Anticipating an upcoming very large medical charge I paid early on the outstanding USAA Preferred Cash Rewards card.  I've paid the  entire amount every month on any credit card I've had for the past forty-five years.  The amount paid was an EFT bank transfer from my (non-USAA) checking account to my USAA Visa.  This should be an overnight transfer and it did seem to be one because although the payment was credited to my card, my AVAILABLE CREDIT on the card remained at the pre-payment amount for a week.  What should have been done in 24 hrs. was up to 100 hrs. and counting when I made the second phone call to USAA to ask why the holdup on bumping the card back up to the available limit.  


USAA's customer service answer was to say the payment - close to $7,000 was out of the ordinary payment averages so when that happens the payment will take days (and days) for the credit limit to correct.  This wasn't like a paper check in 1961 waiting to be cleared.  USAA's servers take no weekends and holidays off.  This makes no logic whatsoever.  I made two phone calls begging  USAA to credit my payment and to correct the credit limit available.  Who begs a bank to credit their money?!  Twice?  You can make a call to customer service but they cannot tell an algorithm to stop the madness.


So long to the anticipated USAA cash back on a large transaction.  Not to be deterred I applied for a Pentagon Federal Credit Union cash back card and was approved within twelve hours.  With their cash back and bonus I was able to make $381 on that medical charge.


It gets wierder.  During this fiasco I learned Experian has my FICO at 779.  PenFed uses Equifax where my FICO is 849 out of a max 850 (which did not surprise me).  USAA doesn't list a FICO on their website and the only way to find out is to make a "hard hit" inquiry when applying for a credit card.  A "hard hit" affects your credit score.  Again, just stupid.  Simply asking for your real FICO score can damage your score.  FICO has multiple scores for various purposes.  FICO is a jungle and advantageous only to financial institutions.


To say I was uderserved by USAA is an understatement.  My USAA Cash Back card has moved from my wallet to the back of the drawer of my bedside table.


Thank you PenFed.  You were there when we needed you. 




@robdhubb, we can certainy understand your frustration and will be sure to have an account expert review this further. 

Thank you for the attention.  The bottom line is that USAA in an age of algorithms should still be able to override the illogic upon an on-the-spot review of the customer's complaint.  Personal service has taken a hit.  Especially today and in the post pandemic future I would be jumping to have a customer like me.

Thank you but I never heard from in any form from a USAA expert.  Those algorithms cannot write or speak, or Mumbai was taking a day off.

robdhub - Sorry that you were not contacted. I will re-engage the team that reviewed your situation. I appreciate your patience. - Jason

Thanks for the attention.


Experian told me they have USAA as the ONLY basis for my credit score, which I'm sure is not factual.  I have forty-six years of credit history all over the US with I don't know how many banks in the past.  Under the old rating system I never had anything but I-1's.  USAA should reconsider an corp. that so blantantly tries to manipulate customers with such falsehoods.


One thing I learned and needs to be passed on to the USAA customer service reps.  When I called to request my limit to be increased the man, during our conversation, told me "USAA cannot do credit counseling".  I was puzzled as to why he would say that with paid in full every month right there on his screen.  I am so dumb at times.  Later, after the call, I realized, most people call for a limit increase when they've hit their limit.  Pentagon Federal gave me more than twice the limit on my USAA Preffered Cash Rewards card, so I was able to put $18,750 on PenFed's card.  Nice cash reward there.  I assumed that was the purpose of the USAA cash rewards card.  I paid the almost $19k in full a couple of weeks later.  So, USAA should not assume someone is in dire straits for simply asking for a limit increase.  What I needed was a more upscale card.  What I got from USAA was an assumption I needed credit counseling.


I still have an 849 out of 850 with Equifax.  It's the FICO 8.   


Yesterday we paid in full, as always, the USAA card (ahead of the due date).  This morning I cut the card into pieces.  If my Experian score takes yet another fifty point hit I really could not care less.  Paying by an app on the phone may be the way to go, or to go back to the future with paying cash.  Vendors love cash.  

@robdhubb, thank you for taking the time to follow up with us regarding your experience. Your feedback is appreciated and will be logged with the appropriate team in an effort to improve our products and services. I am sorry we did not meet your needs in this situation but hope we can do better to meet future needs. Thank you for your membership and for sharing your concerns with us. - Rhonda 

You won't hear from anyone. The CSR can only pass your concerns up the chain and if they feel like it, you might get a call. Unfortunately, you were one of the few lucky ones the USAA came to the rescue for (like in their commercials) and help you with your situation. 😔

Here's an update.


Since cutting the card into pieces my FICO 8 dropped from 849 to 807.   Not using the card enough, according to FICO, was punishable by 40 points on Experian.  Being financially responsible by canceling the card was punishable by a minus 42 points on Equifax.   They both report a FICO 8 (bank card score), so how can two credit raters have two different scores on the same customer?  It takes FICO about three months to adjust a FICO 8 score upward.  To adjust one down is done within forty-eight hours.


The extreme bias toward financial institutions of the FICO 8 is simply not only reprehensible but unethical.  A customer who takes what any logic would deem financially responsibe is punishing to his/her credit score.  Worse, there is no redress for the customer.  It is the financial institution that reports/causes the action to FICO.  In my case USAA. 


I realize we all live in a different world from the once-upon-a-time of personal banking, but the incredibly convoluted way that a customer's FICO 8 IS quickly punished and slowly rewarded should be illegal. 


Customers don't have billions as does the banking lobby to dole out to Congress to tilt the system heavily to the bankers' advantage.  What we do have is the power of our admittedly small purses to just say no when we feel unfairly treated.  Most people are not fortunate enough to say "screw the score" and are trapped into playing the game on a not level playing field. 


I hope my story sheds some light on the truth of credit scores in the U.S.  Regarding a customer's true creditworthiness they can be so inaccurate as to be unbelievable.