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Opening a no-annual-fee rewards credit card can be a terrific first step to getting your feet wet in the miles & points hobby. And no-annual-fee cards are great to have in your wallet because you can keep them open forever without paying a time. This increases the length of your credit history, which can potentially boost your credit score.
If you prefer cash back rewards, you might consider the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card. You can earn a $150 sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements. And you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
There are definitely better alternatives for folks who are just looking for one cash back card to use everyday. But if you’re planning to open certain premium US Bank cards in the future, the US Bank Cash 365 AMEX might be worth considering. Because the bank requires you to have an existing relationship to be eligible for popular cards like the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
I’ll share my full review of the US Bank Cash 365 AMEX card so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your wallet!
US Bank Cash 365 Review
When you sign-up for the no-annual-fee US Bank Cash 365 AMEX card, you’ll earn a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in purchases within 90 days of account opening. And you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on ALL purchases.
You can redeem the rewards you earn as a statement credit or deposit the cash back in a US Bank savings, checking, or money market account. One drawback is the minimum redemption amount is $20.
This card is issued by US Bank, but only works on the AMEX payment network. This means it’s not as widely accepted as a Visa or MasterCard.
And it’s different from cards actually issued by American Express. For example, with the US Bank Cash 365 AMEX, you do NOT get access to AMEX Offers. You’ll also pay up to 3% in foreign transaction fees, which means it’s NOT a good card to use abroad!
But US Bank Cash 365 AMEX cardholders do enjoy these benefits commonly available with other AMEX cards:
- Entertainment perks – get early access to purchase select tickets to concerts, Broadway shows, and sporting events
- Price guarantee – receive reimbursement of the price difference on eligible purchases if an identical item is found for a lower price within 30 days of the purchase
- Purchase protection – extended warranty protection, return coverage, and coverage if an eligible item paid for with the card is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase
- Travel benefits – rental car coverage and travel accident insurance
I recommend reviewing the Guide to Benefits you get with the card to confirm details of your coverage.
You Might Earn Extra Cash Back (or More Valuable Rewards ) With These No-Annual-Fee Cards
As a general rule, I recommend folks getting started in the miles & points hobby apply for Chase credit cards BEFORE they sign-up for cards from other banks. That’s because Chase has some of the most valuable credit cards for getting Big Travel with Small Money! And their strict application rules mean you won’t be approved for many of them if you apply for other cards first.
Here are a few excellent no-annual-fee Chase cash back cards:
- Chase Freedom – $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- Chase Amazon Prime Rewards – $70 Amazon gift card upon approval
The Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited are popular if you have other Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (our #1 pick for beginners!). Because you can combine points and transfer them directly to fantastic airline and hotel partners, like Hyatt and United Airlines. You can save LOTS of money by using points to book award travel!
And there are other cards that earn even more cash back.
For example, the Citi Double Cash Card earns 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay it off. But there’s no sign-up bonus. You do get access to Citi Price Rewind, which can get you a refund on eligible purchases after a price drop.
Or you can get the Discover it®, enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in various categories throughout the year. And 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
Plus, new Discover It cardholders will have their cash back matched by Discover at the end of the first 12 billing cycles!
But the US Bank Cash 365 Card Can Help You Establish a Relationship With the Bank
I called US Bank, and they said any product folks have with them (auto loan, checking account, credit card) counts as a relationship. That’s why opening the no annual fee US Bank Cash 365 AMEX card might make sense for some folks. Because this will make you eligible for the Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card.
You can check out my full review of the US Bank Altitude Reserve card. It’s popular with folks who like to travel (like team member Harlan) because when you sign-up, you can earn 50,000 points (worth $750 in travel) after spending $4,500 on qualifying purchases within 90 days of account opening.
And you’ll earn:
- 3X points per $1 on travel purchases
- 3X points per $1 on mobile wallet purchases (like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay)
- 1X points on all other purchases
The US Bank Altitude Reserve card comes with an annual fee of $400, which is NOT waived the first year. But if you make the most of the card’s perks, you can offset most or all of the annual fee!
This is a good card to consider if you want to establish a US Bank relationship. This way you can eventually get better travel rewards cards, like the US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card.
But folks looking to earn more cash back or valuable rewards to save on travel might consider other cards. For example, I recommend no-annual-fee cards like the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. These cards earn useful and valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points!