Best USAA credit cards

Best USAA Credit Cards in 2019

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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. If you’re looking to know which is the best USAA credit cards, read further.

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 USAA credit card offers several perks for those who serve.

Best USAA Cashback Credit Cards

Ryan Clark, USAA’s director of Card Product Management, lists the company’s two cashback credit cards as the best on offer right now. Here’s a look at their terms and benefits.

1. USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express 

This card has the most options for earning cashback. Also, it’s a great card for current members of the military because cardholders can earn cashback on purchases on military bases.

This card offers three avenues for earning cash back:

  1. Earn 1% Cash Back on all qualifying purchases. Not included as qualifying purchases: balance transfers, cash advances, ATM withdrawals, money transfers, truck stop or gaming transactions, tax or finance payments, finance charges or fees.
  2. Earn 2% cash back on the first $3,000 of qualifying purchases of groceries made each year. Groceries must be purchased from businesses that primarily sell non-wholesale groceries to consumers (such as neighborhood grocery stores and supermarkets). Discount stores such as Walmart, wholesale stores such as Costco, and warehouse clubs such as Sam’s Club do not qualify for the cashback program.
  3. Earn 5% cash back on the combined first $3,000 of purchases made on military bases and gas purchases each calendar year.

USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Terms

  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR
  • Variable APR of 13.15% to 27.15% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer or advance but no more than $200
  • The 25-day grace period for purchases. This means USAA will not charge you interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month. (No grace period for cash advances or balance transfers)
  • First, late payment fee is $25 (after that late payment fees are $35)
  • First return payment fee is $25 (after that it increases to $35)
  • No charge for going over the credit limit

USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Benefits

Many cash back avenues
  • Earn cash back with purchases when you buy groceries or gas, and when you make purchases on military bases
Great card for travel
  • Pay no foreign transaction fee when you travel outside the United States
  • Redeem your cash rewards on the go using your mobile device
  • Concierge services on offer to assist with whatever you need
  • Rental vehicle coverage includes collision damage waiver coverage for physical damage and theft
  • Help with identity theft should you become a victim
  • Travel assistance services are offered to help with pre-trip information
  • Automatic travel accident, baggage delay, and trip cancellation or interruption insurance is offered worldwide
Special Military Benefits
  • 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployments or Permanent Change of Station (PCS)– after one year, the regular variable APR will go back into effect
  • 4% APR on your existing balance when you enter active military duty for one year
  • USAA has a knowledgeable deployment team that can assist military members before, during and after deployment.
Added security features
  • Chip card technology has greater security features
  • You will not be held liable for any unauthorized purchases
  • Receive account balance and transaction history instantly by sending a text
  • Secure and fast login options are available including biometrics, Quick Login, CyberCode text and computer recognition

2. USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card

This card offers unlimited 1.5% cash-back on purchases. Below are the details.

USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card Terms

  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR
  • Variable APR of 13.15% to 27.15% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer or advance but no more than $200
  • The 25-day grace period for purchases. This means USAA will not charge you interest on purchases if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month. (No grace period for cash advances or balance transfers)
  • First, late payment fee is $25 (after that late payment fees are $35)
  • First return payment fee is $25 (after that it increases to $35)
  • No charge for going over the credit limit

USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card Benefits

Special features for members of the military
  • 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployments or Permanent Change of Station (PCS)– after one year, the regular variable APR will go back into effect
  • 4% APR on your existing balance when you enter active military duty for one year
  • USAA has a knowledgeable deployment team that can assist military members before, during and after deployment
1.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases
  • These include all purchases but not balance transfers or cash advances
  • You can redeem this cash and either apply it as a credit to your credit card account or deposit it into your USAA checking or savings account
  • This cash back perk is unlimited for the life of the card
Added security measures + zero liability for theft
  • Chip card technology has greater security features
  • You will not be held liable for any unauthorized purchases
  • Receive account balance and transaction history instantly by sending a text
  • Secure and fast logon options are available including biometrics, Quick Logon, CyberCode text and computer recognition
Good card for travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Easy to access your account on a mobile device

Advantages of USAA’s Cashback Cards

Multiple Ways To Redeem Cashback

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. Also, 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. According to Clark, he says this card has, “with no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and features like rental car coverage, trip protection, travel insurance, and concierge service.”

Best USAA Rewards Credit Cards

If you’re a current or former member of the U.S. military, or married to someone who is, there are eight USAA rewards cards you should know about. Let’s take a closer look.

1. USAA Rewards Visa Signature

Rewards points are earned by making qualifying purchases with this card. This includes any purchase with the exception of balance transfers, cash advances, money transfers, truck stop and gaming transactions, tax payments, and finance charges.

You earn one point for every dollar spent, and your first purchase earns you $2,500 bonus points.

Your points can be used for:

  • Air travel
  • Available merchandise and gift cards
  • Cash Redemption Rewards or cash
  • A donation to participating charities
  • Cruise travel

2. USAA Rewards American Express Card

This card is similar to the card above, but one major advantage is that it has more options for earning rewards points. You earn one reward point for every dollar spent and $2,500 reward points on your first purchase.

What sets this card apart is that you’ll earn two points for every dollar spent on gas or groceries, and there is no cap.

How can you spend your reward points? Qualifying purchases are the same as above, but here is what you need to know about buying groceries and gas.

Qualifying purchases on groceries

To earn your double points, you must buy grocery items at non-wholesale groceries who sell to consumers (such as neighborhood grocery stores and supermarkets). Purchases at places like discount stores (Walmart), wholesale stores (Costco), and warehouse clubs (Sam’s Club) will not count toward points.

Qualifying purchases on Gas

For gas purchases to qualify for the double point bonus, you must buy your gas at stores primarily selling automobile gasoline to consumers (such as Shell and Exxon stations).

Rewards cards that support veterans

In addition to helping support various veterans organizations, the following cards all offer these same rewards:

  • 2,500 Bonus Points after your first purchase.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on purchases.
  • You can redeem points for 1% cash back
  • Or you can use the reward points for travel, gift cards or merchandise.
  • Another option: Use your points to donate to a military affiliate group.

3. Veterans of Foreign Wars USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA Bank donates to the VFW when you open an account or make purchases. As the United States’ oldest and largest veterans organization, the VFW has a long history of assisting our military veterans.

This card is for people with a credit score of 680 to 850, and it has no annual fee.

4. American Veterans USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA sends a contribution to AMVETS, an organization that assists American veterans and their families when you open an account or make eligible purchases with your card.

AMVETS supports veterans and their families by sponsoring a variety of programs including scholarships, job assistance programs, and more. You can earn cash back or rewards on purchases made with this card. Rewards points can be used for travel, gifts, and other perks.

5. Wounded Warrior Project USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The Wounded Warrior Project receives a donation from USAA when you open an account or make purchases with this card. The WWP’s mission is to honor and empower our wounded veterans.

This card allows balance transfers, which a great feature if you have credit card debt and want to transfer it to a card with a lower APR.

6. Disabled American Veterans USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

This card enables you to support the Disabled American Veterans organization when you open an account and make purchases. The DAV helps disabled veterans and their families in a variety of ways. You need a credit score of 680 to 850 to be approved for this card, and there is no annual fee.

7. The American Legion USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA will make a contribution to the American Legion every time you make an eligible purchase with this card. The American Legion sponsors youth programs, promotes national security, serves military members and veterans, and more.

This card is great for cash back, rewards, travel, and balance transfers.

8. USNA Alumni Association & Navy Athletics USAA Rewards Visa Signature® Card

When you open an account or make a qualifying purchase, USAA makes a contribution to the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association and the United States Naval Academy Foundation. These two independent, not-for-profit corporations operate as an integrated organization in support of the Naval Academy.

This card has a 12-month introductory APR rate of 0%, making it perfect for balance transfers or purchases that you can pay off during the first year.

Terms and features

The terms and features are the same for all of these cards.

  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR
  • Late payment fee up to $35
  • Returned payment fee up to $35
  • No over the limit fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Balance transfer and cash advance fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer or advance but no more than $200
  • 25-day grace period for purchases (excluding cash advances and balance transfers) — this means USAA will not charge you interest if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month
  • Special features for members called to active duty
  • Added security features
  • Unlimited reward points
  • No liability for fraudulent purchases

Best USAA low-rate card

This card offers a great low interest rate and has some other perks as well.

USAA Rate Advantage Platinum Visa

  • 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. Due to this fact, there aren’t many special benefits. However, if you can qualify for a good interest rate, this is a great card to have.

USAA Credit Card Credit Score Requirements

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.”

Research Before You Apply

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.