About U.S. Bank Business Edge Select Rewards Card
The U.S. Bank Business Edge Select is a business rewards credit card that emphasizes a 3%/1% rewards structure and a sign-up bonus that’s equivalent to $200.
The card is unique because it’s the only one in the U.S. Bank business rewards card lineup that allows you to choose the type of purchases that earn 3%, a feature that’s excellent if your business’ spending is in one of the 3% categories.
Also, it's the only card of U.S. Bank’s five business cards that lets you get added bonuses for the “day-to-day" category, which includes many of the expenses that keep your business functioning.
U.S. Bank highlighted this feature when they mentioned the Edge Select card in a 2014 press release about their revamped business credit card program. Cathi Stanton, a U.S. Bank executive at the time, raved about the day-to-day rewards category.
“Our new Business Edge Select Rewards card complements the rest of our Business Edge family by letting business owners take control of where they’d like to earn the most points,” Stanton was quoted as saying. “Also the ‘day-to-day’ category covers an incredible range of regular spending, such as shipping, advertising, utilities, office supplies, professional services and more."
In our review, we’re going to examine the Edge Select’s rewards, do an overview of the card’s benefits, talk about its rates and fees and then compare it with other business rewards cards.
The U.S. Bank Business Edge Select’s Rewards
There are two main ways that you can earn rewards with this credit card: purchase bonuses and a sign-up bonus:
Earning 3% and 1%
Now, earlier we mentioned that U.S. Bank emphasized the Edge Select’s day-to-day category, which is actually one of three different categories from which you can choose one to earn 3%.
Those three categories are:
The key to these categories is knowing what’s included in them. U.S. Bank’s site provides the following list:
- Day-to-day: shipping, advertising, utilities, office supplies, telecom, professional service.
- Automotive: Gas, service, tires, tolls, dealerships, car washes and repairs.
- Travel: Airlines, auto rental, hotels, restaurants and travel agencies.
Since you have to choose one of these categories, it will be a big help if you can go over your business’ past transactions and get an idea of how much you spend in each of these categories.
Whichever category you choose, U.S. Bank notes that there is no cap on the rewards you can earn.
What makes these various categories so interesting is that they’re pretty broad, whereas most cards will only let you choose one or two purchases within a category.
For example, the American Express SimplyCash gives you 5% back on office supply stores and wireless plans.
More importantly, the card lets you choose 3% back from one of the eight categories, which is where you start to see the differentiation between the Edge Select and Simply Cash. Whereas the U.S. Bank card gives you 3% back on airlines, auto rentals, hotels, restaurants and travel agencies, the SimplyCash lets you get 3% back on just one of the following: airlines, hotel rooms, car rentals, and restaurants.
Assuming that your business spends $1,000 a month in the 3% category you’ll choose, you can earn $360 in that category.
Because you’ll get 1% on all other purchases, and assuming you’ll spend around $1,500 a month on those purchase, we see you earning a total of $540 a year in rewards.
Pro tip: Your “rewards” are actually points that are worth $0.01 per point. In one year, we estimate you can earn 54,000 points, or $540.
If you can spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of being approved for the Edge Select, then you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points.
As we mentioned earlier, those points are worth $0.01 each, so the cash value of your sign-up bonus is $200.
Up to this point, we’ve told you about the cash value of points. You can also redeem your points for travel via the U.S. Bank travel portal, but the conversion rate for those points is not as good as it is for cash.
For example, redeeming 25,000 for travel would allow you to spend $225 on travel, whereas the same point total would convert to $250 in cash.
The U.S. Bank Business Edge Select’s Benefits
Every U.S. Bank business credit card has a series of benefits tailored for businesses and individuals. On the business side, you get free employee credit cards as well as expense tracking.
On the individual side of things, you have several benefits including reimbursement for items that go down in price after you buy them and a program that extends the warranty of items you buy that have manufacturer’s warranties.
You can find more details about these programs in the benefits guide U.S. Bank sends you along with your credit card.
The U.S. Bank Business Edge Select’s Rates and Fees
Here’s a quick list of the Edge Select’s interest rates and various fees:
- APR: 13.74% - 24.74%
- Intro APR: 0% for 9 months
- Cash advance APR: 25.74%
- Penalty APR: 29.99%
- Balance transfer fee: 3%
- Cash advance fee: 3% - 5%
- Late payment fees: Up to $39
In our opinion, the card’s APR is pretty reasonable, especially if you can get the lowest APR of 13.74%. In most cases, you’ll have to have credit scores above 700 to increase your chances of getting the best APR.
The intro APR listed above applies to purchases you make in the first nine months of owning the card. This means that you won’t pay any interest on balances you carry as the result of purchases. Once the nine months is over, you’ll pay interest on any remaining purchases that you haven’t paid off.
Finally, the penalty APR is something you’ll pay if you:
- Are more than five days late on your payment twice
- Are more than 30 days late once
- Have a returned payment
- Go over your limit twice in a 12-month period
This interest rate will apply to any balances you carry, which is a big deal, especially if your normal APR is 13.74%. If you carry a balance of $3,000 for a year, your penalty APR will cost you around $900 in interest, whereas a 13.74% rate will cost you around $412 a year.
Pro tip: The Edge Select has no annual fee.
How the U.S. Bank Business Edge Compares to Other Cards
The following table does a side-by-side comparison of the Edge Select with other business rewards credit cards:
|U.S. Bank Edge Select||Discover it Business||Chase Ink Business Unlimited||Wells Fargo Business Platinum||American Express SimplyCash Plus|
|0% intro APR||9||12||12||9||9|
|APR||13.74% - 24.74%||14.74% - 24.74%||14.99% - 20.99%||12.99% - 22.99%||13.99% - 20.99%|
|J.D. Power Satisfaction Rankings||3 circles||5 circles||3 circles||3 circles||5 circles|
The one thing that jumps out at us concerning the Edge Select is the fact that it can earn you the most rewards per year. Remember, though, the number we listed in the chart is based on you spending $12,000 in your 3% category and $18,000 in your 1% category.
The sign-up bonus is pretty weak compared to the Discover it Business, Chase Business Ink Unlimited, and the Wells Fargo Business Platinum. However, the Edge Select’s yearly rewards are high enough to where, even with the lower sign-up bonus, it will be more valuable than the Discover, Chase and Wells Fargo cards after two years.
The Edge Select’s nine months of 0% APR is equal to what you get with the American Express SimplyCash Plus but lags behind the Discover and Chase cards.
Finally, J.D. Power’s 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study ranks U.S. Bank eighth of 11 national banks and gives it three Power Circles, which, according to their ranking system, means “about average”.
Discover and American Express were first and second, respectively, while Chase was fourth and Wells Fargo was ninth.
In general, we think the Edge Select offers some distinct advantages over competing cards. Its rewards are lucrative because of the number of purchases included in the 3% category you choose. Its best APR is better than every card but the Wells Fargo offering. And, finally, its nine months of 0% APR isn’t dazzling but it is about average.
Our Bottom Line on the U.S. Bank Business Edge Select Card
This card offers a really well-rounded collection of features and that we believe, based on our research, is the card’s greatest strength. The low APR, big rewards and average 0% APR offer are the sweet spot for a business owner with credit scores above 700.
The downside to the card is that, because the Edge Select’s high yearly rewards total depends on you spending at least $1,000, its value drops if you can’t spend that much each month. By our estimation, once you drop below $500 in bonus spending, the yearly rewards for this card are lower than the Discover and Chase cards.
In general, we think this card is a good fit if you have credit scores above 700 and you can spend at least $1,000 in any of the three 3% bonus categories.
» See Also: The Best Business Rewards Credit Card of 2018