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BankDirect VS USAA

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Low required opening amounts
  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Variety of personal deposit accounts
  • Money market account earns good rates

Cons:

  • Highest MMA rate requires large amount
  • High required amount to open CDs
  • Checking accounts have a monthly fee
  • Must mail in application to open account
  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
0.05%APY
Savings/MMA
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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
BankDirect Review

Most of the BankDirect accounts have a low amount required to open the account. BankDirect checking accounts only require $500 to open. Both BankDirect money market accounts require $500 to open. The basic savings account only requires $100 to open.

BankDirect does not own any ATMs; they reimburse their customers the ATM fees. The first four ATM withdrawals per statement cycle are refunded. The refunds are up to $2.50 per transaction. There is a withdrawal limit of $500 from an ATM each day.

BankDirect offers a variety of personal deposit accounts. There are three different checking accounts and two different money market accounts. There are a variety of different CD terms available. BankDirect offers one savings account. There are no business accounts available.

The BankDirect Money Market Plus account offers a competitive interest rate. BankDirect also offers a mileage money market account. This account earns American Airline miles. Both MMA require $500 to open. The mileage money market account earns much lower interest rates. You earn miles instead of interest. There is no monthly fee for either account.

To earn the high rates offered on the BankDirect Money Market Plus account you must have $10,000 in the account. Amounts under $10,000 do not earn any interest. Only $500 is required to open this account, but to earn any interest requires $10,000.

BankDirect offers a variety of different CD terms. The required amount to open any of the CDs is $10,000. There is no monthly fee. The interest rates for CDs are competitive. The 12-month, 18-months, 24-months and 36-month CDs offer the most competitive rates. To open a mileage CD also requires $10,000.

Two of the BankDirect checking accounts have monthly fees. The interest and mileage checking accounts both have a monthly fee. The fee is waived for the interest checking account if you have at least $2,500 in the account. The mileage checking does not list a way to waive that monthly fee.

Opening an account with BankDirect is not entirely online. To open an account, you must fill out the application online, then print off part and mail it in. You will then receive a welcome kit within one to two weeks. Once you get your kit, you can finish setting up your account.

Read the full BankDirect review.

USAA Review

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.

Read the full USAA review.

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