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USAA American Express Card Review? What Are The Drawbacks?

Postby tnriley » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:44 pm

I was debating between the two USAA American Express Rewards card and wanted your opinion on the drawbacks that I need to be aware of, preferably would like to hear reviews from USAA account holders themselves before and if I apply.

-- Cash Rewards Amex- Gives 1.25% cash back. no annual fee.
-- Rewards Amex - 1 point for every dollar spent. no annual fee.

Which one is better? Anything I need to be aware of?

Second question. USAA sends me materials all the time but I haven't joined ever. Are they a bank or credit union? For a long time I thought a credit union but now that I think about it, you never see them call themselves that.

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:15 am

I know this is an old post but if you're still around, you will want to check this out: USAA Credit Card Review: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Anyone here have an American Express USAA card?
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby roland » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:02 pm

I don't have a USAA card, but I am a USAA member.

In short, USAA is an inter-insurance exchange that operates wholly-owned subsidiaries for their services -- banking, investing, insurance, etc. Their banking services is a Federal Savings Bank, proper, and other services are mostly (if not all) run through actual (Delaware) corporations. So they're not a credit union, and the bank portion is actually a bank...whereas the umbrella organization isn't a corporation proper (unlike most Fortune companies).

Full membership (and thus full access to their services) is limited to those who meet eligibility criteria. I believe anyone can use their banking services. Their customer service is outstanding, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a company who does that better.

As for the value of their services...I can't say whether their cards are worth it compared to other companies. In my experience, while they're often able to, USAA does not always provide the best rate on their services (insurance, cards, loans). But they really do provide excellent service.

In your case, undecided between the two reward types...a little online research should help you determine the point values, at which time you can guesstimate how much return you can expect based on your spending habits. If the point values don't seem sufficient for how you spend or for what you'd like to redeem them for, then cash-back is probably the best bet for you.

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