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Last updated on October 6th, 2021
USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back
- Regular Purchase APR 11.9% to 25.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 11.9% to 25.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 11.9% to 25.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Excellent , Good
- Processing Network Visa
- Easy, Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on Purchases
- Get free collision damage waiver coverage to pay for physical damage and theft to most vehicle rentals
- Extend your manufacturer’s or U.S. store-brand warranties
- Manage your account with tools to help you transfer balances, set travel notifications and report your card lost or stolen
- Regular Purchase APR: 11.9% to 25.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 11.9% to 25.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer
- Cash Advance APR: 11.9% to 25.9% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each cash advance. Fee waived when transferring funds electronically to a USAA deposit account
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
At a Glance
The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card helps cardholders earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases. They can also enjoy no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and no penalty APR.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are in the U.S. military or are related to someone in the U.S. military
- Want unlimited cash back on all purchases
- Want no annual fee
- Want no foreign transaction fees
USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card Review
The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is USAA’s answer to unlimited cash back cards from other issuers. The Preferred Cash Rewards offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases – making it a potent match for competitors like the Amex Cash Magnet, Wells Fargo Cash Wise, and others.
How to Earn & Redeem Cash Back Rewards
Like other unlimited cash back credit cards, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards bypasses confusing categories and instead offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. Earning a flat rate of cash back is less exciting than the quarterly categories from cards like the Discover It Cash Back or the Chase Freedom but provides less confusion about what qualifies and what doesn’t.
All purchases (less the usual fees, finances charges, cash advances, ATM withdrawals, money transfers, tax payments, gambling payments, etc.) earn 1.5% back with no limit to the amount earnable on the account.
Redeeming cash back with the Preferred Cash Rewards Card is as easy as earning it. Cardholders can redeem their cash back at any time in increments of $1. All an account holder needs to visit the USAA Rewards Service Center online by phone at 1-800-980-USAA (8722) to redeem cash back.
One of the benefits of the cash back redemption policy with the USAA card is the no-nonsense approach towards redeeming rewards. Gone are the confusing points transfers, shopping portals, or travel centers. Instead, cardholders get cash back without the hassle.
Special Military APR for Active Deployment
USAA prides itself on its commitment to U.S. military personnel and their families, and their credit card offerings are no different. The Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card is like other USAA offers in that it provides a special fixed APR for military members on active duty.
USAA credit card customers enjoy a special 4% APR on balances owed when they begin active duty. Even better, this 4% APR offer extends until the cardholder pays off their balance, or they celebrate their first anniversary of ending their active duty tour.
The special APR for active-duty personnel also applies to all existing balances for up to 12 months should the account holder experience deployment or a permanent station change.
A Highly Competitive APR – for Some
As with other USAA credit cards, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® features an excellent interest rate – if you have an equally impressive credit score. Applicants with an excellent credit score (think in the mid-to-upper 700s), can expect an impressive APR on purchase below 12%.
Those with good credit scores, however, may not enjoy such a great rate. The purchase APR with the Preferred Cash Visa for USAA climbs significantly higher for those with good credit – with a top-end APR well-above 25%. That extortionate APR makes the card a difficult choice to consider for all but those with the very best credit scores.
Both Discover It and Chase Freedom Unlimited feature better high-end APRs for those with good credit and comparable interest rates for those with exceptional credit. The It, for example, offers essentially the same, approximately 12% APR for the excellent credit as the USAA card.
Other Card Features
Another letdown with USAA is the lack of any signup bonuses. There is no 0% introductory APR offer on balances transfers or purchases, no cash back bonus for meeting introductory spending minimums – nothing. Fortunately, the USSA card features no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and no penalty APR.
Should You Apply for the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card?
Overall, the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards is a decent card that features some serious flaws. The 1.5% cash back is significant but suffers when compared to some of the new features that the Chase Freedom Unlimited provides.
Not only does the Freedom Unlimited offer 1.5% back on all purchases, but it also offers 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases. Those seeking an excellent intro offer should carefully consider the Freedom Unlimited, as that card provides 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases – plus 5% back on groceries for the first year.
Those actively serving in the military, however, will find the USAA Cash Rewards Card to be a useful tool. Beyond the unlimited cash back and easy redemption options, the lack of an annual fee – and foreign transaction fees – are real highlights.
Equally impressive is the special 4% APR for those on active deployment. Deployment and relocation are challenging for those deployed and their families, so having a financial cushion and easier payment terms can make a massive difference for morale. It is here where USAA truly shines.