USAA Rewards™ Visa Signature® Credit Card review | finder.com

USAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card review – September 2018

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Get rewarded for everyday spending, and get a low APR during deployment or permanent change of station.

30-seconds take

  • Get this card if you’re on active duty and want a low APR.
  • Pick something else if you want higher cash back.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameUSAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases11.65% to 27.65% variable
Balance Transfer Fee3%
Cash Advance Rate11.65% to 27.65% 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
Minimum Age18 years of age
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

Members of the US military who are looking for a credit card that will earn reward points — and will give them low APR during deployment or permanent change of station (PCS) — should check out this card.

You’ll earn more points for every dollar spent on gas and dining. You can redeem points for cash, merchandise, gift cards, travel or donate to your favorite military affiliate group.

The perks

  • Earn points.

    Earn unlimited 2 points on dining and gas and 1x point on all other purchases. Redeem points for an airline or cruise ticket, merchandise and gift cards, get cash credited to your account or deposited to your USAA checking or savings account or donate to a participating charity or military affiliate group.

  • Deployment and PCS rate.

    Get a 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS. After that, an APR of 11.65% to 27.65% variable will apply.

  • Special SCRA rate.

    Receive a 4% APR on your existing balance when you enter active duty until one year after you complete active duty.

  • Military Campaign Benefit.

    Get a rebate on all finance charges accrued while you serve in a qualified military campaign.

  • No annual fee.

    As a cardholder, you don’t have to worry about paying an annual fee.

You’ll also like …

  • No penalty APR.

    You won’t have your APR raised for late or missed payments. Other cards have up to 30% penalty APR that can last indefinitely.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    You won’t pay transaction fees when you travel outside of the US. Other cards have up to 3% fee for each transaction.

  • Card security.

    Get added security and a worldwide acceptance with a chip card. Additionally, get $0 fraud liability and increased security measures, such as biometrics, Quick Logon, Cyber Code text and computer recognition.

  • Travel assistance and roadside assistance.

    Get travel assistance in case of medical, legal or any other emergency need you may have. Also if your car breaks down, call 1-866-200-9866 and USAA will send help.

  • Visa® Signature benefits.

    Get price protection, extended warranty, identity theft resolution services, concierge service, travel accident insurance, baggage coverage and trip cancellation insurance with your Visa® Signature card.

Will I get Visa Signature card or Visa Platinum card?

It depends on the credit limit USAA will assign to you.

  • If your credit limit is less than $5,000 — you’ll get the Visa Platinum card.
  • If your credit limit is more than $5,000 — you’ll get the Visa Signature card.

What to watch out for

  • No signup bonus.

    Most cards come with a signup bonus once you meet certain spending criteria, but not this card. If you want a signup bonus, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

  • No intro APR period.

    The card has a relatively low APR, especially if you’re on PCS or deployment. But you won’t get an intro APR period on balance transfers or purchases.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want higher cash back rewards.

    Consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express which lets you earn 6 back on grocery purchases up to $6,000 per year and 1% after that, 3 at gas stations and select department stores and 1 back on all other purchases.

    Alternatively, get PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, which allows you to earn unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases or 2% back for PenFed Honors Advantage members. A similar 1% cashback card is the Citi® Double Cash Card.

  • You want low APR.

    The Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard® has one of the lowest APRs on purchases and balance transfers of 13.74%, plus you get a long intro APR period on balance transfers.

  • You want intro APR period.

    Consider the Citi Simplicity® Card where you get one of the longest 0% intro APR periods on balance transfers and purchases of a full 18 months following your account opening. After that, a variable APR of 15.74% to 25.74% will apply.

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

You can transfer balances of up to 95% of your available credit limit. USAA may refuse balances that exceed your credit limit. Balances that come from other USAA accounts will be denied.

It may take up to four business days for USAA to process balance transfers electronically. All other business transfers will likely take between 7 to 10 business days.

The fee for each transfer is 3% of the transaction, with a maximum of $200. This makes balance transfers a bargain if your requested amount is more than $7,000.

What should I know before I apply?

In order to apply for the card, you must be a USAA member, US citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years old.

You’ll also need to provide:

  • Full name and contact information.
  • Marital status.
  • Birthdate.
  • Proof of employment and income.

Who is eligible for a USAA membership?

  • Active military personnel. Individuals serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy.
  • Former military personnel. Retired or separated from the US military with an honorable discharge.
  • Family members. Widows, widowers and unremarried former spouses of USAA members who joined USAA prior to or during the marriage and individuals whose parents joined USAA.
  • 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 680 or higher. Applying with a better credit score will likely get you a higher credit limit and a lower APR.

What do customers say about the USAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card?

The Better Business Bureau rates USAA with an A+, but it hasn’t accredited the financial institution yet. Most customer complaints at BBB have been about false advertising and issues with the insurance department.

As for the card, some complaints go for poor customer support while praises go for the low APR.

How to apply for the USAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card

  1. Visit USAA website and find the USAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card from the list of credit cards, then click Get started or Log on.
  2. Log in to your USAA membership account and fill out your application form.
  3. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to get my USAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card?

USAA can approve your application within a minute. In some cases when more information is needed, it may take a few business days to a few weeks for USAA to make a decision.

Upon approval, you’ll get your card within 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download USAA Mobile app. Use it to manage your account, to pay your bills, find an ATM nearby and more.
  • Enroll in Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. Make payments through your phone.
  • Pay on time. You’ll pay up to $35 fee for late payments.
  • Customer service. If you need help, call 1-210-531-USAA (8722)

    or 1-800-531-USAA, or you can chat online with customer support representative.

Bottom line

If you’re affiliated with the military and looking for a card that earns rewards points on every purchase, the USAA® Rewards(TM) Visa Signature® Card could be an ideal solution. Aside from earning rewards, you’ll get a low APR on all balances during deployment or PCS, and you’ll get a special SCRA rate on all existing balances when you enter active duty.

You can also check out similar low APR or balance transfer credit cards to find the right one.

Frequently asked questions

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.
Go to site