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USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card review

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.
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2,500

Points as welcome offer

Up to 3x

Points

$0

Annual fee

9.9% to 25.9%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$0
Welcome offer2,500 points with your first purchase
Rewards3x points on dining, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points for all other purchases
Purchase APR9.9% to 25.9% variable
Balance transfer APR9.9% to 25.9% variable
Minimum Credit Score670
IssuerAmerican Express

Review by


Megan Horner is the credit cards publisher at Finder. She's passionate about helping you find the best credit cards to meet your financial needs — whether that's earning great rewards or improving your credit score. Megan's expertise has been spotlighted on Lifehacker, CreditCards.com, American Banker and featured on news broadcasts across the country.

Expert review

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.

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

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 at least 18 years old, a US citizen or permanent resident. Here’s how to apply:

  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, such as your full name, address and contact information, marital status, birthdate, contact information and income.
  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.

    USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card benefits

    • No annual fee. You won’t pay any annual fees for the life of the card.
    • 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 9.9% to 25.9%.
    • 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 9.9% to 25.9%, applies.
    • 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.

      USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card drawbacks

        Compare military credit cards

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

        Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
        Citi® Double Cash Card
        N/A
        Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
        $0
        Earn up to 2% on every purchase with no annual fee. This is the highest flat-rate cashback card on the market.
        The Platinum Card® from American Express
        100,000 points after spending $6,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 in combined eligible purchases in the same timeframe
        10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US on up to $25,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other eligible purchases
        $695

        New Platinum Exclusive Offer

        One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $7,000 based on Finder's valuation, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
        Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
        N/A
        1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare or cash back
        $995
        Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
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        USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card reviews and complaints

        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 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. 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 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.

        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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