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USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card review

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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.

2,500

Points as welcome offer

Up to 3x

Points

$0

Annual fee

11.9% to 27.9%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Product NameUSAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card
Card typeAmerican Express
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR11.9% to 27.9% variable
Balance transfer APR11.9% to 27.9% variable
Balance transfer fee3%
Cash advance rate11.9% to 27.9% variable
Cash advance fee3% of the cash advance amount
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 25 days
Late payment feeUp to $35
Returned payment feeUp to $35
Additional cardholder fee$0

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.

    You’ll also get 2,500 bonus points after you make your first purchase on your card.

  • Special 4% SCRA rate.
    You’ll get a 4% fixed APR on your existing balance when you enter active duty. This applies until one year after you complete active duty. After that, your rate will revert to a variable APR of 11.9% to 27.9%.
  • Deployment and PCS Rate.
    Receive a 4% fixed 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 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 0.1 cent depending on what you redeem them for, which makes your points 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

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 credit cards for military members

Some credit card providers like USAA offer cards with perks for military service members and their families. Compare cards with benefits for service members, or take a look at similar rewards credit cards.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
N/A
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$39
Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limit on how much you can earn, and no changing categories.
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$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. Rates & fees
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
$100 after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
$100 after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
5x points on gas at the pump, 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases
$0
Earn 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated September 17th, 2019
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
3% cash back bonus on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5%
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
$0
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
$150 after spending $500 in the first 90 days
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. 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 are about 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 seven 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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