However, USAA updated their cash rewards to bonus gas and groceries; it's tiered up to 2.25% gas/groceries and 1.25% for everything else—but those are uncapped and no fee. If I were staying put somewhere, I think I would go with the refreshed USAA as it would quickly overtake the BCP and with better benefits.
I signed up just to have a convo with you. I have both the USAA AMEX and just signed up for the AMEX BCP, i would say that after reading the literature and doing the analysis you might be off base with some of your comments regarding USAA vs BCP.
It sounds like you're aware that the USAA is a tiered rewards systems. But just in case, let me reiterate the tiers.
1. 0 - 5K = .45%
2. 5K - 10K = .85% + $22.50 (over 5K)
3. 10 - 17K = 1% + $65
4. 17K more = 1.25% + $135
gas and grocerioes
1. 0 - 5K = 1.45%
2. 5K - 10K = 1.85% + $22.50 (over 5K)
3. 10 - 17K = 2% + $65
4. 17K more = 2.25% + $135
Let's say you purchase $10K on your credit card , with 2K in gas, 2K in groceries, and 6K in all others purchases.
The math for BCP is straight forward you will earn $240 (minus $75 for annual fee) = $165
THe USAA requires some calculation and understanding of the precedents of the tier system. Using a calculation that splits the gas, groceries, and other purchases proportionally between the tiers, you will make
1. 42.50 in the first tier
2. 62.50 in the 2nd tier
3. 22.50 in the 2nd tier for the flat rebate
4. total is $127.50
so even with the annual fee BCP wins.
Now if you spend $1 extra you will now be in the 3rd tier for USAA (which is negligible for cash back but you do get the $65 flat rebate, which would make USAA slightly better).
So in certain scenarios USAA could be better but i think in most scenarios (if you're heavily purchasing gas/groceries) you will get better cash back from BCP.