The bank of choice for military families, with solid reward cards to boot.
USAA has carved out a niche as the premier bank for military families. Its hallmark is its special interest rate for active military personnel, but a few of its cards offer strong rewards as well. Standouts include the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card and USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card.
Compare USAA credit cards
Best USAA credit cards
Many USAA cards aren’t as powerful as products you’ll find from other major providers. But the bank offers solid cards for cashback and everyday rewards, and it’s an especially good choice if you’re a military member on active duty.
Best for cash back: USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions. Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees.
This card is a good choice for most individuals and families, as it offers a simple flat cashback rate on all purchases.
Best for everyday purchases: USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
USAA® Rewards™ American Express® CardRead more
This card offers strong rewards for dining, gas and groceries. And unlike similar everyday cards, your points are never capped. Redeem points for airfare, merchandise, cash and more.
Best for low interest: USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® CardRead more
If you have excellent credit and plan on carrying a balance on your card, the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card might be perfect for you. That’s because it offers an APR on all balances as low as 8.9% variable. That’s quite a good rate, considering the average credit card APR is around 16%.
Best for rebuilding credit: USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card
USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card
Get a card that can help you build credit. Determine your own credit limit. When you apply, you'll open a two-year certificate of deposit (CD) with $250 to $5,000. The balance of your CD is your credit limit.
Pound for pound, there are better secured credit cards. But USAA’s product comes with a potentially low APR, and your security deposit will earn interest.
Best for intro APR: USAA Military Affiliate Cards
USAA Military Affiliate Cards
Earn 2,500 bonus points when you make your first purchase and earn 1x points on all purchases.
Through USAA’s military-affiliate program, you can get a credit card emblazoned with your favorite military group’s design. You’ll also receive an intro APR on balance transfers.
USAA rewards program
USAA reward cards offer either cash back or points.
If your card offers points, you can redeem them for rewards that include:
- Gift cards.
- Cash rewards.
- Donations to charities.
- Cruise tickets.
How can you redeem rewards?
To redeem rewards, log in to your credit card account on the USAA website. Then navigate to the USAA Rewards Service Center. You can also call 1-800-900-8722 to redeem your rewards.
How much are rewards worth?
USAA points are worth 1 cent apiece, which is standard across the credit card industry. For some rewards, points might be worth less than that rate. For example, 6,000 points may be worth only $50 in cash rewards instead of $60.
Typical card features and benefits of a USAA card
- No annual fee. Almost every USAA card has no annual fee. The exception is the USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card which has a $35 annual fee.
- Rewards.You’ll typically find rewards with USAA cards, except the bank’s low-rate and secured cards.
- No foreign transaction fees. All USAA’s cards come with no foreign transaction fees, making them great choices to take on trips abroad.
- Some signup bonus. Only USAA’s military-affiliate cards, USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card and USAA Rewards™ cards offer signup bonuses.
- Ongoing APR between 11% and 27% variable. USAA cards have a wide range of APRs. This makes them more attractive if you have excellent credit, as you may score a lower-than-average interest rate.
- No penalty APR. Some providers will assess penalty APRs to all your balances of around 30% variable if you make a late or returned payment. Luckily, USAA won’t.
- Special interest rates for those in active duty. USAA offers as low as a 4% fixed APR on all balances to eligible military members.
How to apply for a USAA card
To apply for a USAA card, visit the USAA website and click Get started.
If you have an account, enter your username and password. If not, click Get started now. USAA will verify your eligibility for its products.
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- You are an eligible military affiliate who qualifies for USAA membership.
Information you’ll need
- Your name and residential address.
- Your Social Security number and date of birth.
- Your email address and phone number.
- Financial information like your annual income and income source.
How does USAA keep my credit card information secure?
USAA maintains a Cyber Threat Operations Center that constantly monitors online threats. It offers multiple tools for enhanced login security, such as CyberCode Text, Computer Recognition and Biometrics.
When you join USAA, you’re automatically enrolled in the bank’s security and fraud alerts program. If USAA spots suspicious activity on your account, it will notify you by text or email. Additionally, you can receive free CreditCheck Monitoring from Experian, which will alert you to changes in your credit reports.
USAA uses encryption software so your data is scrambled and safe from third parties. It also deploys virus and malware detection software.
Under USAA’s Zero Liability Policy, you never have to pay for unauthorized purchases on your account.
USAA offers solid cards for cashback rewards and everyday purchases. Because of its special interest rates, it’s a strong choice for military members in active duty.
If you’re not sure whether a USAA product is right for you, check out other credit card providers to compare more options.