|Rewards Rating:||2.4 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||2.9|
In a Nutshell:
The rewards on the Rewards Visa Signature Card are paltry, but military personnel may enjoy the card’s military and travel benefits. This offer is no longer available on our site.
Information about this card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, low rates and rebates for military members, car rental insurance, concierge services, travel assistance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation & interruption insurance, extended warranty, $0 liability
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Many credit card issuers offer a limited number of benefits to active duty service members, such as temporary fee waivers and, in some cases, a lower APR than what’s required by the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. However, few card issuers offer nearly as many military-exclusive benefits as USAA. The USAA Rewards Visa Signature isn’t the most lucrative rewards card on the market, but its exclusive, money-saving perks for active duty service members make it a good choice for people with a history in the military and their families.
To qualify for the USAA Rewards Visa Signature, you must be a USAA member or be eligible for membership. Only current and former members of the military and their families currently qualify.
Low starting interest rate
One of the best things about this credit card is its extra-low interest rate for cardholders with excellent credit. Depending on your credit history, you could qualify for a variable APR as low as 9.90 percent, which is well below the average rewards card APR. Cardholders with damaged credit will need to watch out, though, since the card’s maximum APR runs as high as 25.90 percent (variable). The range of possible APRs on the USAA Rewards Visa Signature is wider than most, making it tough to guess your rate until you apply.
For cardholders who spend a lot on gas and dining, the USAA Rewards American Express card is appealing. It offers two points for every dollar spent on gas and dining, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. However, at less than 1 cent per point for some rewards categories, such as gift cards and merchandise, the redemption value for USAA rewards points is well below average. Even points redeemed for travel are worth just 1 cent per point, which is significantly less than what many comparable cards offer.
Stingy sign-up bonus
The sign-up bonus on the USAA Rewards Visa Signature is also relatively small. Cardholders are offered just 2,500 bonus points – worth less than $25 in cash or gift cards – when they first use their card. Many comparable rewards cards, by contrast, typically offer at least five figures in bonus points.
The good news is that, once you do earn enough points to claim a significant purchase, the redemption process is fairly straightforward. There are no blackout dates when you redeem points for travel, and, if you use points to buy a ticket that’s worth less than the rewards value, the difference will be refunded to your account. Cardholders must book travel through an agent chosen by USAA, though, and they can’t transfer points to an airline’s frequent-flier program.
Why get the USAA Rewards Visa Signature?
- You’re an active-duty service member or immediate relative and want to take advantage of the military exclusive benefits.
- You spend a lot on gas and dining and will get a lot of value out of the card’s bonuses.
- You’re already a USAA member and like doing business with USAA bank.
- You have excellent credit and want both a low-rate credit card as well as some rewards.
How to use the USAA Rewards Visa Signature:
- To get the most benefit from this card, use it for all gas and dining purchases.
- Save your points for travel or donate them to charity if you want to redeem the maximum amount of value from your points. You will need at least 15,000 points to book an awards flight or 15,150 to book a cruise.
- Don’t bother redeeming your points for gift cards or merchandise. The rewards value for these types of purchases translates to significantly less than other redemption options, including cash.
- If you’re an active-duty service member, check with USAA for an updated list of military member benefits.
Is the USAA Rewards Visa Signature worth it?
If you have excellent credit and are looking for a low-rate card that doesn’t completely sacrifice rewards, the USAA Rewards Visa Signature Card is worth a look. Depending on your priorities, the card’s small sign-up bonus and mediocre redemption value of 1 cent or less per point may be offset by its military-exclusive perks and bonuses on gas and dining purchases. But if you have poor credit and think you may have to carry a balance, steer clear.
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