USAA Active Military World MasterCard: Custom Benefits

By Kris Majaski. Last updated 7 January 2021. 0 comments

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Editor's note: This card is no longer available. 

USAA is a leader in providing military personnel with a wide variety of financial products from auto insurance to credit cards. The USAA Active Military World MasterCard® includes the opportunity to earn the way you choose, plus benefits and services that service members and their family members can appreciate. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Military Personnel and Families)

Why We Like This Card

  • Multiple rewards options
  • Special military benefits

How This Card Works

You can choose to earn cash rewards or USAA rewards points.

USAA Cash Rewards. If you choose cash rewards, you can earn up to 1.25% for each dollar spent with card. The amount you earn from cash rewards is based on your annual net purchases, with no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. If your purchases in the previous year are from $0 to $5,000, you earn 0.45% of all net purchases. If you spend $5,000 to $10,000, you earn a cash rewards rebate of $22.50 plus 0.85% for purchases made over $5,000. Purchases of $10,000 to $17,000 are awarded $65 plus 1%, and over $17,000 is $135 plus 1.25%. Rebates for cash rewards are awarded every January for purchases made in the previous 12 months.

USAA Rewards. If you prefer the USAA rewards program, you earn one point for each dollar spent with the card. You can use your points for airfare with Affinion Loyalty Group, which is USAA’s travel service. Airline travel rewards are available at 15,000 points for $150. You can also redeem points for gift cards and merchandise at 3,500 for a $25 value, or cash rewards at 3,000 points for $25. The best value is in rewarding points for travel, but when you redeem for cash, the value of each point increases if you redeem larger numbers of points. For instance, you can redeem 20,000 points for $200. There is no cap on the number of points you can earn and your points do not expire.

USAA Membership

Qualification for this card requires USAA membership. You can become a member if you or your spouse has served in the military, or if your parent or spouse is a USAA member.

Other Benefits

Qualified military campaign rebate. You receive a rebate of all finance charges accrued during a qualified military campaign, which is any war or military conflict which establishes a campaign medal in which the President of the U.S. issues an Executive Order. Examples include Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Operation New Dawn Medal.

Assistance during deployment. USAA membership includes experts who can help you prepare for deployment, and help during and after deployment.

USAA MemberShop. You can earn additional rewards when you use your card to shop popular retailers through USAA MemberShop. You can also receive special offers and opportunities for extra savings.


No spending categories. No matter which rewards program you select, you get the same rate of rewards on all purchases. Rewards credit cards often award purchases made in specific categories such as gas or groceries, or require you to enroll in categories that change quarterly in order to earn the most rewards.

Military service member benefits. The USAA credit cards are designed specifically for military personnel and their family members, and provide benefits and services that you won’t find with other credit cards. Furthermore, you can rest assured knowing that your credit card issuer understands and appreciates your job and the ins and outs of military life.

No foreign transaction fee. There is no foreign transaction fee on this card, which is great considering many rewards cards charge as much as 3% for foreign purchases. 


Tiered rewards. The tiered system makes it difficult to understand exactly how much cash back you’re receiving. If you spend less than $17,000 in purchases per year, you’re better off with a card that either offers bonus rewards in specific categories that you spend a lot in, or a card that offers a straightforward flat rate. However, if you do spend more than $17,000, adding the additional $135 on top of the 1.25%, you’ll end up with an effective cash back rate of up to 2%.

Who This Card Is Best For

The USAA Active Military World MasterCard is best for military personnel and family members who can take advantage of the military benefits provided, as well as the comfort of working with a card issuer familiar with service members. It is also best for those who prefer the ease of selecting a rewards program without spending categories, and whose spending is primarily domestic.

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