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The U.S. Bank Business Select Rewards Card is a rewards credit card that could plausibly end up on our list of the best small business credit cards, which we regularly update as offers and product lineups change. It’s backed by one of the United States’ biggest deposit institutions.
Business Select Rewards is designed for frugal business owners with varied spending needs. With no annual fee, there’s no need to spend aggressively to maximize your return on spending. The flexible rewards program supports multiple use cases, from frequent travel, to long commutes or sales routes, to the sort of everyday business spending undertaken by millions of U.S. business owners every day.
Business Select Rewards isn’t perfect. Among U.S. Bank business cards, it has neither the most generous rewards program nor the most expansive set of value-added perks. But it does have its place. If you’re looking for a fuss-free spending aid for your small business or professional practice, read on.
When you spend at least $1,000 in qualifying net purchases within the first 4 months, you get 20,000 bonus points. That’s worth up to $200 when redeemed for cash or other items.
You earn an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on qualifying purchases in one of three categories of your choice: day-to-day business expenses, such as shipping, advertising, utilities, office supplies, telecom, and professional services; automotive purchases, such as gas, service, tires, tolls, dealerships, car washes, and repairs; or travel purchases, such as airlines, auto rental, hotels, restaurants, and travel agencies.
You earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases. There’s no cap on the aggregate number of points you can earn.
You can redeem your accumulated points for cash, travel, merchandise, gift cards, and other items. Points are generally worth $0.01 or slightly less apiece at redemption. General merchandise and (to a lesser extent) travel redemptions may have variable point values. There are no seat restrictions or blackout dates for travel redemptions. Read the rewards program’s terms and conditions for details on rewards availability, redemption minimums, and other important information.
Overdraft Protection for U.S. Bank Deposit Account Holders
If you already have a qualifying U.S. Bank business deposit account, or are willing to open one once you apply for this card, consider linking it with your U.S. Bank Business Select Rewards card account to protect against overdrafts. When you opt in to overdraft protection, deposit account transactions that would normally result in negative account balances are instead executed as usual and offset with an approximately equal cash advance (rounded to the nearest $50) drawn on your card’s cash advance credit line.
There’s usually a charge to your credit card account and deposit account for this service, though some higher-end deposit accounts (with higher monthly maintenance fees) may not have an associated overdraft fee.
Overdraft protection transfers immediately accrue interest at your card’s cash advance rate, which is always higher than the regular APR, so it’s in your best interest to pay them off as soon as possible.
Account Management and Expense Tracking Tools
This card has a comprehensive lineup of account management and expense tracking tools under the FlexControl banner:
- Employee Card Controls. This feature empowers you to control “how, where and when your employees can use their cards.” You can limit your employees’ card use by merchant type (for instance, travel only), transaction type, geography, time and day of week, dollar amount, and more.
- Choose Your Own Statement Due Date. You can choose any statement due date that fits your company’s needs, and change your choice once it’s made.
- Account Alerts. This feature lets you customize relevant account alerts, such as pending statement due dates or large purchases made on employee cards. This is a key capability for accounts with lots of authorized users.
- Auto Pay and Accelerator. Don’t worry about missing payments or statement due dates. Use the auto pay feature to set your automatic payment in advance of your set due date. If you choose to (or need to) carry a balance from month to month, the Accelerator feature allows you to increase the amount or frequency (up to weekly) of your payment – getting your balance under control faster, with less worry.
- Expense Tracking and Categorization. Separate business and personal expenses and assign tags to categorize expenses with these useful features.
There is no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 2% for U.S. dollar-denominated transactions and 3% for transactions denominated in foreign currency. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. Cash advances cost at least the greater of $5 or 3% of the advanced amount. Overdraft protection transfers and certain other types of cash advances may cost more. Late payments cost up to $39. Returned payments cost $35. Overlimit fees are $38 per incident.
This card requires good credit.
- No Annual Fee. U.S. Bank Business Select Rewards has no annual fee. This is great news for frugal cardholders whose main goal is to maximize the value of their earned rewards and conserve their hard-earned dollars for more important things like paying for everyday business purchases.
- Easily Attainable Sign-Up Bonus. The card’s sign-up bonus is quite easy to attain: You need to spend just $1,000 to 2earn 0,000 bonus points, worth up to $200 at redemption.
- Choose From Three Broad 2x Categories. This card’s 2x categories are quite expansive: everyday business expenses, travel expenses (broadly defined), and automotive expenses (equally broadly defined). You can choose the category that best fits your business’s needs and spending patterns, boosting your return on spending by a small but meaningful amount each month.
- 0% APR on Purchases for 9 Months. Enjoy 0% APR interest on purchases for 9 months from your account opening date. If you’re looking for a card that allows you to finance big-ticket purchases, or a constellation of smaller purchases that can nevertheless add up, this is a great perk.
- Mediocre Baseline Earning Rate. The Business Select Rewards Card has a mediocre baseline earning rate: just 1 point per $1 spent on most qualifying purchases. For a better return on everyday spending, check out a flat-rate alternative, such as Capital One Spark Cash for Business.
- Mediocre Point Redemption Values. This card’s points are usually worth no more than $0.01 apiece at redemption. That’s significantly less than some competing business travel cards. Some general-purpose business cards come out ahead too. Chase Ink Business Preferred’s points are worth $0.0125 apiece when redeemed for travel, for instance.
- No 0% APR Promotion for Balance Transfers. Though the 0% APR promotion for purchases is a welcome benefit, this card lacks a comparable introduction for balance transfers. If you’re struggling with existing credit cards debts and need a vehicle to pay them off, you’re better off with a low APR credit card alternative, such as the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card.
- Foreign Transactions Cost 2% to 3%. This card isn’t ideal for international travelers. Its foreign transaction fee adds a minimum of 2% to the total cost of swipe or dip transactions, more than offsetting point earnings on most purchases. Many competing business credit cards waive foreign transaction fees – the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a good example.
- Penalty Interest Charged on Past-Due Balances. If you occasionally miss statement due dates because of cash flow issues or unexpected expenses, you’ll run afoul of this card’s penalty interest stricture. Once incurred, penalty interest charges apply indefinitely, potentially adding hundreds to the annual cost of your carried balances.
The U.S. Bank Business Select Rewards Card isn’t the most generous business credit card in the world. It doesn’t pretend to be. If you’re looking for a gold-plated product that pays you back handsomely for your spending and boasts a book-length list of value-added benefits, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Check out top-tier alternatives like the Business Platinum Card from American Express instead.
If you’re not in a position to qualify for such cards, or you’re not looking to eat a $400+ annual fee each year, cards like U.S. Bank Business Select Rewards are more your speed. That doesn’t mean you have to settle on this specific product, of course. There are dozens of alternatives out there, some of whose features and benefits might align better with your company’s needs.