Review: USAA secured credit cards – January 2018

Rebuild your credit and earn interest on your CD with a USAA secured credit card.

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 card gives you an opportunity to build your credit with a trustworthy financial group.

And if the security of a USAA secured credit card 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.

Product NameUSAA Secured Credit Card
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)11.15% to 21.15% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )11.15% to 21.15% variable
Annual fee$35
Cash Advance Rate11.15% to 21.15% variable
Card TypeVisa
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 25 days
Returned Payment Fee$35
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
0% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$0
Minimum Credit ScorePoor (Below 660)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Min credit limit
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
$250
Max credit limit
This credit limit may not be issued to you immediately on application. This is the maximum credit limit for this card which must be applied for or offered to you after you are approved and have already opened the account.
$5,000
Annual fee$35
Returned Payment Fee$35
Over The Credit Line Fee$0
Late Payment Fee$35
Cash Advance Fee3% of the amount of each cash advance (maximum fee for each convenience check: $200)

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Collision insurance
  • Extended warranties
  • Identity theft assistance
  • Worldwide travel assistance

Cons

  • To apply you need US military affiliation

The basics

A USAA secured credit card 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 credit 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 credit 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 types of secured credit cards does USAA offer?

USAA has been proudly serving our military and their families since 1922, providing a suite of financial services. Currently, USAA offers two secured credit cards:

What should I know before I apply?

In order to apply for a USAA secured credit card, 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 card

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card. 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 card 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 Card American Express 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 Card Visa Platinum.

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 card 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 card, 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.

Compare USAA secured credit cards vs. Discover it Secured

Rates last updated January 20th, 2018
Unfortunately, none of the credit cards match that credit score. It you are urgent need of a small loan, you might want to check out a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Annual fee Min credit limit APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )
USAA Secured Credit Card
Declare your independence with a different kind of credit card.
$35
$250
11.15% to 21.15% variable
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
2% Cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
$0
$200
23.99% variable

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare USAA secured credit cards vs. Capital One Secured

Rates last updated January 20th, 2018
Unfortunately, none of the credit cards match that credit score. It you are urgent need of a small loan, you might want to check out a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Annual fee Min credit limit APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )
USAA Secured Credit Card
Declare your independence with a different kind of credit card.
$35
$250
11.15% to 21.15% variable
Capital One Secured Mastercard
Take control and build your credit with responsible use.
$0
$200
24.99% variable

Compare up to 4 providers

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