As most are certainly well aware, there are quite a number of MasterCard credit cards someone can apply for at a number of different financial institutions.
The USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard is one of the more appealing ones available due to the very low cost nature of it. In fact, out of all the credit cards that the USAA offers, this one may be the least costly.
For those seeking an affordable way to charge purchases or acquire a cash advance, this particular card might prove to be the most appealing.
The card can be applied for by clicking here. The process takes a relatively short period of time any only basic financial and personal information is required.
The Interest Rates
The interest rates on the Rate Advantage MasterCard are quite reasonable. The lowest rate available is 6.90% and the highest would be 23.90%. The actual APR (Annual Percentage Rate) offered is based on a number of factors including:
- Credit history and worthiness
- Market fluctuations of the Prime Rate
Obviously, the better the applicant’s personal credit history is, the lower the interest rate offered is going to be.
The Prime Rate is published daily in the Wall Street Journal.
Please be aware of the fact the stated interest rates are the introductory interest rate. There is no limit to the actual increase in the interest rate that can be charged. Those who consistently fail to make payments on time or otherwise suffer from a lack of credit worthiness may find their interest rate increase exponentially. This could even include an increase well over the introductory interest rate of 23.90%.
Perks and Benefits Associated with the Card
As previously mentioned, there are scores of different MasterCards someone can apply for. What sets the USAA card apart from so many different cards is that it offers quite a number of unique perks and benefits. For those looking to get the most value out of the card they acquire, this particular one may be worth looking closer at.
Among the most helpful of perks would be the insurance and coverage benefits that are associated with it. These coverages perks include:
- Rental Car Insuranc
- Worldwide Automatic Travel Insurance
- Extended Warranty Protection
- Purchases Assurance Coverage
For those worried about damages incurred in an accident with a rental car, a car rented with this MasterCard might be covered under certain conditions.
Similarly, those who make a retail purchase and are worried if the merchandise will survive past its original warranty will be relieved to discover this card can cover the costs of repairs thanks to the assistance of an extended warranty.
Traveling becomes a lot less worrisome since accident insurance is now in place. No one wants to see anything they purchase be damaged or stolen either, and this card offers insurance against such instances.
Lower Costs Associated with the Card
High fees associated with a particular credit card can greatly undermine any cost saving benefit the card is supposed to offer. Even a cursory glance of the terms associated with the USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard reveals it does not drain card holder funds through ridiculous or excessive fees.
With this card, account holders gain the following features:
- No Penalty APR
- No Annual Fee
- No Minimum Interest Charge
By no minimum interest charge, it is meant it is completely possible to avoid paying interest if a few steps are followed. Even those with the highest interest rate will pay no interest if the balance on the card is paid in full by the due date on the statement.
When a statement is mailed out, it will reflect that interest is charged 25 days after the close of the billing cycle. Interest is charged on:
- Interest on Purchases
- Cash Advances
- Balance Transfers
Again, interest on all these transactions can be avoided if the bill is paid in full prior to the 25 days after the transaction. Beyond that, interest begins to accrue.
Those who opt to transfer a balance from another credit card to the USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard to take advantage of lower rates and better terms do need to be aware of certain rules regarding such transfers. In addition to the 3% ($200 maximum per transaction) fee, other requirements are in effect:
- Card holders can transfer up to their remaining balance.
- Any request for a balance transfer over the remaining balance may be turned down.
- A transfer cannot be made from one USAA account to another.
The amount of time the actual transfer takes can vary.
- Four days may be required for an electronic balance transfer request.
- Seven to ten days may be required for any other form of balance transfer request.
It is necessary to note that USAA cannot close any accounts after a balance transfer is made. All obligations remaining on the card the original balance was transferred from remain in effect.
USAA does not assume any disputes that existed with the previous creditor. As a result, it becomes possible that all rights associated with that dispute may end up becoming lost.
Always discuss the situation regarding the dispute with the previous creditor before making any determinations to transfer a balance.
Fees Associated with the Card
To infer there are no fees associated with the use of this card would not be accurate. The fees may be used to cover administrative costs associated with various transactions. These fees include:
- 3% Balance Transfer Fee (Capped at a maximum of $200 per transfer)
- 3% Cash Advance Fee (Capped at a maximum of $200 per convenience check)
- 1% Foreign Transaction Fee in US Dollars
Note: The Cash Advance fee is waived when a deposit is made electronically to a USAA account.
Certain fees do come into being when the terms and conditions of the use of the card are violated by the card holder. Such fees are enacted to dissuade problematic actions by the card holder. The fees enacted in the terms and conditions of the card are:
- Late Payment Fee (Up to $35)
- Returned Check Fee (Up to $35)
How these late fees are calculated is based on the frequency of their occurrence. For example, the initial late payment fee is $25. If a second late payment occurs within the next six billing cycles, the fee increases to $35.
The same is the case with the returned check fee. A clause does exist noting the fee will never exceed the amount of the minimum balance. In other words, if the balance on the card is $15 and a payment is sent in late, the fee for the late payment will not be $25 or $35. It will be $15.
- Zero Fee for Over the Credit Limit
Zero Liability Policy is in Effect
To protect card holders from fraud or theft, there is a zero liability policy in effect. This means that an account holder is not going to be help liable for any charges incurred on the card without their express or implied permission.
Disputes Involving Arbitration
Certain disputes with charges on the card may require entering into arbitration. Specifically, the requirements are to enter into binding arbitration and this can eliminate the ability to:
- Go to court to achieve a decision from a judge or jury
- Conduct discovery
- Request an appeal
- Take part in any class action suit or similar proceedings
In truth, the circumstances that might require having to enter into an appeal are rare and can, hopefully, be avoided.
The USAA (The United Services Automobile Association) is based out of San Antonio, TX and is a financial services entity that serves those who were members of the military. The family members of military personnel may also conduct business with the USAA. The service was originally founded in 1922 and currently maintains over 9 million members.
In addition to credit cards, the USAA offers insurance, banking, investing, financial planning, and insurance services.
There are various other credit cards the company offers and the USAA Rate Advantage MasterCard is clearly the least costly.
Making Your Decision
Those who serve in the military or have served in the military and their families should look closer at what the USAA has to offer with the Rate Advantage MasterCard.
Finding good rates with a credit card is not always easy in the current economic landscape and this card definitely is one with very good rates and fees.
The numerous perks and benefits associated with the card further allow it to stand out as one worth applying for.
Of course, it is strongly suggested to make payments timely so as to avoid incurring unnecessary costs.
Regardless of which card you think you want, it’s always best to compare many options before making that decision. Simply use the FREE credit card chaser tool at the top of this page now!