USAA Secured Card Platinum Visa Review

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 2 August 2017. 0 comments

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The USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® provides military personnel benefits such as low fees, opportunity to qualify for a low APR, and free credit monitoring, which are important features if you are in the process of building or rebuilding your credit.

In order to qualify, however, you must be a USAA member. In order to become a USAA member you must be active military, a retired and honorably separated officer, enlisted personnel, or an officer candidate in Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS. You may also qualify if your spouse is in the military or if you are a widow or widower of a member who has had USAA property or auto insurance, or if one of your parents is or was military with USAA auto or property insurance.

Why We Like This Card

  • Two-year CD that earns interest on your security deposit
  • Exclusive military benefits
  • No extra fees and no foreign transaction fee

How This Card Works

When you apply for the card, you can make a security deposit of any amount between $250 to $5,000. Your security deposit is held in a two-year CD. You receive a credit card with a limit in the amount of your security deposit. You are then able to use your card as you would any credit card and can increase your credit limit by making additional deposits to your security deposit. Your payments and account activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — which can help you reestablish your credit rating.

Other Benefits

Card benefits. Includes many benefits that many secured credit cards don't offer, such as collision damage waiver coverage, which covers damage and theft of most rental vehicles, identity theft resolutions for assisting you in the event your identity is stolen, extended warranty protection, which extends manufacturer or U.S. store brand warranties up to one year, and travel accident insurance covers you and your family when you use your card to purchase common carrier travel tickets.

Military benefits. USAA credit cards include special benefits for military personnel, such as:

  • Deployment and PCS APR of 4% on balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS. 
  • Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) rate of 4% when you have a balance on your account when you enter active duty for one year after you complete active duty.
  • When you serve in a qualified military campaign such as the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, the Iraq Campaign, Afghanistan Campaign, or Operation New Dawn, finance charges accrued during the campaign are rebated.

Free credit monitoring. You have the option to enroll in CreditCheck Monitoring with Experian, free for six months. Free credit monitoring allows you to monitor and manage your credit online as well as receive notifications of changes to your credit report.

Costs

  • $35 Annual Fee
  • 10.90%-20.90% Variable APR
  • 3% Balance Transfer Fee ($200 maximum fee per transfer)
  • $0 Foreign Transaction Fee

Pros

Low fees. Except for card fees that are standard with credit cards such as the annual fee, balance transfer, and late fees, there are no extra fees for carrying the card. Oftentimes, secured cards carry fees for services such as checking your balance and requesting credit limit increase.

No foreign transaction fee. It is best if you travel frequently to carry a card for foreign purchases that does not charge a foreign transaction fee. Fortunately, this card is one of the rare secured cards without a foreign transaction fee, making it great to use on purchases abroad.

Cardmember and servicemember benefits. Secured cards do not always include benefits such as extended warranty protection or travel accident insurance, which are features often standard on unsecured cards. This card not only includes these cardmember benefits but also provides extra protection for service members with its military benefits.

Cons

Does not graduate to unsecured. The problem with many secured cards is that they don't always graduate or transfer into an unsecured card once you have established or reestablished your credit rating. This places you in the position of keeping the secured card indefinitely and paying the fees associated and opening separate unsecured accounts, or canceling the card and losing an aged account that may be important to your credit rating.

Who This Card Is Best For

This card is one of the best secured cards available for service members because of the card and servicemember benefits that USAA provides. Additionally, it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, making it a solid choice for military personnel who travel often.

Click here to apply for the USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® today!


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