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There are two basic types of credit card rewards users: those who want to earn passively without giving much thought to spending categories and those who want to juggle several credit cards to get the best rewards rate whenever they spend money. If you’re a member of the latter group, then you may want to consider adding the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card to your wallet. This card offers the opportunity to earn 5% cash back in two categories of your choice on up to $2,000 in qualified quarterly spending, meaning that you can use this card to fill the gaps in your rewards strategy and earn 5% cash back in categories that you might not earn much on otherwise. 

For instance, most credit card rewards strategists already have a card that earns good rewards on travel and a card that earns good rewards at gas stations. But, with the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, you can start earning 5% cash back in more uncommon categories such as movie theaters and gym and fitness centers. Plus, these increased earnings will come at no additional cost to you, as the Cash+ card doesn’t charge an annual fee.  

In addition, you’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back on another everyday category of your choice, which may include gas stations and EV charging stations, grocery stores or restaurants. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases. 

There’s a lot to like about the Cash+ card from U.S. Bank. And, considering that the rewards are so flexible and that the card doesn’t charge an annual fee, there’s a place for the Cash+ card in pretty much everyone’s credit card rewards strategy. 

Credit Card Review
ProsCons
Good cash back rewardsRequires a solid credit score
Welcome bonusCharges foreign transaction fee
No annual fee

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card Spending Bonuses

The biggest advantage of the U.S. Bank Cash+ card is the ability to earn 5% cash back in two categories of your choice. You can customize your rewards either to earn the most where you spend the most or to fill in the gaps in your credit card rewards strategy. Here are the spending bonuses offered by the U.S. Bank Cash+ card: 

  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories of your choice
  • 4% cash back on prepaid flights, hotels and car rentals booked directly through the U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Center
  • 2% cash back on one everyday category of your choice
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The categories that you can earn 5% cash back on include the following: 

  • Cell phone service providers
  • Department stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Fast food
  • Furniture stores
  • Ground transportation
  • Gym and fitness centers
  • Home utilities
  • Movie theaters
  • TV, internet and streaming services
  • Select clothing stores
  • Sporting goods stores 

As you can see, many of these are categories where you may not be able to earn high rewards rates with other credit cards. This makes the Cash+ card a great option if you’re willing to juggle several cards to earn great rewards whenever you spend. 

The Cash+ card also offers 2% cash back on one everyday category of your choice. These are your options: 

  • Gas stations and EV charging stations
  • Grocery stores and grocery delivery
  • Restaurants 

It’s also worth noting that the U.S. Bank Cash+ card offers 4% cash back on all prepaid flights, hotels and rental cars booked through the U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Center. So, if you have this card and you’re looking to book travel, you should always try to book through the Travel Rewards Center first. Travel purchases not made through the Travel Rewards Center will only earn 1% cash back. 

Finally, this card offers 1% cash back on all purchases that don’t fit into the aforementioned categories. This is a pretty standard baseline earnings rate for cards like this. 

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card Benefits

Like most other no-annual-fee cards, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card doesn’t come with valuable benefits like statement credits or airport lounge access. However, there are a few other aspects of the Cash+ card that sweeten the deal. 

No Annual Fee

One of the best parts of the U.S. Bank Cash+ card is that it offers great cash back rewards with no annual fee. That means that you’ll never have to worry about whether your card is earning enough cash back to offset the annual fee, and all cash earnings will be no-strings-attached. With the Cash+ card, you’ll come out a winner the moment you earn your first cent of cash back. 

Plus, if you ever want to stop using the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, you can keep this card open at no cost and shift your spending to another card. Closing credit cards can often have a very detrimental effect on your credit score, so it’s better to keep your unused cards open rather than close them. 

No Annual fee

Welcome Bonus

If you’re approved for the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, you’ll be eligible to earn a one-time welcome bonus. In order to receive the bonus, you’ll need to spend a certain amount of money on your Cash+ card in a certain amount of time after account opening. Compared to other welcome bonus offers, though, the one offered by the Cash+ card is fairly achievable. If you do sign up for the Cash+ card, we’d highly recommend trying to earn this welcome bonus, as it’s a great way to rack up a bunch of cash back quickly. 

Once you meet the spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus, it will take around six to eight weeks for the cashback bonus to be credited to your account. 

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card Drawbacks

In terms of no-annual-fee cards with customizable bonus categories, the U.S. Bank Cash+ is one of the best options out there. However, there are still a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before you sign up for this card. In particular, if you tend to make a lot of transactions in foreign countries, the Cash+ card could get rather costly. 

Charges Foreign Transaction Fee

The U.S. Bank Cash+ card is probably not the card you want to use while traveling abroad. This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases and ATM advances made outside of the United States. And, while 3% may not sound like a lot, it can really add up if you’re frequently using your card while outside the United States. 

If you do travel outside of the U.S. often, there are plenty of no-annual-fee cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. For instance, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card charge annual fees or foreign transaction fees. 

Requires a Solid Credit Score

If you want to qualify for the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, you’ll need to have a solid credit score. If you have a credit score that’s in a slightly lower range, there’s still a chance that you might be approved for the Cash+ card. However, the lower your credit score is, the slimmer your chances of approval are. 

If you currently have a credit score in a lower range, there are still credit cards out there that you can qualify for. However, these cards typically don’t offer the same kind of rewards or benefits as a card like the Cash+ card. But, by routinely paying your bill on time, maintaining a low credit utilization ratio and improving your average length of credit history, you can raise your credit score and eventually qualify for the U.S. Bank Cash+ card (or other cards like it). 

Checking Credit Score

Other Cards to Consider

If you’re looking into signing up for the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, you should consider your other options first. There are other no-annual-fee cards out there that offer 5% cash back in rotating categories. The Discover it Cash Back card and the Chase Freedom Flex® card are the two other big players in this category. Let’s take a look at why one of these two cards might be a better option for you than the U.S. Bank Cash+ card (or why they may not be). 

Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back is similar to the U.S. Bank Cash+ card in several ways. This card also doesn’t charge an annual fee and it currently comes with a valuable welcome bonus offer. However, there are several differences between these two cards that you should be aware of. 

In particular, while the U.S. Bank Cash+ card allows you to choose which categories you want to earn 5% cash back in, the Discover it Cash Back card doesn’t offer such a choice. Instead, with the Discover it card, you’ll earn 5% cash back in categories determined by Discover, which rotate each quarter. For instance, right now you can earn 5% cash back at restaurants and wholesale clubs on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. 

Obviously, the fact that you can’t choose your own 5% cashback categories is a major disadvantage of the Discover it card. Plus, whereas the U.S. Bank Cash+ card offers an additional 2% cash back in one everyday category of your choice, the Discover it card doesn’t offer any other elevated spending bonuses. After the 5% rotating categories, it only offers 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

However, the Discover it Cash Back card does have one distinct advantage over the U.S. Bank Cash+ card. At the end of your first cardmember year, Discover will match however much cash back you’ve earned on your Discover it Cash Back card. For instance, if you earned $300 on your Discover it card in your first cardmember year, Discover would reward you with another $300 in cash back for a total of $600.  

So, for the first year, the Discover it Cash Back card offers a fantastic value proposition (especially if you factor in the welcome bonus). However, after that first year, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card is almost certainly the better option. 

Chase Freedom Flex®

Similar to the Discover it Cash Back card, the Chase Freedom Flex® card offers 5% cash back in categories determined by Chase, which rotate every quarter, on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter. For example, historic categories include the ability to earn 5% cash back through Amazon.com and on purchases from Lowe’s. Once again, this is a major disadvantage when compared to the U.S. Bank Cash+ card, which allows you to choose two categories to earn 5% cash back in from a list of 12. 

However, outside of these 5% cashback categories, the Chase Freedom Flex card may offer better cashback spending bonuses. This card offers 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Travel℠ portal (compared to the 4% cash back offered by the U.S. Bank Cash+ card for travel booked through the U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Center). It also offers 3% cash back on dining (including take and delivery) and at drug stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. By comparison, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card offers 2% in one everyday category of your choice. 

So, when it comes to the 5% cashback category, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card holds the advantage because it allows you to choose which categories you want to earn the most cash back in. However, outside of that 5% category, the Chase Freedom Flex card offers better cashback rewards. 

Chase Freedom Flex®

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

LEARN MORE 

The Bottom Line

When it comes to no-annual-fee cards that offer 5% cash back in rotating categories, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card might just be the cream of the crop. This card holds the huge advantage of allowing you to choose which categories you earn 5% cash back in. It’s also worth noting that, while the Discover it Cash Back card and the Chase Freedom Flex card (this card’s two main competitors) offer 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, the U.S. Bank Cash+ card offers 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in spending per quarter. 

On top of that, the Cash+ card allows you to choose one everyday category in which you’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back. You can choose to earn 2% cash back on gas stations and EV charging stations, grocery stores and grocery delivery or restaurants. After that, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. 

To sweeten the deal even more, the Cash+ card offers a welcome bonus for new cardholders.

All in all, the Cash+ card from U.S. Bank is a great card to add to your wallet, because it doesn’t charge an annual fee and it can help you earn 5% cash back in uncommon spending categories, such as movie theaters or home utilities. There aren’t many cards out there that can help you earn that high of a cashback rate in those types of categories.