USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card Review
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card is a cash back card for military members that offers 1% to 5% cash back on qualifying purchases. The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card might work best for those spending on gas, grocery and military base purchases. Each year, members can earn 5% cash back on their first $3,000 in the combined gas station and military base purchases, 2% cash back on their first $3,000 in grocery purchases and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. It doesn’t have an annual fee, nor does it charge fees on foreign transactions, allowing you to continue earning while traveling abroad.
Our MoneyGeek USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card review will help you decide if this card is right for you.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card at a Glance
With the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card, every dollar you spend at gas stations and on military bases earns you 3% cash back on purchases up to $3,000 per year. On the first $3,000 you spend on groceries, you earn 2% cash back. Every other eligible transaction gets you 1% cash back, and there’s no spending limit.
Additionally, there are no yearly or international transaction fees or penalty APRs. The latter means that your interest rate does not go up if you make a late payment.
- USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
A good cash back card with no annual fees and a 0% APR balance transfer offer
- ExcellentCredit Needed
- $0Annual Fee
- 1% - 5% Cash backRewards Rate
- 15 monthsBalance Transfer Duration
Pros & Cons Explained
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card comes with a slew of benefits, but there are some downsides to be aware of.
- No Annual FeeUSAA does not charge an annual fee to maintain your credit account, which can save you a considerable sum if you keep the card for a long time.
- Good Rewards RateYou can earn cash back of between 1% and 5% for each dollar spent on qualified transactions.
- No Foreign Transaction FeeThere are no fees associated with making foreign transactions with this card, so you can earn the same benefits while traveling abroad.
- 0% Intro APRYou can write convenience checks (which are effectively cash advances) and make balance transfers without paying interest for the first 15 months after account activation. This is applicable only if you make a balance transfer or write a convenience check within 90 days of opening your account.
- Only Available to Military FamiliesThe card is exclusive to current or former military personnel, as well as their family members.
- Balance Transfer and Cash Advance FeeAll balance transfers and cash advances are subject to a 3% fee.
- Potentially High APRYour creditworthiness determines the APR on this card, which ranges from 12.15% to 26.15%. Balance transfers and convenience checks carry the same APR after the 15-month interest-free period.
- Imposes a Late FeeLate or returned payments have a fee of $25 for the first within six billing periods and $35 for each subsequent late or returned payment.
MoneyGeek didn’t include the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card in our ranking of best rewards credit cards. This is because the card is exclusive to military members.
You can review our choices for the best rewards credit cards or for the best cash back credit cards for 2022 to see if there’s a card that is a better fit for you.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
You may want to learn about the following benefits associated with the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card:
You'll get at least 1% cash back on all qualifying purchases if you use the card. You can earn 5% cash back for up to $3,000 in total yearly costs at military bases and gas stations. There's also a 2% cash back on grocery purchases for spending up to $3,000 in a year. All other qualifying purchases earn you 1% cash back with no spending limit.
You can begin redeeming cash back after you have earned at least $1.00 in rewards and can continue redeeming in increments of $1.00 as long as your account remains in good standing.
Other Features Explained
There are other USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card benefits that you might want to know about, such as:
- Card FeatureDescription
- Customer ServiceThe company provides 24-hour online customer service to address any complaints or queries that you may have.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage WaiverFor a period of 31 days, the auto rental collision damage waiver on your card covers cars that you rent using this card.
- Baggage Delay Reimbursement CoverageThis pays up to $100 a day for up to three days for checked baggage delays, so you can buy essentials like clothes and toiletries.
While there may be better cash back cards on the market, military families who spend more at gas stations and military bases and do not exceed $3,000 in annual spending may profit from the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card. Travel bonuses and no foreign transaction fees make this card ideal for military personnel on the move.
Understanding the Fine Print
You should be aware of your rights as a credit card user before applying for a credit card or comparing multiple cards' pros and cons, fees, rates and other features. You can find the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card's rates and fees, rewards and bonuses in the table below.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- APR11.90% - 25.90%
- Annual Fee$0
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate1% - 5% Cash back
- Airline Benefits
There is no annual fee associated with this card.
Foreign Transaction Fee
There is no fee for transactions and purchases you make outside of the United States.
Cash Back Rate
Each qualified purchase you make with this card gets you between 1% and 5% cash back, depending on the purchase category.
Depending on your creditworthiness, the regular APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances ranges from 12.15% to 26.15%, which can be potentially high. As the prime rate rises, so does the APR on these loans.
Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees
All balance transfers and cash advances have a 3% fee.
There is no interest imposed on balance transfers and convenience checks (cash advances) for the first 15 months after opening the account. However, this is only valid for transactions made within 90 days of the account opening.
Late Payment Penalty
If you make a late payment (or your payment is returned), you will be charged a penalty of up to $35. The first-time late or returned payment within six billing periods has a $25 fee, and any subsequent late or returned payment will be charged a $35 fee.
Your credit card comparison should take into account the APR, rates and fees, penalties, rewards and bonuses and other benefits associated with each card that you're comparing. If you are comparing the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card with another card that you already possess, you can visit that card issuer's website, online account, or mobile app to learn more about its rates, fees and features.
Other than that, you can visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database to gain relevant information on your current credit card issuer.
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card?
Other Considerations for USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
When applying for a USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card, you should examine how the card will serve you as your primary card or as an additional card.
Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
If the Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card is your first or only credit card, its no annual fee structure will be a major bonus for you as a beginner. There are no international transaction fees, so it’s also a great card to use when traveling.
If it's your only or first card, make the most of it by using it at military bases and gas stations. Grocery shopping can also reward you quite well.
Be aware that the card has a high annual percentage rate. If you don't pay your bills on time or carry a balance, the APR and any other penalties will begin to apply. Only apply for it if you're confident in your ability to pay on time. Paying late may have a detrimental impact on your credit score, even if you're just getting started.
Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
You may want to consider adding the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card to your credit card portfolio — especially if your other cards come with an annual fee. However, because it has a high APR, you may want to use it with a credit card that has a lower interest rate.
This card makes sense only if you can make payments on time; otherwise, you risk carrying a balance at a high rate of interest. If you make balance transfers or write convenience checks (which are like cash advances), you may benefit from the card's 15-month interest-free period.
The best option is to use this card for gas and groceries, plus purchases made at military bases. However, the yearly spending limit of $3,000 caps the cash back you can earn, so if your other card offers better rewards in those categories, you may be better off using that one.
On the other hand, foreign transactions are free, so you may prefer to use the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card for your foreign trips if your other card charges a fee. You can redeem your points in $1 increments, an option not all cards offer.
MoneyGeek conducts in-depth research on credit cards and card providers and grades them using a comprehensive methodology. We collect data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's database, standardize data points for comparison, estimate spending profiles, account for yearly or initial incentives associated with each card, and compute the three-year value of using the card. Additionally, we update the card lists quarterly and semi-annually and rank the cards monthly.
How USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card Compares to Other Cards
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card is not one of the best cash back or rewards cards per our ranking due mainly to its exclusivity. However, it did fare well in comparison to other similar cards.
Before comparing any card to its competitors, you should first know what you’re looking for in a credit card. The chart compares the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card and another similar cash back card.
Quick Comparison of USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
- Annual fee: None
- Regular APR: 12.15%–26.15%
- Rewards rate: 1%–5%
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Best for: Military members looking for a cash back card with no annual fees and a 0% APR balance transfer offer
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Annual fee: None
- Regular APR: 14.99%–23.74%
- Rewards rate: 1.5%–5%
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
- Best for: Minimalist deal-seeking shoppers looking for a no-annual-fee card
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
If you have any additional questions concerning the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card, the following section covers some important details.
Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.
If the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card is not a good fit for you, there are plenty of other reward and cash back cards available. Those that don’t charge an annual fee and allow you to earn unlimited rewards in all categories may be more attractive, depending on how you use them.
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USAA Rewards American Express Card
Milestone Unsecured Mastercard
Learn more about credit cards in general
- USAA. "Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Credit Card." Accessed April 13, 2022.
- USAA. "Rates and Fees." Accessed April 13, 2022.
- USAA. "Credit Card FAQs." Accessed April 13, 2022.
- USAA. "USAA Cashback Rewards Plus Program Terms and Conditions." Accessed April 13, 2022.
- USAA. "Credit Cards Benefits Guide." Accessed April 13, 2022.
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