Credit Card Reviews

USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card: Low Interest Rate a Plus

USAA Bank is one of the largest military-focused banks in the country. It offers loans, bank accounts and credit cards, along with other financial products and services, to eligible military members and their families.

The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is one of the bank's credit cards that could be a good fit for people who frequently carry a balance or use cash advances.

Customer service contact info for USAA
1 (800) 531-8722USAA
9800 Fredericksburg Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78288
The same interest rate applies to purchases, cash advances and balance transfersNo intro bonus offer
Special interest rate for active-duty service membersNo rewards
No annual fee or foreign transaction feesUSAA membership required

Experian Review

The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card has few fees and a potentially low interest rate. While you won't earn rewards or cash back, the savings you can get from a low rate could be worth more than you'd earn with a rewards card. The lack of rewards may even be a benefit, as you can focus on paying down your balance rather than using your card more often.

Potentially Low Rate

One of the main features of the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is right in the card's name—a potential rate advantage. The card's annual percentage rate (APR) will vary depending on your creditworthiness, but the APR range starts lower than many credit cards.

Additionally, the same rate applies to cash advances—which often have a separate, higher APR—and balance transfers. There's also no penalty APR, which is a higher rate that some card issuers start to charge if a cardholder misses a payment.

Paying your credit card bill in full every month is the most prudent financial approach, as you generally won't pay interest on your purchases this way. Despite this, two-thirds of actively used credit cards have a revolving balance (in other words, they don't get paid in full), according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you count yourself among those cardholders, a lower APR will save you money on interest and might help you pay off the balance sooner.

Few Fees, Including on Cash Advances

If you find yourself juggling credit card debt, one of the last things you want to worry about is additional credit card fees. Fortunately, there's no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees with this card.

There's also no cash advance fee if you transfer the money directly into a USAA deposit account, such as a checking or savings account. Otherwise, the fee is 3% of your cash advance amount.

Combined with the potentially low APR on cash advances, this makes the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card a standout option if you occasionally need additional cash.

Your cash advances won't have a grace period and start to accrue interest right away.

Military Affiliation Required and Rewarded

The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is only available to USAA Bank customers. Eligibility is limited to those with military ties, including:

  • Active-duty, guard and reserve members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy
  • Qualified cadets and midshipmen
  • Honorably discharged veterans
  • USAA members' families, including spouses, siblings and children (and their spouses)

USAA Bank also offers benefits that military members and their families may enjoy. For example, there are 16 credit card designs you can choose from when you get your new card.

Additionally, if you're called to active-duty service, you can apply for a 4% APR on your current USAA Bank loans and credit card balances. You can read more about the qualifications and requirements on the bank's website.

Added Protections, Benefits and Account Controls

While you won't earn rewards with the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card, you may still want to use the card to take advantage of the included benefits, protections and insurance on eligible purchases.

For example, you'll receive:

  • Zero liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Up to $1,500 per person in trip cancellation and interruption coverage if you buy non-refundable prepaid tickets. The coverage could pay out if you have to cancel the trip because you're sick or there's a change in military orders.
  • Travel accident insurance that offers up to $500,000 in coverage for loss of life or limb while you're traveling.
  • Baggage delay reimbursements for up to $100 a day (up to three days total) if your bags get delayed for four or more hours.
  • Up to one year of extended extended warranties on eligible purchases.

In addition to the purchase benefits, there are a few potentially helpful benefits that you'll receive for being a cardholder. Hopefully, you'll never have to use them, but you'll get:

  • Free help from an identity theft resolution specialist if you're a victim of identity theft.
  • Up to $1,000 to reimbursed expenses, such as postage or legal fees, related to restoring your identity.

USAA Bank also offers online and mobile banking access, which you can use to quickly check your balance or credit limit, pay your bill and get alerts. You can also add the card to your mobile wallet if you'd prefer to pay with your phone.

Additional Info

Purchase APR: 8.65% - 25.65% VariableGrace period: 25 days
Transfer APR: 8.65% - 25.65% VariableAnnual fee: $0
Cash advance APR: 8.65% - 25.65%Balance transfer fee: 3%
Minimum interest charge: NoneCash advance fee: 3%, or none when transferring money to a USAA deposit account
Foreign transaction fee: $0
Late payment fee: Up to $35
Returned payment fee: Up to $35

Authorized-User Policy

You can add an authorized user, and the person will receive a credit card that's tied to your account. Any purchases or cash advances the authorized user makes will be added to your account's balance and receive the same APR as your purchases and cash advances.

Adding an authorized user could be helpful if you share finances with someone else and want to share a single, low-rate account. But remember, as the primary cardholder, you'll be responsible for the entire bill each month.

Is This Card Right for You?

If you find yourself frequently carrying a balance or taking out cash advances, the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card may be one of the better credit cards available. If you generally pay your bill in full, however, then the low APR might not be important for you. Instead, a rewards card might make more sense.