U.S. Bank Review

Formally known as U.S. Bancorp, U.S. Bank began in 1863 as First National Bank of Cincinnati. Now headquartered in Minnesota, it is the fifth-largest bank in America, and it has more than 74,000 employees, 4,700 ATMs and 3,000 branches. U.S. Bank is ideal for someone who values convenience, cutting-edge technology or product choice. Its comprehensive offering means you can keep all your finances – from checking, savings, borrowing, insurance and investing – all within one single bank. The downside, though, is that unless you sign up for a package of products, you’ll likely pay higher fees and get lower savings rates compared to the national average.

U.S. Bank at a glance

Bank

Min Savings Deposit Max Savings APY 1-Year CD Rate J.D. Power Survey Score

Key Benefit

U.S. Bank $300 0.01% 0.1% 4/5 Overdraft protection

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, or online and mobile sites. Between their brick-and-mortar presence and the dedicated mobile app, you won’t have a problem getting your money when you need it. Seniors and students enjoy free checking too, making U.S. Bank a popular choice for these demographics.

Things to consider

Unless you select a package of products, or you are a senior or student, the costs of banking with U.S. Bank can be relatively high. For example, you have to deposit least $1,000 monthly via direct deposit to have the maintenance fee waived on U.S. Bank’s Easy Checking account, while Bank of America requires only $250 for the equivalent 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 with an online bank. Some customers may also be overwhelmed by the product variety and struggle to make the right choices.

U.S. Bank checking accounts

U.S. Bank offers 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’ll also get access to online and mobile banking for extra convenience.

Easy Checking, Gold and Platinum accounts all come with 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 overdraw your account 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 makes it 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, as it comes 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 account options offer rates that are below the national average. Despite features like easy access,  your money will work harder elsewhere.

The Elite Money Market Account is designed for customers with larger amounts in their savings, as the $10 monthly fee can be waived only with a $10,000 daily balance. Amounts above this also earn you a bonus APY for six months before reverting to a standard rate. There is a minimum opening deposit of $100.

Customers who fit the requirements for Platinum and Gold Checking can get a better deal with zero maintenance fees and slightly higher interest rates. Platinum customers who have more than $10,000 in a money market account 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 1.95% to 2.2% 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 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’ll 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 to 60 months.

U.S. Bank IRA accounts

You can open a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or SEP IRA account with U.S. Bank. This bank also offers 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 largest 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, given the 0% APR for 20 billing cycles, plus 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-transfer and wire transfers.

The Automated Investor Account uses robo-advisor technology to invest and rebalance investor portfolios. U.S Bancorp charges a lower than average annual fee for this, and the fee is 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.

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