US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Rewards Getting Watered Down?
As 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.