US Bank Cash Plus Review


US Bank Cash Plus Full Review


Advantages
  • High reward rate on certain categories

  • Potentially interesting introductory offers

The inconvenients
  • Complicated rewards structure

  • No introductory 0% APR on purchases

  • Low base reward rate


Benefits explained

  • High reward rate on certain categories: With this card, you will earn solid 5% cash back on up to $ 2,000 spent each quarter in two categories of your choice, although you are limited to a list provided by the US Bank. You will also get an unlimited 2% discount on a daily spending category of your choice, also from a list of options. Every three months you’ll choose new categories, giving you more control over how you earn rewards. But keep in mind that if you don’t activate any bonus category, all your purchases will only earn 1%.
  • Potentially interesting introductory offers: As a new cardholder, you’ll get $ 150 in cash back after spending $ 500 in the first 90 days, plus an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. If you have a balance on another credit card, moving it to the US Bank Cash Plus card could save you hundreds of dollars in interest, far more than the value of the bonus. For example, let’s say you owe $ 3,000 on a card with a 20% interest rate. If you keep the balance and create a plan to pay it off in 12 months, your monthly payment would be $ 277.90 and you would pay $ 334.84 in interest over that period. If you transfer the balance to that card instead and pay it off in 12 months, your monthly payment would be $ 250, and the only cost associated with the transfer would be the balance transfer fee of $ 90 (3% of the transfer amount. ). But, these charges can be easily justified given your interest savings of $ 334.84.


Disadvantages Explained

  • Complicated rewards structure: If maximizing rewards is your top priority, this card offers opportunities. But you’ll need to do a bit of homework, including reviewing your spending habits to determine which bonus categories you should choose and making sure you activate them on time each quarter. In other words, if you’re looking for a hassle-free cash back credit card, this isn’t the one for you. Some other cash back credit cards offer a fixed reward rate of 1.5% or 2% on every purchase you make.
  • No introductory 0% APR on purchases: Many cash back credit cards that offer a 0% APR introductory promotion offer it for both new purchases and balance transfers. This card, however, charges interest on purchases upfront. If all you need is the Balance Transfer Promotion, that won’t be a problem. But if you’re hoping to fund a large purchase and pay it off interest-free over time, look for a card that can help you do that.
  • Low base reward rate: While you can earn up to 5% cash back on bonus categories, it is possible that most of your purchases will only earn you 1%, especially if you are the one-card type. There are two solutions to this problem: either choose a card that offers a higher reward rate on all your purchases, or pair US Bank Cash Plus with a card that offers 1.5% or 2% cash back on everything. In the latter case, use that card for its bonus categories and the other card for everything else.


US Bank Cash Plus is primarily designed for people who want to maximize the rewards they earn and don’t mind the extra effort this card requires. You could earn up to $ 400 in cash back from the 5% categories of the card only, which could happen if a large portion of your spending matches the bonus categories on the card.

If you prefer a simple rewards structure, however, you might be better off using a card that only offers one rate of rewards or bonus rewards that don’t require you to activate them every few months.

Also, the card might be suitable for people who want to do a balance transfer. But keep in mind that there are other cards with much longer 0% APR promotional periods. Depending on how much you owe and how long you need to pay it off, a card with a longer promotion may be better suited.


US Cash Plus Bonus

When you first get the card, you earn $ 150 after spending $ 500 in the first 90 days after opening the account – just over $ 166 per month. The bonus amount represents a 30% return on investment, which is quite typical among other cash back credit cards.

And keep in mind that if you combine the bonus with a balance transfer from another card, the bonus may cover some or all of the balance transfer fees.


Reward Details

Cardholders will receive 5% cash back up to $ 2,000 spent per quarter in two categories of their choice. The list of possible categories, which may change on a quarterly basis, includes:

  • TV, Internet and streaming services
  • fast food
  • Mobile phone providers
  • Department stores
  • Domestic utilities
  • Select clothing stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Movie theater
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Furniture stores
  • Land transportation

As you can see, some of these categories are relatively narrow. You would probably have a hard time maximizing your 5% rewards with fast food and movie tickets. But if you have a big furniture or electronics purchase coming up, it might be easier.

The goal is therefore to choose the two categories in which you plan to spend the most during the next quarter. You will start to benefit from the 5% rate three working days after making your selection.

The card also offers unlimited 2% cash back of your choice at grocery stores, gas stations or restaurants, as well as 1% back on everything else.

Again, the 1% return isn’t great, and even the 2% bonus category isn’t impressive if you can get a card like the Citi Double Cash card that offers 1% back on all purchases and another 1% when you pay your bill. But if you pair US Bank Cash Plus with a card that offers a high reward rate on everything, it might be worth it.


Details on how to use rewards

US Bank allows you to redeem your cash back rewards in three ways: as a credit on a statement, as a deposit to a US Bank checking, savings or money market account, or as a a US Bank Reward Card.

If you are redeeming for a credit or a deposit on a statement, there is no minimum redemption amount, while the rewards card requires you to redeem at least $ 25. Also, remember that your rewards expire 36 months after you get them. Most of the major cash back programs do not have an expiration date.


How to Maximize Your Rewards

When it comes to redeeming your rewards, you will get the same value regardless of which method you choose. So if you want to maximize your rewards, you’ll need to focus on the earnings side of the equation.

The most important thing you can do is take the time to examine your spending habits and calculate which categories you are spending the most in. Also, think about any major upcoming expenses that could save you money.

And again, consider pairing the US Bank Cash Plus with a flat rate cash back card, so you’ll never be stuck with the card’s 1% base reward rate as the only option. .


Standard benefits

  • Rental car insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Road expedition
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Concierge


Cardholder experience

The U.S. bank ranked 10th out of 11 domestic issuers in JD Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey. JD Power rated US Bank well below average.

The bank offers cardholders an assortment of credit tools, including free access to a credit score through the TransUnion credit bureau. But it’s not your FICO score, which is typically used by major lenders in making their credit decisions. Free access to the FICO score is standard with many major card issuers.

If you have a question, you can reach the 24/7 customer service team at 800-285-8585. You can also manage your account online or through the US Bank mobile app.


Security functions

US Bank’s security features are standard for the credit card industry.


Fees to watch out for

For the most part, US Bank Cash Plus card fees are standard for the credit card industry. If you’re considering a cash advance, however, be careful. The card fee is 5% of the amount of the advance, with minimums ranging from $ 10 to $ 20, depending on how you request the advance.


Our verdict

The US Bank Cash Plus card has a lot of potential, offering 5% cash back on two categories of your choice each quarter. But to maximize the rewards you earn, you need to be extra careful with your spending habits and not miss your category activation deadlines.

Also, the 5% card categories aren’t as broad as the rotating categories you would get from cards like Chase Freedom and Discover it. So be sure to compare these two cards with US Bank Cash Plus to determine which one is best for you.


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