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USAA credit cards 2022: Which one is best for you?

Compare credit cards from the bank of choice for military families.

Compare USAA credit cards

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. Use our table to compare all USAA credit cards side-by-side and find the one that fits your needs.

1 - 3 of 6
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
N/A
9.15% to 26.15% variable
$0
Enjoy USAA's lowest rate card. Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fee.
USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
1.5% cash back on all purchases
13.4% to 27.4% variable
$0
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.
USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
3x points on dining, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points for all other purchases
12.15% to 28.15% variable
$0
Earn 3x points on dining, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points for all other purchases.
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Best USAA credit cards

The best USAA credit card is the one that offers the biggest value for the lowest cost, whether that’s cash back, welcome offer size, or perks for military members and their families. We compared a variety of factors across USAA credit cards, including: rewards options, earning potential, interest rates, fees, introductory APR offers and other common credit card features.

The USAA cards that stood above the others when it came to performance were selected for our best list in their respective category. Without any enormous changes to speak of across the USAA credit card line in 2021, our top USAA choices for 2022 remained largely the same.

  • Why trust us? Unlike our competitors, Finder’s credit card experts research and write about all credit cards, including those from providers who aren’t partners on our site. Our trustworthy, unbiased evaluations are solely meant to help you choose the best credit card for your financial needs.

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

This card is a good choice for most individuals and families, as it offers a simple flat cashback rate on all purchases. The only potential drawback is the relative lack of card benefits, but this isn't a problem if you value simplicity.

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

This card offers strong rewards for everyday bonus categories like dining, gas and groceries. And unlike some everyday cards, your rewards points aren't capped. Redeem points for airfare, merchandise, cash and more.

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

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 6.9% variable depending on your creditworthiness. That's an excellent rate considering the average credit card APR is around 16%.

Best for rebuilding credit

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

This card offers a terrific 5% cash back on gas and military base purchases on your first $3,000 in purchases annually, and a solid 2% back on groceries on your first $3,000 in purchases annually. Plus, this card doesn't require an annual fee to use.

How to apply for a USAA card

To apply for a USAA card:

  1. Visit the USAA website at USAA.com and select Products on the top menu bar.
  2. Choose Credit cards under the Banking column of the drop-down menu.
  3. Browse USAA credit cards by feature. When you find one you’re interested in, hit the Get started button.
  4. If you have an account, enter your username and password. If not, select Join online. USAA will verify your eligibility for its products.

Application restrictions

The USAA has a few simple requirements for credit card qualification:

  • You’re at least 18 years old.
  • You’re an eligible military affiliate who qualifies for USAA membership. To qualify, you must:
    • Be in the US Military or honorably discharged.
    • Be in the process of joining the US Military.
    • Have a parent or spouse who is or was a member of the USAA.

You’ll need your:

  • Name and residential address.
  • Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Email address and phone number.
  • Financial information like your annual earnings and income source.

How many USAA cards can I have?

USAA doesn’t advertise a credit card limit on their website. However, some users on the MyFICO forums suggest that you can have multiple credit cards, but only up to a cap of $50,000 in total credit.

How to choose a USAA credit card

Consider these factors when deciding on a USAA credit card:

  • Don’t worry about annual or foreign transaction fees. At the time of this writing, all USAA cards have no annual fees. Previously, the exception was the USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card, but this product is currently not open for new applications. All of USAA’s cards come without foreign transaction fees, making them great choices to take on trips abroad.
  • Do you want rewards? You’ll typically find rewards with USAA cards, with the exception of the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card.
  • Are you looking for a welcome offer? USAA’s military-affiliate cards, USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card and USAA Rewards™ cards have welcome offers.
  • Do you have excellent credit? If so, you may qualify for the bank’s lowest APRs — potentially as low as around 7% to 11% variable. If you don’t have excellent credit, you may receive an APR as high as around 26% variable.
  • Are you currently in the military or are you about to enter the military? A few cards, including the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature®, offer specific benefits for being on active duty.
  • What design do you want? A few USAA cards let you choose your card design. Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but a fun thing to keep in mind.

Types of USAA cards

USAA offers a wide range of credit cards for eligible USAA members: rewards, APR and military affiliate credit cards. USAA rewards credit cards allow you to earn points when you use your card to make purchases on eligible products. Redeem these points on travel, gift cards and more.

With a USAA cashback card, you’ll get a percentage of your eligible purchases as cash back. You’ll often receive this as a statement credit.

USAA also offers one credit card designed for those looking for a low APR. Strangely, this card doesn’t offer cardholders an intro APR period. Additionally, USAA offers a few cards that let you choose a particular military affiliate for your design. Make purchases with this card and USAA will make a small donation to your chosen affiliate.

USAA rewards program

USAA rewards cards offer either cash back or points. If your card offers points, redeem them for rewards that include:

  • Airfare.
  • Merchandise.
  • Gift cards.
  • Cash rewards.
  • Donations to charities.
  • Cruise tickets.

How do 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. Or, call 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. Depending on your choice of reimbursement, points might be worth less than that rate. For example, 6,000 points may be worth only $50 in cash rewards instead of $60.

Full list of USAA Bank credit cards

Alternatives to USAA credit cards

The USAA is one of the more popular military credit card providers, but you have a few other options. Navy Federal and PenFed are two other big names in the military credit card space.

Compare all three providers using our full military card guide. If you’re not sure whether a USAA product is right for you, check out top credit card providers to compare more options.

Frequently asked questions

How does USAA keep my credit card information secure?

USAA employs several of the standard issue security features for its card accounts, including fraud alerts, a zero liability policy and encryption software for its website.

Are there fees associated with my USAA credit card?

Depending on the card, there are annual, balance transfer, late payment and cash advance fees. There are also particular cards that charge a foreign currency conversion fee. Have this in mind before you decide.

How can I increase my USAA secured card credit limit?

For secured cards, you may be able to increase your limit as your credit score increases. Develop a history of paying bills on time to build your credit limit.

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