USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
vs. Discover it® Chrome

Updated: June 25, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Shield Insurance

MoneyGeek partners with leading industry experts and advertisers to help you get to your financial happy place. Our content is accurate when posted but offers may change over time. We may receive compensation for partner advertisements, but our editorial team independently reviews and ranks products. Learn more about our editorial policies.

The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card and the Discover it® Chrome stand out for their cash back rewards and lack of annual fees. However, the USAA card edges ahead for those who can maximize its 5% cash back on gas and military base purchases.

The Discover it Chrome is the go-to for balance transfers, offering a 0% introductory APR for 18 months. While the Discover it Chrome is accessible to those with good credit, the USAA card requires excellent credit. Despite this, the Discover it Chrome's cash back match in the first year is a compelling reason to consider it, especially for those who may not fully benefit from the USAA card's higher cash back rates.

Credit Card logo for USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
Credit Card logo for Discover it® Chrome
Discover it® Chrome
MoneyGeek Rating
3.4/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
3.4/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    17.15% – 29.15% variable
    18.24% - 28.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    -
    0% for 6 months on purchases
    Intro Offer
    -
    Cashback Match
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1% – 5% cash back
    Earn 1%–2% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% Intro APR for 15 months
    0% for 18 months on balance transfers
    Balance Transfer Fee
    5% of the amount of each Balance Transfer
    5% of the amount of each transfer after intro fee
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    None
    None
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus if you're seeking robust rewards at gas stations and military bases or if you are a member of the military community who can benefit from the additional travel protections and services offered. Its higher cash back rates in these categories can be particularly lucrative if they align with your spending habits.

You might prefer the Discover it Chrome if you're looking for a card that offers cash back rewards on gas and dining with the added bonus of matching the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. This card is also advantageous if you plan to make a large purchase or transfer a balance and can benefit from the introductory APR periods.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards and other features will help you determine which card aligns with your financial needs. For instance, if you frequently dine out, Discover it Chrome's restaurant rewards might appeal to you, whereas USAA Cashback Rewards Plus could be more beneficial for military base spending.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: USAA Cashback Rewards Plus

    For those prioritizing a lower starting APR, the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus edges out with a starting APR of 17.15%, compared to Discover it Chrome's 18.24%. However, it's worth noting the USAA card's APR can go higher, up to 31.15%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus and Discover it Chrome have no annual fee, making them equally appealing for users looking to avoid extra costs.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Discover it Chrome

    Discover it Chrome offers a more advantageous introductory 0% APR period, with 0% for six months on purchases and 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. In contrast, the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus does not offer an introductory APR for purchases but provides a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers.

    coins icon

    Rewards: USAA Cashback Rewards Plus

    The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus is better for rewards, offering 5% cash back on gas and military base purchases and 2% on groceries, up to $3,000 annually in each category. In contrast, Discover it Chrome offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Discover it Chrome

    Discover it Chrome outshines with its Cashback Match offer, automatically matching all cash back earned at the end of the first year, with no minimum spending or maximum rewards. USAA Cashback Rewards Plus does not offer a welcome bonus.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Discover it Chrome

    The Discover it Chrome is more accessible, catering to individuals with credit scores ranging from 670 to 850 (good to excellent). The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus requires an excellent credit score.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: USAA Cashback Rewards Plus

    The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus edges out Discover it Chrome in terms of penalties and fees. Both cards waive foreign transaction fees, but \USAA Cashback Rewards Plus doesn't impose any late fees. Both cards charge a 5% fee for cash advances.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: USAA Cashback Rewards Plus

    For issuer satisfaction, the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus outperforms with a rating of 4.8 for USAA compared to Discover Bank's 4.5. This suggests a slightly higher level of customer satisfaction with USAA's service and support.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus and Discover it Chrome offer unique perks. The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus provides comprehensive travel and auto rental coverage, identity theft resolution and concierge services. These features make it ideal for travelers and those seeking extra security and convenience. Discover it Chrome focuses on protecting your personal information online and offers free overnight card replacement, catering to those concerned with digital security and quick card replacement. Depending on your priorities, either card could enhance your wallet with its respective benefits.

Rewards Comparison

The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus card edges out Discover it Chrome with higher reward rates in specific categories. It offers 5% cash back on gas and military base purchases (up to $3,000 annually) and 2% on grocery store purchases (up to $3,000 annually). These rates make the card particularly advantageous for military personnel or those with high gas and grocery expenses.

Discover it Chrome offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter), which can benefit those who dine out frequently or commute regularly.

Both cards offer 1% cash back on other purchases, with no annual fees to worry about. The table below outlines the bonus categories of both cards to help you decide which best aligns with your spending habits.

Category
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus
Discover it Chrome

Gas Stations

5% on up to $3,000 annually/1% thereafter

2% on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter/1% thereafter

Purchases at Military Bases

5% on up to $3,000 annually/1% thereafter

1%

Grocery Stores

2% on up to $3,000 annually/1% thereafter

1%

Restaurants

1%

2% on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter/1% thereafter

All Other Purchases

1%

1%

Redeeming Rewards

USAA Cashback Rewards Plus allows redemption in any amount starting at $1. However, no specific redemption methods are detailed.

Discover it Chrome offers a variety of redemption options, including gift cards and direct deposits. Rewards do not have an expiration date.

Methodology

MoneyGeek's ranking process assigns multiple scores to each credit card, reflecting different use cases such as balance transfers and cash back rewards. For this comparison, the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus card scores highest for cash back, while the Discover it Chrome card is top-rated for balance transfers.

The most significant factors influencing these scores include the effective reward rate and the cost of annual fees for cash back and the introductory purchase APR and regular APR for balance transfers. For a deeper understanding of our scoring system, you can read more about our ranking methodology.

FAQ: USAA Cashback Rewards Plus vs. Discover it Chrome

What are the cash back rewards for each card?
Do either of the cards have an annual fee?
What are the introductory APR offers for these cards?
Are there foreign transaction fees for either card?
Which card offers better protection and travel benefits?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.