Review: Cash Rewards® American Express® Card — August 2017

This card is no longer offered.

An Amex card with impressive USAA rewards and generous perks for military personnel.

American Express cards are know to provide a wide array of features, and the USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® Card is no exception. You’ll gain Amex’s travel, concierge and insurance benefits immediately. You’ll also like the card’s $0 p.a. annual fee, generous cash back rewards on purchases like gas and groceries and USAA’s accommodating perks for military service members.

Product NameUSAA Cash Rewards® American Express®
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)10.65% - 26.65% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )12.90% to 26.90% variable
Annual fee$0
Cash Advance Rate26.90% variable
Card TypeAmerican Express
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 25 days
Returned Payment Fee$35
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
0% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$0
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$0
Returned Payment Fee$35
Over The Credit Line Fee$0
Late Payment Fee$35
Cash Advance Fee3% of the amount of each cash advance (maximum fee for each convenience check: $200).
Rewards ProgramAmerican Express Rewards
Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX)0
Points ExpiryNever

The basics

The USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® card is backed by American Express®, which offers an impressive suite of world-class benefits. You’ll enjoy 24/7 concierge service for dining, entertainment, assistance with travel planning, rental car insurance, and shopping benefits like price protection and extended warranties.

Every time you use the card, earn 2.25% cash back on groceries and gas, saving you money on things you buy anyway. There’s no limit on your points and they never expire. Military service members on deployment will especially like the card’s lenient interest rates and fee reimbursements.

Your interest rate depends on your credit, at 12.90% to 26.90% variable. Regardless of your interest rate you’ll always enjoy a $0 annual fee, cash rewards redeemable at any time, and no foreign transaction fees.

The perks

  • Cash back rewards. Earn 2.25% cash back on groceries and gas, and up to 1.25% cash back on everything else.
  • Cash rewards redeemable anytime. USAA’s cash back policy lets you cash out anytime.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Use your USAA Amex card outside of the US with no fees.
  • Rental car insurance. You’re covered with collision insurance when you rent a car with your USAA Amex card.
  • Amex security. Includes identity theft protection, price protection and extended purchase warranties.
  • Concierge service. Access Amex’s concierge service for travel, dining, entertainment and more.
  • Travel perks. Offers assistance for when you travel like medical and legal services, roadside assistance, baggage delay coverage, trip cancellation insurance and more.

You’ll also like…

    • Special 4% SCRA rate. You’ll get 4% APR on your existing balance when you enter active duty.
    • Deployment/PCS Rate. Get 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS. After 12 months, the regular APR, currently between 10.65% to 26.65% variable, will apply. This rate will vary with the market, based on the prime rate.
    • Military Campaign Benefit. You’ll get a rebate on all finance charges accrued while you served in a qualified military campaign.

    What to watch out for

    • Only for members of the military and their family members. To qualify for the card, you need to be an active military member, a veteran who was honorably discharged, or an eligible military family member.
    • Late and returned payment fees. Late payment comes with a $25 fee for the first transgression in six billing periods; otherwise, the fee is $35. The same fee structure applies for returned payments.
    • Balance transfer and cash advance fee. When transferring balances and taking out cash advances, remember to factor in the fee of 3% of the transaction amount (maximum fee is $200).

    Compare other American Express credit cards

    Rates last updated August 24th, 2017
    Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
    Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
    13.99% to 25.99% variable
    0% Intro APR for 12 months (with 5% for each balance transfer, with a minimum of $5% balance transfer fee)
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    Blue from American Express® Card
    16.24, 19.24 or 21.24% variable
    16.2419.2421.24% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater% balance transfer fee)
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    Blue Sky from American Express® Card
    18.24, 21.24 or 23.24% variable
    18.2421.2423.24% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    Flexible travel rewards and no annual fee.
    Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
    16.24% to 20.24% variable
    16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    Earn 50000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
    16.24% to 20.24% variable
    16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $75
    Earn 75000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    American Express Serve®
    FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations nationwide.
    The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express
    16.24% variable
    16.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $95
    Earn 10000 Membership Rewards ® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    USAA Cash Rewards® American Express®
    12.90% to 26.90% variable
    $0
    You can receive up to 2.25% cash back on groceries and gas, as well as up to 1.25% cash back on most purchases.
    Plenti® Credit Card from Amex
    15.99% to 25.99% variable
    15.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    Earn 5000 Plenti® points after you spend $250 in purchases on your Plenti® Credit Card from Amex within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
    16.74% to 25.74% variable
    16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $195
    Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
    16.74% to 25.74% variable
    16.7425.74% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    Earn 50000 Bonus Miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
    16.74% to 25.74% variable
    16.74% to 25.74%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $450
    Earn 10000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
    16.74% to 25.74% variable
    16.4925.49% Intro APR for 60 days (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $195
    Earn bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    American Express® Green Card
    No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
    $0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
    Shop with more confidence
    Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
    No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
    $195 for the Premier Rewards Gold Card and $0 for the Basic Card
    More Points. More Rewards.
    The Platinum Card® from American Express
    No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
    $550
    Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
    13.99% to 24.99% variable
    0% Intro APR for first 15 months (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    EARN $150 BACK after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
    Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
    13.99% to 24.99% variable
    $95
    EARN $200 BACK after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
    Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
    13.99% to 23.99% variable
    0% Intro APR for first 12 months (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    Earn 10000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
    Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
    13.99% to 23.99% variable
    0% Intro APR for 12 months (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $95
    Earn 30000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card
    16.24% to 20.24% variable
    16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days (with $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.% balance transfer fee)
    $0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
    Earn 30000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    USAA Classic American Express®
    18.40% - 24.40% variable
    $35
    Get access to rental car collision damage and waiver coverage (don’t worry about physical damage to your rental car) and travel benefits.
    USAA Secured Card American Express®
    10.90% to 20.90% variable
    $35
    You can get travel benefits (no foreign transaction fees), retail benefits and collision damage waiver coverage on your rental car.
    USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
    12.40% - 26.40% Variable
    $0
    Get high cash back rewards on most purchases, including gasoline, groceries and military base purchases.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    What do I need to know before I apply?

    Eligibility criteria

    In order to apply for the USAA Cash Rewards American Express Card, you must be a member of the military, a veteran who was honorably discharged or an eligible family member of military personnel. You also must be:

    • A US citizen or permanent resident
    • At least 18 years old

    Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

    Required documents & information

    • Full name and address
    • Marital status
    • Birthdate
    • Contact information
    • Proof of employment and income
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