The USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard credit card offers one of the lowest interest rates on the market for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. In addition, cardholders are able to earn points toward purchases, travel, and also enjoy cash back rebates for the previous year’s purchases. Basically, it is a card in which looks are deceiving because it packs more of a beneficial punch than what it appears to at first glance.
The rewards that come with the card are standard in some ways and not in others. They are standard in that you receive points when you use the card. For instance, points are credited to the credit card account after the first purchase. From there, one point for every dollar spent on the card is awarded. Points are not limited and there is no expiration date, which allows you to collect points for as long as you like before redeeming them.
In addition, cardholders can earn points toward airline tickets without having to contend with blackout dates. Points can also be earned toward gift certificates, brand-name merchandise, charitable donations, and even cash. It is easy and free to redeem reward points at any time via the usaa.com website or from the USAA mobile phone application.
Where the card is not so standard in its rewards is the fact that you are able to get cash back in January for the purchases that were made the previous year. This can be the ideal way to undo some of the spending that was done over the holidays. You can get back as much as 1.25% back.
For instance, you will receive a Cash Rewards rebate of .45% on the net amount of all of your annual purchases of up to $5,000. For amounts between $5,000 and $10,000, you receive $22.50 in addition to .85% of the net purchase amount. If you spend between $10,000 and $17,000, you will receive $65 in addition to 1% of your net purchases over $10,000. If you spend $17,000 or more, you will be rewarded with $135 in addition to 1.25% of the net purchase amount over $17,000. There is no limit to how much a cardholder can earn each year, which means using the card frequently will increase the amount of the cash rebate.
As for travel benefits, you are entitled to MasterRental auto rental insurance. You also receive travel accident insurance that will cover you worldwide. This insurance covers accidental death and dismemberment.
To make traveling easier, you have access to MasterTrip Travel Assistance, which helps you understand travel requirements before you go on your trip. If you lose luggage or other items on your trip, MasterTrip will help you locate those items. MasterTrip will also assist you if you need emergency cash by arranging a transfer from another account, a friend, or a family member in an amount up to $5,000.
Another feature, Travel Services Medical Assistance, will tap its global referral network of hospitals, physicians, dentists, and pharmacies if you need medical assistance. You can also receive help filling any prescriptions that may have been forgotten or lost. If you are traveling abroad and need medical assistance, contact with your home physician can be established so that he or she knows what is happening and can give input. You can also be transferred to another facility if needed or arrange for a friend or family member to be brought to you.
If you must cancel a trip or it is interrupted for some reason, purchasing that trip on your World MasterCard means receiving insurance that will cover your financial loss as long as that cancellation falls within the terms and conditions of the coverage. Accidental injury, death, physical illness, and disease are all covered.
Surprisingly, these are not all of the travel benefits that are included. You also receive baggage delay insurance, which means you can receive up to $300 to cover the emergency purchase of much needed items while you wait on your baggage to be returned to you.
You also receive some benefits when it comes to your retail purchases. For instance, you can receive extended warranty protection on items that are purchased by your card. This means you can add a year of coverage to the existing warranty for no additional cost. If you buy items with your card and they are damaged or stolen after purchase, you can be reimbursed for those items.
Another interesting feature is the Price Protection coverage. If you buy an item with your card and you find it for a lower price 60 days after you bought it, you can receive the difference between what you paid and the lower price you found. The lower price must be displayed in a non-auction or Internet ad advertisement. The item must also not be a part of a closeout, going out of business sale, and it must not be a discontinued item.
APR and Fees
It is obvious up to this point that the USAA Cash Rewards World Card comes with some rather impressive benefits. It also comes with an impressive APR of 9.9%, which is much lower than the industry average. It does, however, have a standard 3% charge on balance transfer fees with a $200 maximum fee and a 3% fee for cash advances (maximum of $200 fee for issuance of a convenience check, but the fee is waived if the funds are electronically transferred to a USAA deposit account).
And while the APR is low, it should be noted that late payments can cause the APR on the card to increase. The highest APR is 25.9%.
If a late payment is made, the late payment fee is $35. If the payment is returned, the fee is $35 in addition to the late payment fee. Unlike many cards, there is no over limit fee, just as there is no annual fee.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that USAA is, perhaps, a very well-kept secret because its World MasterCard has very low rates, reasonable fees, and it has a good rewards program. It is very beneficial to those consumers seeking a card with decent rewards or they wish to have a balance transfer card that will not charge them an unreasonably high amount of money. Because this is a card that is aimed toward those with a credit rating of 740 and above, there is no annual fee or maintenance fee to contend with.
USAA Cash MasterCard Review
The USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard has one of the lowest APRs in the industry with plenty of rewards tailored to the needs of cardholders.