USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum® Card Review

By: Heather Hanks Dec. 19, 2019

The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card caters to military members and their families. It features the company’s lowest interest rates. They range from 8.40% to 25.40%, depending on your credit score and other financial information. You’ll also enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fee, or penalty APR.

Other notable features include a zero liability policy, military affiliate card designs, and industry-leading security features. You can manage your account online. You’ll get added protection when you travel, including baggage delay and travel accident insurance. To find out more information, check out our USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card review below.

What is the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card?

The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card is one of several low-rate cards offered by USAA. The company state that this card features their lowest interest rate yet. You’ll need to be a USAA member to qualify for the card. USAA is a company that proudly serves the military and their family members. It was founded in 1922 after 25 Army officers met in San Antonio and insured each other's cars. The small organization grew into one of the only fully integrated financial services in the United States.

According to the website, the company currently had 12.8 million members and 52.1 million products. As a USAA member, you’ll get access to banking, insurance, and investing opportunities designed just for military members. This includes free checking, home loan options, insurance coverage, and help with your portfolio. You’ll also get access to financial tools and advice. Creating a membership is free. However, additional services, such as the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card, cost extra.

To join, you’ll need to fall into one of the following categories:

  • Veteran
  • Active duty
  • Reserve
  • Guard
  • Cadet
  • Midshipman
  • An eligible family member (such as the children, spouse, un-remarried former spouse, and unmarried widows and widowers of the above-mentioned military members)

What Does It Offer?

The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card offers the lowest interest rates among all USAA cards. Interest rates range from 8.40% to 25.40%. This number depends on several factors, including your credit score and history. Your APR will also depend on the prime rate and the state you live in. There is also no penalty APR, annual fee, or foreign transaction fee. This is how USAA allows you to save money.

Here is a breakdown of the rates and fees associated with the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card:

Annual fee: $0

Penalty APR: 0%

Minimum interest charge: $0

Over your credit limit fee: $0

Late payments and returned payments: up to $35

Balance transfers and cash advances: 3% of the amount of each (your cash advance fee is waived when you transfer funds electronically to your USAA account)

APR: 8.40% to 25.40% (depending on your creditworthiness and the prime rate)

You can manage your account entirely online using the mobile app. This allows you to transfer funds, view your bill, make payments, and check your balance all from your phone. Your mobile wallet allows you to connect your credit card. Then you can shop in-store or make-in app purchases. You can also manage your account with tools. These allow you to set travel notifications, transfer funds, and contact customer service. You can also set up alerts when payments are due so you never miss one. We recommend making each payment on time to help boost your credit.

Other Benefits

In addition to low interest rates and no hidden fees, the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card offers several benefits. These benefits are focused on providing the best service for those who serve our country. They offer a zero liability policy that ensures you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges. There is also a special 4% RCRA rate. This allows you to enjoy 4% APR on your current balance when you enter active military duty. This offer is good until several months after you return from active duty. Here is a complete list of benefits you’ll get with the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card.

SCRA Benefits

Perhaps the biggest break for active military members is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) interest rate benefits. This offer applies to any debt that you have incurred before you enter active duty. It does not apply to debt that you incur during or after active duty. Initially, the SCRA rate was 5% on credit card and other loan debt. However, this rate was lowered to 4%. To qualify, you must be a USAA member before active duty. You must also submit an application 180 days before you complete active duty. The charges must be applied before active duty.

You can use it on the following:

  • Auto loans
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Approved mortgages
  • Home equity lines of credit and loans
  • Some life insurance policies

Security Features

USSA makes sure your account and personal information is secure. All of your information can be managed online through the mobile app. Security features include biometrics, cyber code text, computer recognition, and quick logon.

There is a zero liability policy that guarantees you won’t be responsible if your account is compromised. Be sure to notify USAA of any unauthorized charges to have them removed. USAA also protects you if your identity is stolen, and they offer extended warranties on your purchases. Here are some key security features:

  • Identity theft resolution services: this feature ensures that you will have options if you are a victim of identity theft. Customer representatives are standing by to replace your card and notify the credit bureaus. They can also help you dispute false information on your credit report.

  • Personal identity theft: you’ll be reimbursed up to $1,000 if your card or identity is stolen. Use this money to help pay for covered expenses, such as postage, cost of credit reports, and legal fees.

Shopping Benefits

Your purchases are covered on the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card. The extended warranty protection feature extends your US manufacturer’s warranty for up to one additional year. Your USAA Rate Adtangeave Visa Platinum card also comes with 24/7 concierge service. You can use this service to get advice on gifts or restaurants, buy concert tickets, or help plan a future trip. This service also helps you with exchange rates, vaccination requirements, and business or specialty services.

Travel Benefits

You’ll be protected when you travel with your USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card. The following is a list of travel benefits that come with your card. Keep in mind that most of these offers are only good if you use your card to pay for them. Your travel benefits will not apply to purchases made on other cards.

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: this feature allows you to pay for and reserve your rental car with your card. You’ll get 31 days of protection across the world. This built-in coverage allows you to save money as long as you deny the waiver provided by the rental car company. It covers you for theft, physical damage, towing, and loss of charges. Your name must be listed as the primary driver on the rental contract. Additional drivers must also be listed.

  • Travel and emergency assistance: help is only a phone call away if you experience an emergency or illness while traveling anywhere in the world. You can call the benefits center 24/7. Use this serve for medical and legal referrals, travel planning, prescriptions, and more. You can also use it to help track down lost luggage, replace travel papers, and speak to an attorney.

  • Trip interruption and cancellation: you’ll be covered for up to $1,500 per person when your trip is interrupted or canceled. This is good for prepaid, non-refundable passenger fares when your trip is canceled or interrupted for a covered reason. These include a change in military orders or an illness/death in the family.

  • Travel accident insurance: you’ll be covered for loss of life or limb while traveling as long as you use your card to pay for your ticket. This includes tickets for train, bus, cruise ship, ferry and plane. This coverage is also good for loss of hearing, sight, or speech with benefits up to $500,000. Coverage kicks in during ground transportation to and from the airport. It also covers you in between terminals, while you are at the airport, and immediately departing.

  • Baggage delay reimbursement: this offer is valid if your checked baggage is delayed. It does not apply to carry-on. You’ll receive up to $100 per day for three days. Use this money to buy essentials, such as clothes, device chargers, and toiletries, until your bag arrives. Your bag must be delayed at least four hours.

USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card: Pros and Cons

Is the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card right for you? For starters, you have to be a USAA member. If you’re not, you can sign up for free. However, you need to be a military member or a family member of one. The USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card has the lowest rates of all USAA cards. APRs are lower than average and start at 8.40% You’ll need to have good credit to qualify. There are also no annual fees, penalty APRs, or foreign transaction fees. Active duty military members can take advantage of the 4% SCRA rate. Other rates and terms, such as your credit limit, will depend on your financial history.

USAA Rate Advantage Pros

  • You can manage your account anytime online through the mobile app
  • APRs range from 8.40% to 25.40%, depending on your credit and other financial information (as well as the prime rate)
  • Unique military affiliate card design available
  • 4% SCRA rate available for active duty members (on balances made before active duty)
  • It’s free to become a USAA member
  • There are no annual fees, penalty APRs, or foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and shopping insurance included, such as rental car insurance, emergency travel assistance, and more
  • Identity theft protection offered, including credit disputes available if your identity is compromised
  • Zero liability policy available (you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges)
  • 24/7 concierge services, which can be utilized for emergencies, legal fees, travel arrangements, or to speak to an attorney
  • Industry-leading security features are available to protect your information
  • Enjoy access to financial tools and personalized advice about your finances
  • Extended warranty on shopping purchases up to one additional year
  • No fee if you go over your credit limit
  • Lowest rate card in the USAA lineup
  • Can be used all around the world

USAA Rate Advantage Cons

  • You need to be a military member or family member to qualify for this card. If you do not meet these requirements, then consider another low rate card.
  • Late payments and returned payments start at $25 for your first offense within six months of opening your account. After that, you’ll pay $35 each time. However, there are no penalty APRs. So, you won’t be punished if you make one mistake.
  • USAA does not list their term length or credit limits on their website. This information is likely based on your personal information and cannot be generalized. They also don’t offer an option to pre-qualify. You may have to wait until you apply to see your rates. Doing so means you might have an inquiry on your credit report. This can affect your score. Be sure the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum card is right for you before you apply.

How To Apply

We recommend having good credit before you apply. This ensures you’ll get the lowest rates and most favorable terms. To get started, USAA will ask you to log into your account. If you don’t have one, then you can sign up for free. To join USAA, you’ll be asked to determine if you are eligible by answering a few questions. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your social security number
  • Your contact information, such as address and phone number
  • Your date of birth
  • Information regarding your military status (or your family member’s military status)
  • Your passport or permanent resident card (for non-US citizens)

After you provide this information, you’ll be asked to set up an account by creating an online username and password. We noticed that USAA does not list their length terms or credit limits on the website. Your rates and terms will likely be determined by several factors. USAA may look at your credit score, credit history, bank information, and annual income.

They may also look at your spending habits and employment status to determine your creditworthiness. The prime rate will also influence your APR. There does not appear to be a pre-quality option to see your options. You may not be provided with this information until after you apply.

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