The USAA Rewards Visa Signature Card is a decent option for USAA members with good credit or better whose top expenses include gas and dining out. This USAA Visa card gives 2 points per $1 spent in those two categories, along with 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. New cardholders also get an initial bonus of 2,500 points simply by making a single purchase.
The USAA Rewards Visa Card has a $0 annual fee and a 0% foreign transaction fee, so it won’t cost you money unless you carry a balance from month to month. And that’s ill-advised given the card’s potential for a very high APR. How much the USAA Rewards Visa will wind up saving you, however, depends in large part on how much its points are worth. Based on our research, USAA Rewards points are worth an average of 1 cent apiece. That means its initial bonus is worth about $25, while the ongoing earning rates equal roughly 1% - 2% back.
This card also provides some special benefits for military members, just like any other USAA credit card. You can learn about those below, in our summary of the key things to consider before applying for (or passing on) the USAA Rewards Visa Signature Card.
USAA Rewards Visa – Key Terms:
- Annual fee: $0
- Rewards rate: 1 - 2 points / $1
- Foreign fee: 0%
- APR range: 11.90% - 27.90% (V)
- Credit needed: Good Credit or better
USAA Visa Credit Card Review Highlights
- Requires good or excellent credit. This is important to note upfront because more than 40% of all potential applicants won’t be able to meet the USAA Rewards Visa’s upper-tier credit requirement. This also puts the card up against some very stiff competition. In fact, whether you want rewards, low rates or no fees, you can do better than the USAA Visa Rewards Card, assuming you have good or excellent credit. And you can see whether that’s the case by checking your latest credit score for free on WalletHub.
- Average rewards. The USAA Rewards Visa Signature Card gives you 2,500 bonus points after your first purchase, worth about $20.75, according to WalletHub research. The average rewards cards offers 20,153 points/miles bonus or $165 in cash back, depending on the type of rewards used, but you also need to spend a certain amount within a limited period time to get it.
When it comes to ongoing rewards, the USAA Rewards Visa Card’s bonus earning rate of 2 points per $1 spent on gas and dining equals roughly 2% cash back. The 1 point per $1 spent that you’ll earn on all other purchases works out to about 1% cash back. The average rewards cards offer 1.16 points/miles per $1 or 1.06% cash back, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report.
- Potential for a very high APR. The USAA Rewards Visa Signature Card’s regular APR could be double the market average for a credit card that requires excellent credit (14.56%). But it could also be a few percentage points below that benchmark. So it’s hit or miss for people with top-tier scores. But if your credit is just barely good, you’re very likely to pay more than the 20.93% average among good-credit credit cards. And in either case, you can get lower rates from other cards.
- No annual fee. Perhaps the best part of the USAA Rewards Visa is its lack of an annual fee. It means the card is $18.61 per year cheaper than the average credit card. However, people with good or excellent credit have tons of no-annual-fee credit cards to choose from. And paying an annual fee can actually be the price of earning the most net rewards value.
- No foreign-transaction fee. With no foreign fee, the USAA Rewards Visa is better for international spending than the average credit card, which applies a 1.49% surcharge to purchases processed abroad. But since most such spending is likely to be travel-related and thus should not result in a balance carried from month to month, you could save more with a no-foreign-fee card that has better rewards.
- USAA Visa Signature benefits. The USAA Rewards Visa offers several noteworthy benefits to all cardholders, including extended warranties on purchases, travel accident insurance, and baggage delay insurance.
This USAA Visa also gives low interest rates to active-duty military personnel. If you have a balance when you start active duty, that balance will have a 4% APR until you pay it off or complete active duty. In addition, cardholders get a 4% APR for up to 12 months while on deployment or PCS.
Plus, when you’re approved for an account, you can take your pick of military affiliate card designs.