U.S. Bank Cash+ Review: Earn 5% Cash Back on Your Chosen Categories

Updated: July 2, 2024

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The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is great for strategic spenders who want to maximize cash back from their purchases. The card lets you earn 5% cash back in two categories you can choose from a list of 12, subject to a quarterly spending cap. You also get 2% cash back from one everyday category. It offers flexibility and high cash back potential, but its complex rewards structure requires careful management.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
Credit Card logo for U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
MoneyGeek Rating
3.9/ of 5

Rewards EarningEarn 5% cash back on 2 categories of your choice (...
APR Regular19.74%–29.74% variable
Annual Fee$0
Recommended Credit670–850 (Good to Excellent)

U.S. Bank Cash+ Card Overview

The U.S. Bank Cash+ is great if you want to get the most cash back from your purchases and don’t mind putting in some effort. It lets you earn 5% cash back on two categories you choose (subject to a $2,000 per quarter spending cap) and 2% on your chosen everyday category, such as groceries or gas stations. All other purchases earn you 1%.

Beyond its cash back features, this no-annual-fee card comes with a 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers. Moreover, you can get a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 within the first 120 days.

The U.S. Bank Cash+’s cash back structure can be complicated, requiring you to actively choose and track your cash back categories. The 5% cash back categories are also limited and don’t include high-spend categories like groceries, dining and gas stations. These factors might make the card less appealing for those who prefer a simpler cash back system.

MORE>> MoneyGeek's Best Cash Back Credit Cards

U.S. Bank Cash+ Card Details

Feature
Details

Card Uses

  • Cash Back
  • Balance Transfer

Annual Fee

$0

Introductory Offer

Earn $200 if you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 120 days

Introductory APRs

0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Rewards

  • Earn 5% cash back on 2 categories of your choice ($2,000 purchase limit per quarter). Full list of eligible categories below
  • Earn 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category. Choose from gas stations/EV charging stations, restaurants and grocery stores
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 5% cash back on air, hotel and car reservations booked via U.S. Bank’s Rewards Center

Rewards Program Overview

The U.S. Bank Cash+ offers a flexible and rewarding cash back program that allows you to customize your bonus categories based on your spending habits. You can earn 5% cash back on two categories you choose, up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Just remember that you need to activate your bonus categories every quarter so they become eligible for the 5% cash back rate.

You can select from these 12 categories:

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

Additionally, you can earn 2% cash back on one “everyday” category, which includes gas and EV charging stations, grocery stores and restaurants. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. The U.S. Bank Cash+ also offers 5% cash back on airfare, hotels and car rentals booked through U.S. Bank’s Rewards Center.

When it comes to redeeming your cash back, you can redeem it as a statement credit or a direct deposit into a U.S. Bank account starting at $25. However, your cash back expires 36 months after the billing cycle in which it is earned, so you'll need to redeem your rewards regularly to avoid losing them.

Benefits (Why You Might Want to Get This Card)

The U.S. Bank Cash+ offers several compelling benefits for those looking to maximize their cash back rewards. Here's why you might want to consider this card:

    cashBack icon

    High Cash Back Rate

    The U.S. Bank Cash+ is one of the few no-annual-fee cards that offer a 5% cash back rate. If you’re able to maximize the $2,000 quarterly spending cap, you can earn up to $400 annually.

    Moreover, the card offers unlimited 2% cash back on one category — a decent rate that can add up over time, especially since it covers everyday categories and has no spending cap. By spending $500 monthly on your chosen category, you can earn up to $120 per year.

    cashCard icon

    Flexible Cash Back Categories

    One of the standout features of this card is the ability to choose your own cash back categories. You can earn 5% cash back on two categories of your choice and 2% cash back on your selected everyday category. Your options for the 5% categories include niches like home utilities, sporting good stores and furniture stores.

    This flexibility allows you to tailor your rewards to your current spending habits. For example, you can select furniture and electronic stores as your 5% categories for a certain quarter if you’re building your home office.

    giftCard icon

    Sign-Up Bonus

    New cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days. It’s essentially a 20% discount on your purchases, and the long redemption period reduces the temptation for you to splurge unnecessarily just to get the bonus.

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    No Annual Fee

    Many cards with 5% cash back have an annual fee. However, you don’t need to pay an annual fee to use the U.S. Bank Cash+.

Drawbacks & Considerations (Why You Might Want a Different Card)

The U.S. Bank Cash+ lets you earn high cash back, but you’ll need to activate categories and track spending limits to get the most from the card.

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    Complicated Cash Back System

    While the card offers up to 5% cash back, the system can be complex. You need to select and activate your bonus categories each quarter and track your spending to maximize rewards. This might be cumbersome for those who prefer a more straightforward rewards structure. If you want to get high cash back, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express offers automatic 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and streaming services.

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    Limited Options for 5% Categories

    The card allows you to choose from a limited set of categories for the 5% cash back, and they don’t include high-spend categories like groceries, dining and travel. If your primary expenses are outside the available categories, you might find it challenging to maximize your rewards.

    Moreover, categories like fast food, ground transportation and “select clothing stores” can be confusing. You may earn only the baseline 1% cash back if the store you’re buying from has a different merchant category code (MCC). If this doesn’t work for you, the Citi Custom Cash® Card lets you earn 5% cash back on your top spending category, and its eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations and transit.

How U.S. Bank Cash+ Compares

To help you decide on the U.S. Bank Cash+, we compare it with similar cash back cards.

U.S. Bank Cash+ vs Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year) and streaming services and unlimited 3% on transit and gas stations. The cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or on Amazon.com at checkout. You don’t need to deal with activations, but the card has a $95 annual fee. Still, it can be a good alternative if you spend heavily at supermarkets.

Credit Card logo for Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
MoneyGeek Rating
4.2/ of 5
Rates & Fees

U.S. Bank Cash+ vs Citi Custom Cash®

The Citi Custom Cash lets you earn 5% cash back on your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent. Eligible categories include “everyday” categories like groceries, drug stores and gas stations. If you want 5% cash back on a specific category that’s not included in the U.S. Bank Cash+’s choices, consider the Citi Custom Cash.

Credit Card logo for Citi Custom Cash® Card
MoneyGeek Rating
4.2/ of 5
Rates & Fees

Cards You Can Pair With U.S. Bank Cash+

To maximize the cash back you earn, pairing the U.S. Bank Cash+ with another card can be a good strategy.

Pairing With Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The SavorOne Cash offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, streaming and grocery stores, covering a wide range of essential spending. You can then use the U.S. Bank Cash+ for categories like home utilities, ground transportation or whatever eligible niche you’re currently spending heavily on. This strategy lets you earn high cash back rates on both everyday and specialized spending categories.

Credit Card logo for Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
MoneyGeek Rating
4.6/ of 5
Rates & Fees

Is U.S. Bank Cash+ Right for You?

The U.S. Bank Cash+ is a strong choice for strategic spenders who want to maximize their cash back rewards. If you prefer customizing your cash back categories each quarter and can manage the card's rewards structure, this card can offer significant value. Maximizing the spending cap on the 5% categories can net you up to $400 annually. However, if you prefer a simpler rewards system or want to get high cash back on everyday categories, there are better cards available.

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THE BEST CASH BACK CARDS OF 2024

Still not sure about the U.S. Bank Cash+? Check our recommendations for the Best Cash Back Credit Cards to help you find one that matches your spending habits and lifestyle.

How We Evaluated the U.S. Bank Cash+ Card

We evaluated the U.S. Bank Cash+ by reviewing 60 cards and focusing on key features. The evaluation weights are as follows:

  • Effective Reward Rate (50%): Measures how rewarding the cash back program is. A 5 rating indicates a highly rewarding program.
  • Annual Fee (10%): Assesses the cost of maintaining the card. A 5 rating means no annual fee.
  • Offer ROI (10%): Evaluates the return on investment from introductory offers. A 5 rating signifies a high ROI.
  • Intro Purchase (5%): Rates the 0% APR offer on purchases. A 5 rating indicates a generous introductory period.
  • Recommended Credit (5%): Indicates the credit score range required. A 5 rating means the card is available to almost all credit scores.
  • Issuer Satisfaction (5%): Based on JD Power issuer satisfaction study. A 5 rating reflects high customer satisfaction.
  • Penalties (5%): Rates penalty rates and fees. A 5 rating means no penalty rates or fees.
  • Regular APR (5%): Assesses the regular APR. A 5 rating indicates a low APR.
  • Foreign Transaction (5%): Rates foreign transaction fees. A 5 rating means no foreign transaction fees.

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


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