USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card review
Get accelerated cash back on gas and purchases made at military bases.
- Get this card if you’re affiliated with the military and often on the road.
- Pick something else if you want higher cash back on other categories.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Up to 5%
11.9% to 25.9%
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
|Rewards||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|
|Purchase APR||11.9% to 25.9% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||11.9% to 25.9% variable|
|Recommended minimum credit score||670|
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
The main feature of the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card is its rewards — you get one of the highest cashback rates on gas and purchases made at military bases. You also get decent cash back on groceries.
Furthermore, if you’re deployed, if you’re in a permanent change of station or if you enter active military duty, you’ll get a low APR for a period.
However, you’ll likely need good to excellent credit to qualify for the card, and you must be eligible for USAA membership.
How do I apply for the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card?
- Go to USAA website and find the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card from the list of credit cards. Click Get started or Log on.
- Once you log in to your membership account, fill out your application form.
- Review your application and submit it.
How do I redeem rewards from USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card?
Redeem your cash back at any time by accessing the USAA Rewards Service Center at the USAA website or call 1-800-980-USAA (8722).
- Cash back. Earn 5% on gas and purchases made at military bases on up to $3,000 in combined purchases, then 1%, and 2% back on supermarket purchases on up to $3,000 per year. After that, and on everything else you buy, earn 1% back.
- No annual fee. You won’t have to pay an annual fee to own the card.
How much cashback rewards can I earn with the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card?
|Where you spend:||The amount you spend:||Cash back earned:|
If your annual spending looks similar to our example, you would earn a total of $240 cash back per year.
Note that the 5% cash back applies for combined purchases of $3,000 annually for the first two categories, and 1% after that. This means if you spend $3,000 on gas but $0 at military bases, you would earn $150 cash back on gas alone.
You’ll also like …
- No foreign transaction fee. You won’t pay any fees for transactions made outside of the US. Similar cards have a foreign transaction fees of up to 3% every time you use your card abroad.
- No penalty APR. If you make a late payment, you’ll only pay up to a $35 fee. With other cards, you could end up with a penalty APR of up to 31%.
- Deployment, PCS and SCRA rates.
If you’re deployed or in a permanent change of station, you’ll enjoy a low 4% fixed APR on all balances for 12 months. And if you enter active military duty, you’ll receive the same 4% fixed APR on all current balances until one year after you complete active duty. After that, a variable APR of 11.9% to 25.9% will apply.
- Card protection features.
Enjoy zero liability for unauthorized charges, secure logon options and support in case of identity theft.
What to watch out for
- Cap on cash back. You’re limited to $3,000 in combined purchases for the 5% rate and $3,000 for the 2% cashback categories. After reaching the cap for either, you earn 1% back.
- No intro APR period. You start off with a variable APR of 11.9% to 25.9%. If you’re looking to transfer your balance from another account, or if you want to make a large purchase and to pay it off interest-free for a prolonged period of time, check out 0% intro APR cards.
Compare credit cards for military members
Some credit card providers like USAA offer benefits for military service members and their families. Compare the best cards for service members, or take a look at similar cashback credit cards.
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for this card, you must be:
- A US citizen or permanent resident.
- At least 18 years old.
- A member of the military, a veteran who was honorably discharged or an eligible family member of military personnel.
- Full name and residential address.
- Marital status and birthdate.
- Contact information.
- Proof of employment and income information.
If your application is approved, you can choose your military affiliate card design.
Who is eligible for a USAA membership?
- Active military personnel. Anyone serving in the US Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy.
- Former military personnel. Retired or separated individuals from the US military with an honorable discharge.
- Family members. This includes widows, widowers and unremarried former spouses of USAA members who joined USAA prior to or during the marriage and individuals whose parents are USAA members.
- Cadets and midshipmen. Cadets and midshipmen at US service academies, advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship and officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.
What credit score do I need?
Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher. For a lower APR, make sure you apply with a credit score that’s on the upper end of the scale and income enough to easily repay your debt.
USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card reviews and complaints
Customers who are happy with the card love the high cashback rewards on gas. They also praise the USAA customer support.
USAA is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but it earns an A- rating from the agency as of October 2020. As of this writing, 92% of its reviews are negative and it has over 1,422 customer complaints. USAA customers report unexpected changes to reward balances and a complicated customer service process.
The company earns a Trustpilot score of 1.4 out of 5 as of October 2020. Many negative reviews cite unsympathetic customer service and difficulty getting fraud claims resolved. Positive reviews say customer service is responsive and the bank’s products have strong features.
I got the card. Now what?
- Download USAA Mobile app. Use it to monitor your credit score, to manage your account, set up alerts, track and redeem your rewards and more.
- Enroll in Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. This simplifies your credit card payments by using your phone.
- Customer service. For any questions, call 210-531-USAA (8722) or 800-531-USAA. For fastest service, USAA recommends calling from Tuesday through Friday. You can also chat online with a customer support representative.
If you’re affiliated with the military and looking for a credit card that earns one of the highest cashback rates on gas, the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card could be helpful.
Make sure you check out other credit cards to compare your options and choose the best card for you.