The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express is a rewards credit card that primarily offers high cash back rewards on gasoline and military base purchases. Card members also earn rewards on groceries and other purchases. This card is only available to USAA members. If you are not currently a member of USAA, membership information is contained in the online credit card application form and can be completed when you apply for the card. Membership in USAA is open to current military personnel, honorably discharged veterans, or eligible family members.
At the present time, there is no signup bonus given to new account holders. There also is no introductory APR offered on either purchases or balance transfers.
Card members earn cash back rewards as follows:
|Earn||Categories||Where You Shop||Limits|
|5%||GasolineMilitary base purchases||Gas stationsCommissaries, exchange and shopette locations||$3,000 combined annual spending limit. 1% earned for remainder of year.|
|2%||Groceries||Supermarkets||$3,000 annual spending limit. 1% earned for remainder of year.|
|1%||All other purchases||Anywhere||No limit.|
Card members receive cash back rewards in the form of a rebate bonus which appears as a credit on the January billing statement each year. There are no limits on the total amount of cash rebates cardholders may earn annually.
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express offers members an annual percentage rate of 11.90% to 25.90% depending on your creditworthiness at the time of approval. This is a variable APR based on the Prime Rate.
Card members receive additional benefits with the card, including:
- Travel Assistance Services- Offers assistance when you are traveling more than 100 miles from home and problems arise- such as medical emergencies or passport and visa issues.
- Concierge Services- 24/7 access to personal assistance services such as making restaurant reservations or finding an out-of-the-ordinary gift.
- Rental Car Insurance-31 Day Worldwide Coverage- Pays for covered damages, including physical damages and theft, to a rental vehicle for up to 31 days. Your entire vehicle rental agreement must be paid for using you’re the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express.
- Identity Theft Resolution Services- Should your credit identity ever be compromised, this service will assist with notification to credit bureaus and help get you a replacement card quickly.
- Price Protection- If you find a lower advertised price on an item you purchased with the card, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the difference in cost. You have 120 days from the purchase date to submit a claim. Certain restrictions and exclusions apply.
There is a fee of 3% charged on each balance transfer. The maximum fee per transfer is $200.
Cash advances also incur a 3% fee based on the amount of each advance (capped at $200 per convenience check). Note: this fee is waived when transferring funds electronically to a USAA deposit account.
Card members are charged a 1% foreign transaction fee on any purchases made with the card while traveling outside of the U.S.
The USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express comes with the security and convenience of chip card technology. This is especially useful when traveling internationally as most other countries use chip-enabled terminals to process credit card transactions.
There is no annual fee associated with this card.
Below we have broken down the specifics of the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express to help you decide if it’s a good choice.
High rewards on gas and military base purchases:
Card members earn 5% cash back on gas and military base purchases including commissaries, exchanges, and shopettes. These rewards are capped at $3,000 in combined category purchases per year but 5% is still a solid rewards rate. Once this spending threshold is reached, all other purchases in these categories earn 1% cash back for the remainder of the year.
Decent rewards on other spending:
Members receive 2% cash back rewards on groceries purchased at supermarkets. This rewards rate also has a spending cap of $3,000 per year. Once the $3,000 limit is reached, purchases in this category earn 1% cash back for the remainder of the year. All other purchases made anywhere that American Express is accepted earn 1% cash back. Other than the specified spending caps, there is no limit to the amount of cash back rewards that can be earned overall during a calendar year.
- Travel Assistance Services
- Concierge Services
- Rental Car Insurance-31 Day Worldwide Coverage
- Identity Theft Resolution Services
- Price Protection
Chip card technology:
This card comes with chip card technology. Most other countries use chip-enabled terminals to process credit card transactions so this is a definite perk if you frequently travel overseas.
No annual fee:
Card members are not charged an annual membership fee.
USAA membership is required:
This card is only available to USAA members. To qualify, you must be a current member of the military, a veteran who received an Honorable Discharge, or an eligible family member.
Certain rewards rates are capped:
The 5% cash back rate on gasoline and military base purchases has a combined purchase limit of $3,000 per year. The 2% cashback rate on grocery purchases made at supermarkets also has an annual spending cap of $3,000. Anyone considering this card should look closely at their personal spending habits in these categories to determine if the 5% cash back rate can be maximized.
Cash advance and balance transfer fees:
Both of these transactions incur a fee of 3% of the total amount with a maximum fee of $200 per transaction allowed. This fee is waived for any cash advance which is electronically transferred to a USAA deposit account.
Limitations on grocery and gasoline purchase locations:
Grocery and gasoline purchases made at warehouse stores (Costco, Sam’s Club), discount stores such as Walmart, and other non-grocery store, non-gasoline station locations are not eligible for cash back rewards.
Very good to excellent credit needed:
Generally, applicants need a FICO credit score of at least 730 to be approved for this card. Therefore, not everyone will qualify for the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express.
Rewards are paid out once a year:
Card members receive a cash rewards rebate every January for purchases made during the previous 12 months. This rebate bonus will appear as a credit on your January billing statement.