Editorial Review

U.S. Bank Business Leverage Review: Rewards Align With Expenses

Automatically earn double points back in the top two eligible categories where your business spends the most — no activation or "opt in" required.

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Our Take

3.7

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: It's an ideal, low-maintenance choice for business owners with unpredictable expenses. Relationship rewards via U.S. Bank can make it even more lucrative.

U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
18.74% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Annual Fee
$95
Regular APR
18.74% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Personalized rewards
Cons
  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit
  • High APR

recommended credit score

Alternate Pick: High rewards rate on all spending

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Upfront sign-up bonus

Earn an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. Plus, there's a sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.

Read our review

Full Review

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card gives business owners 48 reasons and then some to consider applying.

That's how many bonus-rewards categories the card features, and you'll automatically earn double points back in the top two of those categories where your business spends the most.

It's among just a handful of small-business cards that allows for personalized rewards categories. And the fact that those bonus categories adjust automatically based on spending makes it a lower-maintenance option than most in its class.

Still, the card isn't ideal for business owners who travel internationally, and you may be able to find more lucrative options depending on your spending.

U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card: Basics

Card type: Small business.

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus points in the first 365 days of account opening with an additional point on all eligible net purchases..

Rewards:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on purchases made in the top two categories where your business spends the most.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

You can redeem points for cash, gift cards, travel and merchandise. In most cases, points are worth a penny each, although redeeming for merchandise nets you a slightly lower rate of 0.9 cents per point.

For cash redemptions, you can redeem in $50 increments into a U.S. Bank checking or savings account. There's no minimum redemption requirement for statement credit, gift cards, travel or merchandise. Points expire five years from the end of the quarter in which they are earned.

APR: The ongoing APR is 18.74% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fee: 3% if the purchase is made in a foreign currency; 2% if it’s in U.S. dollars.

Other perks:

  • Free employee cards.

  • Encore Relationship Rewards — up to 240,000 points annually — when you use a U.S. Bank payment solutions account to process card payments from your customers.

  • Visa Signature benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty protection, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and more. Full list of benefits here.

Why you might want the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card

Personalized rewards

With this card, you'll earn double points in two categories (from a list of 48) where you spend the most each month, with no spending caps. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. The categories are broad and varied, including things like advertising firms, airlines, gas stations, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and many more. And unlike some other competitors, your elevated rewards are automatic. You don't have to "activate," "opt in" or even keep track of where you're dropping the most money; the card eliminates the guesswork. If your biggest business expenses happen to shift from one month to the next, you'll still earn the bonus rate as long as it's in an eligible category.

If there's one nit to pick with this rewards structure, it's that common bonus categories can end up fragmented. For example, many credit cards have "travel" as a bonus category, so if you take a trip you might earn, say, 2 points per dollar spent on your airfare, your hotel room and a rental car. With the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card, however, each element counts as a separate category: airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. Since you earn 2X points in only two categories a month, that can have the effect of limiting your total rewards.

Sizable bonus offer

It's not a traditional upfront sign-up bonus, but the offer still packs a lot of value. Earn up to 100,000 bonus points in the first 365 days of account opening with an additional point on all eligible net purchases. Points are distributed monthly instead of all at once, but if you max out the offer, it's worth $1,000.

Relationship rewards

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card is ideal for business owners who prefer to keep all accounts with one financial institution. When you apply for a payments solutions account with U.S. Bank and register for Encore Relationship Rewards, you can earn up to 240,000 points annually on your net processing volume. A payment solutions account allows you to accept payments from customers in many forms.

Why you might want a different card

You want personalized rewards but no annual fee

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express has a $0 annual fee, and you still get a say in how you earn bonus rewards. You'll earn 5% cash back on up to $50,000 a year in combined spending at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless phone service purchased directly from U.S. providers; 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight options; and 1% back on all other purchases. Terms apply.

You want 2X rewards on all purchases

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business earns an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, not just on those that fall within a bonus category. And you get a year with no cost of card ownership. Its annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95. The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express also earns 2 points per $1 spent on all eligible business purchases, but only up to the first $50,000 in purchases each year (1 point per $1 spent after that). Terms apply. It has a $0 annual fee.

You want an upfront sign-up bonus

If you prefer a traditional sign-up bonus that arrives in full after you meet the terms, the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business offers the following: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Or you could take a look at the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card. Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and it has a $0 annual fee.

You want a 0% intro APR period

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express can offer some padding if you need a break from interest payments. It offers an intro 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 21.49% Variable APR. If you have higher operating expenses, the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card has no spending caps.

You travel overseas

Foreign transaction fees make the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card a poor companion for international travel. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card skips these fees and offers rewards. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year; and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points are also worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This card has a $95 annual fee.

Is the U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card right for you?

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card is an excellent, low-maintenance option for business owners who have unpredictable expenses. It can be even more rewarding if you keep certain accounts at U.S. Bank.

But if your spending is relatively stable across the board, you might come out ahead with a flat-rate rewards card that can offer elevated rewards on all spending, not just in certain categories.

To view rates and fees of the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, please visit this page.