U.S. Bank Credit Cards

Sean Messier

Sean Messier

Updated Jul 25, 2019

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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, U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®, and more.

Low Interest Rate

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card features a lengthy 0% introductory APR period before its regular variable APR kicks in, as well as no annual fee.

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.

Key Features

  • Intro Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 billing cycles
  • Regular APR: 14.74%–25.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
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.

Cash Back Rewards

U.S. Bank issues two general cash back rewards cards. Neither has an annual fee, but their rewards systems are very different.

Card Annual Fee Rewards
U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card $0*
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • $150 bonus cash back for spending $500 in the first 90 days
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card $0*
  • 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
  • 2% cash back on one everyday category
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $150 bonus cash back for spending $500 in the first 90 days

 

For a rewards card, the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card is about as simple as it gets. You get cash back on every purchase, and there’s no limit on how much you can earn. There’s a 0%* intro on BTs intro APR period, but it only applies to balance transfers.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 bonus cash back for spending $500 within 90 days of account opening
    • Return on spend: 30%

Key Features

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0%* intro on BTs for 12 billing cycles on Balance Transfers*
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 15.74% - 25.24%* Variable
  • Annual fee: $0*

 

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card 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.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
  • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • $150 bonus cash back for spending $500 in the first 90 days after account opening
    • Return on spend: 30%

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.

Key Features

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0%* intro on BTs for 12 billing cycles on Balance Transfers*
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 15.74% - 25.24%* Variable
  • Annual fee: $0*

Travel Rewards

As opposed to the cash back 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.

Card Annual Fee Rewards
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Select+ American Express® Card $0
  • 1X FlexPoint per dollar on every purchase
  • 10,000 bonus FlexPoints after spending $1,000 in the first four months
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card $0* Intro for first year; $49* thereafter
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar on whichever category you spend the most on monthly: Airlines, Gas stations, or Grocery stores
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar on Cell phone services and Charitable organizations
  • 1X FlexPoint per dollar on all other purchases
  • 25,000 bonus FlexPoints for spending $2,000 in the first four months
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card $85
  • 3X FlexPoints per dollar at Restaurants
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar on Airlines and Gas stations
  • 1X FlexPoint per dollar on all other purchases
  • 30,000 bonus FlexPoints for spending $2,000 in the first four months
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (Review) $400
  • 3X points per dollar for Travel and Mobile wallet purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days

 

A straightforward, if not particularly valuable, rewards system and a decent introductory offer make the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Select+ American Express® Card a fine choice if you’re after a travel rewards credit card that’s free to use.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 1X FlexPoint per dollar on every purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 10,000 bonus FlexPoints after spending $1,000 in the first four months
    • Value: $150 (1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 15%

Key Features

  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 9 billing cycles
  • Regular Balance Transfer APR: 16.24%–26.24% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

 

Offering rewards for several categories, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card is a solid travel rewards card with a fairly low annual fee. The card complements its rewards system with a small, but helpful, selection of travel benefits.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar spent in whichever category you spend the most on each month:
    • Airlines
    • Gas stations
    • Grocery stores
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar spent on:
    • Cell phone service providers
    • Charitable organizations
  • 1X FlexPoint per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 25,000 bonus FlexPoints after spending $2,000 in the first four months
    • Value: $375 (1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 18.75%

Key Features

  • Travel perks: $25 airline allowance for each redeemed round-trip airline ticket, Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection perks, car rental discounts, Andrew Harper membership, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $0* Intro for first year; $49* thereafter

 

With a higher annual fee than the FlexPerks Travel Rewards card, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card offers slightly more earning potential, a bigger introductory bonus, and benefits designed with travelers in mind.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X FlexPoints per dollar at Restaurants
  • 2X FlexPoints per dollar spent on:
    • Airlines
    • Gas stations
  • 1X FlexPoint per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 30,000 bonus FlexPoints after spending $2,000 in the first four months
    • Value: $450 (1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 22.5%

Key Features

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit: Get a statement credit that covers the application price for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) once every four years.
  • Complimentary Boingo WiFi: Keep connected on the go at over one million hotspots around the world.
  • Travel perks: $25 airline allowance for each round-trip air travel reward ticket, Global Dining Program, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $85

 

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.

Rewards

Spending Rewards
  • 3X points per dollar for:
    • Travel
    • Mobile wallet purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,500 in the first 90 days after account opening
    • Value: $750 (1.5 cents per point)
    • Return on spend: 16.67%

Key Features

  • $325 travel credit: Earn up to $325 in statement credits when you make purchases “directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains, and cruise lines.”
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit: Get a statement credit that covers the application price for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) once every four years.
  • Limited Priority Pass Select membership: Take advantage of a 12-month Priority Pass Select membership that offers four free visits for the primary cardholder and one guest.
  • Other travel perks: Complimentary Gogo inflight WiFi, Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel benefits, Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, Silvercar rental discounts, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $400

Read more in our U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card Review: Is It Worth the $400 Annual Fee?

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.

Key Features

  • Security deposit: $300 to $5,000
  • Earn interest: Your security deposit is used to open an FDIC-insured, interest-earning U.S. Bank savings account. It won’t be touched if your card remains in good standing.
  • Annual fee: $29

Co-Branded Grocery and Fuel Credit Cards

The bulk 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.

Retailer Card
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 Retail Credit Cards

In addition to its various co-branded grocery and fuel cards, U.S. Bank issues three other co-branded retail cards.

Retailer 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.

Constructed in 1917, Portland’s United States National Bank building still stands today, though it’s since been expanded. Image credit: Portland History

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.

Giving Back

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.

U.S. Bank’s Minneapolis HQ. Image credit: Wikipedia

U.S. Bank is just one of America’s many big-league credit card issuers, so browse the best credit cards across the board if none of these make the cut.
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