USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum review September 2018 |

USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card review – September 2018

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The card that helps you build credit.

The USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card can help you build or improve your credit — when you keep your credit utilization ratio low and make payments on time. If you’d like to increase your credit limit, you can increase your deposit and request a limit increase.

Product NameUSAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$35
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases11.65% to 21.65% variable
Balance Transfer Fee3%
Cash Advance Rate11.65% to 21.65% variable
Cash Advance Fee3% of the cash advance amount
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Minimum Interest$0
Late Payment FeeUp to $35
Returned Payment FeeUp to $35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

The USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card can help you build credit when you keep your credit utilization ratio low and consistently make on-time payments. To get the secured card you must open a 2-year certificate of deposit (CD), which earns a 0.54% variable APY. The annual percentage yield will change periodically throughout the two-year term.

The money deposited into the CD acts as a security deposit and becomes your credit limit — when you open a CD with $500 your credit limit becomes $500, minus the annual fee. A minimum deposit of $250 is required, with a maximum of $5,000.

Expect a range of 11.65% to 21.65% variable APR, and a $35 annual fee. To be eligible for the card you must be affiliated with the military and qualify for a USAA membership. The card offers special military rates for those on active military duty and deployment. It also includes a variety of security, retail and travel benefits, which aren’t typically offered with secured cards.

The perks

  • penalty APR. You won’t be penalized for late or missed payments.
  • Determine your own credit limit. When you apply you’ll open a 2-year CD with $250 to $5,000. The balance of your CD is your credit limit and acts as your security deposit.
  • Earn interest. You have the benefit of earning a variable interest on the balance of the CD, currently at 0.54% APY.
  • foreign transaction fees. You won’t pay a foreign transaction fee when you make purchases outside of the US.
  • Collision damage waiver coverage. Covers physical damage to and theft of most rental vehicles.
  • Security. Comes with chip technology and USAA provides assistance should you become the victim of identity theft.
  • Extended warranty. Extend your manufacturer’s or store-brand warranties for up to one year.
  • Convenience. Get your account balance and transaction history by text message, or access your account on the USAA website or mobile app.

You’ll also like…

  • Deployment/PCS Rate. Get 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS. After 12 months the regular APR, currently from 11.65% to 21.65% variable , will apply. This rate will vary with the market, based on the prime rate.
  • Special 4% SCRA Rate. You’ll get 4% APR on your existing balance when you enter active duty.
  • Military Campaign Benefit. You’ll get a rebate on all finance charges accrued while you served in a qualified military campaign.

Get Valuable rewards with USAA Credit Cards

USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card Features

  • Annual fee. As a cardholder, you can expect an annual fee of $35.
  • APR. The APR ranges from 11.65% to 21.65% variable depending on creditworthiness. The percentage is based on the prime rate.
  • APY. You can earn a variable 0.54% APY on the balance of the CD.
  • Credit card. This card is a true credit card — not a debit or prepaid card.
  • Secure. The card is installed with chip technology for added security. Additionally, you are not liable for any unauthorized purchases.
  • Balance transfer fee. For all balance transfers and cash advances, you can expect a 3% fee with a maximum of $200.

How to apply for the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card

Eligibility requirements

In order to apply for the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® 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

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

Required documents & information

  • Full name
  • Physical address
  • Marital status
  • Birthdate
  • Contact information
  • Proof of employment and income

Steps to apply

Once you’ve gathered your info, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Head over to the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card landing page.
  2. Click the green “Get Started” button.
  3. If you’re already a member of USAA, you’ll then log in to your account. If you’re new to USAA, click the “Get Started Now” link toward the bottom of the page.
    • If you followed the “Get Started Now” link, it’ll take you through some steps to determine if you are eligible for USAA membership.
    • If you qualify, sign up for a USAA membership and navigate back to the USAA Secured Card American Express® Card landing page and click the “Get Started” button.
  4. Once you log in to your USAA account, you can begin the application process.
  5. Provide the information requested in the online application and learn whether you qualify for the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card.

I got the card! Now what?

  • Avoiding interest. To avoid paying interest on your purchases, pay your entire balance by the due date each month.
  • Avoiding fees. There is a transaction fee of 3% on cash advances, but this fee is waived when you transfer funds electronically from your USAA credit card to your USAA Bank deposit account.
  • Customer service. You can reach USAA at 800-531-USAA (or 800-531-8722).
  • Graduating to a secured card. The USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card doesn’t provide a direct path to an unsecured card. While your approval isn’t guaranteed, you can apply for an unsecured credit card once you’ve raised your credit score with the secured one.

What customers are saying about the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card

You won’t find many negative online comments about the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card, which is fairly unusual in the world of secured credit cards. The Better Business Bureau gives USAA an A+, and it has a composite score of 3.79 out of 5. Trustpilot lists some negative reviews about USAA in general, but those are few and far between when you look at the whole picture.

Bottom line

If you’re affiliated with the military and looking for a card that will help you improve your credit, the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card could be an ideal solution. For it to be effective, you’ll have to use it responsibly, keep your credit utilization ratio low and make your monthly payments on time. Its perks and high customer satisfaction make it a solid choice, but be sure to compare it with other credit cards before making a decision.

Frequently asked questions

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at 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.

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