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This article was last updated Oct 08, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
If you typically carry a balance on your credit card or if you’re planning to finance a big-ticket item, a low interest rate credit card like the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card should be on your radar.
The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card offers a very low starting APR, but beware that the range is quite wide: 6.90% to 23.90% Variable.
The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is only available to USAA members. To be eligible, you must currently serve in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy National Guard or Reserve. You may also qualify if you are a veteran, an eligible family member, cadet or midshipman.
In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card, as well as show how it compares to the USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card.
Where the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card stands out
Low interest rate. The APR range for the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is 6.90% to 23.90% Variable.
Annual fee. The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card comes with a $0 annual fee.
Special service member benefits. If you’re an active-duty military member and are deployed while your account is in good standing, you may receive a reduced interest rate of 4% for debt incurred prior to active-duty service.
To qualify, you must be a USAA account holder before active duty, and you must submit your request within 180 days of completing active duty. This is a better rate than the 6% provided by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Additional USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card benefits
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Travel emergency assistance
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Baggage delay reimbursement
- Extended warranty protection
Where the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card falls short
No rewards program. This card lacks a rewards program, so you won’t be able to earn points or cash back on your purchases.
If you are interested in earning rewards, there are other USAA cards to choose from, including the USAA Rewards Visa Signature card (more on that below).
No intro APR on purchases. The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card does not offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases. This means that if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you will immediately incur an APR ranging from 6.90% to 23.90% Variable.
Compare it with the USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card
If you are a USAA member who wants to earn rewards from your credit card, the USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card is a good alternative to the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card.
The USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card lets you earn earn 2x points per dollar spent on gas and dining and earn one point for every dollar spent on all purchases. Additionally, cardholders get 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase using the card.
See how the cards compare side by side in the table below.
|USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card||USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card|
|Sign-up bonus||None||Get 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase|
|Rewards||Enjoy USAA's lowest rate card, Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR & no foreign transaction fee||Earn 2X points per dollar spent on gas and dining and earn one point for every dollar spent on all purchases|
|Regular Purchase APR||6.90% to 23.90% Variable||11.40% - 27.40% Variable|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||None|
Looking at the APR ranges for each card, there’s not much difference. The USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card is slightly lower with a 6.90% to 23.90% Variable. The USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card, by contrast, has an APR of 11.40% - 27.40% Variable. This difference may not be a big deal, since the rate you receive depends on creditworthiness and other factors — meaning, if you apply for the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card, you may not qualify for the lowest rate. Plus, all USAA cards have the ability to qualify for the military interest rate benefits.
Ultimately, the right card for you comes down to whether you want to earn rewards or not. If the answer is yes, the USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card is a good option, especially if you spend a large amount on gas and restaurant purchases.
But, if you plan to carry a credit card balance — and if you qualify for the lowest interest rate — the USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card may be the better choice.
Whatever interest rate you qualify for, keep in mind that we recommend paying your credit card balance in full each month. When that’s not possible, be sure to pay more than the minimum amount due.