Credit Cards Cash-Back Credit Cards

U.S. Bank Cash Plus Review

overall rating

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The U.S. Bank Cash Plus gives cardholders the chance to earn big rewards on categories of their choice. Add no annual fee, a bonus, and an introductory balance transfer promotion to the mix and the card is worth considering for everyday use. Just keep in mind that it may take some extra effort to maximize your rewards.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Overall Rating
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
On U.S. Bank's Secured Site.
Current Offer

For a limited time, earn a $200 bonus after making $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 18.24% - 28.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 5% cash back on $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two eligible categories you choose. Earn 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center. 2% cash back on one eligible everyday category. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Billing Cycles
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 15 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Currently rated one of our

Full Review of U.S. Bank Cash Plus

  • High rewards rate on select categories

  • Potentially valuable introductory offers

  • Complicated rewards structure

  • Introductory 0% APR on purchases expires after 15 months

  • Low base rewards rate

Pros Explained

  • High-rewards rate on select categories: With this card, you'll earn a solid 5% cash back on up to $2,000 spent each quarter in two categories of your choice—though you’re restricted to a list U.S. Bank provides. You’ll also get unlimited 2% back on an everyday 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 bear in mind that if you don't activate any bonus categories, all of your purchases will earn just 1% back. 
  • Potentially valuable introductory offers: As a new cardholder, you’ll get $150 cash back after you spend $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 U.S. Bank Cash Plus card could potentially 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 there and create a plan to pay it off in 12 months, your monthly payment would be $277.90, and you'd pay $334.84 in interest over that time. If you transfer the balance to this card instead and pay it off in 12 months, your monthly payment would be $250, and the only transfer-related cost would be the $90 balance transfer fee (3% of the transfer amount). But, that fee can be easily justified considering your $334.84 in interest savings.  

Cons Explained

  • Complicated rewards structure: If maximizing rewards is your top priority, this card provides some opportunities. But you’ll need to do some work, 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 no-fuss cash-back rewards credit card, this one isn’t it. Some other cash-back credit cards offer a flat rewards rate of 1.5% or 2% on every purchase you make. 
  • No introductory 0% APR on purchases: Many cash-back credit cards that offer an introductory 0% APR promotion provide it for both new purchases and balance transfers. This card, however, charges interest on purchases from the beginning. If you only need the balance transfer promotion, that won’t be a problem. But if you’re hoping to finance a large purchase and pay it off interest-free over time, shop around for a card that can help you do that.
  • Low-base rewards rate: While you’ll earn up to 5% cash back on bonus categories, it’s possible that most of your purchases will net you just 1% back, especially if you’re a one-card kind of person. There are two solutions to this problem: either pick a card that offers a higher rewards rate on all of your purchases, or pair the U.S. Bank Cash Plus with a card that offers 1.5% or 2% back on everything. In the latter case, use this card for its bonus categories and the other card for everything else.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Head of Household Persona
    Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
    Head of Household
  • Avatar for Driver/Commuter Persona
    Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month

The U.S. Bank Cash Plus is primarily designed for people who want to maximize the rewards they earn and aren't bothered by the extra effort this card requires. You could earn up to $400 in cash back from the card’s 5% categories alone, which could happen If a lot of your spending matches up with the card's bonus categories.

If you prefer a simple rewards structure, though, you may be better off with a card that offers just one rewards rate or has bonus rewards that don’t require you to activate them every few months. 

Also, the card could be a good fit for people who want to do a balance transfer. But keep in mind that there are other cards out there with much longer promotional 0% APR periods. Depending on how much you owe and what kind of time you need to pay it off, a card with a longer promotion may be a better fit.

U.S. Bank Cash Plus Bonus

When you first get the card, you'll earn $150 after you spend $500 in the first 90 days from account opening—that’s just a little more than $166 per month. The bonus amount represents a 30% return on the spending requirement that is pretty typical among other cash-back credit cards. 

And remember, if you pair the bonus with a balance transfer from another card, the bonus can cover some or all of the balance transfer fee.

Rewards Earning Details

Cardholders will earn 5% cash back on $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two eligible categories you choose. The list of possible categories, which can change on a quarterly basis, includes:

  • TV, Internet, and streaming services
  • Fast food
  • Cell phone providers
  • Department stores
  • Home utilities
  • Select clothing stores
  • Electronic stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Movie theaters
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Furniture stores
  • Ground transportation

As you can see, some of these categories are relatively narrow. You’d probably be hard-pressed to max out your 5% rewards with fast food and movie tickets. But if you have a big purchase of furniture or electronics coming up, that may be easier. 

So the goal is pick the two categories where you’re expecting to spend the most during the upcoming quarter. You’ll start earning the 5% rate three business days after you make your selection.

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

Again, the 1% back 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% back when you pay your bill. But if you pair the U.S. Bank Cash Plus with a card that offers a high rewards rate on everything, it could be worth it.

Rewards Redemption Details

U.S. Bank allows you to redeem your cash-back rewards in three ways: as a statement credit, as a deposit into a U.S. Bank checking, savings, or money market account, or in the form of a U.S. Bank rewards card. 

If you redeem for a statement credit or deposit, there is no minimum redemption amount, while the rewards card requires that you redeem at least $25. Also, keep in mind that your rewards expire 36 months after you earn them. Most major cash-back rewards programs don’t have an expiration date. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

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

The most important thing you can do is take some time to examine your spending habits and calculate which categories you spend the most in. Also, consider any major upcoming expenses that could allow you to earn more cash back.

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

Standard Benefits

  • Rental car insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Concierge services

Cardholder Experience

U.S. Bank ranked 10th out of 11 national issuers in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. J.D. Power gave U.S. Bank a score well below the average.

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

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

Security Features

U.S. Bank's security features are standard for the credit card industry.

Fees to Watch Out for

For the most part, the U.S. Bank Cash Plus card's fees are standard for the credit card industry. If you're considering a cash advance, though, watch out. The card's fee is 5% of the advance amount, with minimums ranging from $10 to $20, depending on how you request the advance.

Final Verdict

The U.S. Bank Cash Plus card has a lot of potential, offering 5% cash back on two categories of your choice every quarter. But to maximize the rewards you earn, you need to pay close attention to your spending habits and not miss the deadlines for activating your categories. 

Also, the card's 5% categories aren’t quite as broad as the rotating categories you’d get from cards like the Chase Freedom and Discover it. So be sure to compare those two cards with the U.S. Bank Cash Plus to determine which would be the best fit for you.

Next Steps
For U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
on U.S. Bank's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
overall rating
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 18.24% - 28.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 5% cash back on $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two eligible categories you choose. Earn 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center. 2% cash back on one eligible everyday category. 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.