U.S. Bank unveils rewards-centric card focused on consumer choice

The news: U.S. Bank will roll out the Shopper Cash Rewards Visa Signature credit card—which gives cardholders cash-back rewards at their favorite retailers and on everyday purchases—on October 24, per a press release.

  • Cardholders can earn 6% cash back at two retailers of their choice from U.S. Bank’s list of eligible merchants, which include Amazon.com and Walmart. They can update their top two retailers each quarter.
  • They also can choose to earn 3% cash back at gas stations and EV charging stations, at wholesale clubs, or on bills and home utilities. They can update their category each quarter.
  • Cardholders get 5.5% cash back on hotels and car rentals when they book through the U.S. Bank Rewards Center and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • The card’s $95 annual fee will be waived for the first year. For a limited time, cardholders can receive a $250 bonus after they spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Why it’s worth watching: U.S. Bank’s Shopper Cash Rewards card emphasizes choice and flexibility—features consumers highly value when it comes to earning cash-back rewards. Twenty-nine percent of respondents in our US Cash-Back Credit Card Emerging Features Benchmark said earning rotating rewards based on their categories of choice was “extremely valuable.”

  • U.S. Bank’s new card takes this a step further by letting users pick merchants to earn rewards at. This is a unique feature that can help U.S. Bank boost spending volume—customers will likely select merchants that they shop at the most to maximize their rewards.
  • And the fast-approaching holiday shopping season will likely turbocharge those volume gains: US holiday retail sales are expected to hit $1.297 trillion in 2022, according to Insider Intelligence forecasts.
  • Letting consumers earn cash back on everyday spending categories can also be an appealing feature as inflation weighs down consumers’ wallets. With economic uncertainty running high, more issuers will likely lean into rewards for day-to-day purchases to sustain customer loyalty and spend.

The big takeaway: U.S. Bank’s Shopper Cash Rewards card offers in-demand cash-back features that will likely appeal to consumers who value choice and are looking for ways to offset high prices on everyday purchases. The card is also launching at an opportune time as consumers gear up for holiday shopping. These factors could help reinvigorate U.S. Bank’s card fee revenues, which declined 0.5% year over year in Q3.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Payments Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the payments industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.