U.S. Bank is the consumer banking division of U.S. Bancorp, which is the fifth-largest banking institution in the United States.
The bank traces its history back to 1863 when it was first opened as the First National Bank of Cincinnati.
Following a series of mergers and acquisitions in the early 2000s, U.S. Bank officially established its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and now operates over 3,000 physical branches across the Midwest and Western U.S.
Keep reading to learn how U.S. Bank’s products and services can meet your financial needs.
U.S. Bank Checking Accounts
U.S. Bank offers two different checking account options.
1. U.S. Bank Smartly Checking Account
U.S. Bank’s primary checking account earns variable interest and comes with a wealth of benefits to help you manage, move, and spend your money wisely.
The Smartly account has no maintenance fees or ATM fees at U.S. Bank and MoneyPass Network ATMs.
It doesn’t charge overdraft fees on balances of $50 or less and forgives fees for overdrafts of more than $50 if you cover the overdraft by 11 PM on the day you’re charged.
While there is a monthly maintenance fee of $6.95, there are several easy ways to waive it, like being a young adult or senior citizen. Teens can apply for a joint account with an adult and enjoy Smart Rewards such as waived savings account fees.
The account comes with useful online banking tools, like Zelle payments, mobile deposits, contactless payments, and automated bill pay. You can also choose from a range of Visa card designs for a customized look.
2. Safe Debit Account
Safe Debit is a checkless checking account, a basic checking account that offers all of your basic checking needs, including a debit card, online banking, and online bill pay.
There are no physical checks available with this account, so all transactions occur digitally or with your debit card.
What makes the account “safe” is that there are no overdraft fees. Instead of being able to overdraft your account, your card will simply decline if you try to make a purchase that you cannot afford.
If, in the unlikely event you overdraft your account balance due to a restaurant tip or other unexpected charge, you will have to settle that up to continue using your account.
Safe Debit comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $4.95. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get around the fee.
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U.S. Bank Savings Accounts
U.S. Bank offers three different savings accounts, each of which can link to a checking account and be used for overdraft protection (with the exception of Safe Debit).
Note: The APYs may vary depending on your location, so be sure to reference the U.S. Bank website for rates specific to your area.
1. Standard Savings Account
- All Balances: 0.01% APY
Standard Savings is a basic, entry-level savings account for account balances of any size.
With this account, you’ll have online banking, automatic transfer options, and custom account alerts. You’ll also earn interest on your deposits, but the APY currently sits at just 0.01%.
Standard Savings has a small monthly service fee of $4 per month, and you can avoid it in a few ways:
- Maintain a $300 minimum daily balance
- Maintain a $1,000 average monthly balance
- The account holder is 18 years old or younger
2. Elite Money Market Account
- All Balances: 0.01% APY
Elite Money Market is similar to Package and Platinum Select, but you won’t need a specific checking account to apply for it.
Elite Money Market comes with a $10 monthly fee, which you can avoid by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $10,000.
There’s also a $100 minimum opening deposit. The interest rates are the same Package, Platinum Select, and Elite, as follows:
3. Retirement Money Market
- All Balances: 0.01% APY
The Retirement Money Market is personal savings account for customers who have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with U.S. Bank.
The account has no monthly maintenance fee and requires a $25 automatic monthly deposit or a $100 initial opening deposit.
You won’t be able to apply for this account online, so stop by your local bank branch if you’re interested in opening one up.
U.S. Bank CDs (Certificates of Deposit)
U.S Bank has a few options when it comes to CD accounts. Each CD account earns interest on deposits. As with most CD accounts, how much interest you earn depends on how long of a term you select.
Here is an overview of the current US Bank CD APYs and terms:
1. The Standard Certificate of Deposit (CD)
U.S. Bank’s entry-level CD comes with a term length from 1 to 60 months. The APY increases the longer you commit your funds, regardless of your account balance.
Here’s the current breakdown of the CD APY tiers:
- 1-24 month CD term | 0.05% APY
- 36-month CD term | 0.10% APY
- 48-month CD term | 0.15% APY
- 60-month CD term | 0.25% APY
You’ll need at least $500 to open this CD account (all the other options require $1,000).
2. CD Special
A CD Special account gives you access to a more attractive APY. You’ll need an initial deposit of at least $1,000.
Here’s the current CD Special term and rate:
- 11-month CD term | 1.90% APY
- 17-month CD term | 2.10% APY
- 25-month CD term | 2.20% APY
This is one of the highest APYs that you can expect to find with any U.S. Bank account, so if you can afford to set your money aside for a while, a CD Special can net you the most in interest earnings.
3. Step Up CD
A Step Up CD comes with a fixed interest rate that increases every seven months of the account’s term.
To achieve the highest APY, you have to agree to a 28-month term, so you’ll be in line for 3 rate increases before the account matures.
Here’s the current breakdown of the Step Up CD terms and APY progression:
- Months 1-7 | 0.05% APY
- Months 8-14 | 0.25% APY
- Months 15-21 | 0.45% APY
- Months 22-28 | 0.65% APY
Some quick calculations reveal that this all works out to a blended APY of 0.35% for the entire term.
4. Trade Up CD
A Trade Up CD comes with the option to bump up to a higher APY once during your term if the Federal Reserve increases rates during your term.
Typically, interest rates on CD accounts are locked, so whatever rate you agree to at the start of your term is what you get.
Therefore, the ability to “trade up” to a higher APY with a Trade Up CD is a pretty nice benefit.
There are only two-term options for a Trade Up CD, as follows:
- 30 month CD term | 0.10% APY
- 60 month CD term | 0.40% APY
U.S. Bank Credit Cards
U.S. Bank offers many different credit cards, with a variety of reward options to choose from. Here is a high-level overview of some of U.S. Bank’s most popular credit cards:
1. U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card: Best for General Rewards
Altitude® Go has one of U.S. Bank’s best introductory offers, with a 20,000-point bonus (with $200) if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
The standard points-earning options are pretty good too. This card comes with 4x points on dining, 2x points on groceries, gas, and streaming services, and 1x points on everything else.
Altitude Go has no annual fee, an intro APR of 0% for 12 months, and a $15 annual credit for streaming services, such as Spotify or Netflix.
2. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: Best for Cash Back
Cash+® Visa Signature® is U.S. Bank’s top cash-back credit card. You can earn 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases in two categories of your choice, and 2% back on one “everyday” category (e.g., gas, groceries, or restaurants). All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
There is no annual fee, and a $200 bonus if you apply online and spend at least $500 in the first 90 days of opening your account.
3. U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card: Best for Travel
FlexPerks® Gold is a travel rewards card that earns 5x points on travel purchases, 3x points at restaurants, 2x at gas stations, and 1x points on everything else.
FlexPerks® Gold also comes with some nice travel perks, such as reimbursement for TSA Precheck, and complimentary access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots.
New cardholders can earn a 30,000 FlexPoints bonus if they spend $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first four months. (30,000 points is worth about $450 in travel redemption).
FlexPerks Gold has an $85 annual fee.
4. U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card: Best for Balance Transfer
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum is a general-use credit card that has no annual fee.
The best perk with this card is that it comes with 18 interest-free months on balance transfers — making it the bank’s best option for paying down high-interest credit card balances.
5. U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card: Best for Building Your Credit Score
U.S. Bank Secured Visa® is for people who have no credit history, or who are trying to rebuild their credit score.
As a secured credit card, you have to fund the account to use it. There are no points up for grabs and no signup bonus.
But, with no annual fee, and fewer risks than a traditional credit card, Secured Visa is a great option for those that might not qualify for other cards.
Other Credit Cards
U.S. Bank has a number of credit card partnerships with grocery stores and retailers, such as Ralphs, Kroger, and REI. If you’re interested in taking a look at the full credit card lineup, you can do so here.
U.S. Bank Features
Here are some of the top features that stand out about U.S. Bank:
- 3,100 Branches In 25 States: U.S. Bank’s physical locations are primarily located in the West and Midwest, where it is one of the most accessible national banks. With the exception of Florida, you won’t have access to a U.S. Bank branch if you live east of Ohio.
- 4,800 ATMs: U.S. Bank’s ATMs follow the same trend as the bank’s physical branches — there are a ton of them in total, but only within the same regions that the bank’s branches operate in.
- Online Banking: As a U.S. Bank customer, you can expect the robust online banking experience that you normally would with a bigger bank. You’ll have access to all of your accounts, online bill pay, and easy transfers and payments with Zelle — all without having to visit a bank in person.
- Mobile App: U.S. Bank’s mobile app makes it easy to manage your bank account on the go. The app currently holds strong ratings of 4.8 stars (out of 5) in the App Store, and 4.6 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.
U.S. Bank Fees
Big banks typically charge fees, and U.S. Bank is no different. Here’s the rundown of common fees you can expect to see as a U.S. Bank customer:
Monthly Maintenance Fees
There’s a built-in monthly maintenance fee with most U.S. Bank deposit accounts. The good news is you can avoid this fee with all of them except for Safe Debit Checking.
Just make sure you understand and can meet the waiver requirements when you open up your account.
Here is a breakdown of U.S. Bank’s monthly maintenance fees:
|U.S. Bank Account Type||Monthly Maintenance Fee||Avoidable?|
|Safe Debit Account||$4.95||No|
U.S. Bank offers overdraft protection on both of its checking accounts. If you overdraft your account by $50 or less, you can transfer funds to cover it from a linked account without incurring a fee.
For overdrafts of $50 or more, you can have fees forgiven by depositing funds to cover the overdraft by 11 PM on the day the fees were applied.
ATM withdrawals are free at all U.S. Bank locations, and there’s a $2.50 fee for using non-U.S. Bank ATMs.
If you’re traveling abroad and need some cash, you could be looking at a 3% fee on the amount you withdraw.
Other Common Fees
- Wire Transfer Fees: $20 for incoming domestic wire transfers | $30 for outgoing domestic wire transfers
- Paper Statement Fee: $2 (can be waived)
- Stop Payment Fee: $35 (can be waived)
Signing up for checking accounts, credit cards, auto loans, and home equity lines is easy to do online.
Once you pick the account that you want to sign up for, click the red Open an Account button, and follow the signup instructions.
You can also sign up for an account over the phone or at your local branch. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll have instant access to online banking and other financial services.
U.S. Bank Promotions
Here are some of the best U.S. Bank promotions going on right now:
1. U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking - $300 bonus
Expires: December 19, 2022
U.S. Bank is offering a $300 bonus for opening a new Smartly™ checking account. Never heard of the Smartly™ checking account? That's because U.S. Bank recently revamped their product lineup! This new account simplifies their personal checking lineup by replacing U.S. Bank's previous Platinum, Gold, and Easy Checking accounts.
Unlike their previous offer, which was tiered, this offer comes with a single $300 when you have qualifying direct deposits of at least $5,000. You'll have 60 days to reach this target, but keep in mind that unlike some banks that let you hit the bonus in a single transaction, U.S. Bank requires at least two direct deposits to qualify for this promotion.
These requirements are slightly higher than previous offers from U.S. Bank for this amount. All-in-all, we consider this bonus from U.S. Bank to be quite solid. If you qualify, it's one of the highest offers available right now – especially considering you don't have to tie up any funds.
How to earn the bonus
The U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking sign up offer requires you to set up direct deposits in order to earn the $300 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Open a new U.S. Bank Smartly™ checking account from U.S. Bank, member FDIC.
- Within 60 days, be enrolled in online banking or the U.S. Bank mobile app.
- Within the same 60 days, complete recurring direct deposits of 2 or more that total $5,000+ to earn $300.
- Bonus will be deposited into your new account within 60 days of meeting requirements.
2. Business Checking - up to $500 bonus
Expires: December 21, 2022
U.S. Bank is offering up to a $500 welcome bonus when you open and fund a new business checking account. Plus, the funding requirement has dropped significantly since the last time this promo was offered.
This is a two-part bonus. The first $400 is for depositing $1,500 in your new checking account and then completing some qualifying transactions such as using your debit card, receiving ACH credits, using mobile check deposit, paying bills, and more.
To earn an additional $100, you'll also need to accept and settle a U.S. Bank Payment Solutions Merchant transaction into your new account. This extra bonus isn't for every business, so we appreciate that U.S. Bank kept this requirement separate from the $400 offer.
Keep in mind that this promotion is only available nationwide to customers who already have a relationship with U.S. Bank. If you don't, you'll need to live in any of the 26 states in which they operate.
How to earn the bonus
The Business Checking sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance, and optionally, make purchases using the account's card and set up bill pay in order to earn the $500 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Open a new U.S. Bank Silver, Gold or Platinum Business Checking Account with the promo code Q4BUS22.
- Within 30 days, deposit $1,500 in new money.
- Within 60 days, complete 10 qualifying transactions (debit card purchases, merchant deposits, ACH credits, debit or credit wires, mobile check deposit or bill pay).
- Within the same 60 days, enroll in online banking or download and log in to their mobile app.
- Within the same 60 days, accept and settle a U.S. Bank Payment Solutions Merchant transaction into your new checking account to earn the additional $100 Payment Solutions bonus offer.
- Bonus(es) will be deposited into your new U.S. Bank business checking account within 45 days of meeting all requirements.
3. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - $200 bonus
Expires: Limited Time
U.S. Bank's Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers new cardholders a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of opening the account.
This is up from their old offer of $150, but the spend requirement is also higher (the old offer required $500 within 90 days).
The Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months, a customizable cashback scheme, and no annual fee.
How to earn the bonus
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card using the link below.
- Within 120 days, spend $1,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited to your rewards account within 6 to 8 weeks of meeting the requirement.
U.S. Bank has a strong, secure online banking platform, so you don’t have to worry about the security of your funds or personal information.
Here some other security features that U.S. Bank offers:
- FDIC-insured: Any deposits you make will be protected by the FDIC, up to $250,000.
- Fraud Prevention: 24/7 fraud monitoring, automatic account logout, and industry-leading encryption technology.
- Mobile Security: No personal or financial information is stored on your phone, and all wireless communications are also encrypted.
- Free Security Alerts: If you enroll, S. Bank will give you a heads up if any shady activity occurs in your account.
U.S. Bank Customer Service
With a large bank like U.S. Bank, it’s important to remember that you might not always get the level of service that you expect.
On the one hand, U.S. Bank has a ton of resources to employ many customer support agents.
U.S. Bank customer service lines are open 24/7, and you can shoot them an email if the issue isn’t pressing. You can also pop into your local branch if you prefer to speak with someone in person.
On the other hand, there are a bunch of negative reviews online, as reflected by U.S. Bank’s TrustPilot rating of 1.5 stars (out of 5). The bank fares even worse on the Better Business Bureau website, with a 1.09-star rating (out of 5). Ouch!
Pros & Cons
- Tons of locations in the West and Midwest
- Big, secure, national bank
- Wide variety of products and services
- Some of the lowest interest rates in the industry
- No presence in the East
- Fees, so many fees
Alternatives to U.S. Bank
The most popular alternatives of U.S. Bank include the Big Four U.S. banks:
All of these banks offer similar products and services and have a wide national presence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is U.S. bank a good bank to bank with?
Yes. U.S. Bank is a good bank to bank with, where you can find all of your standard banking services. If you’re located in the West or Midwest, you shouldn’t have any trouble locating a branch or ATM, and you can enjoy all of the conveniences of a big bank.
If you live on the East Coast, however, and want access to brick-and-mortar locations and in-network ATMs, you might be out of luck.
Is U.S. Bank better than Bank of America?
U.S. Bank and Bank of America (BoA) are similar in a lot of ways and are pretty much equal when it comes to products, services, and customer support. Both are huge national banks with lots of locations and account options. Both can give you access to plenty of financial products and have large support networks in place when you need help.
Similarly, both banks offer low-interest rates and tend to charge a bunch of fees.
Which bank is better mostly depends on your personal preference and location. If you are located on the East Coast, BoA is your only option, whereas if you live in the Midwest or West Coast, you’ll get to choose between the two.
Who is U.S. Bank owned by?
U.S. Bank is owned by its parent company, U.S. Bancorp, which is located in Minneapolis.
Is U.S. Bank Right For You?
The bottom line is that if you don’t live in a Western or Midwestern state, you won’t get much use from U.S. Bank. But if you do live in those areas, you can’t go wrong by opening up an account.
U.S. Bank offers plenty of branches and ATMs, an all-in-one banking platform, and the convenience of a large bank. At the same time, the bank charges lots of fees and doesn’t offer the best interest rates.
Now that you know what to expect from U.S. Bank, it’s all up to you. Good luck!