There is no USAA student credit card. So the best USAA credit cards for students are the USAA Secured Visa Platinum card and the USAA Secured American Express card, both of which have $35 annual fees, require a deposit of at least $250, and are available to people with limited or bad credit.
To be eligible for USAA membership, you must be an active military servicemember or an officer candidate in a commissioning program. You’re also eligible if you’re the child, spouse, widow or widower of a USAA member who also has a USAA home or auto insurance policy.
Secured cards work just like their unsecured counterparts, except you’ll have to put up a deposit, which is fully refundable when you close the account with no unpaid balance. But a student credit card is an even more valuable tool for building credit. And there are numerous options to make up for the lack of USAA student credit cards. Some good alternatives are the Discover it Student Chrome and Cash Back cards, and the Capital One Journey Student Rewards card.
In addition to student credit cards from other issuers, you can also use either a debit card linked to your bank account or a prepaid card for convenience while at school. USAA offers free checking accounts to eligible students. But prepaid cards and debit cards will not enable you to build credit.
Here are some alternatives to a USAA student credit card:
USAA Secured Visa Platinum: Minimum $250 deposit to open account. Deposit earns interest. $35 annual fee.
USAA Secured American Express: Minimum $250 to open account. Deposit earns interest. $35 annual fee.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One: 1% - 1.25% cash back on all purchases. No annual fee.
Discover it Student Chrome: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 spent each quarter. First year’s cash back matched. $20 statement credit for a 3.0+ GPA each school year. 0% APR on purchases for 6 months (high regular APR). No annual fee.
Discover it Student Cash Back: 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent per quarter in categories that rotate. First year’s cash back matched. $20 statement credit for a 3.0+ GPA each school year. 0% APR on purchases for 6 months (high regular APR). No annual fee.
Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students: 25,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. 10% points bonus on all purchases when you have a BofA checking or savings account. 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. No annual fee.
If you’re a student with an eye on building credit, a student credit card is clearly the best option. But you will have to look outside of the USAA lineup to get one. Whichever student card you choose, use it wisely. Don’t go over your credit limit and make timely payments. Avoid opening too many credit accounts in a short amount of time. Irresponsible use of your student card can easily damage the very credit you’re trying to build.
It's also good to note that USAA offers free checking accounts for college students, so it may be a good idea to get one of those along with your first credit card.
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