USAA Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Low opening required amounts
  • No monthly fees or required balances
  • Youth and college accounts available
  • ATM reimbursement for USAA accounts

Cons:

  • Low-interest rates
  • Business accounts are not offered
  • Not a wide variety of accounts
  • Must be a member to open accounts

What You Need to Know

Most USAA accounts only require $25 to open the accounts. To earn interest on the Classic checking account, you must have $1,000 in the account.

There are no monthly fees for any USAA accounts. They do not have a set amount required to keep in any of their accounts. Some accounts only earn interest if the balance is a set amount. However, you will not be charged a fee for not having a certain amount in the account.

Youth and college accounts offered through USAA do not have a monthly fee. There is not a required balance to keep in the account. The youth savings account earns interest. The youth checking account offers parental controls. Parents can set debit or ATM limits and receive text alerts. The college account only requires $50 to open. Friends and family can contribute to these accounts.

There are over 60,000 free USAA ATMs. The first ten withdrawals from a USAA owned ATM are free. USAA refunds up to $15 in ATM fees charged from using other banks ATMs. The ATM reimbursement does not apply to the USAA Cashback Rewards checking account.

USAA accounts do not offer competitive interest rates. The rates are slightly higher than those of your typical brick and mortar banks. Some CDs receive more competitive interest rates. All other accounts are much lower than other online-only accounts.

USAA does not offer business accounts. The only accounts offered are personal checking and savings accounts and CDs. Insurance, investments, and retirement options are available. Loans, credit cards, and real estate options are offered.

USAA only offers two different checking accounts and two savings accounts. The basic savings account only requires $25 to open the account. The other savings account requires $10,000 to open. Only one checking account earns interest. The other checking account earns cashback rewards. They do not both have the same benefits.

To open an account with USAA, you must become a member. Those eligible to become a member are active and former military and their families. Cadets and midshipmen at academies are eligible to become a member. Once accepted, USAA will help you find the right accounts for your needs.

Cool Things

Financial Planners and Calculators

USAA’s website offers a section of financial planners and calculators. With these tools, you can more accurately know how much an auto loan, mortgage, or education costs. You can see if you are saving enough for retirement. Also, know how much life insurance you might need and how much to save each month.

USAA Community

With the USAA community, you can get advice and talk with others in your similar situation. You can join the conversation to learn more about day-to-day saving or retirement. Investment, education, and insurance are other conversations. There are blogs and member stories as well.

History

United Services Automobile Association started in 1922. Twenty-five Army officers came together to insure each other's automobiles. By 1948, USAA had expanded. This expansion allowed Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force to become members. Foreign Service officers, State Department officials, and widows could also apply. During the Great Depression membership doubled from 15,000 to 30,000 members. In 1969, the 1 millionth member joined USAA.

USAA launched their website in 1999. A few years later, in 2006, they began offering free ATM reimbursement for all members. USAA was the first company to allow members to deposit checks from home with internet and a scanner in 2006. The mobile app launched in 2008. In 2009, eligibility expanded to include retired military, spouses, and children.

Today, USAA has 11.9 million members. Their net worth is $29 billion. They are the first to offer a voice-guided app for check deposit for those who are visually impaired. USAA headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas. They have nine offices in the United States with one in London, England and one in Frankfurt, Germany.

Awards and Recognition

  • "America’s Best Large Employers" by Forbes
  • One of the "2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies" by the Ethisphere Institute
  • Recognized as "World’s Most Admired Companies" by FORTUNE

Giving Back

USAA supports and invests in programs to help veterans and those in active duty. USAA sponsored Patriot Book Camp. This was a technology entrepreneurship boot camp. It helps veterans and spouses who are looking to launch or grow a technology-based business.

USAA contributed $4 million to help with the recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma and Harvey. The money was donated to The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Team Rubicon, and local food banks. More than 2,000 USAA employees assembled 4,000 care packages. The packages were shipped to Tampa to aid in relief efforts.

USAA contributed nearly $1.3 million to nonprofit organizations in San Antonio, Texas. These nonprofits are helping to fight against homelessness. The money went primarily to help end veteran homelessness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Bank FDIC insured?

Yes. USAA is FDIC insured. The FDIC is an agency of the United States government that protects funds deposited in banks, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money deposited in FDIC insured banks means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How do I access my money?

With checks, debit or ATM cards, electronic transfers, wires, or by visiting a local branch.

Does this bank offer mobile banking?

Yes. USAA has a mobile app, or you can access your accounts online. With the mobile app, you can deposit checks or transfer money between accounts. You can use USAA’s money management tools or find an ATM. You can transfer money with Zelle.

Is this bank free?

Yes. There are no monthly maintenance fees for any of the USAA checking or savings accounts. There is no required balance to keep in the account. If you don’t have a certain amount you may not earn the highest interest rates, but you will not be charged a fee.

Is this a good bank?

The interest rates at USAA are slightly higher than your typical brick and mortar banks. They offer bank accounts for kids, teens, and college accounts. Everything for the accounts is done online. There are a few financial centers.

Is this bank secure online?

Yes. Employees protect your personal information with strict confidence. USAA offers CreditCheck products for their accounts. One option is free while the other options charge a monthly fee. USAA maintains secure sessions and detects potential fraudulent activity.

Does this bank offer competitive interest rates?

The interest rates are slightly higher than typical brick and mortar interest rates. USAA interest rates are not competitive with other online-only accounts. USAA CDs offer more competitive interest rates than their savings and checking accounts.

Can I use this bank for my business accounts?

No. Only personal savings and checking accounts and CDs are available as deposit accounts. Loans, credit cards, insurance, and investment options are available.

How is the online bank different from the online banking my bank offers?

The rates are slightly higher than your typical brick and mortar banks. You can still transfer money, check account balances, and deposit checks, but the interest is higher.

Do their checking accounts pay interest?

Only one of the two USAA checking accounts and the youth checking account earn interest. The interest rate for those accounts is low.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, mail, online chat, or through Twitter. You can visit one of their four financial centers.

Does this bank offer bill pay?

Yes. USAA checking accounts offer free bill pay. You can access bill pay from their mobile app or on their website.

Can I deposit cash?

Yes, at select ATMs or one of their financial centers.

How long do transfers take?

Money transferred between USAA checking and savings accounts are available the same day. Transfers from a non-USAA account into a USAA account take three to five business days. Transfers into a USAA investment account take seven calendar days.

Can I sign up for direct deposit to this account?

Yes. You can sign up for direct deposit to USAA checking and savings accounts.

Bank Contact Information

USAA Federal Savings Bank
10750 McDermott Freeway
San Antonio, TX 78288-9876
1-800-531-8722

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