US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Rewards Getting Watered Down?

US Bank Cash Plus Credit CardAs expected, some tweaks are being made to the US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, with many of the long-rumored changes to its rewards program soon to become a reality. With all the impending changes, will the card still be worthwhile?

What are the changes?
One change was already made in Q2 that most would consider a downgrade–the bill pay, home improvement and airline categories were replaced as 5% bonus category options with the bookstores, sporting goods and cell phone categories.

In addition, the following benefits are due to be cut from the rewards program:

  • Currently, cardholders earn a bonus $25 Visa gift card every time they redeem at least $100 in rewards at once. In the May statement sent out to cardholders, however, US Bank indicated that effective July 1, 2013, cardholders would only be able to earn one such $25 Cash+ Bonus per calendar year.
  • Currently, cardholders earn an additional 0.25% rebate on all spending for having a US Bank Gold Checking account or an additional 0.5% rebate on all spending for having a Platinum Checking account. Both of these checking bonuses are due to go away after August 10, 2013.
  • Most importantly of all, you are only eligible to earn a 5% rebate on the first $2,000 in net purchases each quarter in your selected 5% categories. Any spending beyond that will only earn a 1% rebate. This language is already in place on US Bank’s website for new applicants to the credit card.

While disappointing, these changes were largely expected. And it’s important to note that the card still compares favorably to its competitors, even after the changes. Unlike the other rotating quarterly bonus cash back cards such as the Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend and Discover it cards, you have much greater flexibility in selecting your 5% bonus categories. Plus, the $2,000 quarterly spending cap on the 5% bonus categories still exceeds the $1,500 spending cap of Chase Freedom and Discover it. You do also get to select a category in which to earn 2%, unlike the other rotating quarterly bonus cards. The changes, however, do put the card much more on par with these competitors, instead of being far above them.

For more info on the US Bank Cash+ Visa, see this link.

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  • cyclops

    When does the $2000/quarter cap come into effect for existing card holders?

  • ccwatcher

    Hi cyclops, according to the customer service rep I talked to, there hasn’t yet been a date set for when the $2,000/quarter cap would take effect for existing cardholders, but it is a change that is coming eventually. The date that was previously rumored when this would be happening is in July.

  • Rob

    So if there is going to be a $2,000 quarterly cap on spending eligible for a 5% rebate, what is the need or purpose in removing spending category options like bill pay and airlines? It would be nice to at least see these restored as options.

  • Mary M. Langenbrunner

    I currently have a Cash Plus VISA card from U.S. Bank—do I still have to re-apply for the bonuses on this card each and every quarter for it to remain in effect? Also, I have a U.S. Bank Platinum VISA credit card – are these two separate accounts, with two different bonus/reward options? I am confused by having two credit cards from US Bank; one the Cash Plus and the other a US Bank Platinum…both VISA. Can I use both of them at the same time; and how are they different from one-another? Thank you.

  • ccwatcher

    Mary, per the terms of the Cash Plus Visa, you must enroll each quarter into the categories of your choice, or all net purchases will earn no more than 1% cash back.

    It is not uncommon to have multiple credit cards from the same bank. They are separate accounts and you’re free to use them at the same time. As you correctly assumed, they will have different bonus and reward options.

    The benefits of the Cash+ Card are described in the article above. The Platinum Visa is described in this link.

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