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USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card Review

USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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: 8.65% - 25.65% 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.

  • 8.65% - 25.65% Variable

  • Rental Car Insurance, Price Protection, Extended Warranty & more

  • $0 annual fee, no penalty APR & no foreign transaction fee

Highlights
  • Enjoy USAA's lowest rate card
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no penalty APR
  • USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for USAA® Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card

More Info

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 8.65% - 25.65% 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 8.65% - 25.65% Variable.

Compare it with the USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

  • Earn 2X points per dollar spent on gas and dining and earn one point for every dollar spent on all purchases

  • Get 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase

  • $0 annual fee, no penalty APR & no foreign transaction fee

Highlights
  • Earn 2X points per dollar spent on gas and dining with no cap
  • Earn 1X points for every dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Get 2,500 bonus points with your first purchase
  • Redeem points for cash, merchandise, gift cards and more.
  • USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

More Info

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
Annual Fee $0 $0
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 8.65% - 25.65% Variable 11.65% - 27.65% 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 8.65% - 25.65% Variable. The USAA® Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card, by contrast, has an APR of 11.65% - 27.65% 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.

Bottom line

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.


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