USAA has a consistent track record for customer service and quality financial products. These 4 cards reviewed below are great evidence of that with low rates, outstanding features and simple but competitive benefits that stand up to similar cards in the industry.
USAA Rewards American Express Card Review
For nearly 100 years USAA has been a popular choice for financial services in the United States. With USAA Rewards American Express Card they offer some of the best benefits paired with some of the best rates in the business.
Credit cards should be powerful tools in the hands of the right consumer. Of course, it helps when your credit card provider actually designs a credit card that makes it easy for you to save money and even easier to take advantage of the exclusive benefits they provide. This is something that USAA has been doing for military personnel and their family since 1922. Founded on the values of service, loyalty, honesty, and integrity, this privately-held company is dedicated to providing its customers with both the best financial products as well as the best customer service in the industry. With more than 8 million members it is pretty safe to say that USAA has successfully built a community based on these founding values.
If you are able to join USAA and you are in the market for a new credit card, you may want to consider the simple but competitive benefits available through the USAA Rewards American Express credit card. Everything you need to know about this card is right in its name.
As its name implies, this card is available to USAA financial members, which means you must somehow be associated with the military in order to take full advantage of the benefits it provides. Obviously this includes active soldiers and personnel but it also includes retired veterans, honorably discharged personnel, enlisted personnel, and family members too. If you qualify, you can get access to superior financial, insurance, and banking products at extremely competitive rates:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- CD and credit cards
- Financial planning services
- Insurance (See MuLi Auto Insurance Review, MuLi Home Insurance Review)
This card, for example, is available with a highly competitive interest rate on standard purchases and balance transfers as well as no annual fee. That is a rare pairing in today’s financial products industry.
Rewards & Benefits
Along with getting basic USAA cards benefits, this credit card provides rewards that are easy to understand, easy to earn, and most importantly easy to use. There are many cards out there today that let you earn points but this one is particularly good because of these easy characteristics:
- Earn double points on gas and grocery purchases
- Earn basic/single points on other purchases
- No restrictions on when you can earn double points
- No limitations or earnings caps on how many points you can earn
- Earn as many as 2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase
Rewards points are only as good as your ability to cash them in and fortunately, this credit card makes that very easy. You will have all kinds of options available to you when you want to redeem your points but keep in mind that their ultimate value could depend upon the method of redemption you choose. It is also fortunate, then, that with no limits or expiration on your points you can redeem them through usaa.com or through your mobile device all without concern for a redemption fee. You can redeem your points towards:
- Cash rebates
- Gift cards (See Gift Cards Explained)
- Brand name merchandise
- Travel vouchers (with, most importantly, no blackout dates)
American Express Card Benefits
Finally, you should keep in mind that this is an American Express credit card. That means you will get many of the best benefits provided by one of the world’s most beloved credit card companies. American Express has a longstanding reputation for customer satisfaction and you will more than likely find such a result with this credit card. Some of the most immediate things you will appreciate with this card include:
- No annual fee
- No minimum finance charges
- 25-day interest-free grace period
Indeed, if you want to save money without skimping on quality benefits, this could be the card for you. Of course, you’ll need to be in the military or be part of a military family in order to apply, but if you are you will not regret carrying this card in your wallet.
With USAA Rewards American Express Credit Card it is as easy to earn rewards points as it is to redeem them. Of course, you will also get USAA’s signature customer service and access to some of the best benefits American Express has to offer.
USAA Active Military MasterCard Review
As an active military member, you can enroll for the many advantages to the USAA Active Military MasterCard. Choose whether you want rewards or a cash rebate for the main perk. Then enjoy other benefits including reduced fees when deployed and on qualified military campaigns as well as other account features all year long.
Choose Rewards Or Rebate
As a USAA Active Military MasterCard cardholder, you can choose whether you want rewards or a rebate. With every purchase that you make, you can either earn points for rewards or a percentage in a cash rebate.
If you choose points, there is no limit to how many points you can earn. You save them until you reach the level you want. The points can then be redeemed for gift cards, free travel, brand-name merchandise and much more.
If you choose rebate, there is no limit to the amount of cashback you earn. The more you spend, the more you save. The rebate is automatically paid out to you every January for the rebates you earned in the past calendar year.
Special Military Benefits
As an active member of the US military, you are entitled to a variety of special benefits. These aren’t provided by any other bank.
(a) First, if you are deployed or go on PCS, you are given a special rate. (b) Next, you are reimbursed for any foreign transaction fees when you are deployed. (See No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards)
If you go on an active military campaign, you are also eligible for 100% rebate on all the finance charges accrued while you remain on the campaign.
These various benefits can save you a significant amount of money. When you serve the country, you should be rewarded. USAA Bank will take care of you.
Other Card Features
You can enjoy many other benefits with USAA Bank as well. Such features to enjoy include:
- Customer service
- Fraud protection
- Online account tools
- Mobile account tools
- Easy purchasing
- Online application
Customer service is available to answer any questions you have. 24/7 access to live representatives comes in the form of email and toll-free telephone number. Whether you want to ask about a credit line increase or dispute a charge on your statement, you can get a hold of someone to get answers.
Fraud protection is an important feature. You need to ensure your account is being monitored at all times. The bank will track charges and activities. If something looks suspicious, you will be notified to confirm you made the purchase. If you didn’t, you won’t be liable for the charges applied to your account.
Online account tools give you internet access to your account. You can pay your bill, download statements and check out your balance. It will be easy to stay on top of all of your finances with 24 hour/7 day access. You can view transactions that haven’t billed to your statement yet. You can also track your rebates or reward points.
When you’re on the go, mobile tools are also provided to you. If you have a smart phone, there is an app that can be downloaded to your phone. One downloaded, you can log on to find out what your available credit is, pay your bill and set up alerts to be told of certain activity on your card.
With a MasterCard, you have the ease of purchasing anywhere. It’s a card widely accepted around the planet. You can make purchases at the gas station, the grocery store or anywhere else that you go. Purchases can also be made on the computer and over the phone for added convenience. When you need cash, visit an ATM machine for a cash advance. You pay the same interest rate for purchases as you do cash advances.
The application is available online. By entering your personal information and your military information, you can be approved for the card. Your credit is checked to provide you with a low APR. Your card is then mailed out to you upon being approved for the card by USAA Bank.
When you’re read USAA cards review and ready to apply for this USAA Bank card, you can do so with an online application. Within minutes, you can be approved and start earning your benefits immediately. It’s a card that provides you with low interest while gaining special military benefits.
USAA Secured Platinum MasterCard Review
It can be difficult to find a quality secured credit card that offers unsecured benefits at a low rate and with few fees. The USAA Secured Platinum MasterCard is a card that offers USAA members and other qualifying individuals the peace of mind and convenience they need, as well as savings opportunities.
Everyone wants a credit card that is going to make them feel valued. The way to do that is to offer exclusive benefits that pay off in the short-term and the long-term. Another way to do it is to offer the cardholder protections.
The USAA Secured Platinum MasterCard gives cardholders the ability to save money in a variety of ways, making the card one that becomes a tool in managing finances. It is a card that can be traveled with, has the features of MasterCard, and is accepted anywhere in the world where MasterCard is accepted.
Increase Your Savings
The first way you are able to increase your savings is by establishing actual savings. The 2-Year Certificate of Deposit gains interest and that gives you a savings vehicle so you can make your cash grow. The 2-Year Variable Rate CD has a rate that will fluctuate. There is also a penalty if money is withdrawn from the CD before the two years is up.
Nonetheless, the CD serves a very important role in that the amount that is deposited determines the credit limit. There is a minimum amount that needs to be deposited, yet it cannot exceed a certain amount. If you need a credit line increase in the future, you can request the increase and deposit more money in order to establish it.
Related: Secured Credit Cards Explained
The CD is a way in which cardholders can have control over how much credit they receive and is a vehicle in which saving for the future is easier. It is something about the card that makes the future of the cardholder a priority.
To qualify for the card, you must be a USAA member, the immediate family member of a member, or the spouse of someone currently serving in the military. The door is opened to a select few, which is what allows the USAA to offer its cardholders the exclusive benefits that it does.
Once you determine online that you are qualified, you can move forward with the application process by first providing your contact information. This involves providing your name, address, telephone number, and email address. During the application process, you will provide your social security number, as well as information regarding the family member who is insured with USAA or who is serving in the military.
Fees And Rates
The fees and rates are competitive. First, there is an annual fee, but it is very small (See No annual Fee Cards). It is charged on the anniversary date of the account each year. The only other regular charge to the account is the APR on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. You can pay off your purchase APR by paying off your entire balance within the 25 day grace period that follows the closing of the billing period. If you pay off by your due date, then you can save money. The APR for balance transfers and cash advances will always be charged.
The next fee is the foreign transaction fee. It is 1 percent of each foreign transaction in U.S. dollars. In order to use the card internationally, all you have to do is look for the MasterCard logo and you can use the card at that location. It is important to note that the transaction fee is charged per transaction.
The last set of fees is the penalty fees. There is no over-the-limit fee since the credit card cannot go over its limit. There is, however, a late payment fee and there is also a returned payment fee. If payment is made late, then a late fee is assessed to the account. The first time a payment is late in a six month period, it is lower than it is for subsequent late payments. When a payment is returned, it is because the payment method did not go through due to insufficient funds.
There are a number of benefits that are afforded to cardholders, such as rental car insurance that pays for damages that occur to a rental car that was charged to the card. There is also a worldwide automatic travel accident insurance that allows you to travel with peace of mind. To get this coverage, you have to pay for your common carrier tickets with your card.
In addition to these travel benefits, there are also retail benefits, such as extended warranty protection. When you buy an item on your card that has a warranty, you can extend the warranty so it is covered longer. The purchase assurance coverage insures retail purchases you make with the card against theft and damage. If you make high dollar purchases with your card, this is a good way to protect all or part of the purchase so that you can recover some or all of the loss in the event something happens.
If you are on the road and you break down in your car, you can also call MasterCard’s Master RoadAssist Service to help you get to a safe place. This and all of the benefits that are offered are designed to help cardholders get the most out of their card and actually enjoy having it. Any time any of these benefits have to be used, you actually save money because you are not losing money and you do not have to spend it either.
When in need of a credit card that gives the cardholder value, the USAA Secured Platinum MasterCard gives a number of valuable benefits while keeping the fees and the rates low. This allows cardholders to get a lot of value out of having a credit card.
USAA Checking Debit Card Review
USAA is a bank founded on military values so it only makes sense that they would develop products specifically targeted to meet the needs of today’s military families. Financial products like USAA Checking Debit Card help soldiers and families better manage money.
Financial stability and unparalleled commitment to service are important to most Americans when it comes to banking. These are a couple of fundamental principles that went into the development of USAA. This is a banking organization designed and developed to ensure today’s soldiers and their families never have to worry about their financial options. With award-winning banking solutions and convenient access around the world, USAA takes the guess work out of financial planning for soldiers who have much more important things to worry about.
The average enlistee in today’s military does not make a lot of money. The military takes care of its soldiers but nobody starts out with enormous wealth. This is why USAA works very hard to keep their checking accounts free. This means you will never have to worry about skyrocketing fees or paying for various kinds of processing. Indeed, when you have a USAA Checking Debit Card you will enjoy:
- Free Direct Deposit
- No Fee ATM access (including the refunding of the hosting bank’s native ATM fees)
- Free unlimited funds transfer between any bank across the country
- Fee Free USAA Web BillPay online bill paying service
- No inactivity fees
As you can see, when USAA calls its products “free,” they mean it. Obviously, this is quite different from other institutions who might claim their checking is free because you don’t pay a monthly fee, but they find other ways to charge you for processing. This commitment to continuous freedom is what has helped USAA retain their customer base and is likely the reason that most of its customers look in-house when their financial needs grow. In fact, most USAA members never need the services of another bank, no matter the size of their family or the kinds of needs they have.
Of course, any good banking institution aims to develop financial products that you help you manage your money as best you can. Fortunately, USAA excels at this, with products that make money management as easy it can possibly be:
- Make deposits from a smartphone or scanner with DepositHome or DepositMobile applications
- Make deposits at more than 2,000 select UPS Store locations around the country
- Easy mobile banking with USAA app for iPad
- Personalized budgeting tools that help you track your spending with USAA Money Manager
- Customizable account alerts
Anyway, Why USAA?
Almost a century ago (1922) 25 Army officers came together in San Antonio, TX to insure each other’s vehicles when no major insurance provider would. Banking their securities on just the integrity of the group, they quickly grew to develop one of the best and most beloved financial institutions in America today, with an impressive 94% lifetime retention rate. (See more)
There are many benefits to having USAA. For example, you will have access to all kinds of financial services:
- Lucrative auto, property, and life insurance
- Checking accounts
- Credit cards
- Auto loans
- Retirement planning
- Real estate, mortgages, and equity management
You will also enjoy various affiliate retail discounts on:
- Rental Cars
- Home & Online Security
- Professional Contractor Services
- Insignia Merchandise (Uniforms)
Related: Merchandise Credit Cards
USAA is only able to provide such superior service and develop such wonderful products because membership is only available to a specific population of people. This exclusivity to military personnel and their family helps them to focus on very specific needs. To be certain you qualify, here is a list of eligible applicants:
- Active Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Selected Reserve, and federally recognized National Guard servicemen)
- Military Veterans (retired officers and honorably discharged personnel)
- Military Spouses
- Widows, Widowers, and Former Spouses of USAA Members
- Independent individuals who were once a dependent of a USAA member
- Former USAA members who, at one point, established group membership by purchasing auto or property insurance while eligible
- Other select individuals on a case-by-case basis
With a USAA Checking Debit Card you will enjoy all the great benefits offered by USAA in a simple, convenient product. This includes their award-winning mobile banking services and customer service.