USAA Credit Cards: Everything You Need To Know

USAA Credit Cards: Everything You Need To Know

We've picked the top USAA credit cards, which all have no annual fees and even offer the potential to earn travel rewards or cash back.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

USAA members can enjoy a wide range of financial products and services. From banking to investments, there are many valuable resources for you and your family.

Furthermore, USAA offers credit cards catered to various needs, whether you're looking for a travel rewards card or a card that maximizes your military base spending. No matter which card you choose, all of these cards come with no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees and a considerable number of travel and shopping protections, like extended warranty and trip insurance.

In this guide, we've gathered the top USAA credit cards of 2021. At the bottom of the list, we also provide a further explanation of card benefits and discuss USAA membership as a whole.

Best USAA credit cards of 2021

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Why trust us

To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers.

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Best USAA credit card overall

USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase

Our thoughts

The USAA Rewards American Express Card is the best overall USAA credit card for rewarding users on everyday purchases. You'll earn 3X points on dining out, 2X points on gas and groceries and 1X points on all other qualifying purchases. These reward points can be redeemed for airline or cruise tickets, merchandise and gift cards, cash or donations.

Unfortunately, USAA makes it unclear how much each reward point is worth, citing that its value depends on the selected redemption option. Therefore, it's important to compare options on the rewards portal, ensuring that you get the best deal from your points.

With this card, you'll also earn 2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase. Although this sign-up bonus is easy to attain, it's meager compared to other no-annual-fee cards that can offer up as many as 20,000 points (which can often equate to $200 in value) for new cardholders. However, if you're set on applying for a card with USAA, the USAA Rewards American Express Card is one of the best for its multiple earning categories and flexible redemption options.

Pros

  • High rewards rate on everyday purchases
  • Redeem reward points for travel, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • Below-average sign-up bonus
{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EUSAA\u00ae Rewards\u2122\u00a0American Express\u00ae Card\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--blue\"\u003E\n 2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EOur thoughts\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe USAA Rewards American Express Card is the best overall USAA credit card for rewarding users on everyday purchases. You'll earn 3X points on dining out, 2X points on gas and groceries and 1X points on all other qualifying purchases. These reward points can be redeemed for airline or cruise tickets, merchandise and gift cards, cash or donations.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EUnfortunately, USAA makes it unclear how much each reward point is worth, citing that its value depends on the selected redemption option. Therefore, it's important to compare options on the rewards portal, ensuring that you get the best deal from your points.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWith this card, you'll also earn 2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase. Although this sign-up bonus is easy to attain, it's meager compared to other \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"9 Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Cards of March 2021\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/best-credit-cards-no-annual-fee-free\"\u003Eno-annual-fee cards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E that can offer up as many as 20,000 points (which can often equate to $200 in value) for new cardholders. However, if you're set on applying for a card with USAA, the USAA Rewards American Express Card is one of the best for its multiple earning categories and flexible redemption options.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"full pad-none align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003EPros\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-check-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n High rewards rate on everyday purchases\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Redeem reward points for travel, gift cards, cash and more\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Travel and purchase protections\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003ECons\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-times-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Below-average sign-up bonus\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Best USAA credit card for travel

USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase

Our thoughts

The USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card is the best USAA card for travel. As Visa is one of the most widely accepted networks worldwide, you shouldn't have to worry about card acceptance — a reason some people may stay away from American Express.

This card is very similar to the USAA Rewards American Express Card, offering the same sign-up bonus: 2,500 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase However, you'll sacrifice owning a Visa for an inferior rewards rate: 2X points on gas and dining out, 1X points on all other qualifying purchases. Nevertheless, you can redeem reward points the same way as the USAA Rewards American Express Card for awards, including travel, cash and more.

In addition, as a travel card, you'll enjoy protections such as trip insurance and assistance, among others by paying with this card.

Pros

  • Visa Signature card means higher acceptance abroad
  • Redeem reward points for travel, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • Below-average sign-up bonus
  • Below-average rewards rate
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Best USAA credit card for military base spending

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

Our thoughts

The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card has a unique rewards category tailored to those who work on military bases. Cardholders Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. Earn 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You can redeem your cash back at any time in increments of $1. Unfortunately, though, there's no sign-up bonus on this card. Still, the 5% rate for those on military bases who frequently shop at commissaries, exchanges and shopettes makes this card stand out — it’s a considerably rare reward among cards.

Pros

  • High rewards rate (up to 5%) on military base and gas purchases
  • Redeem cash back at any time
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
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Best USAA credit card for unlimited cash back

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Our thoughts

The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is another top cashback card, thanks to its unlimited above-average rewards rate. No matter where you shop, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases.

While some cards offer bonus rewards on certain categories — such as gas or groceries — these cards will only award a mere 1% on all other purchases. If your spending tends to be varied or unpredictable, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card can help you maximize those purchases that don't fit into traditional bonus categories.

Like the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card, you can redeem your cash back at any time. The only downside to this card is the lack of a sign-up bonus, but you'll still likely find long-term gain with the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card.

Pros

  • Unlimited rewards rate (1.5%)
  • Redeem cash back at any time
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EUSAA\u00ae Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature\u00ae Card\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EOur thoughts\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe USAA\u00ae Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature\u00ae Card is another top cashback card, thanks to its unlimited above-average rewards rate. No matter where you shop, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWhile some cards offer bonus rewards on certain categories \u2014 such as gas or groceries \u2014 these cards will only award a mere 1% on all other purchases. If your spending tends to be varied or unpredictable, the USAA\u00ae Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature\u00ae Card can help you maximize those purchases that don't fit into traditional bonus categories.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ELike the USAA\u00ae Cashback Rewards Plus American Express\u00ae Card, you can redeem your cash back at any time. The only downside to this card is the lack of a sign-up bonus, but you'll still likely find long-term gain with the USAA\u00ae Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature\u00ae Card.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"full pad-none align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003EPros\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-check-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Unlimited rewards rate (1.5%)\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Redeem cash back at any time\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Travel and purchase protections\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003ECons\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-times-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n No sign-up bonus\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Best USAA credit card for low interest rates

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

Our thoughts

The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card offers the lowest interest rates out of any of the options listed above — 6.90% - 23.90% variable Regular APR. This rate applies to purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

While we advise all credit card users to avoid carrying a balance each month, you may have large expenses that are unavoidable. Therefore, you'll want to apply for the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card to lock in those low interest rates. Keep in mind that you'd forgo the ability to earn any rewards with this card.

Pros

  • Low interest rates on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances
  • Travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
  • No rewards system
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USAA credit card eligibility

To be eligible for any USAA credit card, you must first apply for USAA membership. Current and former military members, their spouses and children are eligible to become USAA members. Joining is completely free, and once your eligibility is verified, you can start to enroll in any of USAA's products and services — including applying for a USAA credit card.

USAA credit card benefits

No matter what USAA credit card you choose, all of them come equipped with essential benefits that shouldn't be taken lightly. Call 844-288-2141 to get started with a claim or learn more information about the following perks.

Travel benefits

When paying for your car rental with your USAA credit card, you'll receive secondary auto rental insurance for 31 days on rentals worldwide. This protection covers physical damage, theft, towing and loss-of-use charges.

You'll receive 24/7 travel assistance, which can come in handy for medical, legal or other travel-related services.

When paying for your nonrefundable travel plans with your USAA credit card, you can receive up to $1,500 per covered person in the event of an interruption or cancellation for eligible reasons. This coverage protects you and your family members.

When paying for your travel plans with your USAA credit card, you'll receive up to $500,000 if you suffer a loss of life, limb, hearing, speech or sight on a common carrier.

If you pay for your travel ticket with your USAA credit card, you can receive up to $100 per day (for up to three days) if your checked baggage is delayed for four or more hours. This reimbursement will cover essential items such as toiletries, clothing and electronics chargers.

When making purchases internationally in a different currency, you won't be charged any foreign transaction fees.

Shopping benefits

When purchasing items on your USAA credit card that comes with a U.S. manufacturer's warranty of three years or less, you can receive up to an additional year of coverage.

You'll enjoy 24/7 assistance whether you're booking restaurant reservations or booking travel plans.

Identity protection

If you're a victim of identity theft, this service places a fraud alert with three major credit bureaus, replaces any cards and more.

You can receive reimbursement for up to $1,000 for any covered expenses to help you restore your identity in the event of identity theft.

Can you get preapproved for a USAA credit card?

No. USAA does not currently offer any preapproval tools for any of its credit cards.

Does USAA have a secured credit card?

No. USAA does not currently offer any secured credit cards.

Can I use my USAA credit card overseas?

Yes. USAA does not charge any foreign transaction fees on any of their credit cards.

Does USAA have a metal credit card?

No. USAA does not offer a metal credit card at this time.

Does USAA credit card cover car rental insurance?

Yes. All USAA credit cards come with 31 days of complimentary auto rental insurance on rentals worldwide.

ValuePenguin's verdict

While USAA credit cards may not have extraordinary sign-up bonuses or flashy benefits, they can still be incredibly valuable. It's uncommon for cards with no annual fees to come with USAA's long list of travel and shopping protections, saving you in a number of travel emergencies. Regardless, there's a credit card for all types of users, whether you're looking to earn travel rewards or lock in low interest rates.

The information related to USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card, USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card, USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card, USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card and USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).