Posted by William Charles on January 7, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on January 7th, 2017 | by William Charles

35

U.S. Bank Changing 5% Categories – Dropping Charity & Adding Ground Transportation

U.S. Bank offers the Cash+ card, this lets you choose two categories every quarter to earn 5% cash back in (limited to $2,000 in spend per quarter). Reader Jay found the following announcement in their latest statement:

Effective February 15, 2017, a new 5% Cash+ Category will be available: Ground Transportation featuring merchants such as Uber and Amtrak(R). Also effective February 15, 2017, the 5% Charity Category will no longer be available. Remember to register for your 5% and 2% categories to get MORE CASH BACK!

Considering that Amazon sell Uber gift cards and it’s pretty easy to get 5% cash back on Amazon purchases (plus portal points), ground transportation isn’t that interesting for me. Charity was really the category I used most on the Cash+ card. Other categories:

  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Cell Phones
  • Electronics Stores
  • Car Rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Bookstores
  • Fast Food
  • Charity
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie Theaters

Restaurants used to be a 5% category as well, but that was downgraded to 2%. They also limited you to one cash back bonus of $25 when redeeming $100+ rather than once per year. There is a $100 sign up bonus on this card and it’s not the worst downgrade option either. You can view other credit cards that earn a category bonus on charity purchases here. You can read more about U.S. Bank credit cards here.

Do you think this is a positive or negative change? Let me know in the comments below.



35
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Ryan Goldstein

Any idea whether this category includes local/commuter rail? Discover’s ground transportation does include that.

I buy a $163 monthly regional rail pass, and it would be great if I could get 5% cash back on that!

dave
dave

this is definitely a bad change. goodbye kiva loans

AB
AB

Ouch. I opened this card solely to get a 5% discount on my daughter’s nursery school bill. I figured the extra 3% I’d get would be worth the hard pull.

What’s the next best option for Charity?

Jeff H
Jeff H

Each must decide for themselves. For me, I chose Fast Food and Cell Phone service for my 5% choices.

Not sure the math would work, but look at FlexPerks with an annual fee, but 3% points allowance for charities.

Jeff H
Jeff H

https://rtr.myrewardsaccess.com/home/Points

Scroll down to the bottom and select PROGRAM RULES

Tom
Tom

Flexperks is 3 points for Charities and each point is worth up to $0.02 for airfare redemptions, so actually up to 6%

Gerald
Gerald

There are many flavors of Flexperks. I see the Flexperks Business Edge card has 3X for charities. Any others?

Jeff H
Jeff H

FlexPerks Travel is included in the 3X points for Charity also.

Daniel G
Daniel G

Correct me if I am wrong but you only get $0.01 for airfare redemptions unless you spend over $120,000.00 a year (and then the $0.02 is only for those purchases over the $120k).

So effectively for pretty much everyone this is 3 points for Charities and each point is worth $0.01, so you are getting 3% (cause we won’t spend $120k a year on one credit card). Am I incorrect?

Kevin
Kevin

Does USB allow PC from Cash Plus to Flex Perks Visa? I’m not concerned about missing out on the sign up bonus, but want to avoid a manual review as I know they are quick to close accounts.

MrWho
MrWho

Might be outdated info but a year or 2 ago, I was offered to convert Cash+ to one of the Flex Perk. I don’t remember why or how the conversation went there, but I remember telling them that I’ll miss out on sign up bonus, so no thank you.

Gerald
Gerald

I was thinking of gettting the US Bank Cash Plus solely for the charity bonus. I’m glad this happened now, saving me from getting an otherwise useless card.

JT
JT

Can I product change to this card?

Devin
Devin

So many categories are sporadic for me other than cell phones and charity. Us Bank customer service has been spotty for me, so this card is slipping to a backup spot for me.

Frequent Miler

Nooooooo!!!!
I’ll have to change all of my automatic charitable contributions to my FlexPerks card. Cash+ is headed for the sock drawer.

Abey
Abey

I dont know why US Bank hates me so much
I have over 100 credit cards
But had only one from US Bank (Club Carlson)
Closed it when annual fee came around.
They havent approved me since
Credit score is always between 750-780

Michael
Michael

I get that US Bank wants to have a ‘5%’ card. But to neuter it to the point of no practical advantage over other issuers for the casual credit card holder is just silly. I wonder how soon before this card is closed to new signups. Good riddance~!

Paul
Paul

Seriously, ever since the Discover promo ended I haven’t bothered to use Apple Pay.

Paul
Paul

*oops commented on the wrong post.

JASON
JASON

Maybe it’s even better to add the link about things you need to know about CC issued by U.S. bank? I remember they pull something besides the 3 major credit bureaus but couldn’t remember the name of it.

EastsideBK
EastsideBK

Hi Will,

I used to use my US Bank Cash+ card to get 5% on charitable donations, namely my daughter’s nursery school tuition at our local church. I have been doing this for a couple years with no problem. When US Bank dropped this 5% category, I switched to the USBank FlexPerks card as suggested above figuring 3% is better than the alternative.

However, for the past 2 months I have not gotten the 3% back on her nursery school tuition when using my FlexPerks card to pay. Do you find this weird that they would re-code this payment all of a sudden? It wouldn’t be because this US Bank card (Flexperks) would consider different institutions “charities” than the Cash+ card?

Have you heard of any readers have this experience? Is there any possible recourse you would suggest?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Back to Top ↑