Like the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, US Bank has created a choose your own destiny rewards structure giving the card holder control over how they earn rewards. This can be extremely valuable if the eligible categories work with your spending habit, but US Bank has a tendency to prefer their credit card applicants to already have a US Bank relationship via a checking account or mortgage.
Earning cash back with this card might require some good record keeping. US Bank requires that users login and select their rotating categories each quarter. Failing to login and select a category will result in forfeiture of the increased earning rate and all purchases will earn a flat 1% cash back rate. Lame.
Categories can also change each quarter, which means it can be difficult to build the Cash Plus into a wallet if you are looking to optimize your cash back categories. With that being said, US Bank offers some unique earn categories. Here's a sample for Jan - March 2019:
It's pretty hard to optimize with this list, but gym purchases in Q1 for New Year Resolutions is a nice touch, especially when paired with fast food. :b You are capped at earning 5% on your first $2,000 in purchases each quarter. The 2% category you select earns an unlimited cash back, and you are able to choose from gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores.
You can redeem your rewards by depositing the rewards into your US Bank account, use your earnings as a statement credit, or request a US Bank Rewards card.
In addition to the everyday cash back rewards, the US Bank Cash Plus card has some other perks you may want to consider
If the spend category selection and spending caps made your head hurt, you should look elsewhere. If you're looking for category bonuses, Uber is the way to go. Double Cash is a solid 2% on all purchases card if you're really looking to dumb things down.
Yeah, US Bank doesn't get a ton of love out in the blogosphere. The tougher underwriting requirements and complex points structure makes this one a tough sell. With that being said, if you're building the ultimate cash back wallet, this no annual fee card might just have a place in your wallet.
Spend smart. If the 5% categories on this card speak to you, jump on it. Given the nicheness of the bonus categories, we think most people will probably be served better by another no annual fee card