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US Bank Cash Plus – Does its 5% cash back beat Chase Freedom?

by on Fri August 10, 2012 • 6 Comments

Cash Plus VisaA lot of credit card enthusiasts are raving about a new card from US Bank – the no annual fee Cash Plus Visa. The reason why is simple – it offers one of the most innovative ways to earn spending category bonuses in a no annual fee card. Here’s how it works:

  • 5% cash back in any 2 of the following each quarter:
    • Department Stores, Restaurants, Home Improvement, Electronics Stores, Airlines, Hotels, Bill payments, Fast Food, Furniture Stores, Car Rentals, Charity, Movie Theaters.
  • 2% cash back in any ONE of the following each quarter:
    • Gas, Groceries, or Drug Store

Here’s where it gets interesting.

  • *All* of the 5% cash back categories are available for the choosing every quarter. There’s no forced rotation like with the Chase Freedom card. You just need to select your two 5% cash back categories manually each quarter or else you’ll earn only 1%
  • There is NO LIMIT to the amount of cash back you can earn with the bonus categories. The Chase Freedom has a cap of $1,500 in spending each quarter that can go toward its 5% bonus categories
  • Every $100 in cash back you redeem gets a $25 bonus. That means for your 5% categories you’re actually earning 6.25% cash back.


Aside from some unique 5% categories like that sometimes show up in the Chase Freedom rotation, and some more widely used categories like gas or groceries, the US Bank card is the superior one. But the good news is both are no annual fee cards, so you can keep both in your wallet to maximize any time.

However one way the Freedom can handily beat the US Bank Cash Plus is the ability to convert the points you earn into Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the premium Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card that means you can transfer these points into several airline and hotel programs like United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, and more. If you get the right redemption (like a business class ticket to Europe) you can earn much more than 5% value from your points.

But if it’s straight cash you’re after the US Bank Cash Plus should be part of your no annual fee card rotation, along with the Citi Forward (5% cash back on restaurants / movie theaters) and Chase Freedom (for those occasional unique 5% categories).

The good news for you is you don’t have to carry just one.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

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Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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6 thoughts on US Bank Cash Plus – Does its 5% cash back beat Chase Freedom?

  1. Gilbert G, Brill

    To simplify , where do we put in our claims to. Is there a form to, or list to post purchases on? Where do we post our purchases to ?


      @Gilbert- What kind of claim are you trying to make? The US Bank website lets you select the categories you want to earn a bonus.

    1. MileCards

      @Lynnette – If it’s primarily a furniture store it probably does. But if it’s like a Michael’s craft store then no. The store might be able to answer how they classify themselves to the credit card merchant processors.


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