If you or a loved one is in the military and need a credit card, this could be a great choice if you qualify for the lower end of the standard APR range. But if the APR you’re offered is at the higher end of the range, shop around for another secure card. It also doesn’t hurt to consider cards that let you graduate to unsecured.
USAA Secured Amex vs Discover it® Secured Credit Card
If you want a card that is much closer to an unsecured credit card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great match. It comes with Discover’s Cashback Match, where Discover matches the cash back you earned at the end of the first year. You also earn up to 2 percent on restaurants and gas station purchases (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1 percent). You also get the possibility to upgrade to an unsecured card after seven months of full, on-time payments, which is much faster than most rival cards.
All these features make this card a much stronger contender than the USAA Secured American Express, especially for those with no credit history. That being said, the USAA Amex still has the unique feature of a CD Savings account, which encourages you to save during your credit journey.
USAA Secured Amex vs Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card
Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card is another secured card that mainly focuses on military members. The nRewards Secured card earns 1X points per dollar spent, which isn’t much but is a good introduction to earning rewards. This card has no annual fee as well as no fees on cash advances, balance transfers and foreign transactions, which is a great advantage for those deployed overseas. The APR on the nRewards Secured card is also much lower than the USAA Secured American Express, at 18.00 percent (variable) vs the 25.15 percent (variable).
This card does graduate to a rewards credit card after 12 statement cycles, but some may consider this too long.
Best Cards to pair with USAA Secured American Express
With a secure card, you’re essentially starting at the beginning or starting over. At this point, having multiple credit cards may not be helpful and instead be a distraction from the main goal of building your credit. It may be better to invest in tools that monitor your FICO score or take note of your spending habits to know what you want out of an unsecured card.
If you’re looking for another card to expand your overall credit limit some — which can be helpful in keeping your credit utilization down — there are cards that require no credit history and may be helpful towards that goal.