USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Credit Card Review

3.7 stars out of 5

The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.

The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Credit Card provides low interest rates on purchases and balance transfers, though a balance transfer fee applies. United Services Automobile Association (USAA) serves as a credit union for U.S. military veterans and their families. Military families favor USAA over other institutions because it provides excellent customer service and product features and prices unavailable through banks. The Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Credit Card is another way that USAA says “thank you for your service.”

Any USAA member is immediately eligible to apply, as are their immediate family members. If not already a USAA member, current service members or veterans must open a USAA account before applying. Once the account is open, immediate family members may apply even if the USAA account holder does not.

Students in officer candidate programs like ROTC or OTC are eligible to join USAA and apply for the card. The same applies to adult children of a USAA member who have had an auto or property insurance policy. Widows or widowers of USAA members are also eligible.

USAA Rate Advantage Card


On USAA Secure Website

Our Bottom Line

Good Enough for a Night Out

Credit Rating Requirements

Good – Excellent Credit


  • Low Fee on Balance Transfers
  • Low APR


  • No Points, Cash Back or Miles Rewards
  • Only Relevant for military members and their family


  • great way to build credit while customers can also take advantage of the modest-low APR it offers
  • 3% Balance Transfers: In comparison to other cards, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card’s balance transfer fee is highly competitive.
  • No annual fee card which is a boon for those with poorer credit histories or who need to establish credit.
  • To qualify for the card, you must be an active military member, a veteran who was honorably discharged or an eligible military family member.

Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):



USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card – Benefits

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card – and whether or not it’s right for your wallet…

  • Low variable APR

The interest rates are tiered according to qualifying factors, allowing customers to get the best available rate for their credit profile. Customers with exemplary credit can take advantage of the 8.90% APR as of 2019, which is one of the lowest in the marketplace. It’s also important to consider this card as a great way to build credit.

Those with less than stellar credit scores may not qualify for the lowest rate, but if they qualify for the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Credit Card, the rate will be far better than most subprime credit cards. It can also be a great option for young adults. They can build their credit histories without being burdened with high fees and interest rates.

  • No Annual Fee

A no annual fee card is a boon for those with poorer credit histories or who need to establish credit. Annual fees are often $100+ dollars. Those with good credit should avoid annual fees unless it’s a rewards card.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

No foreign transaction fees is a great help to service members who travel overseas. Since military members often spend years abroad, this card can provide big savings. It’s also helpful for veterans and their family members who are living or traveling abroad.

  • Enhanced Cardholder Protection

Traveling can lead to all sorts of hassles. Since USAA members tend to travel, this card comes with travel accident insurance and baggage delay insurance. It’s also a wise move to make major purchases with this card. Your items will be covered under the USAA extended warranty program. The card also comes with identity theft support and zero liability for unauthorized purchases, so you know thieves won’t get their hands on your hard-earned money.

This card also utilizes high-tech security features. Customers can opt for logon options that are as secure as they are efficient. These include biometrics, quick logon, cyber code text, and computer recognition.

  • Military affiliate card designs

Active duty personnel, veterans and their families love to show their pride in the American armed forces. Cardholders can choose between many military affiliate designs that show their patriotism and support for the armed forces. Designs are available to show pride for all of the armed services.

  • Special rates for deployed and newly active personnel

Troops on deployment have enough on their minds without worrying about high-interest rates. For the first 12 months of deployment, card members receive a 4% interest rate for all balance types. USAA members who start on active duty are eligible for a 4% interest rate on current balances for the first year of service.

  • Mobile banking features

Online and mobile account management are user-friendly and easily integrated with your mobile device. The available app makes it easy to track your account balance and check transactions from your phone. Customers can also check their credit score at no cost 24/7.

USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card – Drawbacks

  • No Points, Cash Back or Miles Rewards

The USAA Rate Advantage Credit Card has one main disadvantage – in spite of it provides great rates and terms, There are no points, cash back or miles rewards. In an era where credit card rewards are substantial, customers should have at least one card that provides the rewards that suit their spending habits.

  • No Sign-Up Bonus

The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, a common perk often used to attract customers to a new card. Many cards offer sign-up bonuses as high as $500 once you surpass a certain amount of spending within the first few months. Other cards can provide sign-up bonuses in forms other than cash, for example the travel-specific Capital One Venture Rewards Card, which offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles.

  • Only Relevant for military members and their family.

To qualify for the card, you must be an active military member, a veteran who was honorably discharged or an eligible military family member.

  • Balance Transfers Fee

The card also boasts a fair balance transfer fee of 3%.

Alternatives to USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card

For example, customers who travel frequently can save significant money by using the Capital One Venture Card. Its overall 2% rewards rate for travel-related spending and no foreign transaction fees make it an ideal travel card. Those who travel frequently and enjoy staying in mid-level hotels like Country Inn should consider the Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card, which also provides bonuses, such as 50,000 miles with your first purchase.


  • Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Customers with average spending habits can benefit from general rewards cards or cards that pay higher rewards for specific categories like groceries. For a cash back card that doesn’t require a lot of tracking to maximize rewards, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is a great option with a 6% cash back rate. These rewards can add up, though you must take any fees and the interest rate into consideration.


Is the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card Right for You?

The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card works great for USAA members and their families who are more interested in low fees and interest rates than rewards. Rewards cards can be helpful, but they require you to spend a certain amount of money in a certain way to fully benefit. If they don’t fit your spending habits, their other fees and interest rates may work against you.

Active duty personnel are very well served with this card, especially since the special interest rate for deployed personnel can save a bundle and make deployment easier. It’s also a great card for overseas use and has the security needed while on deployment. With great designs that display military pride, very few fees and one of the lowest interest rates available, the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum is great for USAA members.