Credit Card Reviews

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card Review

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Active duty and veteran service members and their families can get special deals on financial products from USAA, and the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is one that's quite appealing. With minimal fees, a low APR for those with the best credit scores and unlimited cash back, it might make a great addition to your wallet.

Customer service contact info for USAA
1 (800) 531-8722

9800 Fredericksburg
San Antonio, TX 78288

Unlimited cash back on all purchasesNo sign-up bonus
No foreign transaction feesMust be a USAA member
No annual feeHigh APR for less-than-stellar credit

Experian Review

USAA has a strong reputation among military families and is known for its excellent customer service and great rates. The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is no exception. The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and interest rates start well below the industry average. If your credit isn't great, however, you might find yourself paying a very steep interest rate, so it's best for those with really strong credit profiles.

The card lets you earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases, which is a compelling perk—but it's not particularly competitive with other issuers. Plus, many issuers offer generous sign-up bonuses that allow you to pocket a large amount of cash back or points if you meet an initial minimum spend. This card doesn't have a benefit like that. However, if you're a loyal USAA member, and care about military-friendly benefits, this might be a great credit card for you.

Competitive Interest Rates and Few Fees

USAA tends to offer low interest rates to customers with excellent credit. The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers annual percentage rates (APRs) as low as 13.40% to those with stellar credit. Keep in mind that the national average for credit card interest rates is around 17%, making this a competitive offer.

Standard interest rates for this card (for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances) go all the way up to 27.40% depending on the applicant's creditworthiness. So those with bad credit could end up paying a sky-high interest rate that would make it very costly to carry a balance.

It's also wise to compare fees in addition to interest rates when shopping for a credit card. The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is strong in this category. It charges no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and doesn't have a penalty interest rate. If you travel internationally, the lack of foreign transaction fees can save you a pretty penny.

Standard Rate of Cash Back

The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers 1.5% cash back for every purchase—there are no category restrictions or bonus categories. While it's wonderful to have the ability to earn unlimited cash back with every swipe, keep in mind that several competing cards now also offer 1.5% cash back or even more on all purchases. Plus, many cash back rewards cards also offer a sign-up bonus and sometimes even promotional financing, but this card doesn't have either.

If you use your card frequently, your cash back can add up quickly, especially since there's no limit to how much you can earn. Plus, you can redeem your rewards at any time rather than having to wait until you've hit a certain threshold. If you're a loyal USAA member who wants to earn cash back on all your purchases and avoid fees common on other rewards cards, this could be a great fit for you.

Special Perks for Military Members

USAA is loved by military families since it specializes in knowing the unique needs and challenges they face. The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card comes with several benefits unique to military members that might make it more appealing than a card from another issuer. For one, you can take advantage of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act rate. If you have a balance on your account when you enter active duty, you get a super low 4% APR on your existing balance up until one year after you leave active duty. Keep in mind that this doesn't apply to debt that's acquired after you join the military.

Additionally, if you're deployed, USAA's knowledgeable team can help you get your finances in order before, during and after. This USAA card also allows you to show your pride by embellishing your branch insignia right on the card.

Get Extended Warranty Protection Plus Other Safety Features

The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers many safety and protection features that debit cards don't. With the zero liability feature, you aren't responsible for any unauthorized purchases made with your card due to fraud or theft.

With the card's extended warranty protection, if you buy an item with the card that has a manufacturer's warranty, you can get up to an additional year of coverage. If you pay for a rental car with your USAA card, you also get a free auto rental collision damage waiver that protects you in case of an accident. And if you make travel purchases with your card, you're eligible for travel accident insurance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, and 24/7 travel and emergency assistance.

USAA also offers cardholders several secure and quick login options to keep their accounts safe. These include biometrics, Quick Logon, CyberCode text and computer recognition.

You can also safely manage your credit card on the go with USAA's mobile app. The app allows you to easily check your balance and transactions, pay your bills, find an ATM, set up alerts and much more. The app also allows you to track and redeem your cash back rewards. Add your USAA credit card to your mobile wallet, and you can easily make purchases using Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. The secure app also comes enabled with Access EVA, a digital voice assistant that can answer your questions at any point while you're using the app.

Additional Info

Purchase APR: 13.40% - 27.40% VariableGrace Period: 25 days
Transfer APR: 13.40% - 27.40% VariableAnnual Fee: $0
Cash Advance APR: 13.40% - 27.4% VariableBalance Transfer Fee: 3%
Minimum Interest Charge: NoneCash Advance Fee: 3%
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Late Payment Fee: Up to $35
Returned Payment Fee: Up to $35

Authorized-User Policy

USAA allows you to add multiple authorized users on all of their credit cards. If you have a spouse or family member you want to be able to make purchases on your account, you can add easily get them a card linked to this account.

To join USAA, you or your spouse have to meet certain eligibility, and the other spouse and any children are automatically eligible for USAA membership. However, you can add authorized users to your credit card account who aren't eligible for USAA membership, such as your parent or a roommate. While this doesn't make them a USAA member, you have the ability to add them to your profile as an authorized credit card user.

Having a shared credit card account can have major perks: more cash back, and a useful tool for teens who aren't ready for their own yet. But as always, before you add anyone as an authorized user, be sure you trust their judgment. You are ultimately responsible for the card and payment, so if your authorized user makes excessive purchases or does anything reckless, you and your credit score on the hook.

Is This Card Right for You?

If you're connected to the military and looking for a solid reward cards with few fees, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card could be a good choice. But you might find a better deal elsewhere if you're simply looking for a great rewards card. This USAA card provides 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but that's not uncommon these days, and many other issuers offer higher percentages on select categories in addition to a sign-up bonus. Some cards also offer a 0% intro APR, which this doesn't. If you have excellent credit and can qualify for an interest rate on the lower end, and you're happy with the rewards rate and minimal fees, this could be the right card for you.