For nearly 100 years, USAA has been providing financial services to military members and their families. Now, the company is making it easy for members to earn cash back on all their purchases. Unlike other rewards cards that use complex points systems or base cash back on spending categories, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
Plus, the card comes with a number of other benefits as well, such as:
Cash earned with the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card never expires and can be redeemed either as a statement credit or deposited into your USAA checking or savings account.
The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card wins high marks for its simplicity. It's a good option for anyone who wants to earn rewards without having to worry about juggling cash back categories or redeeming points. Virtually any purchase will qualify for 1.5% cash back. There is no cap on what you can earn, and you never have to worry about your cash back expiring so long as your account is open and in good standing.
We also love that the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card comes with minimal fees. There are no annual fees or foreign transaction fees here. What's more, if you miss a payment, you don't have to worry about USAA charging you a penalty APR. We also appreciate that the card offers a special 4% SCRA rate for active duty military members. This rate applies when you have a balance on your account at the time you enter active military duty. You'll get 4% APR on that existing balance for the remainder of your qualified period of active duty.
Beyond that, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a number of other valuable perks. These include worldwide rental car insurance, extended warranty protection, identity theft resolution services and zero fraud liability. If you end being the victim of identity theft, USAA will reimburse up to $1,000 of eligible expenses per claim each year. Meanwhile, the card's price protection service will refund you the difference if you find a lower price within 60 days of a purchase. Plus, USAA offers travel assistance, including trip cancellation insurance and 24-hour concierge services.
No card is perfect, and the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card has a few drawbacks. While its simplicity is a plus, the trade-off is less valuable rewards than what's available through other cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which offers bonus rewards for certain spending categories.
Another drawback of the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is that it doesn't offer an introductory bonus. While 1.5% cash back is better than the standard rates offered by some cards, it pales in comparison to the introductory 3% cash back offered by Chase Freedom Unlimited® for example.
If you plan to carry a balance, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card charges an APR that ranges from 14.15% - 28.15% Variable. Depending on your balance size, those rates can easily wipe out any savings you receive from the cash back if you're not paying your statement in full each month.
Finally, you need to be a member of USAA to receive a USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Since membership is limited to those with military service and their family members, that makes eligibility for this card limited.
The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® both offer a standard flat cash back rate of 1.5%. Neither charges an annual fee either. With both cards, you get perks like purchase protection and fraud protection although the coverage details vary slightly.
The most noteable difference between these two cards though is the Chase card doubles its cash back offer for new cardholders. It gives 3% cash back on up to $20,000 worth of purchases in the first year. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® also provides more redemption options than USAA. While cash back from the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card can be used as a statement credit or deposited into a USAA savings or checking account, Chase cardholders have the option to spend their cash back on Amazon, use it to buy gift cards or to make travel purchases.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders also get an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months, then 17.24% - 25.99% Variable. However, you won't pay any foreign transaction fees with your USAA card while the Chase card charges 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. USAA also provides benefits such as rental car insurance and trip interruption insurance that aren't offered to Chase Freedom Unlimited® customers.
Both the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offer unlimited 1.5% cash back, no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
However, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has an edge over USAA's card in a couple different ways. The most obvious is that it offers a one-time $150 cash back bonus if you spend $500 within three months of opening an account. It also has an introductory 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers made within the first 15 months, then 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable).
If you dine out frequently, you may want to consider the Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card instead of the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases, all for no annual fee. However, if your purchases tend to be in categories other than food and entertainment, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card may offer more rewards with its flat 1.5% cash back rate.
The Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card also offers an introductory bonus and APR which are not features on the USAA card. New Capital One® SavorOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card cardholders can receive a one-time $150 cash back bonus when spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account. They also get 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable).
Neither card charges an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a solid choice for those in the military and their eligible family members. Its flat 1.5% cash back offering makes it simple to earn cash back on every purchase, and there's no annual fee to worry about offsetting each year. Plus, there's also the added benefit of 4% APR for active military members. However, no introductory cash back or APR means it isn't the most lucrative card on the market right now for those searching for enticing, new cardholder sign up offers.