USAA Credit Cards – Everything You Need To Know (List & Rules & Best Offers)

USAA offers a few different credit cards, I thought it would be interesting to have a central place these cards can be discussed and also list of all the cards they offer, the best offers (both current and historically) for each card and also rules and things you should know about USAA

List Of Cards

Best Offers

The majority of the above cards do not come with a sign up bonus, or come with a small 2,500 point sign up bonus. The exception are the cards we’ve listed below:

Rules/Things To Know

Eligibility Requirements

USAA is not an open credit union and they have strict eligibility requirements. In fact they are not a credit union at all, but a federal savings bank. You’re eligible if you fall into any of these categories:

You’re eligible if you fit in these categories:

  • Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S. military.
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS).
  • Adult children whose eligible parents have or had a USAA auto or property insurance product.
  • Widows and widowers of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.

More information here.

Final Thoughts

There is still so much we don’t know about USAA and I’d like to build up that information here. If you can answer any of the following questions, please do so in the comments below:

  • How do annual fee refunds work if you cancel the card?
  • Do they match bonuses? (doubtful since they typically only offer targeted bonuses)
  • Do they combine inquiries if you make multiple in the same day?
  • Do they offer retention bonuses on their AF products?
  • Is there a limit to the number of cards you can have with them?
  • Do they reopen closed cards?

You can also read other posts we’ve done in this series below:


Leave a Reply


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Patricia Reidy
Patricia Reidy

I have been using my USAA Visa (was MasterCard) for 30+ years with a very good credit rating. Have ALWAYS paid my monthly payments above and beyond what the minimum is. I requested the interest rate of 12.5% be reduced about 10 years ago to no avail. My maximum balance of 17K was reduced to 3K via a letter ( 12/24/19) in the warning. Reasons why were totally invalid (one being that my credit score was 729 and too many inquiries)…why would I inquire since I am an excellent customer?? Meanwhile, I was suppose to get a call back from a Mgr which didn’t happen and then my card got declined 2.5 weeks later. There is absolutely no reason why this should have happened and certainly in the way it happened. The only thing that has changed for me in the past 7 months is that I retired So, it must be because I am unemployed… I’m still waiting on the real reason from USAA. Probably won’t get a straight answer. Shame on you USAA! I would advise anyone to look elsewhere. Both Barclays and Commerce bank offer GREAT rates…. 0-1.9% and am always getting balance transfer checks. USAA offers nothing and hence nothing to me anymore.


I know I am late to the party but my Dad got me in to USAA. He did about 3 years of service and was not career military. When he took auto insurance there, he was told by the representative to keep me eligible for future products like a mortgage, to take a small homeowners plan for jewelry. He did so.
I have two USAA credit cards. My credit is good around 725, but not the 850 dream yet.
I applied for the Preferred cash rewards signature Visa in my own name and was shocked to get an opening limit of 15k. Never been given one of those limits before, over time or out of the gate. Applied jointly for their regular Visa and got 10k on that one (??) I have never asked for an increase nor received one, I have had mine for about 18 months, but I really did not care about that with the 15 month intro no APR. These are the only products of USAA I have at this time, but I think it is a great pair of cards if you can get them. No regrets and a happy customer, especially because they treat my Dad so great when he calls in or needs help with anything.


In my experience vets don’t have a problem getting in, but once a vet is deceased if he/she wasn’t already a member before death his/her family will be unable to qualify for USAA.

In other words, if your grandma’s husband had joined USAA before he passed your parent would have been eligible to join, then once your parent joined you could have joined. Note that insurance eligibility is even more intricate, and is also required to be ‘passed down’ without skipping a generation (being a member doesn’t automatically make you insurance eligible).

I’ve had this happen in my own extended family.


I’ll never discourage anybody from trying, but in this case it would likely be a waste of time… there are many threads on various forums where people with the same scenario tried and failed to gain USAA membership. 🙁

That said, NFCU changed their membership rules back in the early summer to allow for vets (and their families) and I believe you would qualify with them. They don’t have a product comparable to the Limitless, but they do have some good products of their own (their low-rate Platinum is hard to beat).


I JUST applied for this and was APPROVED. A little about my background. EX: 638 EQ: 668. TU:660. Inquiries 10, 15 and 11. Three missed payments in 2014 on a student loan but no other missed or late payments since then. 2 Closed Accounts (Negative. One being an old USAA plat. card). 1 Closed Car Loan Account (Paid in Full, NEVER missed a payment during the 2 years I had it)……If your credit profile looks like this or better, you will most likely get approved. I was approved for $2000 for the Amex Rewards Card. I STILL don’t know how that happened but I’m not Got my ‘foot in the door’ with Amex and look to use this to eventually get a better card. Hope this helps. USAA ROCKS!!!

Ray Kester Louis Festin
Ray Kester Louis Festin

when did you apply? is that your current credit score when you applied?


@William Charles –

1. You get your cashback as soon as the transaction’s status changed from “pending” to “posted.” So, you do not have to wait until the end of your billing cycle just to know your cashback earned.

2. you can add sort of “double dip” in cashback with their USAA American Express Cashback cards. You can combine it with “AMEX Offers” on Facebook or Twitter.

3. All their Visa and AMEX cards have no foreign transaction fees.

4. Their old Chip and PIN (with pin as priority form of CVM) has been phased out.

5. Now, ALL their cards are Chip and SIGNATURE cards with PIN as secondary form of CVM. So you can still use them overseas, But i places where there’s a human at the register (ex: grocery stores, dine-in restaurants, train station ticketmasters) signature will be preferred. The card will force the register to spit out a receipt for you to sign. Just be ready to get the “what the heck is this?” look from European cashiers when that receipt spits out, as they are more used to chip and pin cards. LOL.

6. The CVM priority list are as follows:

1: Signature (paper)
2: Enciphered PIN verified by ICC
3: Plaintext PIN verified by ICC
4: No CVM required

1: Signature (paper)
2: Enciphered PIN verified online
3: Enciphered PIN verified by ICC
4: Plaintext PIN verified by ICC
5: No CVM required


“USAA is not an open credit union and they have strict eligibility requirements.”

Yes, they’re not an open credit union because they’re not a credit union at all. They’re a federal savings bank, a type of entity completely separate from both credit unions as well as national banks (e.g., Bank of America, US Bank, Citibank, etc.).

For some reason, people think that just because they have eligibility requirements that makes them a credit union. They’re not.


No love for the shopping portal? 🙂

One great thing about this portal is that you don’t need to pay with a USAA card at checkout. For example, start with the portal but use an unbranded Amex card at the payment page, and you’ll get the portal’s cashback incentive *on top of* relevant Amex Offers at the merchant. (If you’re lucky, maybe even stack both of those on top of a Visa Checkout promo.)


I have a Visa and checking with USAA. If you have checking with them, you can take a cash advance for no fee directly into your checking account (there are daily limits); OD protection transfers for your checking are also no-fee. The cash advance interest rate is the same as the purchase rate (but no interest grace period on cash advances or OD advances).

I received an auto-CLI once my account was a year old; it went from $7k to $8400. Since I got my USAA Visa I’ve acquired better cards, but you can’t beat free easy access to cash and free OD protection so I keep it around. I’m hoping I’ll qualify for the 2.5% card once it’s available in my state. :o)


Couple data points, but all but the first are 2-3 years old:

1. They regularly send out spend incentives, but they are usually not more than 1-2% extra.
2. My wife and I have both product changed. IIRC they may have an issue with this on AF cards.
3. They do offer retention bonuses, but they are really bad. Think an extra 1% on 2k spend or something.

Ellie Arroway
Ellie Arroway

I am a long time USAA member and it is the bank I trust the most. Their customer service is excellent and the website and mobile apps blow away what the big banks offer. One additional bit of information about their credit cards is that they all have no foreign transaction fees. Even the low end secured ones.