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U.S. Bank Credit Cards7 min read
U.S. Bank issues a variety of useful cards, including a cash back card that lets you choose your own categories and some of the best dining/streaming cards on the market.
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U.S. Bank is a tried-and-true heavyweight in the U.S. financial industry, issuing a sizable collection of its own credit cards as well as co-branded cards with merchants of all sorts.
Looking for a way to repair your credit after some past mistakes? There’s a secured card that should help you get the job done. Or, for the credit-building veteran who’s always on the fly, there’s a premium travel card with a generous helping of benefits. You get the idea.
The card that’s going to work best for you all comes down to your financial position, spending habits, and what you’re looking to accomplish.
Let’s walk through your options.
In addition to its personal credit cards, U.S. Bank issues several business credit cards, including the U.S. Bank Business Select Rewards Card, U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®, and more.
Low Interest Rate
This card’s a logical choice if you’re looking to pay down other debts through a balance transfer or make a few larger purchases without dealing with a high interest rate.
The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is just one of many cards offered with a long 0% intro APR period. Take a look at our favorites to find a 0% APR card that complements your needs.
The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card (Review) is surprisingly flexible (and rewarding) for a card with no annual fee. You pick its highest reward categories, which sets this card’s rewards program apart from a lot of its competitors.
When it comes to the reward categories, you can pick from any two of these:
|5% Cash Back Categories|
|TV, Internet, Streaming Services||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|
And one of these:
|2% Cash Back Categories|
|Gas Stations||Grocery Stores||Restaurants|
These categories are subject to change. Consult U.S. Bank for the latest official details.
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card (Review) is a strong offer with an unusually high rate for dining, plus a set of four other useful bonus categories. There’s also a solid intro rate and a $15 annual credit for streaming services — both great features to have on a card with no annual fee.
As opposed to the cash back and point rewards offered by the above cards, U.S. Bank’s travel rewards cards offer FlexPoints (except the Altitude Reserve; more on that later). FlexPoints can be redeemed for airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, merchandise, gift cards, cash back, and more.
|U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card||$85||
|U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (Review)||$400||
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (Review) delivers some commendable perks and a somewhat unique rewards system that includes mobile wallet spending. This premium card is made of metal, and it’s currently only available to U.S. Bank customers.
Unlike U.S. Bank’s other travel cards, the Altitude Reserve earns regular old “points,” rather than “FlexPoints.” Your redemption options are pretty similar, though, including common picks like airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals.
Secured Credit Cards
Like most secured cards, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card is pretty basic, but it’s a good way to improve your credit scores. You’ll have to fund your own credit line and pay an annual fee, which is pretty typical of secured credit cards. Just apply online, pay your deposit via cashier’s check or money order, and U.S. Bank will give you a credit card with a credit line in the same amount as that deposit.
U.S. Bank Co-Branded Credit Cards
U.S. Bank has a fairly extensive list of co-branded credit cards under its belt, featuring collaborations with renowned grocery chains, international airlines, motorsports giants, and more.
Co-Branded Airline and Hotel Credit Cards
U.S. Bank issues several travel rewards cards for prominent international travel companies, including both airlines and hotels.
Co-Branded Grocery and Fuel Credit Cards
A decent portion of U.S. Bank’s co-branded credit cards are designed for everyday items, like gas and groceries. These cards span a range of brands, and you can learn more about the rewards, perks, and application details by following each card’s link.
|Dillons||Dillons REWARDS World Mastercard|
|Fred Meyer||Fred Meyer Rewards® World Mastercard|
|Fry’s||Fry’s REWARDS World Mastercard®|
|Harris Teeter||Harris Teeter REWARDS World Mastercard®|
|King Soopers||King Soopers REWARDS World Mastercard®|
|Kroger||Kroger REWARDS World Mastercard®|
|QFC||QFC REWARDS World Mastercard®|
|Ralphs||Ralphs Rewards World Mastercard®|
|Smith’s Food and Drug||Smith’s REWARDS World Mastercard®|
Co-Branded Merchant Credit Cards
In addition to its various co-branded travel, grocery, and fuel cards, U.S. Bank issues seven other co-branded cards with various merchant and retailers.
|Harley-Davidson||Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Credit Card|
|Polaris||Polaris® Visa® Credit Card|
|Quicken||Quicken World Mastercard|
|REI||REI Co-op Mastercard®|
U.S. Bank Credit Card Features
Most of U.S. Bank’s credit cards come with a handy selection of features. Not all of these will be included with every card, though, so check into the specifics of each card before you apply..
- Free VantageScore credit score: Keep on top of your credit-building efforts by checking your VantageScore, based on your TransUnion credit report, for free anytime.
- Fraud protections: Complimentary fraud alerts notify you of atypical card activity, and both Visa and American Express offer zero-liability policies that mean you won’t be responsible for fraudulent charges.
- Visa card benefits: U.S. Bank’s Visa credit cards are offered at several Visa levels, up to Visa Infinite, which means you’ll get a variety of Visa-provided benefits that vary from one card to the next. Often encompassing shopping and travel protections, these may include, but are not limited to, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision coverage, travel and emergency assistance services, travel accident insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. Note that Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cards usually require you to qualify for a higher starting credit limit than other card types.
- American Express benefits: U.S. Bank’s American Express cards offer similar benefits to those provided by Visa. These can include car rental insurance and other travel protections, discounts and amenities at hotels, shopping protections, Premium Concierge, and special savings and offers through American Express Connect.
- 24/7 U.S.-based customer service: Have questions about your U.S. Bank credit card? Navigate to U.S. Bank’s credit card contact page, and you can either call the general personal credit card hotline, or select the card you use and call that number.
A Brief History of U.S. Bank
While not quite as prominent as financial superpowers like JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Bank of America, U.S. Bank carries a great deal of weight. As of December 31, 2018, it’s the nation’s fifth largest bank, with $467 billion in assets, and it boasts a workforce of 74,000 employees.
U.S. Bank’s lineage can be traced back to the 19th century, long before today’s advanced financial technology had even begun to take shape.
Building Blocks of U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank’s story began in 1863, while the nation was wrought with the vicious conflict of the American Civil War, with the opening of First National Bank of Cincinnati. Interestingly, though it was just one of many forerunners, U.S. Bank still operates under this bank’s charter, which just happens to be the second-oldest in the country.
Another key predecessor, First National Bank of Minneapolis, formed the next year. Years down the line, both of these regional staples were scooped up by other banks that would eventually become U.S. Bank.
Throughout the years that followed, regional banks sprung up and became more prominent all across the country, livening up the nation’s financial scene and paving the way for the larger corporations that now dominate the industry today.
Mergers, Mergers, and More Mergers
A number of mergers that were key in the development of U.S. Bank — and U.S. Bancorp, its holding company — began to take place as the 19th century gave way to the hustle and bustle of the early 1900s.
The United States National Bank of Portland was founded in 1891, and after a solid decade of success, merged with Ainsworth National Bank of Portland, another Oregon-based mainstay. The institution kept the United States National name, though it was soon changed to United States National Bank of Oregon.
Fast-forward a few decades to 1925, and United States National encountered another major merger. This time, however, the prize was Oregon’s oldest bank, Ladd and Tilton.
The Depression Sessions
Things began picking up speed for U.S. Bank’s predecessors in 1929, with the formation of First Bank Stock Corporation. Descending from the aforementioned First National Bank of Minneapolis, First Bank Stock Corporation was a holding company formed from a massive collection of regional banks in order to create a network of mutual support during the trying period that would eventually become known as The Great Depression.
Throughout the next several decades, the corporation continued acquiring additional banks (and acquiring, and acquiring…), gaining momentum and size, though the banks that fell under the First Bank umbrella generally operated on an individual level.
Along the way, in 1968, the corporation changed its name to First Bank System, Inc., the last name it’d use prior to the merger that changed it all.
The New Millenium
By the 1990s, First Bank System, Inc. was a formidable force in the nation’s financial industry, and it entered a new chapter in 1997, when it acquired Portland-based U.S. Bancorp.
Sizable enough in its own right, U.S. Bancorp had grown from a holding company for the United States National Bank of Oregon into yet another major financial player through a host of acquisitions. And despite U.S. Bancorp’s smaller size, the resulting corporation adopted the U.S. Bancorp and U.S. Bank names across the board.
Since then, U.S. Bank has moved its headquarters to Minnesota and continues to evolve, asserting its position as one of America’s most important and longest-lived financial institutions and reminding larger competitors that it’s not likely to fade away anytime soon.
U.S. Bank’s portfolio of financial products and services may grow and change over time, but that’s not the only area where the bank’s making strides. U.S. Bancorp also works to enrich the communities that have helped it attain such great heights through charitable contributions and hands-on community involvement.
Its Work, Home, and Play grants, for example, allow the organization to provide individuals with a chance at career growth, access to sustainable housing, and opportunities to learn through arts and play.
Plus, the bank places heavy emphasis on the importance of financial education, delivering seminars and workshops that have already impacted more than 150,000 individuals across the country.
U.S. Bank also demonstrates a keen eye for corporate responsibility regarding both the environment and diversity and inclusion. These include investments in solar energy and environmental education, and a commitment to increasing diversity among new hires and bank partners.
Sean Messier works to empower individuals with the knowledge required to use credit cards responsibly and to their advantage. His writing- and research-based background has granted him experience in an array of topics, from finance to business and beyond. Sean distills the knowledge accumulated over years of experience in the credit space into consistent, actionable articles, guides, and reviews.
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