Comparing USAA Credit Card Offers
One of the largest insurance companies in the U.S., USAA also offers a wide range of financial products, including credit cards. Whether you are looking for home or auto insurance or a card to help you build credit, USAA is great for the military family. However, if you have no tie to the military, you might need to look elsewhere for these products. But read on, because you may be pleasantly surprised about whether you qualify. Here, we look at:
Here are the best USAA credit cards:
Details on the best USAA cards
USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
A straight-forward cash back card, this product offers 1.5% back on all purchases, no annual fee, and the regular APR starts at 13.90% - 27.90% variable. There are also no foreign transaction fees.
What we love about this card – If you're looking for a no frills cash back card with a competitive 1.5% back on all purchases, this card is a good option.
USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
This card's regular APR of 11.90% - 27.90% variable is a couple of points lower than the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards and there's a sign-up bonus for this one. It competes with the Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card's ongoing rewards, delivering 3X points on dining and 2X points on gas and groceries.
What we love about this card – The USAA Rewards card gives 2,500 points when you make your first purchase, in addition to its superior tiered categories.
USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card
This card has no annual fee and earns you 2X points for gas and dining, unlimited. The USAA Rewards Visa Signature also offers 2,500 points when you make your first purchase.
What we love about this card – The USAA Rewards Visa Signature Card offers strong unlimited rewards on gas and dining, in addition to a low variable APR of 11.90% - 27.90%.
USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card offers 5% cash back on your first $3,000 spent on gas and military base purchases each year, and 2% back on the first $3,000 spend each year on groceries. It's 1% back on all other purchases.
What we love about this card – This credit card can earn you up to $150 back on gas and military base purchases each year, and up to another $60 back a year on groceries, all with no annual fee.
USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
With no annual fee, the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card may not have rewards, but is designed to minimize interest payments. Its APR is stunning: 8.90% - 25.90% variable.
What we love about this card – In this age of rising interest rates, a card with an APR that starts below 10% is uncommon.
What is USAA?
USAA, in operation since 1922, carries a full slate of banking and insurance services, ranging from auto and home insurance to investing and credit cards.
One of the largest private insurance companies, it ranks fifth among auto insurance groups in the country:
Top auto insurance companies in U.S...
|Rank||Insurance company||Direct premiums written||Market share|
|1||State Farm Group||$36.5 billion||18.3%|
|2||Berkshire Hathaway Ins. Group||$22.8 billion||11.4%|
|3||Allstate Ins. Group||$20 billion||10%|
|4||Progressive Ins. Group||$17.5 billion||8.8%|
|5||USAA Group||$10.5 billion||5.3%|
Here are the different aspects of USAA services:
- Insurance – Life insurance, renter's insurance, annuities and more are offered through this division.
- Banking – Not only are checking accounts and credit cards offered, but there are also college products, motorcycle, RV and boat loans, and auto loans and mortgages.
- Investing – Includes stocks and options, mutual funds, 529s and more.
- Real estate – From VA loans and mortgages to finding a real estate agent or home, this section is broad.
- Retirement & IRAs – Includes trust services, long-term care and wealth management
- Health insurance – This section includes dental, vision and supplements to Medicare.
- Shopping & discounts – Includes a car buying service, online shopping, travel deals and home solutions.
Who is eligible for USAA cards?
Pretty much anyone who is a USAA member qualifies to apply for a credit card. Heads up that if you are under 21, you can't apply for a card by phone – you will need to apply online or in person. Here is who qualifies to be a USAA member:
- Service members serving in the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves.
- Former military members who have retired or separated from the U.S. military with an honorable discharge.
- Widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who had USAA auto or property insurance while married and individuals whose parents have or had USAA auto or property insurance.
- Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, and officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.
USAA card benefits for military members and their families
There are special benefits military members get through their USAA credit cards:
You can get 4% APR on all balances accrued prior to entering active duty service. The rate will last until the end of your active duty period. After that, the variable Regular APR will apply. This is better than the 6% rate that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides to active-duty service members. Eligible active-duty members can also apply for special rates and other benefits on their USAA credit card for current balances, new purchases and even cash advances when they deploy or PCS.
Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.