Individuals eligible for USAA membership include active, retired, and honorably separated members of the U.S. military; cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies; and their eligible family members. Children (including step-children), spouses, widows/widowers, and former spouses who have not remarried are all considered eligible. For children to be eligible, the parent must join USAA while living.
Once someone becomes a USAA member, eligibility then extends to their family members (even if those family members aren’t in the military). For instance, if the child of someone who was a USAA member also joins USAA, that person’s spouse and kids are then eligible for membership as well. It can continue passing down that way. Eligibility does not extend to siblings or parents.
USAA products target the military and their family members, including their spouses and children. If you aren’t sure if you qualify for USAA credit cards, you can answer the short questionnaire right here.
No, there is no USAA credit card foreign transaction fee. In the past, some USAA credit cards charged a 1% foreign transaction fee on some of its cards, but USAA made all of its cards no foreign fee in 2016. That means you’ll never pay extra for purchases processed by a foreign-based merchant.… read full answer
USAA credit cards are designed for U.S. military personnel and their spouses and adult children. The decision to discontinue foreign transaction fees was made to reduce the costs for servicemembers making purchases abroad.
Here is some additional information on USAA credit card foreign transaction fees:
No USAA credit cards have foreign transaction fees.
Some USAA credit cards used to charge a 1% foreign fee. It was removed from USAA Visa card offers first, then Mastercard and Amex offers.
A foreign transaction fee is a surcharge credit card companies add to purchases processed outside of the United States. You don’t have to be in another country to be charged the fee. It also applies to online purchases processed through an international merchant.
USAA, as a credit card issuer, has discretion over foreign transaction fees. Credit card networks (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) do not. They negotiate where in the world their cards will be accepted and handle currency conversion.
Military servicemembers and their families stationed abroad are the biggest beneficiaries of no foreign transaction fees on USAA credit cards. Even at the previous 1% rate, all those additional fees tacked on to everyday purchases begin to add up over time. But USAA isn’t the only credit card company to not charge foreign transaction fees on any cards – they’re joined by other major banks and credit unions like Discover, Capital One, HSBC and PenFed.
Two good USAA credit cards for international travel are the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card and the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card. With the USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card, earn 2,500 points points after your first purchase. You’ll also get 3 points / $1 on dining and 2 per $1 on gas and groceries. The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card gives you 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases per year and 2% back up to $3,000 at supermarkets each year, along with 1% cash back on all other purchases.
USAA credit card rental car insurance covers physical damage and theft up to $50,000 per account, but you need to decline the rental company’s insurance in order to use your credit card’s one. Keep in mind that you’re only covered if you file your claim within 60 days of the incident. But there are instances, like driving non-general passenger vehicles, that are not covered. And certain conditions, such as reckless driving, would also void your coverage.… read full answer
Basically, there are plenty of things you should know about your coverage before you sign a rental agreement.
Here’s how USAA credit card rental car insurance works:
You are covered when you rent a vehicle in your own name for up to 31 consecutive days using a USAA credit card. You must pay for the full rental with your card, USAA reward points or a combination of the two. Split payments with a non-USAA credit card are not accepted. Also, you must decline any similar coverage offered by the rental company.
USAA will pay for any physical damage, vandalism or theft. It will also pay for loss of use charges from the car rental company for the period of time the vehicle is out of service, along with towing costs.
Coverage amounts are limited to repair costs, the vehicle’s market value, the rental company’s purchase price or $50,000, whichever is less. Loss of use charges are limited to $15,000 per claim.
Only general passenger vehicles are covered. Vehicles not covered include trucks, SUVs, vans, pickups, motorcycles, recreational and off-road vehicles and luxury vehicles. To view the complete list, refer to your credit card’s Guide to Benefits.
You are not covered for personal injury or damage to personal property, damages to other vehicles, property or injury to another person. Nor are you covered for losses related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, racing or reckless driving, or any damage of an intentional or non-accidental nature
To file a claim, call 1 (800) 288-2141, or 1 (800) 673-1164 if you are outside the United States, and request a claim form. You must report the claim within 60 days of the loss. Any claim-related documentation, like police reports or damage estimates, must be submitted within 180 days of the incident or the claim will not be honored. A list of required documents can be found in your credit card’s Guide to Benefits.
Review your credit card’s insurance policy and familiarize yourself with what is and isn’t covered before you rent a vehicle. Contact your card’s customer service department to clarify anything not clear to you in the Guide to Benefits. Don’t assume you’re covered for every mishap when you pay for a car rental with a credit card that offers rental car insurance, as many exceptions and exclusions may apply.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. This question was posted by a WalletHub user.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.