Who is This Credit Card Best For?
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt
Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly
This card is only available to people who qualify for membership with USAA, which includes current or former military members, and some of their family members. If you are eligible, you tend to carry a balance, and have excellent credit, we’d recommend this card to you as a way to save on interest costs.
You can still qualify for this card if you only have good credit, but the APR range on this card is a mile wide. You could end up paying an interest rate anywhere between the single digits and upwards of 25%. If you’re more towards the “good” end of the credit spectrum rather than the “excellent” end, chances are you’ll get a rate at the higher end of the range. In that case, we’d recommend another low-interest credit card for you instead.
Low interest rate for those with excellent credit
- Low interest rate for those with excellent credit: You could qualify for an interest rate under 10%, which is exceptionally low for a credit card. The catch is you’ll probably only qualify for that rate if you have excellent credit.
- No rewards: There are many low-interest credit cards that still offer a rewards program. This isn’t one of them—rather, your only reward is the money you’ll save with a lower interest rate if you carry a balance.
- Membership limitations: You must be a member of USAA to apply for this card. Membership is only open to members of the armed services (including reservists, cadets, and midshipmen), veterans, and certain family members.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
This card is a great Plan B if you don’t have a fully-stocked emergency fund yet, or you need to make a large purchase, because it has no annual fee and a low interest rate. It’s always best to pay your balance off as soon as possible. A low interest rate will help you do that because more of your payment goes to paying down the balance rather than to paying interest.
If you are currently able to pay off your card in full each month right now, consider opening a low-interest-rate rewards card instead.
USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card’s Excellent Perks
USAA offers some travel perks that we think are particularly useful, especially for military families. In order to get this coverage, you’ll need to have paid for the trip with your USAA credit card.
- Insurance for trip cancellation, interruption, and baggage delays: If you’re on a trip and it’s canceled or interrupted due to things outside your control such as weather or sickness, you could be reimbursed for up to $1,500 per person. Similarly, if your baggage is delayed, you could get up to $100 per day for three days to cover incidentals.
- Travel accident insurance: If you are injured or die while on a “common carrier” such as an airplane, bus, or train, you or your family members could be reimbursed through this travel accident insurance policy for up to $500,000.
USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Extended warranties
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
One thing USAA is good at is attracting loyal customers and keeping them happy. It performed extremely well in the the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study—so well in fact that it would have placed first, by a wide margin, if it had been eligible for the official rankings.
For military members, USAA provides resources and support for military-specific financial needs, such as PCSing to a new base and deploying. There aren’t any USAA banks in the Middle East, after all, and USAA is willing to work with you wherever the military sends you. You don’t have to be deployed to take advantage of some of its communication features, however, such as its mobile app or its customer service support line.
USAA doesn’t provide some of the security features that other credit card companies offer, such as the ability to lock your card from the mobile app or Social Security number monitoring. USAA does offer fraud monitoring and alerts, as well as zero fraud liability. USAA also provides identity theft resolution services and up to $1,000 in reimbursement if your identity is ever stolen.
USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card’s Fees
The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card doesn’t come with any fees you wouldn’t expect. On the contrary, it has few fees, including zero foreign transaction fees.