Best USAA Credit Cards of May 2022

Dec 21, 2020

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USAA offers competitive, but not superior, rewards credit cards. A huge attraction, however, is the suite of special benefits for active-duty service members, especially an extra-low APR benefit. USAA is known for outstanding customer satisfaction, and its credit cards are typically light on fees, including no foreign transaction fees.

These cards require USAA membership, which is available only to active and former military and their eligible family members. More generally, also see NerdWallet’s best credit card offers for active-duty military.

NerdWallet's Best USAA Credit Cards of May 2022

Here are the top USAA credit cards. Before applying, verify details on the issuer's website:

  • Everyday spending: USAA® Rewards™ American Express® Card

  • Active-duty military: USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

  • Flat-rate cash back: USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

  • Low interest: USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card (read review)

  • Rewards and wider international acceptance: USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Where USAA cards shine

USAA credit cards are designed specifically with military families in mind. Here are some highlights you can expect:

Extra-low APRs during deployment and permanent change of station. USAA provides a special 4% APR instead of the 6% APR required by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Versatile travel rewards. USAA rewards credit cards don’t earn points as quickly as other cards. But when you do collect enough rewards to redeem them for travel, you’ll likely get a good deal. USAA rewards points are generally worth one cent each when redeemed for travel.

For the most part, no annual fees. USAA cards offer a lot of long-term value, since most of them don’t charge annual fees.

Where USAA cards fall short

USAA credit cards aren’t the best pick for everyone. Here’s why you might want to consider another card:

You’re not a USAA member. If you don’t qualify for USAA membership, you’ll have to find a different card. The good news, though, is that if you do meet certain requirements, becoming a USAA member is free. Among the ways you can be eligible:

  • You’re in the U.S. military or were honorably discharged.

  • You’re joining the U.S. military.

  • Your parent is (or was) a USAA member.

  • Your spouse is (or was) a USAA member.

If this is you, consider applying for membership on the USAA website.

You want a flashy sign-up bonus. While some USAA cards do offer bonuses when you make your first purchase, they’re modest compared with other rewards cards. For the most part, USAA specializes in simple, no-fuss plastic with good long-term value. If you’re interested in getting the most rewards possible, you may want to check out NerdWallet’s Best Rewards Credit Cards instead.

Last updated on December 21, 2020


NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.