USAA® Secured American Express® Card
Why you can trust Bankrate
At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry — regardless or where you are in your journey — and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
- Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options.
- Consistently provide up-to-date, reliable market information so you\'re well-equipped to make confident decisions.
- Reduce industry jargon so you get the clearest form of information possible, so you can make the right decision for you.
At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.
We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.
Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.
How We Make Money
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate.com. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states were it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.
Editor’s note: This card is no longer available. For more secured cards visit our Best Secured Credit Cards page.
USAA® Secured American Express® Card Overview
If you or a loved one will be deployed soon, the USAA® Secured American Express® Card could prove a real help. Think about applying for this card before you head overseas so you can take advantage of the generous benefit offered active-duty military personnel.
The card has a special low APR for deployed members of the U.S. armed forces—much lower than standard credit card interest rates—and, unlike most other unsecured cards, offers travel and auto protections and extended warranty coverage.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
There are better secured credit cards in the marketplace, particularly when you consider this card’s annual fee. What sets the USAA Secured Card apart is its standard APR and the deployment benefit—4% APR for up to a year. USAA says it will rebate all finance charges accrued if you serve in a qualified military campaign.
If you or a loved one is in the military and you need to get a credit card, this could be a great choice if you qualify for the lower end of the standard APR range. It’s significantly lower than the national average and that, plus the interest rate breaks for actively deployed servicemen, makes it a solid choice.
But if the APR you’re offered is at the higher end of the range, shop around for another secured card that doesn’t ding you with a $35 annual fee. It doesn’t hurt to consider cards that let you graduate to unsecured, too.
Still, other popular secured cards may charge you a variable APR of 25% or more. That’s not an issue if you pay your bill in full each month. But if you carry a balance, this card won’t sock you with the typically high secured credit card interest rate.
Like all secured credit cards, your credit limit is determined by your deposit. When you apply for this card, you open a 2-year CD in an amount ranging from $250 to $5,000. The small bonus here: You’ll earn interest on this deposit, although it’s a small enough payout that this shouldn’t be a factor in your decision. The CD earns 0.54% APY.
This card comes with several benefits not typically offered with secured cards.
If you rent a qualifying car for 31 days or less, and pay using the USAA® Secured American Express® Card, you’ll get insurance coverage for theft or physical damage to the car.
With the price protection feature of this card, you may be eligible for a refund 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.
Fees and APR
- This card carries a $35 annual fee.
- The annual percentage rate is a variable 11.90% – 21.90% APR, based on creditworthiness.
- You’ll be charged a 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or a permanent change of station.
Bankrate’s take—Is the USAA Secured American Express Card worth it?
For those who serve in the military and their eligible family members, the USAA® Secured American Express® Card can be a great entry point for building or rebuilding credit. The card is available for cadets, too, who are likely to have thin credit files that may not let them qualify for a typical credit card.
The card will report to all three of the major credit bureaus, so with regular on-time payments, you can improve your credit score.