USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card
Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertising partners.
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card offers the best cash-back rewards on gas and military base spending of all of the USAA-branded credit cards.
Military personnel and their family members can greatly benefit from the low rates and perks offered by the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card. The card offers pumped-up cash-back rewards of 5% on gas and military base purchases, up to a combined $3,000 in annual spending in these categories, after which it drops down to 1% cash back rewards. It pays 2% cash back on supermarket spending up to $3,000 annually, after which it drops down to 1% cash back rewards. All other spending earns an unlimited 1% cash back.
There’s a special APR of 4% for balances on this card for those on active duty and for up to one year afterward. For those who don’t qualify for the Servicemember Civil Relief Act benefit, USAA still will grant a 4% APR on purchases and existing balances for those who are deployed or on a permanent change of station for up to one year. There’s also no penalty APR, so late payments won’t affect your balance.
Who should own this card
Anyone who is affiliated with, or a family member of, someone in the military could benefit from the low rates and tiered cash-back rewards program offered by this card.
Fees and APR
- Variable APR is 12.90% to 26.90% depending on your creditworthiness.
- Pay no annual fee.
- Late payments won’t affect your APR, but you may be subject to a late fee of up to $35.
- There are no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
- See Rates & Fees.
Extras, perks and using points
If you rent a qualifying car for 31 days or less and pay using your USAA card, you’ll get insurance coverage for physical damage to the car or theft.
With the price protection feature of this card, you may be eligible for a refund to your card of the price difference if you find a lower price on a new item you bought with the card within 120 days of your purchase.
This card offers extended warranty protections up to one year longer than the original manufacturer’s warranty.
Cardholders also receive access to a 24-hour concierge, emergency services including roadside assistance and trip cancellation or interruption insurance.
You can redeem your rewards anytime, but it must be in increments of $1. To do so, log into your account online or through your mobile app.
How this card compares
Even if you’re not an active duty service member, the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature offers attractive benefits, most notably its 1.5% cash back on all purchases, without limits or restrictions. Most non-rotating cash-back cards offer 1%, so the extra half percentage point definitely is a score in its favor.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card pays a flat 1.5% back on all purchases. This may work out to be better for you depending on your spending habits.
Quicksilver does not offer any APR rate breaks like the USAA cards, so if that feature matters to you, the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card might be a better choice.
When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.
So why, you might ask, does this card not receive a higher score from Bankrate? There are a couple reasons, but the main thing dragging this card down is this: Because Citi Double Cash offers no sign-up bonus, it struggles to compete with many cards in this category.
The Chase Freedom card is fee-free and offers rotating bonus categories that pay 5% back, with a cap of $1,500 in each category per quarter and an unlimited 1% back on everything else. You also have to sign-up each quarter to get the bonus.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.