The USAA Active Military MasterCard is one of the more unique credit cards available in the financial services industry.
In order to acquire this credit card, a person has to be currently serving in the military.
The card presents many excellent cost saving terms that someone who may be required to travel overseas will find quite helpful.
The ability to stay on top of one’s finances is going to be a little strained when called to travel for active duty. USAA, a financial services institution that has long since served members of the military and their family, has crafted a card that may be able to lift some of that financial strain.
Interest Rates and Annual Fee
The cost saving benefit to this card are what most servicemen and women will find incredibly appealing.
Missed payments can lead to an increase in the interest rate on the card. This would be in addition to any penalty fees that would be assessed.
The interest rate will cover:
- Balance Transfers
- Cash Advances
There is NO annual fee with this credit card. That term alone helps those who apply for the card save money.
No Penalty APR is associated with this card either.
Avoiding Paying Interest Charges
Although there is an annual interest rate associated with the terms of the card, the terms also specify means in which an account holder can avoid paying any interest on the charges made. If the following steps are taken, no interest has to be paid on the loan at all:
- The balance is completely paid in full
- The balance is paid off by the due date which is a maximum of 25 days after the close of the billing cycle
Account holders who make it common practice to pay off the entire balance of the card can completely avoid ever having to be burdened with the costs of interest. This is the case even when the APR is very high.
Fees Associated with the Card
There are a few fees associated with the use of this particular card. The fees are quite fair in comparison to other cards, but the fees do exist nonetheless and they should be noted. This way, there are no surprises associated with any statements received during a billing cycle.
Balance Transfer Fee
- 3% on the amount of each transfer
- The maximum transfer fee is $200
Cash Advance Fee
- 3% on the amount of each cash advance
- The maximum cash advance fee is $200
Foreign Transaction Fee
- 1% on each transaction
- The fee amount is based on United States currency
In certain instances, there will be penalties issued when the account holders makes an error in performing due diligence with the account.
- Late Payment Fees can be issued to up to $35
- Returned Payment Fees can be issued up to $35
- There is NO Over-the-Credit Limit Fee
Regarding the penalty fees, it is important to note the initial penalty is $25 and it can be increased to $35 if a second late payment or returned payment is made withing six billing cycles.
Special Rates for Active Military Personnel
There are reduced, special rates for those who may be deployed overseas.
- A 4% is offered for the very first 12 months of the deployment or PCS on all the balances. Once the 12 months is over, the original APR (e.g. 9.90% to 25.90%) once again applies
- A 4% SCRA rate is offered when there is a balance on the account while the card holder enters into active military duty
- A 100% finance charge rebate will be presented to those who take part in a qualified military campaign
- Foreign transaction fees are waived during the 12 months of deployment
Another incredibly attractive factor associated with the card would be the Rewards Program. Actually, there are two distinct programs that one can choose from when signing up for the card.
- Cash Rewards
- USAA Rewards
Cash rewards are exactly what their name implies. There are rewards of up to 1.25% on any purchases made with the card. The 1.25% figure is the maximum amount based on a certain amount of purchases charged throughout the year. The initial cash back figure will start much lower and then increase incrementally over time.
The USAA rewards are designed to work with affiliates to acquire scores of discounts with travel services or name brand retail merchandise.
It is also possible to acquire gift cards and even cash.
USAA Rewards does offer quite a number of additional benefits that aid in making the program quite helpful to those looking to acquire discounts on various purchases.
- 2,500 Bonus Points are issued with the very first purchase the card is used for
- One point is given for every dollar in purchases from the second purchase onward
- No blackout dates are locked into the redemption of the points on the card
Those who do opt for the cash rebate must be made aware of a few terms associated with the actual issuance of cash back.
- The cash rebate will be issued in January
- The rebate amount will be based on purchases that were made during the previous 12 months
- There is absolutely no limit in effect regarding the amount of money that can be earned
Great Flexibility in the Management of the Account
For those interested in the greatest flexibility available when wishing to manage an account, this card most definitely will prove appealing. For traveling servicemen and women, the ability to easily and effectively manage an account is going to be a huge plus.
Staying on top of making payments on the account is made much simpler and there never has to be any doubt regarding what the current balance on the card is.
- A bill can be paid online through accessing the account at USAA.com or Mobile.USAA.com
- USAA.com or Mobile.USAA.com can be used to redeem reward points. No redemption fee must be paid
- Automatic payment can be set up
- Automated payment reminders can be sent out when requested
- Email or text alerts can be requested and these alerts can inform account holders about late charges, credit available, recent payments, and the current balance.
Additional Information About Balance Transfers
Quite a number of applicants will be interested in acquiring the card for the purpose of transferring balances from higher interest rate cards with no rewards or cash back programs to the USAA Active Military MasterCard.
While the process of transferring a balance is relatively easy, there are a few terms and conditions that must be understood by anyone who opts to enact a balance transfer.
- A balance transfer may be canceled if requested within 10 days. The request, however, mane take anywhere from 14 to 21 days. Therefore, it is strongly suggested to continue making payments on any cards in which the balance was to be transferred from.
- No account of another credit card will be closed by USAA. USAA has no jurisdiction or adjudicative power over any card in which a balance has been transferred from.
- Transferring a balance that is in dispute, whether all in part, may lead to those right against the original creditor being lost. USAA does not assume the dispute when the balance has been transferred.
- If a balance transfer exceeds the credit limit on an account, USAA may opt to cancel the balance transfer.
- No grace period exists on the transfer fee associated with the actual transfer.
A Right Credit Card for Active Personnel
The USAA Active Military MasterCard is issued from a financial institution that has been serving members of the armed forces and their family since 1922.
The USAA Bank has created quite a number of different cards designed to offer excellent rates and benefits. With this particular card, further benefits and helpful terms are offered to those men and women who may be required to serve their country overseas.
Managing a credit card and, for that matter, affording the costs and fees associated with an account can be different when deployed overseas or into a combat theater.
The USAA Bank has created an excellent card offering rules and terms that make such effective management much more possible.
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