MoneyGeek’s Take

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.

Last Updated: 5/30/2022
Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
Reviewed By     |  
credit card

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 Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

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.

Pros

  • Benefits
    Description
  • No Annual Fee
    USAA 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 Rate
    You can earn cash back of between 1% and 5% for each dollar spent on qualified transactions.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    There are no fees associated with making foreign transactions with this card, so you can earn the same benefits while traveling abroad.
  • 0% Intro APR
    You 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.

Cons

  • Drawbacks
    Description
  • Only Available to Military Families
    The card is exclusive to current or former military personnel, as well as their family members.
  • Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fee
    All balance transfers and cash advances are subject to a 3% fee.
  • Potentially High APR
    Your 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 Fee
    Late or returned payments have a fee of $25 for the first within six billing periods and $35 for each subsequent late or returned payment.
tip icon
LOOKING FOR THE BEST CREDIT CARDS OF 2022?

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:

1

Earning Rewards

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.

2

Rewards Redemption

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 Feature
    Description
  • Customer Service
    The company provides 24-hour online customer service to address any complaints or queries that you may have.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
    For 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 Coverage
    This pays up to $100 a day for up to three days for checked baggage delays, so you can buy essentials like clothes and toiletries.
tip icon
MONEYGEEK QUICK TIP

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 Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
    11.90% - 25.90%
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Rewards Rate
    1% - 5% Cash back
  • Airline Benefits
  • This is an icon

    Annual Fee

    There is no annual fee associated with this card.

  • This is an icon

    Foreign Transaction Fee

    There is no fee for transactions and purchases you make outside of the United States.

  • This is an icon

    Cash Back Rate

    Each qualified purchase you make with this card gets you between 1% and 5% cash back, depending on the purchase category.

  • This is an icon

    Regular APR

    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.

  • This is an icon

    Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees

    All balance transfers and cash advances have a 3% fee.

  • This is an icon

    Introductory APR

    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.

tip icon
WHERE TO FIND THIS INFORMATION?

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?

Loading...
Loading...

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.

tip icon
WHY TRUST OUR REVIEWS:

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

creditCard

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
creditCard1

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.

Learn more about credit cards in general

sources
*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.
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.