Posted by William Charles on February 5, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on February 5th, 2018 | by William Charles

48

U.S. Bank Cash+: Home Utilities To Replace Bookstores As 5% Category On April 1st, 2018

U.S. Bank Cash+ is a card that lets you choose two categories to earn 5% in. You can change your categories every quarter and you’re restricted to earning 5% on the first $2,000 in combined spend on both categories (e.g maximum of $100 cash back), the card then reverts to earning 1% cash back on those categories. Starting April 1st, 2018 home utilities will replace bookstores as a 5% category. Home utilities includes:

  • electric, gas and waste management companies

Some cardholders will be disappointed in this change as Amazon codes as a bookstore and this was a common option for earning 5% at Amazon. Thankfully there are other options for earning at a high rate on Amazon including the Amazon Prime store card and Chase Amazon.com Rewards card. Earning at a high rate on regular bookstores is now almost non-existent with the Sallie Mae card no longer being offered either. Thankfully home utilities is a useful category and a lot of people should be able to take advantage of this 5% opportunity. One thing to keep in mind is that most utility providers will allow you to prepay your bill, this could be a way to max out the 5% category before changing categories for another quarter. Other 5% categories include:

  • Ground Transportation
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Cell Phones
  • Electronics Stores
  • Car Rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Bookstores (to be replaced by Home Utilities)
  • Fast Food
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie Theaters

Hat tip to perspicaciousliberal

 



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slewinter
slewinter

This is great news! I don’t know of other cards that give a bonus in that category. Of course, prepaying utilities has been an easy way to meet minimum spends for me in the past, but this is better.

Ender
Ender

Huntington voice does have utility as category, it’s 3% though.

Another small cut
Another small cut

BOOOOOOO!!!
Sorry, had to get that out there.

Josh M
Josh M

I thought the cash+ bookstore category only worked for kindle purchases on Amazon.

Jeff H
Jeff H

cash+ bookstore category worked for Amazon video rental for me.

Brandon
Brandon

Bookstore is any Amazon shipped and sold purchase. I can speak for fulfilled by Amazon orders or 3rd party sellers (some have said it goes on a different category).

Ferris
Ferris

Looks like some people on here will now have to get a Chase Amazon CC finally…this card is officially worthless. Lost Charity and Amazon all in 12 months.

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

Vantage West Connect Rewards Visa Signature

• Earn 5x points* (5% cash back) per $1 on one category of your choice per yearly quarter:

• Travel
• Restaurants
• Utilities [water, cell, electric, etc.]
• Wholesale [Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.]
• Department Stores
• Hardware & Home Improvement Stores
• Charitable Organizations
• Pharmacies & Drug Stores
• Amazon.com

 • 3x on gas

• 2x on groceries

• Must have a minimum 2,500 points ($25) for cash redemption.

• *Capped at $1,500 spend in qualifying purchases quarterly

1% foreign transaction fee

Anyone can join this credit union

James B.
James B.

Hi Ferris,
What did you purchase in the Charity category bonus?
And in Amazon? Did you purchase giftcards in Amazon?

John Livingsto
John Livingsto

not worthless for all of us… I pay $400/mo in utilities during the winter months, with a 2.99 fee per transaction on one company and fee free on the other, this is definitely worth it for me to come out 4-4.5% ahead on a category I would never otherwise get better than 2% in. Besides you can get 5% back at Amazon with Discover It and sometime Freedom at least 6 months per year via direct or indirect categories.

Shaun
Shaun

Stinks when your utility company only accepts ACH as a form of payment.

Michael H
Michael H

Sucks, because I dont have a fee free option to pay. Water and Power both charge a convenience fee to pay via cc.

JoeHx

mine, too. the 5% might cover the cost of the service fee – flat $1.95 for electric, $2.50 gas, which means the break even point is about $39 and $50

Jeff H
Jeff H

So pay a few months in advance.

JoeHx

> Home utilities includes: electric, gas and waste management companies

Just these three, no internet, phone, or mobile?

Rick
Rick

They have Cell Phone as another 5% category. I’m guessing this is only about utilities.

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

Vantage West Connect Rewards Visa Signature

• Earn 5x points* (5% cash back) per $1 on one category of your choice per yearly quarter:

• Travel
• Restaurants
• Utilities [water, cell, electric, etc.]
• Wholesale [Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.]
• Department Stores
• Hardware & Home Improvement Stores
• Charitable Organizations
• Pharmacies & Drug Stores
• Amazon.com

 • 3x on gas

• 2x on groceries

• Must have a minimum 2,500 points ($25) for cash redemption.

• *Capped at $1,500 spend in qualifying purchases quarterly

1% foreign transaction fee

Anyone can join this credit union

pete
pete

any idea how sensitive they are to inquiries, new joining, or whatever? this is a reasonable replacement (for me) for the US bank, but don’t want to apply if there is a large chance of rejection.

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

I had a credit score of 700, 11 inquires, and 12% aggregate credit utilization. So it seems they are more relaxed in such, but that may not be the same for you.

Even if you did get rejected, this us definitely a credit card worth fighting for.

pete
pete

thanks for the reply..yeah, I realize “ymmv”…were you a “real” member before applying? My credit score and utilization is better, my inquires about the same, so I think i’d be good from that viewpoint, but obviously i’d be joining just for the card if they looked at my history.

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

You have to join before getting the credit card. This card is invaluable Costco credit card

pete
pete

right, I was just curious if you were a “long time” natural member before applying for this card..or if like I would be, you basically joined and then more or less immediately applied for the card..and/or kept a large bank account or anything.

frankly if I were them and saw someone like me join and then immediately get the card, I might reject myself 🙂

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

I got rejected at first, but got approved after a few months only been with them for 4 months approximately

Nina
Nina

If you don’t mind answering, which organization did you join to become a member? Thanks.

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

The GABA bicycle club, $25

Nina
Nina

Thanks!

Elver Galarga
Elver Galarga

My commerce card (old Sallie Mae card) that gives 2% on utilities codes my verizon bill (internet/cable) as a utility, so this might be the same?

Eric
Eric

What does that have to do with this? Commerce is from Barclaycard while Cash+ is from USB.

Elver Galarga
Elver Galarga

you must be stupid

Eric
Eric

That’s pretty funny coming from a person that doesn’t even know how to capitalize proper names, write proper sentences or use punctuation correctly.

Rick
Rick

I think it depends on the network. Visa might not code it as a utility.

Dave
Dave

Those are not utilities

Valerie
Valerie

My electric co uses WU Speedpay service. Will it count as Utility category?

Did anyone get $25 for four purchases over $25 from US Bank?

Connor
Connor

I haven’t gotten the $25 bonus yet

pete
pete

for me, personally, this would be great..i might actually apply for the card now. 🙂 IOW i don’t have the discipline and time to chase changing categories in general with different cards in my wallet unless they are frequent purchases, but my utilities (and cell phones) allow fee-free credit card payments, and I spend relatively a lot on them, so I will just set them as my default payment, and since they are close to $6K per year, that will use up most of the 5% category.

sloebrake
sloebrake

Anyone know how Arcadia Power codes?
Been thinking of switching since my current utility uses WU speedpay with a big enough fee to make CC unattractive.

And for most lamenting the loss of amazon – get a CC with PRICE PROTECTION (Citi, Chase, some others) and sign up for Earny.

I dumped the 5% amazon late last year for AT&T Access More and over the holiday pulled in well over 20% in cash back from Earny. Nice thing is that you keep the 3% TYP for online purchases (so I assume double cash would let you keep 2%) – so you’re only putting an extra 2-3% points/cash at risk for a benefit of up to 50% cash in some cases.

RB
RB

Were you able to confirm if Arcadia Power codes at Utilities and earns 5% cashback?

Ryan Goldstein
RB
RB

Thank you! I currently don’t have this card. So just want to make sure my current utility charges would code under the 5% category before I decide to apply. Most likely year end is when I will be applying for this card as I just applied for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card. Thanks once again for the confirmation.

Ryan Goldstein

I don’t know if there has specifically been confirmation for the Chase Ink – I just know there has been confirmation for the US Bank Cash+ card and the Vantage West Connect Rewards card – Arcadia Power charges count toward their respective 5% utilities categories.

RB
RB

I applied for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card just for the bonus and I don’t think the card earns more than 1 point on Utilities. The reason to wait and apply for the US Bank Cash+ is because I did not want too many inquires within a short span.

VictorG
VictorG

Comed (My electric company) not allowed to pay in advance…

Paul
Paul

Never knew about Amazon coding as a bookstore. I’ve had the card since ’12. FML.

lily
lily

Same here, always thought it belong to online catergory.

Spence
Spence

Comcast is Qualified Utility, has to be Cable Utility not Cable Satellite. Up to $2000 also, so I split 1k cable and 1k electric, will go to gas in winter. This means two free dinners out for the wife and I!

Rye
Rye

any idea what qualifies as Gyms/Fitness Centers?

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