USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

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Silk McCue
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by Silk McCue » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:46 pm

BeerMoney wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:28 pm
Slacker wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:45 pm
Thanks for the heads up on the Penfed 2% card. I was thinking about Citi Doublecash, but I think I'd prefer the credit union (Penfed).
The nice thing about the Citi doublecash card is the generous price protection program. That's paid me out probably $700 this year and I only recently started using it.

Think about it this way: to equal that $700 in price rewind credits it would take $140,000 in spending on a 2.5% cash back card vs the 2% citi doublecash card before the extra cash back added up to $700.

Though, before someone points it out, yes it does require a little bit of your time to submit email receipt pdfs. But you can do it all online pretty fast.
Your math is off. $700 earnings requires $28k spend. Congrats on the price protection program but careful research on purchases can mitigate overpaying on products.

hale2
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by hale2 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:04 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:46 pm
BeerMoney wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:28 pm
Slacker wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:45 pm
Thanks for the heads up on the Penfed 2% card. I was thinking about Citi Doublecash, but I think I'd prefer the credit union (Penfed).
The nice thing about the Citi doublecash card is the generous price protection program. That's paid me out probably $700 this year and I only recently started using it.

Think about it this way: to equal that $700 in price rewind credits it would take $140,000 in spending on a 2.5% cash back card vs the 2% citi doublecash card before the extra cash back added up to $700.

Though, before someone points it out, yes it does require a little bit of your time to submit email receipt pdfs. But you can do it all online pretty fast.
Your math is off. $700 earnings requires $28k spend. Congrats on the price protection program but careful research on purchases can mitigate overpaying on products.
He's calculating the .5% difference between the 2 cards to come up with $140k of spending. You're correct about $28k spend giving you $700 cash back on the 2.5% card, but $28k would give you $560 on the 2% Citi card.

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corn18
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by corn18 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:09 pm

I’ve earned an extra $1174 this year by using my 2.5% Usaa card vs the 2% citi card I was using.

revert
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by revert » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:46 pm

corn18 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:09 pm
I’ve earned an extra $1174 this year by using my 2.5% Usaa card vs the 2% citi card I was using.
Wow! Out of curiosity, was that all organic spend or were you doing manufactured spending?

I can't imagine charging $235k unless I was putting numerous business expenses on it, or remodeling a house and got the contractor to bill materials to my CC.

stockpile
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by stockpile » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:08 pm

Too bad they're scaling this back. Luckily me and a few friends got in before it closed out. The only thing I found that didn't get 2.5% was some tax payments I made. If they open it again in future, watch out for the 50K credit limit across USAA. I had to lower some limits on other sock-drawered USAA cards before they would approve me.

For active duty out there the Chase Sapphire Reserve with the MLA waiver is looking like a good option.

WolfgangPauli
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by WolfgangPauli » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:18 pm

I love the 2.5% card and have received substantial payments from it this year. I had a feeling they would scale it back as it must be expensive.. however I jumped in and am charging everything. I gave one to my son even.... Kind of like earning 2.5% on what you spend!

And, no, I am not spending more just to get 2.5% back!
Twitter: @JAXbogleheads | EM: JAXbogleheads@gmail.com

revert
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by revert » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm

Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.

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sunny_socal
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:34 pm

It was too good to be true.

But there's the Alliant 2.5% card, anyone can get it. Here's my story:
viewtopic.php?t=234617

Cliff Notes:
- Unfreeze your Equifax and Transunion accounts temporarily
- Simply apply from the main link, no need to apply for Alliant CU membership first:
http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank/ ... ature-card
- If prompted, Donate $10 to this charity, Foster Care to Success:
(This is one of the ways to become eligible for Alliant memberhip)
http://www.fc2success.org/programsmento ... rtnership/
- Be prepared to submit your last two pay stubs for proof of income (they look for $100k)
- The decision is not immediate, expect some email exchange over 1-2 days
- Card arrives about a week later along with your checking/savings paperwork and your debit card

trueson1
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by trueson1 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:49 pm

Cunobelinus wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:11 pm
hudson wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:10 am
Cunobelinus wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:54 pm
TimeRunner wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:55 pm
I don't see that card for Hawaii, are you using a different billing address? I do see it when I tell the website I'm in WA. Unfortunately, I'm in CA so I'm still waiting.
It was available in February, I believe. I applied then, expecting it to fail because I already had frozen my credit with all three agencies, and USAA would not divulge who they used prior to my submission of the credit card application. The application failed to be approved, as expected, so I called back their number when they left me a voicemail and they said they used Transunion -- I said no problem and unfroze it for 3 business days. They said I had to apply again, so I did.. fast-forward several more phonecalls and almost 2 weeks, and it turns out you can only apply three times in 12 months for the credit card, and USAA randomly chooses who they'll pull your credit from. For the last application I had 2 of 3 credit bureaus unfrozen, and they said they needed the third agency unfrozen in order to do anything, despite me having several USAA credit cards and having been a member >10 years. And despite the previous applications using Transunion and Experian. Unfortunately, they're slaves to the algorithm and were unable to modify anything in the process (i.e., which credit reporting agency to pull from, manually submitting a credit card application, reviewing/modifying a submitted credit card application).

So, next February, I'll try again. After I've temporarily unfrozen my credit at all three agencies.
Thanks Cunobelinus for the useful info! So unfreeze all 3 credit bureaus for 3 weeks. Isn't there a way to unfreeze all 3 for just one company?
I'm not sure. That was the first time I had unfrozen my credit.

I'm not saying you should unfreeze for three weeks -- I'm saying that I got the runaround from USAA every time I talked with them and that's what took so long. I couldn't ever get a truthful answer from anyone in several weeks of talking with them. If you unfreeze all three, then apply, you may very well be approved within a day or two. USAA couldn't get past the point with my applications where their system pulled my credit report from all three agencies and then told the human USAA rep whether or not I should be approved.
I unfroze all 3 for 1 day. Called up USAA immediately and got immediate approval.

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flamesabers
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by flamesabers » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 pm

revert wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm
Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.
Surely USAA would send out a notification to current cardholders that the rewards rate is being permanently lowered to 1.5%?

azanon
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by azanon » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:26 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 pm
revert wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm
Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.
Surely USAA would send out a notification to current cardholders that the rewards rate is being permanently lowered to 1.5%?
If they switch to 1.5% anytime in the recent upcoming future (I'm thinking at least a few years), it's going to come across as a bait-and-switch tactic. Surely, they wouldn't do that with their reputation.

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flamesabers
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by flamesabers » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:38 pm

azanon wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:26 pm
flamesabers wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 pm
revert wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm
Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.
Surely USAA would send out a notification to current cardholders that the rewards rate is being permanently lowered to 1.5%?
If they switch to 1.5% anytime in the recent upcoming future (I'm thinking at least a few years), it's going to come across as a bait-and-switch tactic. Surely, they wouldn't do that with their reputation.
Considering the product never got past the pilot phase, I'm not sure how much of a bait-and-switch it would really be. Besides, wouldn't keeping the card as it is go against USAA's principle of not having any loss leader products?

KT785
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by KT785 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:46 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 pm
revert wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm
Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.
Surely USAA would send out a notification to current cardholders that the rewards rate is being permanently lowered to 1.5%?
I believe they'd be required to do so by law/regulation; IIRC they'd need to provide notice to customers of any material changes to the product.

A couple of thoughts re: the product (I don't have this card) . . . seems like there was a checking component to get the full 2.5% cash back and accordingly, the premise of the product and pilot program may have been to increase checking accounts in certain markets; the card never went completely nationwide so one could argue they were targeting certain states to increase active accounts (checking accounts with minimum direct deposits).

If this is the case, those cardholders may be grandfathered-in for the long term.

Another thought could be that they'd implement an annual fee to keep the 2.5% cash back akin to Alliant's product. I'm doubtful of this, but it's an alternative to shore up the product's profitability.

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flamesabers
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by flamesabers » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:00 pm

KT785 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:46 pm
A couple of thoughts re: the product (I don't have this card) . . . seems like there was a checking component to get the full 2.5% cash back and accordingly, the premise of the product and pilot program may have been to increase checking accounts in certain markets; the card never went completely nationwide so one could argue they were targeting certain states to increase active accounts (checking accounts with minimum direct deposits).

If this is the case, those cardholders may be grandfathered-in for the long term.
I'm doubtful of this as it would violate USAA's principle of not having any loss leader products. If the Limitless Visa can't at least be revenue neutral, it has to be scaled back in some form versus being subsidized by other USAA products.

KT785
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by KT785 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:07 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:00 pm
KT785 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:46 pm
A couple of thoughts re: the product (I don't have this card) . . . seems like there was a checking component to get the full 2.5% cash back and accordingly, the premise of the product and pilot program may have been to increase checking accounts in certain markets; the card never went completely nationwide so one could argue they were targeting certain states to increase active accounts (checking accounts with minimum direct deposits).

If this is the case, those cardholders may be grandfathered-in for the long term.
I'm doubtful of this as it would violate USAA's principle of not having any loss leader products. If the Limitless Visa can't at least be revenue neutral, it has to be scaled back in some form versus being subsidized by other USAA products.
The inflow via direct deposits (and associated increase in assets held at USAA) due to those accounts acquired during this "pilot" program could provide quantifiable revenue to offset the losses associated with the 2.5% cash back rate.

Increasing checking accounts and direct deposits is a financial motivator for a lot of these institutions . . . thus why PenFed's 2% card requires a checking account (or current/prior military service) and the Limitless card required a level of direct deposit to get the full 2.5% cash back.

While I think it's possible (perhaps even likely) that they may reduce cashback rate years down the road--it's also possible that those new checking accounts (and their associated direct deposits) may prove more "sticky" since the account holders are "grandfathered in" to the 2.5% card assuming they maintain the other requirements (checking account and minimum direct deposit). As a result, there's an even greater value associated with those new customers/accounts/etc.

jrbdmb
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by jrbdmb » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:47 am

corn18 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:27 pm
I'm up to $5,563 cash back so far this year. I love this card.
As someone said in that Doctor of Credit comments section regarding manufactured spending as being a likely reason USAA is pulling back, "This is why we can't have nice things."

Even if all of the $222K in spend to generate the above rewards is "organic", it is clear that it would be difficult to make this pilot program revenue-neutral if sizable percentage of cardholders are collecting rewards of this size. It also makes me wonder how Alliant is able to justify their 3%/2% cashback card.

KT785
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by KT785 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:12 am

jrbdmb wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:47 am
corn18 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:27 pm
I'm up to $5,563 cash back so far this year. I love this card.
As someone said in that Doctor of Credit comments section regarding manufactured spending as being a likely reason USAA is pulling back, "This is why we can't have nice things."

Even if all of the $222K in spend to generate the above rewards is "organic", it is clear that it would be difficult to make this pilot program revenue-neutral if sizable percentage of cardholders are collecting rewards of this size. It also makes me wonder how Alliant is able to justify their 3%/2% cashback card.
I suppose we'll see if Alliant changes their product in the next year or two as I am similarly curious. Though, as others have noted in different threads and forums, the underwriting with Alliant is much more conservative and I believe they look for indications of churning and manufactured spending when reviewing applications and credit reports. However, the break even threshold to justify their annual fee would necessitate a fairly high annual spend; I believe their website states their target customer would spend $50,000+ a year on the card.

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sunny_socal
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:38 pm

KT785 wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:12 am
jrbdmb wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:47 am
corn18 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:27 pm
I'm up to $5,563 cash back so far this year. I love this card.
As someone said in that Doctor of Credit comments section regarding manufactured spending as being a likely reason USAA is pulling back, "This is why we can't have nice things."

Even if all of the $222K in spend to generate the above rewards is "organic", it is clear that it would be difficult to make this pilot program revenue-neutral if sizable percentage of cardholders are collecting rewards of this size. It also makes me wonder how Alliant is able to justify their 3%/2% cashback card.
I suppose we'll see if Alliant changes their product in the next year or two as I am similarly curious. Though, as others have noted in different threads and forums, the underwriting with Alliant is much more conservative and I believe they look for indications of churning and manufactured spending when reviewing applications and credit reports. However, the break even threshold to justify their annual fee would necessitate a fairly high annual spend; I believe their website states their target customer would spend $50,000+ a year on the card.
Let's do the math for Alliant. Remember, there are no competing 2.5% cards at the moment, the best widely available cards are 2% (eg. Fidelity, Doublecash)

Spend = $50k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $1000 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $1500 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $1191 cash back

Spend = $40k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $800 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $1200 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $941 cash back

Spend = $30k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $600 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $900 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $691 cash back

Spend = $20k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $400 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $600 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $441 cash back

IMO Alliant simply a better option, the $59 fee is easy to gain back. The main hurdle is showing $100k income when you apply. The First Year under Alliant behaves much like a sign up bonus, in the $50k example you get $500 more than the lowly 2% card.

KT785
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by KT785 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:04 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:38 pm

Let's do the math for Alliant.
That's a great and easy to digest summary, and I agree that the Alliant card would be better than the 2% cards for many people, especially those of us on BHs. The point I was making in my previous post was that the Alliant card necessitates a relatively high annual spend to justify the annual fee; I certainly spend enough in a year to justify the fee (I don't yet have the Alliant card) but I spread the spend around to enough cards that I may not necessarily spend enough to justify it compared with my Citi DC card.

I think there is some question about the financial viability of Alliant card when the USAA card is being shut down (for new apps). Though, as I'd said in my post, the annual fee helps encourage significantly more spend so the economics for Alliant are likely better . . . and their underwriting is significantly more conservative than most.

I still contemplate getting the Alliant card, in part because I can open the account along with my wife; nearly all our other cards are under my name so if something were to happen to me, it would be a nuisance for her. My plan would be to have the main everyday card (currently Citi DC) be a joint card (possible with Alliant) so our recurring expenses could continue to operate on auto-pilot in the event of my demise or incapacitation . . . I'm only 30 but I take care of all finances for us and don't want to minimize all issues for her.

The downside to Alliant, and those with the card can correct me if I'm mistaken, is that it's a small issuer who presumably outsources their credit card servicing to a third-party. This likely means slower times for pending charges to post, smartphone app functionality is lessened, no or limited push notifications. Citi's phone support isn't great, but their technological infrastructure is quite good--as is the price rewind feature which I've used with great success.

Lest we derail this USAA thread anymore, we'll likely need to continue the discussion on the Alliant thread. :happy

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flamesabers
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by flamesabers » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:26 pm

KT785 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:07 pm
While I think it's possible (perhaps even likely) that they may reduce cashback rate years down the road--it's also possible that those new checking accounts (and their associated direct deposits) may prove more "sticky" since the account holders are "grandfathered in" to the 2.5% card assuming they maintain the other requirements (checking account and minimum direct deposit). As a result, there's an even greater value associated with those new customers/accounts/etc.
Getting "grandfathered in" sounds like a nice possibility, but how probable is it considering USAA's history? (I've only been with USAA for the last 9 years, so I'm not sure what exactly is the most likely outcome).

KT785
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by KT785 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:43 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:26 pm
KT785 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:07 pm
While I think it's possible (perhaps even likely) that they may reduce cashback rate years down the road--it's also possible that those new checking accounts (and their associated direct deposits) may prove more "sticky" since the account holders are "grandfathered in" to the 2.5% card assuming they maintain the other requirements (checking account and minimum direct deposit). As a result, there's an even greater value associated with those new customers/accounts/etc.
Getting "grandfathered in" sounds like a nice possibility, but how probable is it considering USAA's history? (I've only been with USAA for the last 9 years, so I'm not sure what exactly is the most likely outcome).
I can't speak to USAA's practices re: grandfathering-in of bank products. However, my understanding is that many other banks/issuers allow customers to keep already open credit card products that are no longer offered to the public. This depends on the issuer as some may downgrade the product after a certain period of time . . . my pure speculation is that USAA will allow customers to continue to earn 2.5% for some period (a year perhaps?) before downgrading the product.

If it's truly costing USAA money to keep those accounts on the books (new checking accounts/direct deposits notwithstanding) then realigning all products to 1.5% or possibly 2% would make sense.

Doubtless those with the product will find out sooner or later if they'll be able to keep their cards open with the current features/earn rate.

dbr
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by dbr » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:24 pm

KT785 wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:43 pm

I can't speak to USAA's practices re: grandfathering-in of bank products. However, my understanding is that many other banks/issuers allow customers to keep already open credit card products that are no longer offered to the public. This depends on the issuer as some may downgrade the product after a certain period of time . . . my pure speculation is that USAA will allow customers to continue to earn 2.5% for some period (a year perhaps?) before downgrading the product.

If it's truly costing USAA money to keep those accounts on the books (new checking accounts/direct deposits notwithstanding) then realigning all products to 1.5% or possibly 2% would make sense.

Doubtless those with the product will find out sooner or later if they'll be able to keep their cards open with the current features/earn rate.
Well they bailed on the Mastercard that was one of the few actual PIN priority chip cards available and replaced it with a Visa card that is not a true chip and pin card.

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Soaker
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by Soaker » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:01 pm

KT785 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:46 pm
flamesabers wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 pm
revert wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm
Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.
Surely USAA would send out a notification to current cardholders that the rewards rate is being permanently lowered to 1.5%?
I believe they'd be required to do so by law/regulation; IIRC they'd need to provide notice to customers of any material changes to the product.
...
I do have the card and the Terms and Conditions are clear.
We reserve the right to terminate this Program or to change, delete from, or add to these Terms and Conditions. We will notify you of any changes to the Program, and will provide you 45 days' notice of any changes we deem to be significant and adverse to you.

KT785
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by KT785 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:53 pm

Soaker wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:01 pm
KT785 wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:46 pm
flamesabers wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:28 pm
revert wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:51 pm
Looks like they've now closed off all new applications and removed the information pages. I'm hoping they don't turn the existing cards into a flat 1.5%, but it did seem a little too good to be true.
Surely USAA would send out a notification to current cardholders that the rewards rate is being permanently lowered to 1.5%?
I believe they'd be required to do so by law/regulation; IIRC they'd need to provide notice to customers of any material changes to the product.
...
I do have the card and the Terms and Conditions are clear.
We reserve the right to terminate this Program or to change, delete from, or add to these Terms and Conditions. We will notify you of any changes to the Program, and will provide you 45 days' notice of any changes we deem to be significant and adverse to you.
Which is in accordance with Reg Z (implementing the CARD Act).

tj
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Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by tj » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:30 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:38 pm
KT785 wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:12 am
jrbdmb wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:47 am
corn18 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:27 pm
I'm up to $5,563 cash back so far this year. I love this card.
As someone said in that Doctor of Credit comments section regarding manufactured spending as being a likely reason USAA is pulling back, "This is why we can't have nice things."

Even if all of the $222K in spend to generate the above rewards is "organic", it is clear that it would be difficult to make this pilot program revenue-neutral if sizable percentage of cardholders are collecting rewards of this size. It also makes me wonder how Alliant is able to justify their 3%/2% cashback card.
I suppose we'll see if Alliant changes their product in the next year or two as I am similarly curious. Though, as others have noted in different threads and forums, the underwriting with Alliant is much more conservative and I believe they look for indications of churning and manufactured spending when reviewing applications and credit reports. However, the break even threshold to justify their annual fee would necessitate a fairly high annual spend; I believe their website states their target customer would spend $50,000+ a year on the card.
Let's do the math for Alliant. Remember, there are no competing 2.5% cards at the moment, the best widely available cards are 2% (eg. Fidelity, Doublecash)

Spend = $50k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $1000 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $1500 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $1191 cash back

Spend = $40k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $800 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $1200 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $941 cash back

Spend = $30k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $600 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $900 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $691 cash back

Spend = $20k

Any 2% Card
- All Years = $400 cash back

Alliant:
- Year 1 is 3%, No Fee = $600 cash back
- Year 2 and Later is 2.5%, $59 Fee = $441 cash back

IMO Alliant simply a better option, the $59 fee is easy to gain back. The main hurdle is showing $100k income when you apply. The First Year under Alliant behaves much like a sign up bonus, in the $50k example you get $500 more than the lowly 2% card.
Where are the $100k income rumors coming from? I was approved with much less than that. Actually, I didn't even apply for it - they targeted my existing card with the upgrade. Then again, I use them for savings and checking so maybe they has something to do with it.

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sunny_socal
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Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:12 pm

The 100k rumors for Alliant come from threads like this:
http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit- ... 374/page/2

I don't know their cutoff for income. But you need to plan on spending at least $20k/year to make it worthwhile.

tj
Posts: 2245
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by tj » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:40 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:12 pm
The 100k rumors for Alliant come from threads like this:
http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit- ... 374/page/2

I don't know their cutoff for income. But you need to plan on spending at least $20k/year to make it worthwhile.
Not really. For me, it was an offered account conversion. There was no reason to turn it down. You just downgrade/cancel after the first year.

Crisium
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:52 am

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by Crisium » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:07 pm

Can anyone confirm a monthly $1000 ACH into your USAA account is enough to make sure you get the full 2.5%? So far I have been using direct deposit from my pay check, but am considering changing if I can simply do $1000 ACH in/out monthly.

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Soaker
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

Post by Soaker » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:32 pm

Crisium wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:07 pm
Can anyone confirm a monthly $1000 ACH into your USAA account is enough to make sure you get the full 2.5%? So far I have been using direct deposit from my pay check, but am considering changing if I can simply do $1000 ACH in/out monthly.
Yes. I do an automatic monthly $1000 ACH transfer from my Alliant Credit Union savings account over to the USAA checking account.

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