Posted by Chuck on February 17, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on February 17th, 2019 | by Chuck

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U.S. Bank Cash+ Adds TV, Internet, & Streaming as 5% Category

U.S. Bank has apparently added a new 5% category option to their Cash+ card which includes the following: TV, Internet, and streaming services. Here are some examples of merchants who qualify:

  • TV providers include Charter, Comcast, DirectTV, Dish Network, and Time Warner Cable.
  • TV and Movie Streaming providers include Netflix, Hulu, FandangoNOW, Sling TV, and Vudu.
  • Music Streaming providers include Apple Music, Pandora, Sirius, Slacker Radio, and Spotify.

You can find all available categories on this page from U.S. Bank, and beneath that there’s a link to this PDF where it shows the new 5% options. They are scant on details – I assume this new category will become on option next quarter.

Keep in mind, purchases paid for with third party providers like Paypal, Google Play, Amazon, and iTunes Store may not qualify.

Related: Q1 2019 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom, Discover, Dividend, Cash+)

Hat tip to reader Brad



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Scott
Scott

Received an email that said:

“Starting April 1, 2019, there’s a new category in which you can earn 5% cash back: TV, Internet and Streaming Services.”

pandy
pandy

I’d say this greatly improves the value of this card to most regular consumers. Now it has a 5% category bonus on basically all of most folks’ regular utilities.

There are three choices that cover most people’s bills, and you can only pick two. So its a little annoying that for full bonus coverage you need to alternate pre-paying certain bills each quarter, but 5% on regular bills is pretty sweet.

Actually, I’m not sure the Cash+ has cell phone protection, so I imagine some folks would prefer to pay their cell phone bill with another card.

Tony
Tony

You can also have 2 US bank Cash+ cards (I do).

MisterBill
MisterBill

Plus you get a $150 bonus for signing up for a new card!

Scott
Scott

You are limited to 3 Cash Plus cards. The 5% categories and initial $150 bonus for spending $500 are both great reasons to get 3 cards.

Ron
Ron

For 3 cards they will give $150 bonus for $500 spend with each?
Does one need to apply few days/weeks apart or it doesn’t matter one can apply all at once?

ABC
ABC

How do you max out $2000×2 in spend per quarter on this card?

Gadget

Ummm. Spend 2K X 2.

I think 2x cards was about getting more 5% category choices. Not everyone is a MS’er. I haven’t ever maxed a category, but I like cash back on my “organic” spend.

JB
JB

Agreed. I may now look at getting a 2nd Cash+ just for that 5% on TV / internet (already using cell phones and utilities for my first Cash+).

MisterBill
MisterBill

Yes, that is exactly what I did. And I set the 1Q category to utilities on the new card after I activated it and charged 4 months of my electric bill so I could get the $150 bonus right away. I already owed 2 months and waited until my card’s bill closed so paying 4 made sense. I suppose if done correctly, you could prepay an account and switch 5% categories with only a single card.

Ron
Ron

When you applied for your second card did you submit the application as new client or by logging in using your existing US Bank (First card) credentials?
Does this matter for the bonus ?

Rene
Rene

Many utility companies allow pre-paying.

Ben
Ben

This new category has been 5% for years on the Chase Ink Cash, so people who don’t want to flip back and forth have an option to avoid it.

R
R

“…TV, Internet & Streaming Services will replace Car Rentals as a 5% Cash+ Category on 4/1.”

Vince
Vince

Preface: I am not a lawyer, and nothing in this post should be considered legal advice.

It will be interesting to see if the Internet category extends to Internet Service Providers. The email I received and their webpage did not specifically mention ISPs. It may all come down to the presence or absence of the Oxford comma (which has tripped up companies–changing the legal meaning of contract terms, costing companies money they didn’t expect–and both lawmakers and law enforcement–changing the legal meaning of the law. All due to the presence or absence of the Oxford comma.

The email I received stated:

Announcing a New 5% Cash+ Category:
TV, Internet and Streaming Services.
Starting April 1, 2019, there’s a new category in which you can earn 5% cash back: TV, Internet and Streaming Services.

Note the lack of the Oxford comma after the word Internet. This potentially (legalities) means that the categories are:

TV–companies that provide TV

Internet and Streaming Services–companies that provide BOTH Internet and Streaming Services, but NOT necessarily (legalities) companies that provide ONLY Internet Services, or companies that provide ONLY Streaming Services.

Hopefully, ISPs that are not TV or streaming providers (AT&T U-verse, etc.) are also included in this new 5% category.

Note: The post by Doctor of Credit includes the Oxford comma: U.S. Bank has apparently added a new 5% category option to their Cash+ card which includes the following: TV, Internet, and streaming services.

Note The use of (legalities) means how US Bank, its customers, arbiters and the courts interpret the terms. If both US Bank and its customers agree on the meaning of the terms, it is a nonissue. If they disagree on the meaning of the terms then it becomes an issue to be settled by either arbitration or the courts.

Oxford comma references, from the first page results of searching for Oxford comma on Google–side note: after I typed in the word Oxford, Google offered Oxford comma as the very first autocomplete entry.
:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/what-is-the-oxford-comma-and-why-do-people-care-so-much-about-it/
https://www.scribendi.com/advice/oxford_comma_importance.en.html
https://thewritepractice.com/why-you-need-to-be-using-oxford-commas/
https://annhandley.com/oxford-comma/
https://www.npr.org/2011/06/30/137525211/going-going-and-gone-no-the-oxford-comma-is-safe-for-now
https://writingcooperative.com/say-hello-to-the-switzerland-of-oxford-comma-opinions-a96e9ab4afc8?gi=ae853f8b7ef6

MisterBill
MisterBill

This seems kind of ridiculous since if you’re looking for only providers that offer Internet AND Streaming services, none of the streaming services you’d expect to be covered would be included. Also while I only read one of your links, I don’t understand why you would expect a second comma to be present when they are listing 3 separate items and the last two are separated by an ampersand.

That said, there is a list on their website and they do list the streaming services they support, as well as TV providers. Missing is the Internet providers, so there is no definitive answer for you, But doesn’t AT&T U-verse also include TV? And they don’t list Verizon FiOS but I’d be shocked (and seriously disappointed) if it was not included.

https://cashplus.usbank.com/themes/cashplus2.0/pdfs/New-Category-Information.pdf

Scott
Scott

I talked with USBank Cash+ today, Apr 1, 2019, after I received a pending charge today from Verizon for my Fios. I was told they will NOT qualify. They are considered cell phone only. Clicking on the pending charge in my account shows their merchant category as CALLS THROUGH USE OF MAGNETIC STRIPE – READING TELEPHONES

MisterBill
MisterBill

That really sucks. Do they realize that Verizon offers TV service???

Robert
Robert

But wouldn’t you be able to get 5% cashback on that purchase by selecting Cell Phone Provider as one of your two categories? (ie. your cell phone through verizon and your fios tv through verizon would meet the cell phone cashback category criteria)

Kid
Kid

Thanks. Just applied and was approved for a 2nd Cash+.

John
John

Could you guys please make a decision to use either U.S. or US for all of your posts so they are easily searchable. You go back and forth, both terms have to be searched when looking for posts. Thank you.

Lc
Lc

For home utilities – does Black hills energy count? It takes you to 3rd party website through Western Union pay and $1.95 fee

pandy
pandy

I can’t speak to your energy provider, but my energy provider processes credit card payments through a third party service that charges a fee, and it counted as utilities. I was worried about that too.

Try making a small payment if you want to be sure. $39 will break even against the fee if it does get 5%, and if it doesn’t work you would only be out $39 of spend +$1.95 +hopes and dreams.

Shelli
Shelli

Yes, Black Hills Energy counts. You can ‘pay ahead’ to make the WU fee more worthwhile.

Lc
Lc

Ty

Kelly
Kelly

I’m considering signing up for Arcadia Power to avoid my power bill fee. There was a post that they are categorized as ultility.

MisterBill
MisterBill

I was about to pay my Verizon FiOS bill using this card when I decided to check my rewards from last month’s payment (which was only $2.23 because I had paid the rest with my AMEX because I had an offer there). I did not get the 5% and see a comment below from someone who had spoken to US Bank and was told “They are considered cell phone only.”

Fortunately I had not made my bill payment yet but I can’t believe they are doing this since the charge comes up as a different vendor than Verizon Wireless. I’m pretty sure my FiOS payment will not count it in the the wireless category (I think I tried it once) so I’m not going to get 5% that way, either.

I already had a Cash+ card and got a second to be able to have the additional 5% category, which is now useless. I guess the only good news is that I got $150 for getting the card but I normally would not get a new card for that size bonus.

MisterBill
MisterBill

So US Bank got back to me and told me the following. I’m going to have to try paying with my Cash+ card that has cellular as a 5% category and see if I actually get it.

Thank you for contacting Cardmember Service via our website about your U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® account ending in nnnn.

To earn 5% on TV, Internet and Streaming Service purchases, the merchant must classify its business as either: 1) Cable, Satellite and Other Pay Tv/Radio, 2) Apple Music or 3) Pandora. Unfortunately, U.S. Bank does not have the ability to control how a merchant chooses to classify their business and therefore reserves the right to determine which purchases qualify for allowance.

Regrettably, Verizon classifies its business as a Calls Through a Magnetic Stripe. Therefore, the transaction(s) in question did not earn 5% cash back. To earn 5% on Verizon transactions, you need to select Cell Phones as one of your 5% bonus categories.

MisterBill
MisterBill

One more update.. it does indeed seem like my Verizon FiOS payment counted for the 5% back when I had Cell Phone selected as a category. I had no idea this would work; I thought I had tried it once and it did not (if not on this card than on another card). Anyway, this is great news, and for now I’ll just use the other Cash+ card to get $1 a month credited back to me if I don’t have any other activity.

Craig
Craig

Anybody else only get 3% with the new category? Messaged US Bank about it, initially they said it was fine, then after another reply they said they were aware of the issue and were working on fixing it.

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