U.S. Bank Business Leverage Review: More Rewarding Options Exist

You'll earn 2 points per dollar spent on purchases made in the top two categories (from a list of 48) where your business spends the most each month and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Melissa LambarenaSeptember 8, 2020

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This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet:

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

  • Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated offers.

Our Take

3.2

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: The card's personalized rewards categories may seem appealing, but they'll limit your rewards-earning potential. Other business credit cards can offer more value.

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

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

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

16.49% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Personalized rewards

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Needs excellent credit

Alternate Pick: A decent rewards rate on all spending

Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business

No annual fee

Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Plus, there's a sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Annual fee: $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Intro APR

0% on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card features personalized rewards categories that adjust automatically, offering convenience and novelty but little value compared with other cards. You would expect a card with a $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee to eclipse rewards found on no-annual-fee business credit cards, but this one doesn't.

Rewards don’t accumulate as quickly as they do on other business credit cards, even those with no annual fees. Overall, the slow-to-earn incentives and costs of this card are enough reason to look elsewhere.

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

Card type: Small business and rewards.

Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 points worth $750 cash back. Just spend $7,500 in eligible net purchases on the Account Owner's Card within the first four months of account opening.

APR: The ongoing APR is 16.49% Variable APR.

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

Rewards:

  • 2 points per dollar spent on purchases made in the top two categories (from a list of 48) where your business spends the most.

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

Categories include things like advertising firms, airlines, gas stations, grocery stores, hotels and restaurants, and your top two spending categories are automatically updated each month.

If you prefer to keep all accounts at one institution, you can get more points when you apply for a payments solutions account with U.S. Bank and register for Encore Relationship Rewards. You could 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.

Redemptions: 

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 cent 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.

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. See a full list of benefits here.

U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card: Why you're better off passing

LACKLUSTER REWARDS AND AN ANNUAL FEE

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card offers 2 points per dollar spent on purchases made in the top two categories (from a list of 48) where your business spends the most each month and 1 point on all other purchases. The categories adjust automatically each month, which is nice. But that's still a poor rewards rate — especially when you consider the card's $0 intro for the first year, then $95 annual fee. And unlike rewards on other cards, points expire five years from the end of the quarter in which they are earned.

If you have a lot of potentially top-earning expenses, other small-business credit cards can offer a better rate on all of your purchases instead of just two categories.

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, for example, gets unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases — not just certain purchases — for an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95. It also comes with a big sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. It doesn't charge foreign transaction fees and cash-back rewards don't expire.

NO 0% INTRO APR OFFER

Since the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card comes with lackluster rewards, you would think it would at least offer some breathing room on interest with a good 0% APR promotion — but it doesn't.

For rewards and an introductory offer, look to The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It offers an introductory 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 19.24% Variable APR. Terms apply. You'll earn 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases on the first $50,000 in purchases per year, and 1 point per dollar thereafter. Terms apply. Points don't expire. Unless you spend $50,000 or more in top bonus categories with the U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card, this card will come out ahead on rewards — and its annual fee is $0. Terms apply.

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES AND MEAGER TRAVEL REWARDS

The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card charges foreign transaction fees, making it a poor companion for international travel. It also has little in the way of travel rewards. Instead of offering a broad travel bonus category that includes all types of travel expenses, it comes with multiple narrowly defined categories. Airfare, hotel stays and car rentals, for example, would all fall under separate sections. That can make it harder to rack up rewards, since you can only earn double points on two categories each month. Frequent travelers are better off with a credit card that rewards a broad definition of travel that includes hotels, airfare, car rentals and more.

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card charges no foreign transaction fees and offers richer travel rewards. Earn 3 points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Chase's definition of travel is relatively broad, including airlines, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies, taxis and more. 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 may appear to have attractive incentives at first glance, but more rewarding options exist. Look to other small-business credit cards that can offer better ongoing rewards. A flat-rate rewards card, for example, can help you come out ahead with elevated rewards on all of your business expenses instead of only a few categories.

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

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