U.S. Bank Review – Forbes Advisor


Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

If you’re in the market for a new bank to serve as the home base for your personal finances, you may want to consider U.S. Bank. It provides some valuable benefits and innovative features for customer service and digital banking.

U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest commercial bank by assets in the United States, with branches in 26 states. Its parent company is U.S. Bancorp. Headquartered in Minneapolis, it’s a full-service bank that offers checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, loans and other financial services. It also offers highly rated online and mobile banking tools.

Indeed, U.S. Bank is one of several big banks that have become more proactive about digital banking in recent years.

This review provides an overview of U.S. Bank’s personal banking products and services. Account details and annual percentage yields (APYs) are accurate as of Oct. 5, 2022.

Account Basics

Checking

U.S. Bank recently streamlined its personal checking account offerings and now has just two options.

1. U.S. Bank Smartly™ Checking requires at least a $25 opening deposit, and it charges a $6.95 monthly maintenance fee. But the fee is waived if you meet any of these requirements:

  • You’re age 24 or younger, or age 65 or older
  • You’re a member of the military
  • You sign up for monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more
  • You keep have an average account balance of at least $1,500
  • You have a balance of $20,000 or over that qualifies you for one of the elevated tiers of the account’s Smart Rewards™ program, which offers benefits including higher interest rates on savings and waivers of ATM fees charged outside of U.S. Bank’s network.

2. The Safe Debit account may be a good alternative for those seeking a banking experience that’s primarily online. It offers a debit card and online and mobile banking access but without any paper checks. There’s a $4.95 monthly fee for this account that cannot be waived.

Savings

U.S. Bank offers one personal savings account, the U.S. Bank Standard Savings Account. This account requires a minimum opening deposit of $25 and charges a $4 monthly fee; you can avoid this fee if you keep at least a $300 minimum daily balance or $1,000 average monthly collected balance in the account, or if you hold the account jointly with a child under age 18.

Like many major banks, U.S. Bank’s APY on savings accounts is near zero: currently 0.01% APY. But you can get a small interest rate “lift” if you also have a Smartly Checking account and qualify for one of the upper tiers of the Smart Rewards program.

Money Market

U.S. Bank offers two types of money market accounts:

  • Elite Money Market Account. This MMA requires a $100 minimum opening deposit and charges a $10 monthly fee, which can be waived if you maintain a monthly balance of $10,000. An APY of 0.01% is paid on all account balance amounts. As with many money market accounts, this one provides check-writing privileges.
  • Retirement Money Market Account. This MMA is only for customers who have an IRA (individual retirement account) with U.S. Bank; it lets you keep some of your IRA money in cash savings. There is no monthly fee, and you can open an account with a minimum opening deposit of $100 or by setting up an automatic monthly deposit of $25. The APY on this account also is 0.01%.

Money market accounts can sometimes provide a higher yield on your savings, compared to typical savings accounts. But U.S. Bank’s money market accounts pay the same 0.01% APY as its savings account. The rate is much lower than the best online savings accounts or the best money market accounts.

U.S. Bank savings and money market accounts can give you a safe place to keep your savings in an FDIC-insured institution, with convenient access to your U.S. Bank checking account or other accounts. But if you want higher yields on your savings, you may want to consider a higher-yielding online savings account, money market account or CD.

CDs

U.S. Bank offers a few types of certificates of deposit, depending on how long you want to commit your money:

  • Standard CD. The traditional U.S. Bank CD pays an APY of 0.05% on terms of 24 months or less and slightly higher rates on longer terms.
  • CD Special. U.S. Bank offers CD specials in terms of 11 months (with a 1.40% APY), 17 months (1.50% APY), 25 months (1.60%) and 37 months (1.70% APY). Deposits must be between $1,000 and $250,000.
  • Step Up CD. Instead of a fixed APY, this CD offers a “step up” in interest—the APY increases every seven months. If you deposit your money for 28 months, you’ll earn a blended APY of 0.35%.
  • Trade Up CD. This CD gives you the option to take advantage of rising interest rates. In case interest rates increase during the term of your CD, you can “trade up” to a higher APY. Currently, this CD pays 0.10% APY on a 30-month term and 0.40% APY on a 60-month term, with a minimum deposit of $1,000 (and a maximum of $250,000).

Standard CDs are available in amounts between $500 and $250,000.

U.S. Bank doesn’t offer the best CD rates compared to some other banks and credit unions. However, depending on how you want to manage your money and your overall financial goals, the bank’s CDs might be competitive with other options for where to keep your savings. And U.S. Bank has some attractive options like the Step Up CD and Trade Up CD that not all banks provide.

Other Accounts and Services

In addition to its personal banking services, U.S. Bank also offers:

  • Credit cards
  • Investment and retirement services
  • Personal loans and credit lines
  • Home loans
  • Vehicle loans
  • Wealth management
  • Small business services
  • Corporate and commercial services
  • Institutional services

Distinguishing Features

U.S. Bank has invested heavily in digital tools and services to provide better online and mobile banking. Seventy-seven percent of the bank’s transactions are conducted digitally. The U.S. Bank mobile app is well-rated and offers excellent customer service features, receiving high praise for its mobile check deposit feature. And the U.S. Bank Smart Assistant is a new voice-activated virtual assistant, available via the bank’s mobile app, that can help you with everyday banking tasks.

The bank has also received recognition for being a good corporate citizen. A Harris Poll survey named U.S. Bank as the “most essential” bank for its response to the pandemic in 2020. The bank has also committed $116 million to address the racial wealth gap and create economic opportunities in diverse communities. It has been honored as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute, one of the top 50 companies for diversity by DiversityInc and one of the best companies for veterans by Military Times.

Access on the Go

The U.S. Bank mobile app is highly rated, with 4.8 stars out of 5 on the App Store and 4.6 stars out of 5 on Google Play. Key features of the mobile app include:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Customized alerts
  • Online banking—account access, transfers, online bill pay
  • Zelle
  • U.S. Bank Smart Assistant

U.S. Bank has an extensive ATM network, and its ATMs offer contactless access through digital wallets.

U.S. Bank customer service is available by phone 24 hours a day at 800-USBANKS (872-2657). They also have specific customer service phone numbers for certain metro areas, including Minneapolis, Denver and Cincinnati. Customers also can get support via email through online banking or by setting up an appointment with a personal banker.

Pros

  • Highly rated mobile app
  • Excellent digital banking experience
  • U.S. Bank Smart Assistant helps complete banking tasks at the sound of your voice
  • Large ATM network
  • Several checking account options
  • Several CD options

Cons

  • Low APYs on savings, CDs and money market accounts
  • Elite Money Market Account promises tiered interest rates that pay more for higher balances, but the APYs are all the same
  • Account options can be confusing
  • Not all checking accounts offer fee-free ATM withdrawals or fee-free overdraft protection
  • Branch locations limited to 26 states

How U.S. Bank Stacks Up

U.S. Bank faces some of the same limitations as a lot of other big banks. Its savings accounts and CDs pay relatively low APYs in the current near-zero interest rate environment. And its checking and savings account offerings can be challenging to navigate.

However, for those who are interested in banking digitally, U.S. Bank is embracing digital technology and offers a digital-first customer experience. Its mobile app is very well rated, making it easier to manage your money and understand your financial situation with digital tools and insights. Plus, U.S. Bank has been recognized for its responsiveness during the pandemic, its support for diverse communities and its overall ethics as a company.

If you want the advantages of a brick-and-mortar bank with an extensive network of branches and ATMs, along with innovative digital tools and features, U.S. Bank could be a good choice. You can use U.S. Bank’s comparison charts or talk with a personal banker to decide which checking, savings, money market or CD account is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is U.S. Bank FDIC insured?

Yes, U.S. Bank is FDIC insured (FDIC certificate No. 6548). All U.S. Bank accounts are protected up to the standard maximum of $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category, in the event of a bank failure.

In which states does U.S. Bank have branch locations?

U.S. Bank has branches in 26 states. You can search for specific state locations on the U.S. Bank website.

Does U.S. Bank offer credit cards and loans?

Yes. U.S. Bank is a full-service bank that provides a wide range of financial services and products, including credit cards, home mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, vehicle loans and more.




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