USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card Review

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The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card doesn’t offer much in the way of rewards or sign-up bonuses. Instead, it offers one of the lowest credit card interest rates available anywhere. However, this card is for U.S. armed service members and their families, and isn’t available to the general public. And unless you have stellar credit, you may find that the rate you’re offered with this card is not very good at all.

USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

Overall Rating
USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 6.9% - 23.9% variable
Annual Fee $0
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
for Fees
for Rewards
for Credit

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior Persona
    Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt See more cards
    Debt Warrior
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

This card is only available to people who qualify for membership with USAA, which includes current or former military members, and their spouses, children, stepchildren, and in-laws (son or daughter). This card may be a good way to save on interest costs if you are eligible, tend to carry a balance, and have excellent credit.

If you only have good credit, you may still qualify for this card 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 23%. 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

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • No rewards

  • Membership limitations

Pros Explained

  • Low interest rate for those with excellent credit: You could qualify for an interest rate under 10%, which is one of the lowest rates available for a credit card. The catch is you’ll probably only qualify for that rate if you have excellent credit.
  • No foreign transaction fees: If you’re on the road or on tour, you won’t be charged fees for use abroad. However, this is a standard feature for cards issued by USAA, PenFed, and Navy Federal, which serve military members.

Cons Explained

  • No rewards or new cardholder bonus: There are credit cards with rates under 10% that still offer a rewards program or bonus for new cardholders. 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 their children and spouses. Other cards for service members aren’t as restrictive when it comes to defining 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 direct more of your payment toward the balance rather than interest.

If you’re able to pay off your card in full each month right now, consider opening a low-interest-rate rewards card instead.  

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 and interruption: 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. 
  • Insurance for delayed luggage: Similarly, if your baggage is delayed for four or more days, 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.

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

Customer Experience

One thing USAA is good at is attracting loyal customers and keeping them happy. It performed extremely well in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. USAA received the highest score of any national card issuer, but was not officially ranked due to the unique nature of the company.

For military members, USAA provides resources and support for military-specific financial needs, such as deployment, PCSing to a new base, and leaving the military. 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.  

Security Features

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 for eligible expenses if your identity is ever stolen.


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.

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USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card
overall rating
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 6.9% - 23.9% variable
Annual Fee $0
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. J.D. Power. “2021 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study.” Accessed Jan. 9, 2022.