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Review: USAA secured credit cards

USAA's secured cards are discontinued at this time.

USAA currently doesn’t offer any secured credit cards. But according to its website, the bank is planning on releasing a new secured card in the future.

While they were still offered, USAA secured cards came with potentially low APRs and no foreign transaction fees. At the same time, they had annual fees of $35, compared to the $0 annual fees of several great secured credit cards.

USAA is a reputable financial resource for people of the US Armed Forces and their families. If you have poor or no credit, a USAA secured credit cards gives you an opportunity to build your credit with a trustworthy financial group.

And if the security of a USAA secured credit cards isn’t rewarding enough, this card requires the purchase of a two-year certificate of deposit (CD). This means that while you use this credit card, you’re earning interest and increasing your investment. That’s money in your pocket as long as you keep up with payments.

What types of secured credit cards does USAA offer?

USAA used to offer these two secured credit cards:

  • USAA® Secured American Express® Card
  • USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card

As we mentioned above, however, these cards aren’t open to new applicants right now.

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Please note: Both of these cards have been discontinued, and are not available on our site.

Alternatives to USAA secured cards

USAA secured cards might not be available at this time, but there are other great secured cards to compare. These include:

The basics

A USAA secured credit cards can help you rebuild your credit when you keep your credit utilization ratio low and consistently make on-time payments. To get a secured card, you must open a two-year CD. The money deposited into the CD acts as a security deposit and becomes your credit limit.

A USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card allows you to build stronger credit while earning money on your CD. The annual percentage yield is currently 54%, but will change periodically throughout the 2-year term. A minimum deposit of $250 is required, with a max of up to $5,000.

The perks

  • No foreign transaction fees. Use your USAA® Secured Visa Platinum® Card internationally without paying transaction fees.
  • Collision insurance. Get protection for rental vehicles, including for damage and theft.
  • Extended warranties. Any purchase you make with your USAA card comes with an extended warranty.
  • Identity theft assistance. USAA will help you out if your identity is ever stolen.

You’ll also like…

  • Rebates. Finance charges that are accrued while you’re serving in a military operation can earn rebates.
  • Special deployment rate. A 4% APR is available for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS.
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.USAA extends a special 4% SCRA rate to any account balance you when you enter active duty military service.

What should I know before I apply?

In order to apply for a USAA secured credit cards, you must be a member of USAA and 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

How to apply for a USAA secured credit cards

Before you begin the application process, you’ll want to gather the following information.

Required documents & information

  • Full name and address
  • Marital status
  • Birth date
  • 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 credit cards landing page.
  2. Choose your secured credit card and 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, they’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 American Express® Card lading 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 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. USAA secured credit cards do not provide a direct path to an unsecured card. However, once you use this card to raise your credit score, you can then go on to apply for an unsecured card.

Bottom line

A USAA secured credit cards is a great benefit for those in the military who need to improve their credit — if you use it responsibly and keep your credit utilization ratio low and make your monthly payments on time.
However, before you settle on a USAA secured credit cards, check out other secured credit cards in the industry. Or if you might qualify for an unsecured credit card, check out other options offered by USAA.

Compare your options to find the right credit card for your situation.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JenniferAugust 28, 2019

    When will USAA debut its new secured credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 28, 2019Staff

      Hello Jennifer,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The USAA® Secured Card Platinum Visa and the USAA Secured Card American Express are currently not available to new applicants. USAA has announced that they are working on launching a new secured card but there’s no definite date as yet. Please continue to check back as we are also updating our page regularly.


  2. Default Gravatar
    CoryMay 11, 2019

    Does being in the military mean being a soldier, marine, sailor or airman or does civilian service as a member of the Army Corps of Engineers quality? I am seeking a secured credit card to build credit and will obviously open an account to be in compliance with requirements. Thanks for your help.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiMay 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Cory,

      Thank you for reaching out.

      It shows that this card is for people of the US Armed Forces and their families. Apparently, it does not say if a civilian who is a member of the Army Corps of Engineers is qualified. You can reach out to USAA to check, Cory. Please note too that the cards featured on this page are no longer available. You can visit Secured Credit Card Finder to compare other available secured credit cards that you may be eligible for.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

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