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A brand new small business card has arrived, and it’s taking a new approach to bonus category spending.
The U.S. Bank Business Leverage™ Visa Signature® Card earns 2X points per $1 in the top 2 categories you spend the most in each month. And there are 48 (!) eligible categories.
There’s NO traditional welcome bonus. Instead, in the first year, you’ll earn an extra point per $1 on up to $100,000 in spending. And any employee cards you add are separately eligible for the same bonus.
I’ll share more about the card to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your business.
New US Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature
Apply Here: US Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature
The new US Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. But in the first year, you’ll earn an extra bonus point per $1 on eligible purchases, up to $100,000 in spending. That’s worth a maximum of $1,000 in rewards.
This bonus also applies to each employee card (free to add). So if you added 10 employee cards, they’d each be eligible to earn at most $1,000 in bonus rewards in the first year (up to $11,000 total including rewards from the primary cardholder) – but you’d each have to spend $100,000 on the card to hit the maximum.
So unless you’re a really big spender, the first year offer isn’t anything exciting.
You’ll also earn:
- 2X points per $1 in the top 2 categories where you spend the most each month
- 1X point per $1 on all other eligible net purchases
The points you’ll earn are worth 1 cent each towards cash back, travel, gift cards, or merchandise. So effectively in the first year, you’ll earn 3X points (3% back) in the top 2 categories you spend in each month, and 2X (2% back) on all other eligible purchases, up to a maximum of $100,000 in purchases.
There’s a $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
Is the US Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature Worth Considering?
Many folks will give this card a pass because of the lack of a welcome bonus. Although you can earn an additional point per $1 spent on $100,000 worth of purchases in the first 365 days, that’s effectively only an additional 1% back.
Even if you spent the maximum on this deal, you’d only earn $1,000 worth of rewards for $100,000 in spending. That’s a poor return, and money you could better spend unlocking lucrative sign-up bonuses on the best travel credit cards.
But it’s interesting that you can earn bonus points in the top 2 categories you spend in each month. And with 48 categories that qualify, there are plenty of options to earn more points on expenses that don’t qualify for a bonus with other cards.
Here’s a list of the qualifying bonus categories (you can expand the list here to see all the subcategories, as well):
- Advertising firms
- Apparel and accessory stores
- Auto rental and transport providers
- Automotive dealers
- Automotive parts stores
- Automotive repair shops
- Cable, satellite, TV, and radio providers
- Charitable, civic, and religious organizations
- Commercial and home furniture stores
- Commercial equipment, parts and supply
- Computer service providers
- Computer stores
- Construction material suppliers
- Dental, lab, and medical equipment providers
- Department, book and novelty stores
- Direct marketers
- Discount stores and wholesale clubs
- Drug stores and pharmacies
- Durable goods providers
- Entertainment places
- Florist, nursery, and garden stores
- Freight and transport services
- Funeral homes and crematories
- Gas stations and fuel dealers
- Grocery stores and supermarkets
- Healthcare providers
- Home improvement service and supply
- Industrial suppliers
- Insurance providers
- Membership organizations
- Non-durable goods providers
- Non-medical testing labs
- Personal service providers
- Publishers and printers
- Schools and government
- Stationary and office supply stores
- Telecom equipment suppliers
- Telecom service providers
- Utility companies
- Wholesale goods providers
For example, if your top purchases in a single month are on accounting and new furniture for your home office, you’ll earn 2X points on those purchases for that month. But if the following month your highest expenses are on vehicle repair and clothing, you’ll earn double points in those categories instead.
And in the first year, you’ll also earn an extra point for every $1 spent, up to $100,000 in purchases. Essentially, your spending habits rotate the bonus categories, not the other way around!
That said, after the first year, this card doesn’t have an advantage. It effectively becomes a 2% cash back card on your top 2 monthly categories, and 1% on everything else. And there are plenty of top cash back cards that can give you a better return on your spending, including some with no annual fee.
Note: You can NOT transfer the points you earn to other US Bank programs, like FlexPerks.
There Are Better Options
If your business spends a lot in categories that aren’t covered by other cards, this card could be worth a look. Otherwise, there are better business card offers, including from US Bank, that will be a better deal for most.
For example, the U.S. Bank Business Cash Rewards World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with a $500 cash bonus after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 150 days of account opening. And each employee card is also eligible for a separate bonus! You’ll also earn 3% back on cellular services, gas stations, and office supply stores, and 1% on everything else.
Here’s our review of the US Bank Business Cash Rewards Card.
Consider our pick for the best business credit card, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. You’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $800 in cash back or $1,000 in travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. And your points are potentially worth much more when you transfer them to valuable airline and hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.
Here’s our review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred.
Finally, for a business card that earns unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, check out the Capital One Spark Cash for Business. It comes with $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
The new US Bank Business Leverage Visa Signature doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. Rather, you’ll earn an extra bonus point per $1 on eligible purchases, on up to $100,000 in spending, in the first 365 days of opening your account. Employee cards also qualify for the additional bonus points in the first year, with the same cap.
The most appealing feature of the card is that you’ll earn 2X points per $1 in the top 2 categories you spend the most in each month. With 48 qualifying categories, this is an opportunity to earn extra on expenses that aren’t normally included as a bonus category.
But this is really only a good deal in the first year (because of the extra bonus point per $1). After that, you can do better with other cards like the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, which earns 2% back on everything with no cap.