USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

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Snapshot

2.4

Bankrate rating
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Bottom line

Best for military members and their families to earn steady cash back.

USAA Image

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

Rewards rate

1%–5%

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Regular APR

12.65% to 26.65% Variable

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent  (670 - 850)

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® card Overview

The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® card offers excellent cash back earning potential for spending on military bases and gas stations at 5 percent cash back for the first $3,000 spent each year (1% thereafter).

On the flip side, however, there’s no sign-up bonus or intro APR, making it a great card if you’re looking to earn steady cash back but not if you’re hoping to move current credit card debt or earn lump-sum cash back immediately.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Extra rewards for spending on military bases.
  • Lower-than-average APR for well-qualified applicants.
  • Cash back multipliers roll over every year.

Cons

  • Only available to military members and their families.
  • No intro APR or sign-up bonus.
  • 3 percent balance transfer fee on purchases overseas.

A deeper look at the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on gas station and military base spending up to $3,000 per year (1% thereafter), plus 2 percent cash back on grocery store purchases up to $3,000 per year and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • Welcome offer: None
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 11.90 percent to 25.90 percent variable, based on creditworthiness

Current welcome offer

The USAA Cashback Rewards credit card doesn’t have any sign-up or bonus offer. This means no extra cash back after you spend a certain amount in the first few months, and no intro APR to help reduce your interest payments.

While this may be off-putting for some potential applicants, it’s not all bad news—this USAA credit card offers steady cash back with extra perks for military members.

Rewards rate

When it comes to rewards credit cards, the basics of this USAA offering is fairly middle-of-the-road.

Earning rewards

You’ll get 1 percent cash back on general purchases, putting the card in line with most cash back cards. But cardholders also get 2 percent cash back on grocery purchases (up to $3,000 in purchases per year) along with 5 percent cash back on gas station and military base spending (also up to $3,000 in purchases per year).

While your cash back goes down to 1 percent in these categories when you reach the spending threshold, they reset annually.

Redeeming rewards

Redeeming rewards is simple—just log into your account at USAA.com or through your mobile app and check your cash back amount, then choose the amount you’d like to redeem.

According to the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus program terms and conditions, cash can be redeemed for any amount in $1 increments starting at as little as $1. Your available cash back amount for any posted transactions is typically available within 48 hours after purchase.

Other cardholder perks

The USAA Cashback Rewards card offers numerous benefits for military members and their families.

Auto rental coverage

Rent a vehicle with your USAA credit card and enjoy complimentary coverage along with travel accident insurance.

24/7 USAA customer service

Connect with USAA customer service 24/7 for questions about your card or help redeeming your cash back.

Baggage delay and reimbursement

The last thing military members on leave or military families on vacation want to deal with is lost luggage. USAA offers peace of mind with baggage delay and reimbursement coverage.

Security and protection

Card members also have no liability for unauthorized transactions as well as security alerts when the account has strange activity.

Rates and fees

The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express card has no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees. It does, however, have a 3 percent balance transfer and cash advance fee for each cash advance along with an up to $35 fee for late or returned payments.

How the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express compares to other cash back cards

While the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express card offers solid cash back options for current and former military members and their families, how does it stack up against more traditional cash back cards?

USAA Image

USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

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2.4

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

1%–5%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Chase Image

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back

Rewards rate

1.5%–5%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)
Citi Image

Citi® Double Cash Card

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Rewards rate

2%

Recommended credit

Good to Excellent(670 - 850)

USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months (15.74 percent to 24.49 percent variable APR thereafter) along with welcome bonus worth up to $300 cash back- earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express vs. Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card is another good option that comes with 18 months of intro 0 percent APR on balance transfers (15.49 percent to 25.49 percent variable APR after intro period) plus up to 2 percent cash back—1 percent when you buy and 1 percent as you pay off your purchases.

While the USAA card can’t compete when it comes to 0 percent intro APR for purchases or balance transfers on either of these cards, it can come out ahead on extra cash back, especially if you’re currently stationed at a military base.

Best cards to pair with USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express credit card

If you’re looking to partner up your USAA card, consider a travel points card for big trips or a 0 percent intro APR offer for large purchases.

While the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus card is a great choice for everyday spending, you’ll often get bigger benefits from travel-specific cards when booking flights and hotels—and if you’ve got a plan to pay down your balance, it’s worth considering an intro APR card to reduce your total interest.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus card worth it?

If you’re looking for the best credit cards for military members and their families, USAA cards are a solid choice. But is the Cashback Rewards Plus the best USAA credit card option available?

If steady cash back with the added bonus of gas station and military multipliers is your preference, the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus card is a great choice that offers no annual fee, solid APR for well-qualified applicants and cash multipliers that roll over every year.

The information about the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.