USAA Rewards American Express Card review | finder.com

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card review

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USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

Earn points on dining, gas and groceries.

30-seconds take

  • Get this card if you’re affiliated with the military and you want to earn rewards on everyday purchases.
  • Pick something else if you want cash back or an intro APR period.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Product NameUSAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
Card TypeAmerican Express
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases11.9% to 27.9% variable
Introductory Purchase APR

N/A

Balance Transfer APR11.9% to 27.9% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Fee3%
Cash Advance Rate11.9% to 27.9% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee3% of the cash advance amount
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $35
Returned Payment FeeUp to $35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome OfferGet 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase.
Reward Value per Dollar1x points
Rewards Points ExpirationNever

The basics

With the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card, you earn points on dining, gas and groceries without paying an annual fee.

You and your family can also get a lower APR while on active duty, deployment or when you experience a permanent change of station — saving you money on interest payments.

The perks

  • Reward points.
    Earn 3x points when dining out, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points on everything else you buy.
  • Special 4% SCRA rate.
    You’ll get a 4% APR on your existing balance when you enter active duty. This applies until one year after you complete active duty.
  • Deployment and PCS Rate.
    Receive a 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or permanent change of station. After 12 months the regular variable APR, currently ranging from 11.9% to 27.9%, applies.
  • No annual fee.
    You won’t pay any annual fees for the life of the card.

How much rewards can I earn with the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card?

What you spend onHow much you spendPoints
Dining$5,00015,000
Gas$5,00010,000
Groceries$4,0008,000
Everything else$4,0004,000
Total$18,00037,000

If your annual spending looks similar to our example, you would earn 37,000 points in one year.

The value of USAA points ranges between 0.8 and 1 cents depending on what you redeem them for, which makes them worth up to $370.

You’ll also like …

  • No foreign transaction fees.
    When you travel abroad and use your card, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees.
  • No penalty APR.
    Your APR won’t get raised because of a late or failed payment.
  • Military affiliate credit card designs.
    Choose a design that shows your military affiliation.
  • Digital wallet.
    Simplify how you pay with your credit card by using your smart device with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

What to watch out for

  • No signup bonus.
    If you’re looking to earn a bonus on signup, look for another card.
  • No intro APR period.
    You won’t get a 0% APR period on balance transfers or purchases with this card. If that’s what you want, look into a credit card with an intro APR period.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the USAA® 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

In your application, provide your:

  • Full name, address and contact information
  • Marital status and birthdate
  • Contact information and income

Compare rewards credit cards

Updated January 22nd, 2019
Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
1% cash back
17.24% to 25.99% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
1.5% cash back
17.24% to 25.99% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
1% cash back
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

What do customers say about the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card?

Customers are happy with the accelerated reward rates. They also love the low APR for active duty personnel. However, there are some complaints around poor customer support. One customer even claims USAA didn’t lower their APR when they were on permanent change of station.

USAA Credit Card Services earns a Better Business Bureau rating of B. The business isn’t BBB accredited despite being active for more than 30 years. Most customer complaints there also go toward poor customer service for USAA in general.

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

  1. Visit the USAA website and find the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card from the list of credit cards. Click Get started or Log on.
  2. Enter the required information.
  3. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to get my USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card?

Expect your credit card to arrive 7 to 10 days after approval. When it arrives, you can activate the card online or over the phone.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download USAA Mobile app.Manage your account, set up alerts, redeem rewards and more with your mobile device.
  • Enroll in Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.Simplify your credit card payments once you set up a digital wallet.
  • Customer service. If you have any questions, call 210-531-8722 or 800-531-8722 and USAA customer service will assist you. USAA recommends calling from Tuesday through Friday.

How do I redeem rewards with the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card?

Log in to your USAA account and click View and redeem rewards.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Cash
  • Travel discounts
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Charitable donations

Bottom line

If you’re affiliated with the military and looking to earn rewards on dining, gas and groceries, the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card could be a helpful solution.

However, if you’re still interested in shopping around, check out other reward credit cards and compare your options.

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Frequently asked questions

Megan Horner

As the assistant publisher of credit cards at finder.com, Megan is passionate about helping you compare and find the best credit cards for your situation, whether that is earning great rewards or improving your credit score. In her previous position, Megan worked as an assigning editor at Credit Karma, where she focused on editing and publishing educational articles on credit cards. Megan started her career as a writer at a comparison website, so she has a longstanding background in surfacing the best deals and helping people make decisions. In her spare time, Megan likes to hike, camp, surf, and read.

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