat-rate small business card, one of the best options out there is The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. This card offers 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases of up to $50,000 per year. If you spend less than $50,000 per year, then you’ll earn 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases, compared to the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card, which only earns 2X points in two categories. With the Amex Blue Business® Plus card, you’ll earn 1X points for every dollar you spend over $50,000 annually. 

As you can see, the Amex Blue Business® Plus card offers better spending bonuses than the U.S. Business Leverage® card unless you plan on spending well over $50,000 annually on your card. On top of that, Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred to partner travel programs, which can help you find redemptions with outsized value. When used this way, Amex Membership Rewards points are often worth well over 1 cent apiece. By comparison, the points that you earn with the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card are always worth 1 cent apiece. 

And, while the Business Leverage® card charges an annual fee of $95 after the first year, the Blue Business® Plus card from American Express will never charge an annual fee. This means that the Blue Business® Plus card is both the cheaper and more rewarding option. 

As if this decision wasn’t already a no-brainer, the Blue Business® Plus card also offers a special intro period as well as a lucrative welcome offer. All in all, the Amex Blue Business® Plus card is better in almost every way than the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card. 

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

LEARN MORE

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

If your business spends a lot of money on internet, cable and phone services or at office supply stores, then you’ll definitely want to consider signing up for the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card from Chase. This card offers 5% cash back in the aforementioned categories on up to $25,000 in annual spending. This card also offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $25,000 in annual spending. You’ll also earn 1%% cash back on all other purchases. 

If your business expenses are spread across a wide range of categories, then you might prefer a card with flat-rate cashback rewards. However, if you spend a large portion of your expenses on internet, cable and phone services, office supply stores, restaurants and gas stations, then the Ink Business Cash card might be the best option out there for you. 

The Ink Business Cash card also doesn’t charge an annual fee and it offers spending bonuses that are highly favorable to those offered by the U.S. Bank Business Leverage card for most business owners. Likewise, this card offers a valuable welcome bonus, special intro period and employee cards at no additional cost. 

The Ink Business Cash card is a better option for most business owners than the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank. In a few very specific scenarios, the Business Leverage® card might be more well-suited for certain businesses. However, on the whole, the Ink Business cash card is the better option. 

Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

LEARN MORE 

The Bottom Line

While the fact that the Business Leverage® card from U.S. Bank offers unlimited 2X points in your top two spending categories each month (which is automatically applied) sounds fairly appealing, this card simply doesn’t stack up to the competition. For a card with a regular $95 annual fee, this card doesn’t offer nearly enough in terms of spending bonuses. And, in fact, there are plenty of no-annual-fee cards out there with superior spending bonuses to the Business Leverage® card. 

On top of that, the points you’ll earn with this card expire five years from the end of the quarter in which you earned them. With most cards from mainstream issuers, points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. 

If you’re in the market for a low-or-no-cost business credit card, we recommend forgetting the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® card and exploring other options. For instance, the Blue Business® Plus card from American Express doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers a flat rate of 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases (on up to $50,000 in purchases annually).