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The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card review
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer at finder.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and travel the world like a pro. He's taken an extended trip around Europe as a digital nomad, gaining firsthand experience with exchange rates, ideal (and not-so-ideal) credit and debit cards, foreign transactions and budgeting strategies. He earned his BA from UC Davis and has written across many niches at Finder, including cryptocurrency, personal loans, car insurance, real estate and money transfers.
The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card offers a few decent perks, such as 1x points on all purchases and a solid intro APR on balance transfers. And if you don’t want to spend much to obtain a signup bonus, you’ll like receiving the card’s bonus after you make your first purchase.
If you’re looking for more powerful benefits, however, look elsewhere. You can easily find cards with 1.5% reward rates, as well as stronger signup bonuses and intro APRs.
Why should I get The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card?
There are two key reasons you might give this card a serious look:
You’re a passionate supporter of the American Legion. You’ll find the American Legion logo on your card to show your support for the organization and start conversations with prospective members.
You’re being deployed or have received a permanent change of station (PCS) order.You’ll receive a special interest rate of 4% fixed APR for 12 months on all balances. After that, your APR for all balances will be 12.9% to 27.9% variable.
Bottom line: The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card isn’t the most powerful product. But it’s carved out a unique position in the market, and it could be the perfect card for you depending on your interests and deployment status.
Annual fee: None. USAA’s trend of no-annual-fee cards is continued by The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card.
Signup bonus: bonus points. You’ll earn this signup bonus when you make your first purchase. When you redeem it for cash back, it’s worth $25. Though $25 isn’t the most exciting perk, this USAA bonus is one of the easiest to get.
Rewards: Flat rewards on all purchases. Earn unlimited 1x points on everything you buy. Redeem points for a suite of rewards, including travel, 1% cash back, merchandise, gift cards and charitable donations. You might find this reward rate to be bit underwhelming. Many other options offer a 1.5% rate, so consider other cards if rewards are important to you.
Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers and convenience checks. Take advantage of a 0% intro APR for 12 months following your account opening on balance transfers and convenience checks that post to your account within the first 3 months of card membership. After that, your balance transfer APR will be 12.9% to 27.9% variable. This is a solid balance transfer promotion, though it’s not the longest you’ll find. There are many great cards that offer 0% intro APR periods on balance transfers for 15 or more months.
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Special interest rate for deployment and active duty. USAA offers a special interest rate depending on your deployment status. If you’re on deployment or permanent change of station (PCS), you’ll receive 4% fixed APR on all balances for up to 12 months. After that, receive an ongoing APR on all balances of 12.9% to 27.9% variable. By federal law, providers are required to reduce credit card interest to a minimum of 6% APR for active-duty service members. USAA reduces interest further, which is one of the reasons it’s a popular choice for military personnel.
No foreign transaction fees. Use your card abroad and on foreign websites without bumping up against the 3% fee that most providers charge.
What to watch out for
Potentially high APR. This card has a wide range of potential interest rates. You may receive an APR on all purchases as low as 12.9% variable and as high as 27.9% variable.
To apply for The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card, you must be:
At least 18 years old.
A citizen or permanent resident of the US.
A member of USAA. You may join if you are affiliated with the military or a family member of someone who is.
Information you’ll need
Your full name and contact information.
Your residential status.
Your annual income, source of income and employment information.
Your Social Security number.
What credit score do I need?
You’ll have a better chance of being approved for this card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 to 850. A score on the higher end will likely land you a lower APR.
Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:
Hard pulls on your credit report. If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your report, it could imply you’re having trouble managing your debt. USAA might think you’re desperate for credit and may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
Factors that tie into your credit score. Your credit utilization is a major factor that USAA considers. The bank prefers a customer with low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag too, as it could indicate you’re desperate for credit.
What do customers say about The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card?
USAA is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but it earns an A+ rating from the agency. As of this writing, 92% of its reviews are negative and it has over 300 customer complaints. USAA customers report unexpected changes to reward balances and a complicated customer service process.
The company earns a Trustpilot score of 3.6 out of 10. Many negative reviews cite unsympathetic customer service and difficulty getting fraud claims resolved. Positive reviews say customer service is responsive and the bank’s products have strong features.
Typically, USAA will send you a decision within five to seven days. If there are issues with your application, however, it may take up to several weeks to hear back.
I got the card. Now what?
Make payments on time. Register an account on the USAA website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
Avoid interest. You have a grace period of at least 25 days to pay your balance after the close of each billing cycle. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
Avoid fees. For each late payment, you’ll incur a fee of up to $35.
Contact customer service. If you have questions about your account, call the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, call 800-531-8722 for the banking services line.
The American Legion USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card is overpowered by other cards on the market, but it offers decent benefits. It’s a good choice if you want to show your support for the American Legion.
The card may be especially helpful if you’re about to go into active military duty, as you’ll receive a special interest rate on all balances.
You’re more likely to qualify for a low APR if you have a good credit score of 670 or higher.
A balance transfer card can be useful if you’re paying heavy interest on your current credit card. You can move your existing balance to another card that offers low or no interest for a period of time. This can help you pay off your debt faster and more cheaply.
You can earn unlimited points, and they don’t expire.
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