- 1 USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card Reviews
- 1.1 About USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card
- 1.2 A Quick Word About Who Can Join USAA
- 1.3 The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card’s Benefits
- 1.4 Reduced Interest Rates and Rebates for PCS or Deployments
- 1.5 Visa Signature Shopping and Travel Benefits
- 1.6 The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card’s Rates and Fees
- 1.7 What People Are Saying about the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card
- 1.8 Our Final Thoughts on the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card
- 2 Earn Bonuses With The USAA Cash Rewards American Express Card
- 3 What are some MasterCard credit cards that offer cash back?
- 4 USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard Review
USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card Reviews
USAA credit union members are eligible for the Limitless Cashback Reward Visa Signature, a cash-back card with a 2.5% rewards rate, low APR’s and great perks for members of the military.
- Review Topic:
- Credit Cards,
- Personal Finance
About USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card
Military-focused credit union USAA made big news this past fall when they announced the release of their Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card.
The 2.5% cash-back rate the card offered was an industry leader. Until Limitless, the standard was 2% on all purchases and most cards hovered around 1%. Plus, the card has the added advantage of no cap on rewards.
We’ll admit that the Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card is unprecedented for cash-back cards, but it will take some investigation to find out what other benefits this card has, as well as its rates and fees.
To know how good this card actually is, it’s important to read through consumer reviews, too.
We’ll work through each of these different areas and give you some actionable tips about this card. At the end of the review, we’ll give you our general thoughts and provide a few other recommendations for popular cash-back cards.
A Quick Word About Who Can Join USAA
USAA credit union memberships are available to active and retired members of the military and their families.
Also, it’s important to note that this card is only available in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, ND, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX and WA.
USAA says the card will become available in more states at some point in the future.
The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card’s Benefits
The main benefit of this credit card is the 2.5% cash-back rate, which means that every time you use your card to pay for something, you get 2.5% of it added to you rewards balance.
Now, there are a few transactions that won’t earn any rewards:
- Gambling/gaming transactions
- Money transfers
- Truck-stop transactions
- Finance charges
- Cash advances
Everything else will rack up 2.5%. To redeem those rewards, all you have to do is log into your USAA account and, in increments of $1.00, select how much you want to add to your credit card statement.
Now, this reward system comes with a huge caveat. You have to have $1,000 of direct deposits sent to your USAA checking account every 30 days. If you fall short of that $1K requirement, your rewards rate will drop to 1.5%.
As soon as USAA sees another $1,000 in direct-deposit deposits in your account, they’ll reinstate the 2.5%, but, USAA’s fine print says, it can take up to five business days to process the change.
To give you an idea of how the 2.5% compares to the leading cash-back rewards cards, we went back to our Best Cash Back Rewards Credit Card of 2017 guide and created a quick table:
As you can see, the only credit card that gets close to the USAA Limitless is the Citi Double Cash, a card that gives you 1% on purchases and 1% on balance payments.
The Discover It cash-rewards card gives you 2% the first year, but only because they run an intro offer where they double your rewards the first year.
Some cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited have rotating categories of purchases that can get you 5% cash back, but those categories rotate every three months and don’t, in most cases, make up for the difference between the Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% regular rewards rate and the USAA Limitless’ 2.5% rate.
Reduced Interest Rates and Rebates for PCS or Deployments
If cardholders are active members of the military and they’re deployed or moved to a different base (known as a private change of station or “PCS9rdquo;), then USAA grants them a 4% interest rate (more on that later) and reduced fees “for up to 12 months when you PCS or up to 15 months when you deploy,” their website says.
If, during the course of service in certain campaigns, you’re awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal or the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, USAA may rebate you all the interest you incurred during your campaign.
In order to be eligible for this rebate, you need to notify USAA within 180 days of getting back from or finishing the campaign.
These two perks are, in our opinion, incredible. As we’ve said in other reviews, credit card companies structure their fees and rates to get money from you. To see a financial institution lower rates for service members is a welcomed change.
Visa Signature Shopping and Travel Benefits
Because the USAA Limitless Cash Rewards card is part of the Visa Signature program, you get a pretty comprehensive suite of travel and shopping benefits.
First and foremost is Visa Signature’s zero liability feature, which means you aren’t liable for any fraudulent purchases made to your account.
Cardholders also get one-year extended warranties on certain items and reimbursements if the price on an item you bought goes down.
Each of these features comes with certain time limits and reimbursement limits, so make sure you review the benefits guide you receive along with your USAA Limitless Cashback card, or click here for the online version.
The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card’s travel benefits are far superior to its shopping benefits.
With this card you can get reimbursements if your luggage is lost or late, your trip is interrupted by sickness or injury or your trip is canceled, travel assistance if you need advice abroad and car rental insurance.
Like the shopping benefits, these various features have their own exclusions and limits, so refer to your benefits guide for more details.
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at some of those exclusions and limits:
- Up to $100 reimbursed for expenses per day for baggage delays
- Up to $500,000 for trip interruption due to severe injury or death
- No payout if interruption is due to a pre-existing condition
- You must call 1-866-200-9866 to file a claim
The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card’s Rates and Fees
The Limitless features a pretty decent APR spread: 14.40%-20.40%. Many of the credit cards we review have APRs that start at 15% and higher and end at around 23%.
Your credit history and credit scores determine your APR, the better your credit, the better chance you have at the lowest APR.
If you make a late payment, you’ll be charged $25 for the first late payment within a six-month billing cycle. Your second late payment will be $35.
Balance transfers will cost you 3% of the transferred balance with a max fee of $200. There is no penalty APR or foreign transaction fee on this card.
What People Are Saying about the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card
The USAA Limitless started out as a targeted offer card, which means the only people who were able to get the card were those that USAA chose.
As news spread of this new cash back card, message boards buzzed with enthusiasm. One such board on MyFICO.com had 10 pages of replies, with many cardholders hoping to get the card but disappointed it was targeted.
One commenter wrote, “Would love to have this card but as I have no direct deposits with them I don’t think I’ll ever be qualified.”
Another person said they loved the card and that it seemed better than Citi’s Double Cash.
The Limitless’ release to a wider audience sparked an active thread on Reddit. Hundreds of comments played out, with many people praising the card’s cash-back rate.
The tough part about the card is that it’s limited to service members and their family, which led one Redditor to write, “I'm relatively new to credit cards … but I feel like that 2.5% is pretty insane. Is it a trade-off for USAA being inaccessible to the public?”
As for the experts, they were buzzing with excitement, too. Magnify Money’s Taylor Gordon said the card was a “game changer.”
Gloria Manzano, a senior communications partner with USAA, told Gordon, “We believe this new product can provide our members better value and reward them for their loyalty to USAA.”
Doctor of Credit offered great insight, too. The website said the card’s benefits will lead to losses for USAA (“loss leader”) sort of the same way that the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s extensive benefits probably lost money for Chase.
Despite the losses on the card, the site said, USAA will probably gain its money back through fees it charges the company sending your direct deposit.
Our Final Thoughts on the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Limitless card presents consumers like you and me with a very interesting card – the 2.5% “limitless9rdquo; cash-back rewards are industry leading. No other card offers rewards above 2%.
Plus, the reduction of the interest for service members changing their station or being deployed is incredible, as is the ability, in certain situations, to be reimbursed for accrued interest.
However, this card is bittersweet because it’s only available to USAA members who are, by definition, members of the military or family members of those who are active duty or veterans.
As one person on Reddit pointed out, the card can be bittersweet for USAA members, too.
Texas and California are not on the list of states who can get this card even though their home to more service members than any other states in the country.
How the Card Compares to Other USAA Cards
The Limitless is by far the best credit card, rewards-wise, offered by USAA. The credit union has four other cash-back cards, and none of them offer consistent cash-back rates higher than 1.5%
The only card that comes close is the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express card, which offers 5% cash back on the first $3,000 on gas and purchases made on base, 2% on the first $3,000 in grocery purchases and 1% on everything else.
How the Card Compares to All Cash-Back Cards
Based on our research, the USAA Limitless offers the easiest way to earn consistent cash-back rewards. Cards with rotating rewards categories can offer temporary 5% bonuses, but you’ll need to keep track of which categories are part of the bonus.
If there were one big advantage to the non-USAA cards, it would be the cash bonuses you get with the Chase Freedom Unlimited ($150), the American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($100), the Capital One Quicksilver ($100) and the BankAmericard Cash Rewards ($100).
However, even with those bonuses, the Limitless still gives the better deal. At the end of one year of $24,000 in spending, you can earn $600 with the Limitless, compared to only $510 with the Chase Freedom Unlimited and $460 with the Capital One Quicksilver.
In our opinion, the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card is a no-brainer for USAA customers who want a top-notch cash-back rewards card.
Keep in mind that this card will require great credit scores. If your score is under 700, you might have a hard time getting the Limitless. It’s not a guarantee that you won’t get the card if you’re below 700, but it would benefit you to cross that threshold.
Our guides to credit scores will help you do just that. We’ve done a lot of research on how credit scores came into being, what contributes to bad scores and what habits you can adopt to build good credit scores.
Also, our credit card guide has multiple cash-back credit cards that might interest you should you be unsure about the USAA Limitless card.
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Earn Bonuses With The USAA Cash Rewards American Express Card
The state of the economy doesn't matter; a cash rebate credit card is always a good idea. This is particularly true when the card combines the longstanding traditions of two of the most beloved financial services companies in the United States: USAA and American Express.
Obviously, if you are considering this card it is because of the promise of cash rebates, which is exactly what you will find. As long as you keep your account open and in good standing you will receive an annual rebate based on your net spending for the entire year. More specifically, your basic purchases will earn a higher percentage rebate the more you charge over the course of a year:
- 0.45% of your Annual Net Purchases if you spend up charge $5,000 in 12 months
- 0.85% of your Annual Net Purchases between $5,000 and $10,000
- 1.0% of your Annual Net Purchases between $10,000 and $17,000
- 1.25% of your Annual Net Purchases exceeding $17,000
With a USAA Cash Rewards American Express credit card, though, you will earn an additional 1.0% cash rebate on gas and grocery purchases. Keep in mind that "Gas and grocery" purchases do not include transactions at places like Warehouse stores, Discount stores, Department stores, Retail stores (not classified as grocery stores or markets).
In addition to the standard percentage cash rebate earnings this card will also issue you bonus rewards at the three higher percentage tiers. This makes reaching each tier more reasonable, especially if you are not able to maximize your spending to reach the next tier. Thus, you will earn:
- No bonus at the first tier (up to $5,000 in annual charges)
- $22.50 bonus at Tier 2 (between $5,000 and $10,000 in annual charges)
- $65 bonus at Tier 3 (between $10,000 and $17,000 in annual charges)
- $135 bonus at Tier 4 (more than $17,000 in annual charges)
With a USAA credit card you will also enjoy a handful of other competitive standard benefits. USAA offers some of the best rates and auxiliary benefits in the industry today, which is probably responsible for their high-level of customer satisfaction since their inception in 1922. This card, then, gives customers:
- Competitive interest rates on standard purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances
- No annual fee
- No minimum interest charge
- 25-day interest-free grace period
Keep in mind that your specific interest rates will vary, depending upon the prime market rate and your credit score at the time of application. Also, pay close attention to the interest-free grace period. This is common to many cards but the grace period can vary. If you are able to pay off new charges in full within that grace period you can avoid paying interest altogether, saving you hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars over the lifetime of your account.
While it is easy to rave about the great benefits a card like this could provide it is also important to look at the potential fees you could pay. Remember that you will only have to pay fees for voluntary services or penalties so you can avoid these at any time. Still, it is a good to know what you can expect should you encounter any of these situations:
- Up to 3% of each transaction for balance transfers (maximum fee of $200)
- Up to 3% of each transaction for cash advances (maximum fee of $200)
- Up to 1% of each transaction for foreign currency exchanges (fee in U.S. dollars)
- Up to $35 penalty for making a late payment
- Up to $35 penalty for having a payment check returned
You will notice that this card does not charge an over-the-limit fee, which is usually somewhat common in this industry. Similarly, this card does not charge a minimum finance charge, another fee that is often quite common.
Earning up to 2.25% cash back has never been easier than it is with USAA Cash Rewards American Express card. Rebates aside you could also potentially save a bunch of money with low interest rates and the absence of the traditional annual fee and minimum finance charges.
What are some MasterCard credit cards that offer cash back?
MasterCard offers a number of cash back rewards cards, such as BankAmericard Susan G. Komen, Captial One QuicksilverOne, MLB BankAmericard, Citi Double Cash and USAA Preferred Cash Rewards World, according to CreditCards.com. These cards offer varying percentages of cash back rewards.
How do you sign up for a MasterCard credit card?
What determines eligibility when registering for a MasterCard credit card?
What is the main difference between MasterCard and Visa credit cards?
The BankAmericard Susan G. Komen and MLB BankAmericard cards offer 1 percent cash back on every purchase, 2 percent at grocery stores and 3 percent on gas for the first $1,500 spent on gas and groceries in each quarter. The Capital One QuicksilverOne offers 1.5 percent back on each purchase.
USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard Review
The USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard has one of the lowest APRs in the industry with plenty of rewards tailored to the needs of cardholders.
The USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard credit card offers one of the lowest interest rates on the market for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. In addition, cardholders are able to earn points toward purchases, travel, and also enjoy cash back rebates for the previous year’s purchases. Basically, it is a card in which looks are deceiving because it packs more of a beneficial punch than what it appears to at first glance.
USAA Cash Rewards™ World MasterCard
- Earn rebates up to 1.25% on your everyday purchases.
- Your cash rebate is awarded every January for the purchases made the previous 12 months.
- There's no limit to the amount you can earn.
- Enjoy variable rates as low as 9.9% APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
- No annual fee and no minimum finance charge.
- Before starting your application, USAA will ask you a few questions to establish your online access and eligibility with USAA.
- If you are not eligible, USAA credit cards and other products may still be available.
The rewards that come with the card are standard in some ways and not in others. They are standard in that you receive points when you use the card. For instance, points are credited to the credit card account after the first purchase. From there, one point for every dollar spent on the card is awarded. Points are not limited and there is no expiration date, which allows you to collect points for as long as you like before redeeming them.
In addition, cardholders can earn points toward airline tickets without having to contend with blackout dates. Points can also be earned toward gift certificates, brand-name merchandise, charitable donations, and even cash. It is easy and free to redeem reward points at any time via the usaa.com website or from the USAA mobile phone application.
Where the card is not so standard in its rewards is the fact that you are able to get cash back in January for the purchases that were made the previous year. This can be the ideal way to undo some of the spending that was done over the holidays. You can get back as much as 1.25% back.
For instance, you will receive a Cash Rewards rebate of .45% on the net amount of all of your annual purchases of up to $5,000. For amounts between $5,000 and $10,000, you receive $22.50 in addition to .85% of the net purchase amount. If you spend between $10,000 and $17,000, you will receive $65 in addition to 1% of your net purchases over $10,000. If you spend $17,000 or more, you will be rewarded with $135 in addition to 1.25% of the net purchase amount over $17,000. There is no limit to how much a cardholder can earn each year, which means using the card frequently will increase the amount of the cash rebate.
As for travel benefits, you are entitled to MasterRental auto rental insurance. You also receive travel accident insurance that will cover you worldwide. This insurance covers accidental death and dismemberment.
Source: USAA Bank
To make traveling easier, you have access to MasterTrip Travel Assistance, which helps you understand travel requirements before you go on your trip. If you lose luggage or other items on your trip, MasterTrip will help you locate those items. MasterTrip will also assist you if you need emergency cash by arranging a transfer from another account, a friend, or a family member in an amount up to $5,000.
Another feature, Travel Services Medical Assistance, will tap its global referral network of hospitals, physicians, dentists, and pharmacies if you need medical assistance. You can also receive help filling any prescriptions that may have been forgotten or lost. If you are traveling abroad and need medical assistance, contact with your home physician can be established so that he or she knows what is happening and can give input. You can also be transferred to another facility if needed or arrange for a friend or family member to be brought to you.
If you must cancel a trip or it is interrupted for some reason, purchasing that trip on your World MasterCard means receiving insurance that will cover your financial loss as long as that cancellation falls within the terms and conditions of the coverage. Accidental injury, death, physical illness, and disease are all covered.
Surprisingly, these are not all of the travel benefits that are included. You also receive baggage delay insurance, which means you can receive up to $300 to cover the emergency purchase of much needed items while you wait on your baggage to be returned to you.
You also receive some benefits when it comes to your retail purchases. For instance, you can receive extended warranty protection on items that are purchased by your card. This means you can add a year of coverage to the existing warranty for no additional cost. If you buy items with your card and they are damaged or stolen after purchase, you can be reimbursed for those items.
Another interesting feature is the Price Protection coverage. If you buy an item with your card and you find it for a lower price 60 days after you bought it, you can receive the difference between what you paid and the lower price you found. The lower price must be displayed in a non-auction or Internet ad advertisement. The item must also not be a part of a closeout, going out of business sale, and it must not be a discontinued item.
It is obvious up to this point that the USAA Cash Rewards World Card comes with some rather impressive benefits. It also comes with an impressive APR of 9.9%, which is much lower than the industry average. It does, however, have a standard 3% charge on balance transfer fees with a $200 maximum fee and a 3% fee for cash advances (maximum of $200 fee for issuance of a convenience check, but the fee is waived if the funds are electronically transferred to a USAA deposit account).
And while the APR is low, it should be noted that late payments can cause the APR on the card to increase. The highest APR is 25.9%.
If a late payment is made, the late payment fee is $35. If the payment is returned, the fee is $35 in addition to the late payment fee. Unlike many cards, there is no over limit fee, just as there is no annual fee.
The bottom line is that USAA is, perhaps, a very well-kept secret because its World MasterCard has very low rates, reasonable fees, and it has a good rewards program. It is very beneficial to those consumers seeking a card with decent rewards or they wish to have a balance transfer card that will not charge them an unreasonably high amount of money. Because this is a card that is aimed toward those with a credit rating of 740 and above, there is no annual fee or maintenance fee to contend with.