Review: Cash Rewards® American Express® Card – June 2017

This card is no longer offered.

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

American Express cards typically arrive with a suite of features, and the USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® Card is no exception. Cardholders gain Amex’s travel, concierge, and insurance benefits immediately. They’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 )10.65% - 26.65% variable
Annual fee$0
Cash Advance Rate26.65% 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 transaction amount (maximum fee is $200)

USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® Card Review

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, and more; assistance with travel planning; rental car insurance; and shopping benefits like price protection and extended warranties. USAA’s perks are considerable, too: The 2.25% cash back on groceries and gas will save money on weekly purchases, and military service members on deployment will especially like the card’s lenient interest rates and fee reimbursements.

The card can get better or worse depending on your credit. The variable purchase, cash, and transfer APR can sit at 10.65% - 26.65% variable — a rate you could boast about. Regardless of what your interest rates land on, however, you can immediately enjoy a $0 p.a. annual fee, cash rewards redeemable at any time, and no foreign transaction fees.

Benefits of the USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® Card

  • Cash back rewards. 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.
  • Unlimited potential cash back earnings. You won’t have to worry about hitting a cap on your cash back rewards.
  • Cash rewards redeemable anytime. USAA’s cash back policy lets you cash out anytime (as long as you take out at least $1).
  • No foreign transaction fees. You can use your USAA Amex card outside of the United States with no fees.
  • Rental car insurance. If you rent a car with your USAA Amex card, you’ll be covered by the card’s insurance for collision damage.
  • Amex security. Your card will be covered by American Express’ identity theft protection, price protection, and extended purchase warranties.
  • Concierge service. You’ll have 24/7 access to Amex’s concierge service, with which you can receive assistance for travel, dining, entertainment, and more.
  • Travel perks. You can use American Express Travel Assistance Services to obtain travel information, medical and legal services, roadside assistance, baggage delay coverage, trip cancellation insurance, and more.
  • Special benefits for military service members. Military service members on deployment enjoy additional benefits like a reduced 4% interest rate for up to 12 months on all balances and complete rebates on all finance charges while on military campaigns.

Features of the USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® Card

  • No grace period for cash advances or balance transfers. Note that there is no interest-free period for cash advances or balance transfers — you’ll accrue interest immediately.
  • 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).
  • Balance transfer limit. You can transfer balances of up to  of your credit limit.
  • Balance transfer restrictions. You can’t transfer a balance from a USAA account.
  • 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.
  • Sliding APR scale. Based on your credit, you could qualify for a purchase, cash, and transfer APR as low as 10.65% - 26.65% variable.
  • 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.

How to apply for the USAA Cash Rewards® American Express® Card

Eligibility criteria

  • You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You are a member of the military, a veteran who was honorably discharged, or an eligible family member of military personnel

Required documents & information

  • Your name, residential status, and residential address
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your email address, phone number, and date of birth
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