Reviews USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature credit card review
USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature credit card review

USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature credit card review

Published: October 11, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Cash Back Rating:
4.1 rating
4.1 rating
4.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.9
Rewards Flexibility: 3.3
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

With stellar rewards on everyday purchases and special perks for active-duty military, the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card is more than worthy of consideration — if you meet the requirements.

Rewards Rate
2.5% cash back on every purchase with a monthly qualifying direct deposit of $1,000 in a USAA Bank checking account

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$397

APR
14.9-20.9% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Redeem as statement credit or deposit into USAA checking or savings account
  • Redeem at any time
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • No minimum points required to redeem
  • Points never expire

Cons

  • Must have qualifying $1,000 direct deposit into USAA checking account

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, special rates and other benefits for active duty military, rebate for all finance charges incurred during military campaigns, rental car insurance, identity theft resolution services, identity fraud expense reimbursement, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, travel assistance services, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, free credit score

No Annual Fee Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.0
Rewards Flexibility: 2.9
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The USAA Limitless card offers by far the best earning rate of any cash back card; unfortunately, it’s only available to military members and their families in certain states.

Rewards Rate
2.5% cash back on every purchase with a monthly qualifying direct deposit of $1,000 in a USAA Bank checking account

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$397

APR
14.9-20.9% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Redeem as statement credit or deposit into USAA checking or savings account
  • Redeem at any time
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • No minimum points required to redeem
  • Points never expire

Cons

  • Must have qualifying $1,000 direct deposit into USAA checking account

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, special rates and other benefits for active duty military, rebate for all finance charges incurred during military campaigns, rental car insurance, identity theft resolution services, identity fraud expense reimbursement, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, travel assistance services, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, free credit score

Rewards Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.4
Rewards Flexibility: 2.9
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The rewards on this cash back card are exceptionally generous, but you have to jump through a lot of hoops to qualify for the highest cash back rate, and membership is only open to military members and their families in certain states.

Rewards Rate
2.5% cash back on every purchase with a monthly qualifying direct deposit of $1,000 in a USAA Bank checking account

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$397

APR
14.9-20.9% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Redeem as statement credit or deposit into USAA checking or savings account
  • Redeem at any time
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • No minimum points required to redeem
  • Points never expire

Cons

  • Must have qualifying $1,000 direct deposit into USAA checking account

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, special rates and other benefits for active duty military, rebate for all finance charges incurred during military campaigns, rental car insurance, identity theft resolution services, identity fraud expense reimbursement, price protection, extended warranty, concierge services, travel assistance services, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, free credit score

Credit card users who prefer paying down their balances or growing their savings, versus using rewards for merchandise or travel, are likely to jump at the chance to apply for the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card. Even the lack of a sign-up bonus and limited redemption options aren’t enough to detract from the card’s superior cash back rate and enticing cardholder benefits, especially those for current members of the military.

The one downside? You must qualify for USAA membership — which has its own set of admittedly narrow restrictions — and live in certain states to apply for the card.

Top-tier rewards (with a catch)
The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card offers excellent rewards in the form of unlimited 2.5 percent cash back on all purchases, a rate that exceeds most cards in the cash back category (with the exception of rotating bonus categories or limited-time offers). Besides qualifying for USAA membership (more on that later), however, you’ll need to maintain a monthly qualifying direct deposit of $1,000 in a USAA Bank checking account to enjoy this industry-leading earnings scheme.

A “qualifying” direct deposit usually means a paycheck from your employer, but transactions originating from a government entity or external financial institution also work. You’ll have 90 days from account opening to make your initial deposit, and during the months when you don’t meet the deposit threshold — let’s say you switch jobs and there’s a delay in setting up payroll with your new employer — you’ll still earn 1.5 percent cash back, a respectable rate on par with many of the card’s competitors.

Note: The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards card is only available to residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

Special benefits for active duty military
It should be noted that membership in USAA, a financial services organization dedicated to serving the military, is limited to:

  • Active and former military service members.
  • Widows, widowers and non-remarried former spouses of USAA members who joined USAA prior to or during the marriage.
  • Individuals whose parents joined USAA (once membership is established, it can be passed on to the next generation).
  • Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, plus officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.

As such, the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card provides military service members with special benefits, including a reduced interest rate of 4 percent on all existing card balances from the time you enter active duty until one year after active duty is completed. (This is even lower than the 6 percent APR mandated by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.) The 4 percent rate also applies to new purchases made during deployment or Permanent Change of Station (PCS) for up to 12 months.

In addition, cardholders serving in a qualified military campaign will receive rebates for all finance charges incurred during that time. For more information or to request these benefits, go here. 

Easy (but limited) redemption
Cashing in your cash back is easy with the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card. Rewards can be redeemed anytime in as little as $1 increments simply by logging into your online account, at which point you’ll choose between applying your cash back to your credit card balance or depositing it directly into your USAA checking or savings account.

There’s no minimum amount of cash back required to redeem, and rewards never expire. It doesn’t get more straightforward than that.

No foreign transaction fees
One especially notable feature of the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards card is the lack of a foreign transaction fee, something that’s usually reserved for credit cards with high annual fees. This makes the card particularly attractive to active-duty service members and other cardholders who spend a lot of time overseas, since you’re able to build rewards while traveling without having to worry about racking up excessive fees.

Frequent travelers will also appreciate the card’s valuable travel protections, including concierge services, rental car insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance and travel accident insurance. In other words, you can trek around the world knowing you’re covered in case the unexpected happens.

Why get it:

  • You already have a checking account with USAA.
  • You want a cash back card with a high overall rewards rate.
  • You prefer long-term rewards over the immediacy of a large sign-up bonus.
  • You’re looking for a card you can use while traveling abroad without incurring foreign transaction fees.
  • You want hassle-free redemption options. 

How to use it:

  • Make a qualifying $1,000 direct deposit into a USAA checking account.
  • Given the card’s high cash back rate, carry it with you everywhere and use it to pay for everything.
  • Use the card when traveling overseas to take advantage of no foreign transaction fees.
  • If you’re an active-duty service member who qualifies for special benefits, make sure you submit your request within one year of completing active duty, returning from deployment or receiving your PCS report date, depending on your situation.

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