Full Review of U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard
Strong rewards, including 25% annual bonus
Introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles
Bonus with low spending requirement
U.S. Bank’s card service to businesses is below par
Fees on foreign transactions
- Strong Rewards, Including 25% Annual Bonus: The best rate offered by the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard is its 3% cash back on purchases at gas stations and office-supply stores, and for cell phone service and equipment. Few other cards beat that rate on all three of those categories, especially when this card’s annual rewards bonus is added to its total earnings. You earn an annual bonus of 25% of your prior year’s total cash-back rewards, earned at both the 3% and 1% levels. The bonus is capped at $250, but you could spend up to about $700 a month on purchases that earned 3% cash-back without hitting the rewards limit. Unless you spend more than that on gas, office supplies, and cell phones and service, the bonus essentially raises your earnings to a hefty 3.75%. By contrast, some other cards match, sometimes fully, the rewards earned in the first year as an introductory bonus. But the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard does so in an ongoing way, which could be more lucrative in the long run, even if the match is only a partial one.
- Introductory 0% APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for the First 15 Billing Cycles: The introductory 0% APR could be longer if compared to some consumer cards, but keep in mind that few business cards offer promotional interest rates on both purchases and balance transfers at all these days. As such, it offers a welcome break if your business could use some breathing room for well over a year to buy new supplies or make other purchases without running up interest payments (You’ll still have to make the minimum payment due each month, however.) as well as provide a welcome and extended interest rate holiday for any balances transferred.
- Bonus Has a Low Spending Requirement: You can earn a $500 cash back bonus for spending $4,500 in purchases within the first 150 days on the account owner’s card. This introductory bonus may not be easier to obtain than those of many other cards, which often require spending $3,000 or more to earn bonuses that aren’t much, if any, higher than $200.
- U.S. Bank’s Card Service to Businesses Is Below Par: Businesses don’t necessarily interact with their credit card issuer very often. But when that’s necessary, it’s often a matter of some urgency and even stress, and you want a satisfying experience. Unfortunately, that’s less likely to be the case for businesses who deal with U.S. Bank than with most other card issuers scored in the J.D. Power Small-Business Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study. In its 2019 survey, U.S. Bank ranks in the lowest group, in a virtual tie with Chase as the least-satisfying issuer of business credit cards among nine that are scored. U.S. Bank’s score of 831 out of 1,000 was 16 points below the national average.
- Fees on Foreign Transactions: For a card with a name that includes the word "world," it's ironic that the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard isn’t a very good choice for foreign transactions. Admittedly, the fee it imposes on purchases to vendors abroad is lower for those made in U.S. dollars than in local currency—2% versus 3%. Still, many other business credit cards waive these fees entirely, including the Capital One Spark Miles for Business card.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
This credit card could be a good fit for current U.S. Bank customers that want to keep all of their accounts with U.S. Bank and make significant purchases in the gas station, office supply store and cell phone/service provider purchase categories. While the cash back rates aren’t stellar, the simplicity of keeping all of your accounts with one institution may be worth the sacrifice in cash back earning rates. Additionally, it’s a good fit for businesses that want to earn cash back but aren’t willing to pay an annual fee for the primary or additional employee cards.
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard's Bonus
You can earn a $500 cash back bonus if you make at least $4,500 in purchases within the first 150 days with the account owner's card. The account owner’s card is defined as the card assigned to the initial applicant of the account and does not include spending on cards used by authorized employees.
It may take eight to 10 weeks after you meet the spending requirement for the cash back to be credited to your account. Existing and previous U.S. Bank Business Cash Reward accounts don’t qualify for the cash bonus, nor do account upgrades.
Rewards Earning Details
The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard offers 3% cash back on gas station, office supply store and cell phone/service provider purchases. It also offers 1% cash back on all other purchases. As long as your account remains open, current and in good standing, you’ll also earn a 25% bonus of your prior year’s rewards, up to a maximum of $250.
Gas-station purchases do not include purchases of gasoline at warehouse clubs, superstores, supermarkets or convenience stores. Additionally, fuel purchases of greater than $200 are also ineligible, and will only earn a reward of 1%.
There are no limitations to how much cash back rewards you can earn and rewards don’t technically expire. That said, you forfeit the rewards remaining on your account if it is closed for any reason, inactive for 18 consecutive months, or if you don’t make the minimum payment due by the due date for two consecutive billing periods.
Rewards Redemption Details
Many cards continuously deposit the cash-back you earn into the card’s account or a bank account. By contrast, you must earn at least $25 in cash back on the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard before you can cash out those rewards. So, moving ahead, you can only redeem further cash back in increments of $25. This is more an annoyance than a major drawback, but it could slightly delay and complicate getting access to the rewards you’ve earned.
You can redeem your cash back rewards in the form of a deposit to a U.S. Bank savings, checking or money market account, a U.S. Bank Rewards card or a statement credit to your account. In order to redeem your rewards, your account must be open and in good standing.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Making the most of the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard starts with ensuring you earn a $500 cash bonus. That task is fairly easily accomplished, since it involves spending only an average of $900 a month for the first five months after you open the card account. Then be sure to use the card for purchases in its bonus categories, which includes gas bought at gas stations and buying at office-supply stores. You earn that rate on your business spending on cell phones and service to them. Assuming you use automatic payments for your monthly cell-phone bill, be sure to switch the card to this one in order to enjoy the higher bonus rate on it. And if you buy a new phone from anyone other than your carrier, investigate whether the seller classifies itself as a “cellular” merchant with U.S. Bank, as it must in order for you to receive the higher cash back rate when buying phone equipment.
U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits
- Cell phone protection
- ID theft protection
- Free employee cards
- Zero liability protection
- Global travel assistance
U.S. Bank ranked last of nine card issuers with a score of 831 on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Study. The bank’s score was 18 points below the industry average of 849, and only a few points above Chase, which also ranked below average.
As a U.S. Bank customer enrolled in online banking, you can receive free access to your TransUnion credit score once per month through the CreditView dashboard. You can speak to a U.S. Bank customer service representative at any time by calling 844-357-2015.
This card's security features are standard for the industry.
Fees to Watch Out For
This card charges a 2% or 3% foreign-transaction fee, depending on whether the transaction is in U.S. dollars or foreign currency.
The U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard offers not only a bonus (of $500 for spending $4,500 on purchases in the first 150 days with the account) but a 25% annual bonus (of up to $250) on cash rewards that are decent, at least for the card’s bonus categories.
That said, other cards may offer higher cash back earning rates, especially on all other purchases, which could make it worth considering alternative choices from other banks. And keep in mind that U.S. Bank has a mediocre track record in service to business-card holders, according to a recent J.D. Power survey.