Top USAA credit cards 2019: Rewards for military members | finder.com

Compare USAA credit cards

Solid reward cards from the bank of choice for military families.

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USAA Savings Bank

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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

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
N/A
8.9% to 25.9% variable
$0
Enjoy USAA's lowest rate card. Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fee.
2x points on gas and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
11.9% to 27.9% variable
$0
Get 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase. Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fee.
1.5% cash back on all purchases
13.9% to 27.9% 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.
3x points on dining, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points for all other purchases
11.9% to 27.9% variable
$0
Earn 3x points on dining, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points for all other purchases.
5% cash back on up to $3,000 in combined annual gas and military base purchases, 2% on up to $3,000 at supermarkets annually and 1% on all other purchases
13.9% to 27.9% variable
$0
Earn 5% cash back on the first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. Earn 2% on the first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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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.

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • Get this card if: You look for cash back.

This card is a good choice for most individuals and families, as it offers a simple flat cashback rate on all purchases.

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
  • Get this card if: You look for credit card for everyday purchases.

This card offers strong rewards for dining, gas and groceries. And unlike similar everyday cards, your points aren’t capped. Redeem points for airfare, merchandise, cash and more.

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
  • Get this card if: You look for credit cards with low interest.

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%.

USAA Military Affiliate Card

USAA Military Affiliate Card
  • Get this card if: You look for intro APR.

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.

How we selected our top cards

We compared a variety of factor 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 highlight in their respective category.

What’s changed in 2019

Without any enormous changes to speak of across the USAA credit card line, our top USAA choices remained largely the same. They continue to offer a solid selection of cards catered specifically to USAA members.

USAA rewards program

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

  • Airfare
  • Merchandise
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

Does USAA offer balance transfer credit cards?

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.

Eligibility criteria

  • 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.

Find out whether you qualify for a USAA card

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 won’t have to pay for unauthorized purchases on your account.

Bottom line

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.

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