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.
The USAA Cash Rewards American Express card makes it easy to earn cash rebates. With the highest earnings rate on things you'll buy all year long (gas and groceries) and a handful of other wonderful benefits, this is definitely a good card to consider for your wallet.
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.