U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards vs. U.S. Bank Cash+: A Clash of Customizable Cards
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In the world of credit card rewards, bigger is usually better. But it’s not that simple if you’re trying to choose between the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card.
The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card earns 6% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending per quarter at two eligible retailers of your choice (from a list of 24, see the drop-down menu below); 3% back on up to $1,500 per quarter in one “everyday” category of your choice (including gas and electric vehicle charging stations, wholesale clubs, and bills and utilities); and 1.5% back on everything else. It comes with the following annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card earns 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined spending per quarter in two eligible categories of your choice (from a list of 12, see the drop-down menu below); an uncapped 2% back per quarter in one “everyday” category of your choice (including grocery stores, gas stations and EV charging stations, and restaurants); and 1% back on everything else. It charges no annual fee.
Both cards offer customizable rewards and are built for optimizers who are OK with actively managing their card, as they'll have to activate bonus categories every quarter and keep those quarterly spending caps in mind.
The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card is technically more restrictive, since you earn 6% back only at specific retailers, versus broader 5% categories like “department stores” with the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card. However, those 6% retailers (both in store and online) may be where you already spend the most: They include Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon.com, Target and more. That could make it easier to track and maximize your rewards.
Here’s how to decide which card is right for you.
» MORE: Full review of the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive
At a glance
U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
Complete card details and application link:
Complete card details and application link:
$0 intro for the first year, then $95.
Get a $250 bonus after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.
$200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.
The ongoing APR is 18.74%-28.74% Variable APR.
0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 18.99%-28.99% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fee
2% or 3% (depending on currency).
Why you might choose the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive
This card features a broad list of 24 possible bonus-earning merchants, which can help you maximize rewards throughout the year.
6% cash back at the world’s largest retailers
Purchasing a new laptop from Apple? Updating your home with materials from Lowe’s or Home Depot? Grabbing new furniture from Ikea? These can be expensive purchases. Thankfully, you can earn a cool $360 back per year by maximizing the quarterly $1,500 spending cap on the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card.
The ability to rotate between merchants each quarter will allow you to plan around anticipated spending. Maybe you’re heading to a Disney park over the summer, or you're looking for a new entertainment system from Best Buy around the holidays. Just select the merchants where you’ll have known upcoming expenses and plan to lock in those rewards for three months.
Useful 3% everyday categories
The ability to earn big cash-back rewards isn’t limited to merchants on the 6% cash-back list. You also get to select one everyday category to earn 3% back, up to $1,500 in spending per quarter, including: bills and utilities, wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco, and gas and electric vehicle charging stations. It's relatively rare to have bills included in a bonus category, which U.S. Bank defines as home utilities, cell phone and TV/internet/streaming services.
1.5% back on all other purchases
The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card gives cardholders 1.5% back on all nonbonus purchases. This solid base rewards rate is higher than you'll find on other cards with rotating bonus categories, and it could help make this card the one you reach for most often.
Rich sign-up bonus
The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card offers a bigger possible first-year bonus than many other cash-back cards: .Get a $250 bonus after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. That will help offset the card's $95 annual fee, and it's higher than what the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card offers.
Why the U.S. Bank Cash+ Card might be for you
With the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card, you can earn a high rewards rate in broader categories, instead of at specific merchants. And, crucially, there's no annual fee to worry about.
More flexible bonus categories
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card lets you select two 5% bonus categories from a list of 12 each quarter. That means more freedom to shop where you want.
Time to freshen up that wardrobe? Instead of being stuck with just a few options, you could select both “department stores” and “select clothing stores” as your two bonus categories for a quarter and get 5% back on up to $2,000 in combined spending for those three months at over 25 possible retailers, including Macy’s, Old Navy, Aeropostale, Saks Fifth Avenue and more.
Or maybe you’re into gadgets and the newest tech. Selecting “electronics stores” as a quarterly bonus category would mean you'd qualify for the 5% rate (up to the quarterly spending cap) at over 15 popular merchants, including Apple, Best Buy and Bose.
Higher spending cap, no annual fee
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card offers 5% back on up to $2,000 in combined spending per quarter in the two bonus categories you select. That means if you were to maximize that cap, you could snag up to $400 annually in those categories with the U.S. Bank Cash+ card.
And since there’s no annual fee, that cash back stays in your pocket. By comparison, as noted above, you can earn $360 per year by maxing out the 6% quarterly spending cap with the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card — while still having the card's $95 annual fee to contend with.
Better possible rewards on food
Each quarter, you get to select one additional everyday category to earn 2% back with no spending cap. Categories include grocery stores, restaurants, and gas and EV charging stations. The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card may provide more value for people with huge grocery bills or who frequently dine out.
The exception here would be if you do most of your grocery shopping at big-box stores like Walmart or Target. In that case, the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card might be the better choice.
Which card is for you?
Both the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card offer similar value to cardholders who can maximize their quarterly bonus earnings.
The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card will be the better choice for regular shoppers at retailers on the bonus merchant list. (However, note that if you tend to spread out your spending across multiple merchants throughout the year, it might require more maintenance.) The ability to earn 3% back in useful everyday categories will also be attractive for many people.
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is best suited for consumers who value flexibility. Since the card offers bonus categories instead of singular bonus merchants, you’ll be able to shop around and find the best deals that suit you. And since there's no annual fee, you won't have to worry whether you're earning enough rewards to make it worthwhile.
» MORE: Best U.S. Bank credit cards
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