The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is a card for a niche market that offers some attractive and unique features that can result in big cash savings for people with strong credit and responsible fiscal habits.
In many ways, the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is an exclusive club. To be approved for the card, you need to have good to excellent credit. You also need to be a member of the USAA, which is restricted to active and former members of the United States armed services and their eligible family members.
However, if you do qualify, you can take advantage of a potentially amazing ongoing interest rate that runs from 9.15% - 26.15% Variable, depending on credit worthiness. If you tend to carry a balance, month to month, a rate in the single digits or low "10s" can easily save you hundreds of dollars a year in interest. And that rate can be even lower for certain, eligible, active-duty service members: if you have a balance on your account at the time you enter active military duty, get 4% APR on that existing balance for the remainder of your qualified period of active duty.
While there is no introductory offer and no rewards program, the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. The latter is quite important for a military family that may spend extended periods overseas.
An ongoing interest rate in the single-digits is rare in the credit card industry. If you qualify and you tend to carry an ongoing balance, the interest savings can be huge.
Also, anytime you can have a card with a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, it's worth having in your wallet. Even if you don't use the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card frequently, it's not costing you anything to hold.
Another nice feature of the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is no "penalty interest rate." In other words, late payments won't result in your interest rate spiking as a consequence.
If you like rewards and bonuses, this likely is not the card for you. The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is your classic "no frills" card. It has no rewards program and no special introductory bonus or interest rate.
The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is exclusive, not just because of the good to excellent score needed but for the limited demographic eligible to apply.
While an interest rate in the single digits might get you excited about transferring every credit card balance you have to the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card, your enthusiasm might be tempered by a fee of 3% on balance transfers and cash advances.
Both cards have a $0 annual fee and no fee on foreign transactions. Both will require good to excellent credit for approval, but with Simmons Visa®, you don't have to have a connection to the military to be eligible.While the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card APR is 9.15% - 26.15% Variable, depending on credit worthiness, the Simmons Visa® rate is a straight 10.50% variable. Simmons Visa® also offers the added feature of no fee for balance transfers. USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card charges 3% on balance transfers.
The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card is another "no frills" card with no rewards program, a $0 annual fee, requiring good to excellent credit for approval. Unlike the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card though, you don't need to be connected to the military to be eligible.
The interest rates on the cards are similar. HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card has ongoing rates of 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% Variable. The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card ongoing APR runs from 9.15% - 26.15% Variable. However, HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card also offers a 0% APR introductory rate for the first 18 months on all purchases and balance transfers.
The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a card in the USAA family for cardholders who prefer a few more perks with their credit cards. Both cards are exclusive to active duty and retired military and their eligible family members.
Neither card has an annual fee and both require good to excellent credit for approval.
The ongoing interest rates for the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card run noticeably higher, ranging from 14.15% - 28.15% Variable.
However, you can help to make up the difference through the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card cash back rewards program, which earns users a flat 1.5 % cash back on all purchases. Cash back earned can be redeemed as a statement credit or deposited into a USAA checking or savings account.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and aren't concerned with earning rewards with your purchases, USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is definitely a card you'll want to have in your wallet. Having a card at your disposal with an interest rate that could be in single digits or the low "10s" gives you buying power on high-end purchases. And a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees means you don't have to worry about reaching a certain spending threshold for the card to pay for itself.