USAA, which serves members of the U.S. military and their immediate families, has a new cash back rewards card called the USAA Limitless™ Cashback Rewards Visa Signature® Card. This card is currently in an online pilot program and is only available for residents in (a growing number of) eligible states. To check your eligibility, visit the USAA credit cards page and select your state of residence. If you see the card listed at the top, your state is eligible. If not, the list has been gradually expanding, so check again later.
The headline feature of this card is flat 2.5% cash back on all purchases, subject to a few hurdles. Here are the highlights:
- Earn 2.5% cash back on credit card purchases when you have a free USAA Bank checking account with a qualifying direct deposit of at least $1,000 every month.
- No sign-up bonus.
- Enjoy unlimited cash back on the amount you can earn.
- Earn 1.5% cash back on credit card purchases without a direct deposit.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- No annual fee.
- You must be a USAA member to apply for this card.
Here’s the fine print regarding the $1,000 direct deposit requirement:
Within 90 days of opening your credit card account, you must establish a monthly qualifying direct deposit of at least $1,000 to your USAA Bank checking account. A qualifying direct deposit is a single electronic transfer of at least $1,000 that you initiate with your employer, a government entity or an external financial institution. Funds transfers between USAA accounts are not qualifying direct deposits.
USAA membership eligibility. USAA is focused on serving members of the U.S. military and their immediate families. Here are their membership groups:
- Active Military. Individuals who are currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy.
- Former Military. Those who have retired or separated from the U.S. military with a discharge type of Honorable.
- Family. Widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who joined USAA prior to or during the marriage and individuals whose parents joined USAA.
- Cadets and Midshipmen. Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, plus officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.
List of eligible states. Here is the current list as stated on the application page, last updated in March 2017. The list has been growing slowly but steadily, so it appears the pilot program is going well and it will be available nationwide eventually. I currently count 26 states.
This product is currently available to members residing in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, ND, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX and WA. It will become available in additional states at a later date.
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Reader experience. Reader JD shares her positive experience with this card over e-mail. Note that you can redeem with just $1 in rewards.
So far, very easy to use (just started using it 2/22/17). There is a simple button you press (view and redeem rewards), which transfers you to the rewards web page. The rewards are posted almost immediately and you can redeem the rewards at any time as long as you have at least 1 dollar in available rewards. You can then transfer the money as a statement credit or into your USAA checking account (which you must open).
Bottom line. The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards card offers 2.5% flat cash back on all purchases, which is one of the highest flat rewards percentages currently available. Note that you must (1) be a USAA member, (2) have an open USAA checking account, and (3) maintain a $1,000 direct deposit every single month to maintain the 2.5% cash back rate. If you don’t meet the $1,000 direct deposit requirement, you default back onto 1.5% cash back. USAA membership is limited to members of the U.S. military and their immediate families.