2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST USAA CREDIT CARDS


Making the Most of Military Affiliation with USAA Credit Card Offers

Members of the armed forces have a great advantage when it comes to finances with access to several financial institutions specific to them. Not open to the general public or civilians, banks such as USAA can offer some of the best benefits and perks.

In fact, you’re likely to find that a USAA credit card or a USAA secured credit card is going to be one of the all-around best choices.

Award Emblem: Best USAA Credit Cards

If you’re able to apply and you’ve been searching for a new credit card, you’ll want to take a closer look at some of these best USAA credit cards. You’ll find generous USAA cash rewards credit card choices as well as options for standard USAA credit cards.

No matter what you’re searching for, AdvisoryHQ can assist you in finding the best USAA credit card for your lifestyle. For more information on which of these cards ranked as the best USAA credit cards in our USAA credit card review, be sure to review the detailed breakdown below.

See Also: Top Cash Rewards Credit Card Offers | Ranking | Best Cash Back Rewards & Money Back Credit Cards



AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best USAA Credit Cards

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):


Top 6 Best USAA Credit Cards | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Credit Card Names

APR

Annual Fee

Balance Transfer Fee

Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

10.15%–26.15%

$0

3% (maximum $200)

Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature®

12.15%–26.15%

$0

3% (maximum $200)

USAA Classic Visa Platinum®

18.15%–24.15%

$35

N/A

USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

7.15%–24.15%

$0

3% (maximum $200)

USAA Rewards™ American Express® Card

10.15%–26.15%

$0

3% (maximum $200)

USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card

10.15%–20.15%

$35

3% (maximum $200)

Table: Top 6 Best USAA Credit Cards | Above list is sorted alphabetically



What Types of USAA Credit Cards are Available?

Deciding on which of the best USAA credit cards to select can be tricky, especially with the variety they have to offer. Do you know which type of credit card might suit your needs or preferences the best?

Image Source: USAA

To help you make an educated decision regarding all the options available, we’re going to review a few of the basic types of credit cards you can choose from.

  • Secured Credit Card: A USAA secured credit card is designed for cardholders who have no credit or poor credit scores as a tool to begin establishing a better score. You are required to put down a collateral deposit (usually equal to your credit limit) that allows the bank some security if you default on your payments. Most of the best USAA credit cards on our list will be unsecured, but we do have some secured cards featured.
  • Standard Credit Card: A USAA credit card may feature only basic benefits, including zero liability for fraudulent transactions. There may not be any rewards programs to be offered, but a standard credit card is generally unsecured (requiring no deposit) and can feature very low rates. A standard credit card designed for cardholders with poor credit may have higher rates.
  • Travel Credit Card: A USAA travel credit card allows cardholders to earn miles as they spend on everyday purchases. Those miles can be redeemed for airfare, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and more. These are ideal for frequent fliers who travel more than just a couple times each year.
  • Cash Back Rewards: With a USAA cash rewards credit card, you can earn either a percentage of cash back or points that can be redeemed for separate items (including gift cards, merchandise, and more). These are usually issued as a specific number of points or percentage per dollar spent. You may see some spending categories with higher rates of returns.

This is a basic overview of the types of cards you may find categorized as the best USAA credit cards. Keep in mind that some USAA credit cards may fall into multiple categories or have flexible rewards programs that can account for travel or cash back. The USAA credit card benefits are numerous, but it all depends on which program you’re investigating.



AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.


Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best USAA Credit Cards

Below, please find the detailed review of each credit card on our list of the best USAA credit card choices. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these USAA credit cards to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card Review


Earn unlimited cash back at a generous rate with this Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card. You’ll love the low rates that accompany the cash back program on this USAA cash rewards credit card.

Image Source: USAA

Rewards Program

This choice for the best USAA credit card comes with a rewards program that feels incredibly straightforward and simple to use. Cardholders can expect to earn cash back on these USAA cash back credit cards at a rate of 1.25%. You’ll earn unlimited rewards, so you’ll see the cash back really stack up the more you spend.

Cash back rewards on this best USAA credit card never expire, as long as you maintain an open account in good standing. The rewards points on the Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card can be redeemed from anywhere at anytime, including from your mobile device, in increments of $1.00.

You also receive a few other perks specific to the Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, including:

  • Discounts on APR for up to twelve months during deployment
  • 4% SCRA rate that applies to balances on your account at the time you enter active duty until one year after you complete active duty
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Identity theft protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Collision damage waiver on car rentals

Rates and Fees

For purchases and balance transfers, you can expect relatively low rates from the Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card. You won’t receive any introductory APR offers on this best USAA credit card, but the rates will range from 10.15% to 26.15% APR based on your creditworthiness and other factors.

If you plan to transfer a balance, you will pay a 3% transfer fee with a maximum fee of $200. This is a great way to take advantage of the low interest rates offered by the Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card without as much of the added cost of other top credit cards in the industry.

You’ll also pay no annual fee on this Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, making it a great offer at very little cost to you as the cardholder.



Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card Review


With a slightly higher interest rate, the Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® allows cardholders to earn an even higher amount of rewards.

Rewards Program

This USAA credit card offers a cash back percentage that can even trump some of the other best USAA credit cards on our ranking. Among the USAA cash back credit cards, the Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® comes in near the top of the list with 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Earn as much as you can with unlimited rewards and a simple redemption plan.

Your unlimited rewards on these USAA cash back credit cards allow you to redeem your rewards over the phone or via your mobile device or computer in increments of $1.00. There is no minimum amount necessary before you are offered the opportunity for redemption. The only requirements are to maintain an open account in good standing.

You also receive some of the same USAA credit card benefits that applied to the Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, including special rates for active duty members and individuals who are deployed (both at a 4% rate but for varying time periods).

This selection for the best USAA credit card also allows for no foreign transaction fees, concierge services, collision damage waiver coverage on auto rentals, identity theft solutions, and extended warranties.

Rates and Fees

Among the best USAA credit cards, this one doesn’t necessarily have the lowest rates but still remains competitive. When compared to the Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card, the Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® has rates that are just slightly higher:

In some aspects, the Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® is very competitive and even in line with other choices for the best USAA credit card. When you comparethe very generous rewards program with the rates, you do get something in return for the extra fees on these USAA cash back credit cards.



USAA Classic Visa Platinum® Card Review


Uniquely designed for cardholders with average credit, this USAA Classic Visa Platinum® allows you to build your credit at a fair interest rate with several added advantages.

Image Source: USAA

Program Details

The USAA Classic Visa Platinum® is one of the top choices for the best USAA credit card, particularly for individuals who have less-than-pristine credit scores. This USAA credit card offers the opportunity to improve your average credit rating simply by making on-time payments with great consistency.

They claim that you can see improvements in your credit score within the first twelve months if done properly.

Even better, this best USAA credit card will automatically consider you for an upgraded USAA credit card as it reviews your account history. This is done periodically to ensure that you are always receiving the best possible deal.

Unfortunately, you cannot perform any cash advances or balance transfers on the USAA Classic Visa Platinum®. However, you do get a handful of USAA credit card benefits to make up for these missing features:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Collision damage waiver on car rentals
  • Identity theft solutions
  • Extended warranty

Rates and Fees

As a general rule, the interest rates on these best USAA credit cards are going to come in above the USAA credit cards that are designed for individuals with better credit scores. With this USAA Classic Visa Platinum®, you’ll be look at interest rates ranging from 18.15% to 24.15% APR on new purchases (balance transfers do not apply).

Active duty military and those who are currently deployed can earn the opportunity for breaks on interest rates. For set periods of time (twelve months during deployment, up to one year after you complete active duty for the SCRA rate), you can receive 4% APR on balances.

There is no penalty APR on this, which is another feature that makes it ideal for individuals with average credit. If you miss a payment, there are no long-term repercussions for your balance.

The annual fee is relatively low, but is still key to note in a USAA credit card review. Many of the best USAA credit cards will have no annual fee, but the USAA Classic Visa Platinum® comes with a $35 cost per year.

Related:Top Credit Cards for People with No Credit History | Ranking and Reviews



USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card Review


Consumers who are most concerned with receiving the absolute lowest interest rates will prefer this USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card above all the other best USAA credit cards.

Account Details

The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is truly a very standard credit card that offers few frills and features. Unlike many of the other best USAA credit cards, this one allows its incredibly low interest rates to shine the brightest instead of upgraded offers and USAA credit card benefits.

However, you will still find a handful of features that are standard to most of the cards, including the USAA rewards credit cards. See the list below for an idea of what you’ll receive with the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card:

  • 15-day worldwide car rental insurance
  • Identity theft resolution services
  • Identity fraud reimbursement
  • Extended warranty (doubles the original warranty)
  • Balances and transaction history available via text or on mobile devices

Active duty military will still receive the discounted interest rates coming in at just 4% APR. These apply for twelve months during deployment. Additionally, individuals who are entering into active duty will receive the same USAA credit card offers for up to one year after completion on balances on their account prior to entering active duty.

Rates and Fees

This is where the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card really shines as the best USAA credit card for low rates. You’ll face interest rates ranging from just 7.15% to 24.15% APR based on your creditworthiness. At the low end of this scale, this is a substantial savings even among the best USAA credit cards available.

Another added benefit to these low interest rates is that they will apply to new purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. This is a great way to take advantage of low interest rates and pay down some debt on a high-interest credit card. Balance transfer fees will come in at just 3% of the amount transferred with a maximum of $200 on this best USAA credit card.

Even better, there is no annual fee associated with the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card.

PopularArticle: Best Credit Cards with No Balance Transfer Fee (15–21 Months with Zero Balance Fees)



USAA Rewards™ American Express® Card Review


Consumers will be able to earn extra rewards points on common spending categories with the USAA Rewards™ American Express® Card. Take a look at these USAA rewards credit cards for low rates and hefty rewards programs.

Image Source: USAA

Rewards Program

This choice for the best USAA credit card appears to be very similar to several of their other offerings at first glance. Their USAA cash back credit cards allow you to earn one point for every dollar you spend on everyday purchases without limit.

This USAA Rewards™ American Express® Card allows you to earn double the rewards points in common spending categories that will apply to most consumers. Earn two points per dollar on purchases qualifying as gas or groceries with no limits on how much you can earn.

With your first purchase, you automatically receive 2,500 bonus points.

The rewards points on this best USAA credit card will never expire, and you can redeem them when your account is open and in good standing. Cash them in for any number of potential rewards:

  • Airline travel
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Cash
  • Charitable donations
  • Cruise travel rewards

The potential to turn your rewards into discounts on travel plans also helps the USAA Rewards™ American Express® Card to qualify as a top choice for a USAA travel credit card. There will be a higher minimum number of points required to redeem them for travel accommodations than there are for merchandise or gift cards. Frequent fliers (and spenders) would need to wait longer for redemption in those categories.

Rates and Fees

Consumers will consider this USAA travel credit card to be one of the best USAA credit cards for sure once they take a look at the rates and fees. Interest rates on these USAA rewards credit cards range from 10.15% to 26.15% APR, very competitive with other choices in our USAA credit card review.

These APRs will also apply to balance transfers. However, a balance transfer will also be accompanied with fees totaling 3% of the amount transferred for a maximum of $200.

Again, active duty military and deployed individuals will receive a 4% APR on balance for specific periods of time depending on their circumstances.

Even better than the low interest rates on this candidate for the best USAA credit card are the annual fees. You pay no annual fee in order to use this card, making the USAA Rewards™ American Express® Card one of the best USAA credit cards at little to no cost to you.


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USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card Review


For consumers who need to really work on building or establishing credit, the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card allows you to do so while earning interest on your deposit.

Account Details

The USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card works the way that most secured credit cards work. You will need to make a deposit payment in order to open a credit line. The amount of your deposit will be equal to the line of credit that this best USAA credit card can offer you.

The best part of the deposit for this USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card is that it doesn’t remain stagnant in a checking or savings account. Instead, it is placed in a two-year certificate of deposit (also known as a CD). You can choose to deposit anywhere from $250 up to $5,000 onto this CD.

Do you want a higher credit limit but don’t have the deposit necessary to have a limit that high? You can always add more money to your CD over time and increase your credit limit that way.

Your money will be working hard and earning interest for you (currently at a rate of 0.54% APY) while you work on building your credit with this USAA secured credit card. By making your payments on time consistently, you can improve your credit score over time. You can even increase your credit limit by adding an additional amount to your CD.

Rates and Fees

The interest rates on this USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card are relatively low, especially when compared to other top choices for credit cards designed to help build your credit. Rates will range from 10.15% to 20.15% APR depending on your current level of creditworthiness. These rates apply to new purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Bear in mind that balance transfers are still accompanied by a 3% transfer fee (maximum of $200).

Active duty military and deployed individuals can benefit from 4% APRs under certain circumstances.

There is a small annual fee associated with this contender for the best USAA credit card. Expect to pay $35 per year to maintain membership with the USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Card.

Read More: Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees | Ranking | Credit Cards Without Foreign Transaction Fees


Conclusion—Top 6 Best USAA Credit Cards

Consumers who are searching for the most advantageous credit cards available will no doubt find them among these best USAA credit cards. You’ll find any number of options ranging from a USAA travel credit card all the way to a USAA cash rewards credit card. Even consumers who need to build or establish their credit scores will find a few options tailored specifically to their needs.

This USAA credit card review will help you to make the most informed decisions that you possibly can. We’ve listed all of the rewards program and account features that you will want to consider prior to your application.

Military members really can benefit from special offers available through financial institutions such as USAA. Consider what these best USAA credit cards could offer to you and your family.

The only hard decision will be deciding which of the best USAA credit cards is the right fit for you.



AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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