USAA Secured Credit Card Reviews

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By: Scam Risk - Expert Reviewer

Are you an active or retired military member looking for credit card options?

Are you looking for a company that can also help boost your credit score with secured credit cards?

Then it’s no wonder that you came across USAA in search results! 

They are especially known for helping out servicemen financially!

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Table of Contents

What Is USAA?

The USAA (United Services Automobile Association) is a private, reciprocal inter-insurance exchange company that offers in banking, insurance, and other financial services to families and individuals who  serve or have served in the US Armed Forces. The types of products and services they offer will fall under the following categories: Banking, brokerage, financial planning, insurance, investments, and retirement.

Who Owns USAA?

USAA was created all the way back in 1922 by 25 US Army officers who wanted to create a mechanism for mutual self-insurance. 

The issue was that some military members were unable to receive auto insurance because they were a high risk group. 

From there they have grown considerably now offering banking and other financial services like a secured credit cards.

The CEO of is now Wayne Peacock, who was chosen to succeed Stuart Parker, who retired February 1, 2020.

Full In Depth USAA Secured Credit Card Review

In this full review of the USAA Secured Credit Card we are going to touch on anything and everything related to USAA, credit cards, interest rate, security deposit, apr, transaction fees, their best products, credit limit, and more!

Does USAA Offer A Secured Credit Card?

Yes they do offer secured credit cards!

In fact they offer rates lower than many of their competitors which gives them an edge as well offer perks specifically to military members and their families.

They have a range of options to choose from…

Some people just like a regular credit card, while others choose the USAA Secured Visa Platinum Card

For this card, there is a $ 35 annual fee. 

Not too high…but some competitors offer 0$ in annual fees.

The minimum deposit for the USAA Secured Visa Platinum Card is $250 with a maximum of $5,000.

We found this to be right in the ball park for a credit builder card, after all…they need some protection if you default.

Your credit line / credit limit will match your cash deposit for the USAA Secured Card Platinum Visa

In the APR department you will see variable APR rate of 11.9-21.9% which is excellent in comparison to other offerings!

APR is typically never fun to deal with neither are foreign transaction fees, and it’s even worse when you get hit with penalty APR. Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with penalty APR or a foreign transaction fee that kills you when you’re with USAA.

As far as some other fees go here’s a short list:

  • Return payment fee: up to $35
  • Penalty APR: 0!
  • Late payment fee: up to $35
  • Cash advances fee of 3% or $200 whichever is less
  • Cash advance APR of 11.9-21.9% (low APR)
  • Foreign transaction fees of 0% (very low foreign transaction fee)

Does USAA Secured Credit Card Graduate?

Generally speaking besides building credit, a secured cards benefit is graduating once the CD matures…

Unfortunately their USAA Secured Credit Cards don’t graduate at the maturity of your CD. 

Looking at what many customers have to say…they are not pleased with that because it leads to USAA keeping the deposit indefinitely.

USAA Secured Credit Cards are a great way to practice using a credit limit and credit line…but you will not reap the benefits of graduation from your CD.

what Is The Easiest USAA Credit Card To Get?

The easiest USAA credit card that you have the best chances for being approved for is the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card. You have a great chance of being approved because this card USAA offers has no rewards and advertises a low APR as well.

Can I Mobile Deposit My Stimulus Check USAA?

According to USAA you can deposit your stimulus check so long as it is within your deposit accounts deposit limit!

Does USAA Approve Bad Credit?

USAA will approve bad credit…but you have to get a loan and the only way to do so is by being active duty military or having family member in the military. 

The highest rate they have is 17.65% which makes them cheaper than most competitors. 

Although if you have excellent credit you may want to look for lower interest rates elsewhere since their lowest rate is 7.24%.

What Credit Score Is Needed For A USAA Credit Card?

Most of their unsecured credit cards require a credit score of 670 to prequalify.

Is It Hard To Get A Personal Loan From USAA?

Not at all!

When you’re a member of USAA it takes only a few minutes to apply online and when you’re approved they’ll instantly let you know your rate!

Between Monday and Friday you can receive your funds in 24hrs.

Does USAA Automatically Increase Credit Limit?

They offer automatic increases every 12 months if you qualify.

However, if you want one sooner than that, they will do a hard pull on your credit.

Do You Have To Be Military To Get A USAA Credit Card?

You do not personally have to be active duty, you may have a family member in the military that is active duty and that will suffice. You could even have a parent or grandparent in the military.

can Military Family Members Get One?

Yes, family members can apply for an unsecured card, USSA secured card, and USAA membership.

USAA Secured Visa Platinum Card Good Or Bad?

If building credit scores is your main goal and you don’t mind small annual fees then USAA is the way to go!

Does USAA Have Transaction Fees?

They have a cash advance fee of 3% and balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount. Balance transfers and their fees can be a head ache…but balance transfers are how some banks make money.

Does Credit History Matter To USAA?

It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

If you want and unsecured card, then your score is going to matter. 

If you want USSA secured credit cards, then your credit score and history won’t matter as much.

Is There An Unsecured Card USAA Offers?

USAA actually offers 7 different unsecured credit cards. Their best is the American Express Card.

The American Express Card has become somewhat of a gold standard among the industries best.

Another great unsecured option with credit cards is the Cash Back Rewards  Plus American Express Card.

It offers 5% cash back on every dollar spent at a military base or gas station up to $3,000

USAA Membership and Military Member Benefits

When you choose USAA you aren’t just choosing insurance or banking…you’re choosing some of the best products in the industry.

Some of those best products and benefits include:

  • Banking with USAA
  • Insuring with USAA
  • Advice with USAA
  • Shopping and Discounts

What would advice look like?

Well let’s say you have a permanent change of station, something like this would warrant advice that USAA can provide.

What about insurance? Insurance is big with military members…

You could have a travel accident insurance question and they would be able to help you out with it!

Their shopping and discount can be seen in their best products calculators!

Final Verdict: Are USAA Secured Credit Cards A Scam?

Although some people may be upset that you cannot graduate from these cards…USAA is a legitimate company and they are NOT A SCAM! They help build your credit as intended.

On top of that, you’ll really impress the credit bureaus!

Besides cards, you can also get loans with low interest.

FAQ's

Are Secured Cedit Cards Good To Build Credit?

Yes! 

In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find better ways than this option.

What Is The Best Secured Card To Rebuild Credit?

There are many different companies to choose from OpenSky, Capital One, Discover, and Citi. All have their pros and cons

FICO Credit Score Factors

Your FICO credit score is calculated using a number of different factors including:

  • Amounts owed
  • Payment history
  • Credit mix
  • length of credit history
  • New credit

Note: Your credit mix is the act of carrying a balance between multiple payments on a card

What Are The Different Credit Score Ranges?

300-579 = poor

580-669 = fair

670-739 = good

740-799 = very good

800-850 = Excellent

How Do You Build Credit As A Young Person?

The way you build credit as a young person is by making sure carry a balance that is small. If you pay off your card and don’t really use it…you’re not going to have a solid credit history.

We know it sounds silly but that’s how the game is played.

While you are young you and in the military, you could look at the USAA secured card and buy small simple things like food and gas to start building your credit up.

Down the road, this will really help your borrowing potential for bigger purchases like homes or cars.

Never Have To Rely On A Credit Card Again!

Wouldn’t that be nice! Never having to use it when you’re in a pinch and always having enough money on the debit card to cover things on a whim!

It might sound a little bit unrealistic… and we aren’t saying that using one is a bad thing, they definitely serve a strategic purpose, but it’s nice to never have to have high interest payments again.

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