Review: USAA Credit Cards

usaa-credit-cardUSAA is an organization for military members and their families, including both active duty and veterans. It offers a number of credit cards with appealing terms for those who qualify. Our profile / review of each card is below:

  •  The USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard is a no-frills card for those who want a low interest rate —as little as 7.15% is offered, though they reserve the right to approve you at a rate as high as 24.15% so be careful. No rewards with this card.
  • The USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature offers a straight 1.5% cash back on all card purchases. No limit on how much you can earn, and no special spending categories to consider.

  • The USAA Rewards American Express Card is a points reward card that offers 2 points per dollar on gas and grocery purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Points can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel, merchandise, etc.
  • The USAA Military Affiliate American Express Credit Cards are essentially the same as the USAA American Express described above, but it also allows you to have a small amount of your card purchases go to support your favorite military organization (and your card can have the logo of that organization if you wish).
  • The USAA Secured Visa or USAA Secured American Express Card is a credit card for those seeking to establish credit or improve a poor credit history. It requires you to put money into a USAA CD (certificate of deposit) as a security deposit. The money isn’t touched, and the card works like any other credit card — but your card’s credit limit is the same as the amount you’ve deposited into the CD… just in case you don’t pay at some point. However, you are responsible to pay the card’s balance each month just like any other card, and doing so responsibly should improve your credit rating down the road. In addition to the money deposited into the CD, which is your money to keep, there is an annual fee on this card of $35.