USAA stands for the United Services Automobile Association because it began as an auto insurance company for members of the military. Today, the Texas-based Fortune 500 company offers a wide range of diversified financial services for current and former members of the military and their families.
Here, we will take a closer look at the credit cards offered by USAA. If you’re a member of the military, this company is worth looking into because it offers several perks for those who serve.
Best USAA cash-back credit cards
Ryan Clark, USAA’s director of Card Product Management, lists the company’s two cash-back credit cards as the best on offer right now. Here’s a look at their terms and benefits.
This card has the most options for earning cash back. It’s a great card for current members of the military because cardholders can earn cash back on purchases on military bases.
- Annual 5% cash back on the first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases combined
- Annual 2% back on grocery store purchases
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
This card will give you 1.5% cash back on all qualified purchases, and there is no limit on the amount you can earn.
USAA cash-back credit card terms
Here are the terms for both cards:
- No annual fee
- Variable APR
- No foreign transaction fees
- No penalty APR
- Late payment fee up to $35
- Return payment fee up to $35
- No over-limit fee
- Special features for active duty members of the military
Advantages of USAA’s cash-back cards
Multiple ways to redeem cash back
Clark highlights the flexible redemption options for both of these cards. He explains that you can have your cash deposited into a checking account or credited to your card. You can redeem your cash in the form of gift cards, merchandise, travel, or donations to military charitable organizations.
Good cards for travel
Clark says both of these cards have great travel benefits “with no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and features like rental car coverage, trip protection, travel insurance, and concierge service.”
Best USSA secured credit cards
USSA offers two secured credit cards. This type of card is geared toward people in need of building credit or mending their damaged credit.
“Our secured card is designed to help our members build their financial security in a responsible manner,” says Clark. “With the integration of our advice tools to help with goal tracking and budgeting, our secured card provides members a solution that helps build their credit and support those cardholders living paycheck to paycheck.”
With a $35 annual fee, this card comes with retail and travel benefits, as well as special benefits for members on active duty. You can also earn variable interest on your balance.
To determine your credit limit, open a certificate of deposit at USAA between $250 and $5,000.
This card is very similar to the Visa secured credit card, including the same rates and fees. The main difference is that is offers extra perks, including:
- Rental car insurance is guaranteed for 30 days, rather than 15 days
- Price protection is offered for up to 120 days after purchase, rather than the 60 days offered by Card #1
- Concierge and travel assistance service, including emergency travel assistance
- Emergency travel assistance: get information on travel requirements, including documentation (visas, passports), immunizations or currency exchange rates
- Travel services medical assistance: provides access to a referral network of doctors, dentists, hospitals, and pharmacies in the area
- Legal referral services: gives you access to English-speaking legal referrals or consultations with the correct embassies and consulates regarding your situation. You can also get help receiving transfers of up to $5,000 in cash from a family member, friend, or business to cover legal fees or to post bail.
- If you break down while traveling in the U.S., road assist service is available with this card
This card has more to offer in terms of benefits. So, if you can qualify for this card, it is recommended. However, both of these cards provide the benefit of helping you to build or repair your credit, which is the primary reason for obtaining a secured credit card.
Best USAA low-rate card
This card offers a great low interest rate and has some other perks as well.
- Variable APR based on your creditworthiness (if you can get approved for the lowest available rate, this is a great card to have)
- No annual fee
- It has no penalty APR
- No over-the-credit-limit fee
- It doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees
- Late fees up to $35
- Returned payment fees up to $35
- Special features for members on active duty
This card is all about the low interest rate. There aren’t a lot of other special benefits, but if you can qualify for a good interest rate, this is a great card to have.
Credit scores required for USAA cards
Aside from the secured cards, Clark says most of USAA’s cards require a “prime” credit score. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considers a FICO score of 660 and up “Prime.”
Clark says that your credit score isn’t necessarily the final word. “While credit score is a primary tool for evaluation, we consider other options to evaluate the quality of the relationship and the individual’s risk profile.”
Do your research!
Before you select a credit card, it’s always a good idea to research what’s available to you. Get started with SuperMoney’s credit card page to review credit card terms, compare rates, and read user reviews before deciding which card is best for you.