22 Things Everybody Should Know About US Bank Credit Cards

US Bank doesn’t have the the most enticing credit card offerings, but they do have a few credit cards worth applying for. Before doing so (or if you already have one of their credit cards) there are a few (

  1. Before applying for any US Bank credit cards, you freeze your SageStream & ARS credit reports. US Bank checks these reports, but it doesn’t seem to help in the approval process at all, just another reason to deny you. Although you will need to have these unfrozen when you sign up for a US Bank checking account (they sometimes offer promotional bonuses, don’t need to be unfrozen if applying in branch).
  2. (Not currently able to check pre-approvals for US Bank) US Bank allows you to view your pre-approved offers before applying. This can be useful for people that don’t have great credit, just remember that this doesn’t guarantee pre-approval.
  3. There is at least one data point of US Bank merging multiple inquiries in the same day into a single hard pull. That being said, US Bank is quite difficult to get approved with.
  4. There is no hard limit to the amount of US Bank credit cards you can hold. But keep in mind that the more cards you have with them, the more difficult it is to get approved.
  5. If you are denied for a credit card with US Bank, make sure you call their reconsideration department. You won’t always get approved, but it’s worth a call anyway. If you haven’t called reconsideration before, read these tips first.
  6. US Bank won’t agree to pull a different credit report if you have the one they want to use frozen. You can’t eve  give them a PIN to access the frozen report.
  7. It’s possible to churn US Bank credit cards. Just keep in mind they are such sticklers when it comes to approval.
  8. US Bank reports your credit utilization based on what it is on the 1st of each month. This is useful to know if you need to reduce your credit utilization for FICO score purposes.
  9. You can also change your statement closing date. It might make sense to change it to just before the end of the month, that way you’ll always show a low balance (as mentioned above).
  10. When it comes to credit limits, US Bank is quite weird. They will usually do a soft pull when using the online form or via phone but this is no longer always the caseFor reallocations, they don’t seem to offer them anymore
  11. If US Bank increases the sign up bonus of one of their cards that you’ve recently applied for, they should match it. US Bank don’t mess with their sign up bonuses often, so we don’t have a lot of data on them but it’s worth a try.
  12. If you cancel your card within 30 days of the annual fee posting, they’ll refund it for you. Can be useful if you forget to cancel the card before the annual fee hits.
  13. You can’t product change between brands (e.g Club Carlson to Cash+). If you do want to downgrade a US Bank branded card, then the Cash+ card is likely to be your best option with your choice of 5% categories (even if most of the good ones are gone).
  14. US Bank offers a referral program. If you want to refer one of your friends to one of their cards, then you can get a bonus of up to 10,000 points per referral.
  15. When meeting minimum spend requirements, the clock starts when your card is approved.
  16. Spend on authorized user accounts doesn’t count for minimum spend requirements. Only spend on the primary card counts.
  17. US Bank will usually waive the annual fee on FlexPerks cards when calling retention. Actually they’ll just give you enough points to offset the annual fee, but same difference really (actually a little better since you could pay the AF in cash and then use the points to get more than that value in travel redemption).
  18. It’s not possible to get sign up bonuses paid out earlier than expected. So make sure you apply with plenty of time before you want to redeem those points/miles.
  19. US Bank waives the fees on their checking account if you have one of their credit cards. This is useful when they are offering a sign up bonus on those accounts. Personal credit cards will waive the fees on personal accounts and business credit cards will waive the fee on business accounts.
  20. US Bank doesn’t report business credit cards to the personal credit bureaus which is useful for keeping your credit report cleaner.
  21. You cannot check your application status with U.S. Bank online, instead you must call them on (800) 947-1444.
  22. If you have auto-pay set up with U.S. bank they will pay the full statement balance if you make a partial payment, we’re unsure what they will do if you make the full payment. 

You can view other posts in this series by clicking the links below.

If you want to discuss any of this in the comments, please do so. I’d recommend not referring to each item by it’s number, as that changes as we add in more/remove others.

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Josh
Josh

Applied for Altitude Go on 9/10. I was on 2/6 and 3/12 and got denied. Called recon and was told “too many new accounts”.
I’m 2/6 and 2/12 today (11/18) and applied again. Interestingly got approved immediately.

K
K

Interesting, I’m also 2/6 and 2/12, got denied for cash+ 8 months ago. Now I got targeted email offer for cash+. I wonder if my odds are any good, seeing people being denied with fewer than 2/6.

K
K

Update: instantly approved

Aaron
Aaron

Seems like US Bank is big on 0/6 and 1/12. Any hint on if they are about 24? Looking to apply for Cash+ card and almost to 0/6 1/12 (accounts not pulls), but still at 9/24. Can’t find anything on if they’re 24 sensitive.

SG
SG

Positive DP: 10/23 applied with 4 years of “business” with revenue 18k. Experian was pooled, I was at 6/24, 0/6 and 1/12. Denied due to – too many card recently opened and no long-term business information. I have US bank checking (balance <$100) and brokerage account for 4 months. Called again 11/10 and requested to manually review my application. Approved on 11/11.

CGID
CGID

You might want to add as an important item that US Bank now requires that you have at most two new accounts opened in the last 12 months. If you have 3 or more you will be automatically denied. This happened to me with an 850 FICO score on the bureau they pulled, a 120k annual income, and very little revolving or installment debt. The agent confirmed that it was an automatic computer generated denial and that the metric was Number of New Accounts In the Last 12 Months.

Fortunately we did a recon and in the manual review the FICO score and income made up for it.

Still I had only three new accounts in the previous 13 months — it’s not like I had half a dozen.

Matt
Matt

Are these strictly new accounts for credit cards or does it include everything? Also do they involve the hard inquiries to be this strict as well?

CGID
CGID

The new accounts can be any new account that appears on your report. In my case, the three accounts were two credit cards and an auto loan. The USB rep confirmed that this was the reason for the rejection and that their internal rule was “applicant must have two or fewer new accounts in the last 12 months.” The rule is capable of being bypassed on recon, as it was with me. Don’t mean retcon will be successful, just that the rule is less set in stone then is (say) the Chase 5/24.

While inquiries are not accounts, USB might have an additional metric for them. So for example, they might have a rule that says “no more than three inquiries in the last 90 days.” I have no idea what their rule for inquiries might be or if they have one — I just made that up.

One weakness in a lender using inquiries as a risk management tool is that you might have 1 inquiry on the bureau they are pulling but 20 injuries on the other two.

bob
bob

Did you get instantly denied when you submitted the app? Or did it go into review first and then get denied after?

CGID
CGID

Instant denial (as I understand it) typically happens only when you are applying through a web page. I applied through a human rep on the phone. So the rep told me that she had submitted my app and I would know the results in a few days. I called back 1-2 days later and was told I had been denied. I then requested recon (after pointing out my ultra high credit score) and was approved 3 days later.

I see no reason why instant denial would not happen for a computerized application in which the applicant had 3 or more accounts open in the last 12 months. That’s easy for a computer to detect instantly, just as I assume Chase’s computers can instantly detect when someone violates the 5/24 rule.

Jason
Jason

DP: I have 5 new accounts in the past 12 months. Applied for Cash+ on 10/4. Got approved today (10/8) without calling reconsideration. I have a checking account and UAR with US Bank.

John
John

Just for clarity, these five were all credit accounts (loans, cards, etc.) — is that right? You aren’t talking about checking accounts or savings accounts, right?

If so, did all five new accounts appear on all three credit bureaus?

Jason
Jason

Correct. These five were all credit cards. They were reported to all three credit bureaus.

xspes
xspes

I just applied for a US Bank Altitude Go card and was immediately denied. I have had 2 new accounts and 3 inquiries in the last 12 months. When I called the reconsideration line, they told me I needed to be at 2 or under for new accounts AND inquiries. So, one new account in the last year…?

John
John

It sounds like their internal rule is not that you have to have at most one new account in the last 12 months, but at most two. Interesting though that they may have a similar restrictive metric about inquiries. Three questions for you:

(1) Not counting the two accounts you know of, is it possible that there was a third account that was opened at month 12 or 13?

(2) What was your FICO 8 score for the bureau they used?

(3) Is there anything else you can imagine that might have played a factor in their decision? E.g. any negatives? CC utilization > 28.9% on any particular card? A total CC utilization > 8.9%?

xspes
xspes

1) I did have an account that was opened in month 14 (September 2019), but the CSR specifically mentioned three inquiries – 2 for approved new credit cards and 1 for a denial from Capital One.

2) I don’t know my exact FICO 8 score, but all my credit cards report a FICO score over 800.

3) My CC utilization is generally around 1% or lower, although I have a mortgage that still has a high remaining balance on it.

My husband also tried applying with no new accounts in this past year, but two inquiries in the last year one new account in October 2019. He was also denied. His income is from self employment though, if that makes a difference, and his credit score is closer to 750-760.

John
John

Sounds like there is no explanation except for the inquiries. What dates were the last two inquiries and what dates were the last two accounts opened? It’s possible that USB could also be sensitive to very recently opened accounts and/or very recent inquiries, which is why I ask.

The other possible trigger for some issuers is if you have many accounts with a positive balance, even if that balance is just a few dollars. Could that be the case?

Yep
Yep

Since college, which is an embarrassingly long time ago now, I’ve only been denied two credit cards. one with Chase in 2014 and today U.S. Bank. It may be for the best. Since applying, things with this pandemic indicate maybe spending $7500 right now is not such a great idea.

I will also note that other than Wells Fargo, U.S. bank on my other accounts has had some of the worst possible customer service imaginable. I mean bonuses not paid timely, having to follow up on questions five times and then involve supervisors repeatedly, etc.

Admittedly I am probably not their most profitable customer like many people here.

Mike Willard
Mike Willard

Recently got the US Bank Business Leverage card with 7500 spending requirement. If I try to slip in a couple of Simon cards to meet spend, how does US Bank react?

Joe
Joe

Do you have a business, or a “business”? If a “business”, did it ask for income, and if so what did you put? Thanks

C
C

I am wondering if US Bank has new approval rules. For the past year or year and a half, I have been unable to obtain any personal card I have applied for (have not tried business cards). I know that they have been regarded as simply ‘difficult’, but I had not had any difficulty before then. I have an established relationship (personal checking account) with them. I would say that I was around 6/12 for each of the applications. I got nowhere with recon on any of the applications, which I tried each time; each time they referred to too many new inquiries or new accounts. Would be interested in hearing if others have had similar experiences.

CGID
CGID

I just posted something that might answer your question.

Fathiss
Fathiss

US Bank will not allow you to reallocate credit from other cards. Tried to increase my credit limit on Korean card by moving credit from Radisson. Was told not possible.

IanL
IanL

I was just declined on my application for a the business cash rewards card. I have a new business checking account with them and my branch manager said I am pre-approved for this card, but there was a $500 welcome bonus offer that was available only online. I applied online and was declined for “too many inquiries.” I called recon and explained that the inquiries are only related to mortgage rate shopping and not separate applications. I haven’t had any other type of inquiry for about a year. They put it into recon pipeline but declined it again for the same reason. Does anyone have data points on how much mortgage shopping inquiries hurt credit card applications in general? Do different banks look at this differently?

I do refinance my mortgage a lot, since I consider optimizing the mortgage as more important than getting credit card bonuses or other benefits, but it would be good to know if some credit card issuers look at this differently than others.

beat2def
beat2def

I was denied for the Altitude card so I was wondering if anyone knows if U.S. Bank would reuse my inquiry for the Flexplus card?

Gene
Gene

@William Charles
anyone know how sensitive USB is to using VGCs to meet min spend?
thanks!

Justin
Justin

I follow quite a bit and haven’t really seen any DPs for it. They are sensitive to using the AR card mobile wallet for 3x, when the amount ~500 strongly suggests a gift card and did a lot of quick shutdowns after launch.