Founded in 1863, U.S. Bank has grown to become the fifth-largest bank in America, with more than 74,000 employees, 4,700 ATMs and 3,000 bank branches. U.S. Bank is ideal for someone who values convenience, cutting-edge technology or product choice. U.S. Bank’s comprehensive offerings mean you can keep all your banking needs – checking, savings, borrowing, insurance and investing – all within one single bank. The downside? Unless you sign up for a package of products, you’ll likely pay higher fees and get lower savings rates with U.S. Bank compared to the national average.
U.S. Bank at a glance
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What we like about it
U.S. Bank’s biggest strength is its diverse product range. For example, there are five broad types of checking accounts, four types of CDs and eight credit cards to choose from. By offering such variety, U.S. Bank gives customers some control over how they manage their finances.
Another big selling point is accessibility. Many U.S. Bank accounts can be accessed through ATMs, branches, online and mobile. With their strong physical presence and a dedicated mobile app, you won’t have a problem getting your money when you need it.
On top of that, U.S. Bank offers free checking to seniors and students, making U.S. Bank a popular choice for these demographics.
Things to consider
Unless you select a package of products, or are a senior or student, the costs of banking with U.S. Bank can be relatively high. For example, it requires a $1,000 monthly direct deposit to waive the maintenance fee on its Easy Checking account, while Bank of America requires only $250 for its comparable account, the Advantage Plus.
If you’re looking to grow your savings, the 0.01% APY offered by U.S. Bank’s Standard Savings Account is not only below the national average, it’s actually not enough to keep up with inflation. You’ll very likely get a better deal online.
Some customers could also be overwhelmed by the product variety and struggle to make the right choices.
U.S. Bank checking accounts
There are five main types of checking accounts: Easy, Gold, Platinum, Student and Safe Debit.
All accounts come with a U.S. Bank Visa Debit Card and fee-free transactions at U.S. Bank ATMs. You will also get online and mobile banking access for extra convenience.
Easy Checking, Gold and Platinum accounts all carry different monthly account fees, but there are various ways to have them waived, such as meeting direct deposit requirements, maintaining a minimum average balance, or having a credit or wealth-management product with the bank. Expect overdraft fees if you’re overdrawn by more than $5.
Safe Debit is for people who use debit cards instead of checks. The low monthly account charges and lack of overdraft fees make this account attractive, but the monthly account fee cannot be waived.
U.S. Bank savings accounts
You won’t be able to grow your money quickly with a U.S. Bank Standard Savings Account. Its 0.01% APY is below the national average and inflation rate. Despite its low interest rate, those with a U.S. Bank checking account may consider parking some money in this savings account as overdraft protection, though a daily balance of at least $300 is required to avoid the $4 monthly maintenance fee. The minimum opening deposit is $25.
You can access your savings easily with online access, mobile banking and no-fee transactions at U.S Bank ATMs.
U.S. Bank money market accounts
Like many of the larger banks, U.S. Bank’s four money market accounts offer rates that are below the national average. Despite features like easy access, including check writing, your money will work harder elsewhere.
The Elite Money Market Account is designed for those with bigger savings, as the $10 monthly fee can only be waived with a $10,000 daily balance. Amounts above this also earn a bonus APY for six months before reverting to a standard rate. There is a minimum opening deposit of $100.
Platinum and Gold Checking Package customers can get a better deal with zero maintenance fees and slightly higher interest rates. Platinum customers with more than $10,000 qualify for a bonus APY.
U.S Bank’s Retirement Money Market Savings Account also comes with no maintenance fees.
U.S. Bank CDs
U.S. Bank offers several types of CDs. Their CD specials come with highly competitive rates — from 1.85% to 2.00% APY for the initial term — making them the bank’s best CD product by far from a yield perspective. Other CDs earn significantly lower interest than the national average, regardless of investment horizon.
With Step Up CDs, rates increase every seven months, meaning the longer you invest your money, the bigger your return.
Trade Up CDs — also called Bump Up CDs — give you a chance to lock in another rate during the initial term, though you have to invest your money for 30 or 60 months.
You will need $1,000 to get started with these specialty CDs. For a smaller investment, U.S. Bank’s Standard CDs begin at $500 with terms from one month to 60 months.
U.S. Bank IRA accounts
You can open a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA or SEP IRA account with U.S. Bank. It introduced an additional product called U.S. Bank Heritage IRA, which can be a Roth or Traditional IRA, but gives you ability to control payments to beneficiaries after your death.
U.S. Bank will help you fund your IRA account with a 401(k) or 403(b) rollover, or an IRA Transfer, though a fee may be assessed.
A tax-advantaged IRA option is available with the Retirement Money Market account, which charges zero fees but can only be opened at a branch.
Automated Investor accounts and Self-Directed Brokerage accounts can be opened as traditional, Roth, rollover and/or SEP IRA accounts. However, the Self-Directed Brokerage Account involves an annual IRA fee and transfer/IRA closeout fee.
U.S. Bank credit cards
As one of the biggest issuers of credit cards in the country, U.S. Bank offers many popular cards with cash back benefits, travel rewards or low interest. One of their best products is the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card, which is great for balance transfers and new purchases because of the 0% promotional APR, which lasts for 20 billing cycles, and there is no annual fee.
For those who value simplicity, the U.S. Bank Cash 365+ American Express Card has no annual fees and offers unlimited 1.5% cash back, which you can receive in a number of ways.
If you’re after a no-frills alternative, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card has few features and no rewards, but its low annual fee makes it ideal for those establishing or rebuilding their credit line.
U.S. Bank investing
The integrated investing platform from U.S. Bank and U.S. Bancorp Investments is a solid option for personal investors who want competitive brokerage and access to quality market research.
The Self-Directed Brokerage Account is designed for hands-on investors who prefer to execute trades themselves. The brokerage per trade is reasonably priced, and Gold or Platinum Checking package customers can even get 100 free trades per year. However, be prepared for additional charges for things like account inactivity, account transfers and wire transfers.
The Automated Investor Account uses robo-advisor technology to invest and rebalance investor portfolios. U.S. Bancorp charges an annual fee that’s lower than average for this, and it’s calculated as a percentage of invested assets.
The bottom line
U.S. Bank differentiates itself through its wide range of innovative products. Its main focus isn’t on price, meaning you probably won’t get the best savings rates or lowest checking costs with them. However, if your main priority is convenience, cutting-edge technology or having your finances in one place, then U.S. Bank could be for you.