2018 USAA Rate Advantage Platinum Visa Review
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The Verdict: If you have military ties and a fair credit score, the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® is a solid choice for low-cost credit improvement. And if you have good or excellent credit, it could provide a pretty low regular APR. But in any event, this offer won't wow you.
The USAA Rate Advantage Visa doesn't offer rewards. It doesn't offer 0% introductory APRs, either. Its best features are fairly low approval requirements and the lack of an annual fee. There's some interest rate appeal, too, but that comes with a few caveats.
The card's APR could be anywhere from 8.4% to 25.4% (V), depending on your credit standing. That means you're unlikely to get a rate at the low end of the range unless you have excellent credit. Rate Advantage Platinum also provides a special 4% APR for military members in certain circumstances. And while that's quite generous, it's nothing unique to this particular card. All USAA credit cards have the same feature.
So if you're simply looking to keep costs down, the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® could be a contender. But you should definitely take a closer look at what it does and does not offer as well as how it compares to the competition. You can find everything you need to know below.
- No Annual Fee: This makes the Rate Advantage Platinum Visa $15.55 per year cheaper than the average credit card. This is especially important for people with fair credit, who won't have as many no annual fee credit cards with rewards or 0% intro APRs to choose from.
- Special 4% Military APR: Active duty military personnel get this low rate on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS. If you have a balance when you enter active duty, it gets that 4% rate until either the balance is paid off or one year after your active duty ends, whichever comes first.
- Available to People with Fair Credit: Other than store credit cards, people with fair credit typically don't have too many credit card options, at least ones that don't require a security deposit. But credit cards are the best credit-building tools we have available. So it's important to get one and use it responsibly. And the more choices you have to compare, the better your final selection is likely to be.
- Low Regular APR: The average APR among new credit card offers is 18.88%, so this is quite low by comparison. It even stacks up well against credit cards for people with excellent credit, which sport an average APR of 13.98%. But if you don't have perfect credit, or close to it, you'll probably be assigned an APR toward the high end of the card's advertised range. And in that sense, this minimum regular APR could be regarded as a teaser rate.
- No Rewards: You won't earn cash back. You won't earn miles. And you won't earn points. For comparison, the average cash rewards credit card offers a $129 initial bonus as well as 1.04% back on all purchases. That can add up to quite a lot over time.
- High Regular APR: It's best to plan for the worst when applying for a credit card whose regular APR is advertised as a range. In this case, if you're assigned to the high end and wind up carrying a balance from month to month, you'll have to pay interest at an annual rate that's just shy of the average credit card's penalty APR: 26.16%. For additional context, the average credit card for fair credit has a 22.34% APR.
Other Things to Consider
No Foreign Transaction Fee: You won't have to pay extra when traveling abroad or buying things from international merchants online or over the phone while in the U.S. The average credit card tacks a 1.60% surcharge onto all such purchases.
Still, there is a growing number of no foreign transaction fee credit cards. And Rate Advantage Platinum's lack of rewards make it far from an ideal travel companion.
- Rental Car Insurance: If you charge a rental to your Rate Advantage Platinum Visa and decline the agency's supplemental insurance, you'll automatically receive coverage against collision damage and theft. This coverage received a score of 80.5% in WalletHub's latest Credit Card Rental Car Insurance Study.
- Wait & See Spending Limit: Some credit cards disclose a minimum spending limit that an approved applicant is guaranteed to get, if not more. The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® is not one of them. You'll learn your limit if and when you're approved. And it's based largely on your income and existing debt obligations. That's about all you'll know for sure going in.
- USAA Eligibility Requirement: To get a USAA credit card, you must be a current or former member of the U.S. military or the adult child of a USAA member.
Compared to the Competition
Comparing credit card offers is the best way to find the best deal. And this case is no different. Whether you're interested in a no annual fee credit card for fair credit or the best low interest card on the market, there are lots of alternatives worth considering. Below, you can see how some of the most popular options compare to the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum®.
USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum®
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||10,000 points||N/A||N/A|
|Rewards Rate||N/A||1 - 2 points / $1||1% + 1% Cash Back||N/A|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 15 months||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: $0 for the first 60 days
|0% for 18 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|Regular APR||8.4% - 25.4% (V)||14.49% - 25.49% (V)||14.99% - 24.99%* (V)||24.99% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||2.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
|Learn More||Learn More|
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