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Is Usaa Only For Veterans
If you are in the US military or part of a military family, you are likely eligible to bank with USAA Bank. The question is: should you?
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Anyone familiar with USAA car insurance might immediately think, "Hell, yes." That's because USAA auto insurance is pretty awesome, offering the lowest rates, great customer service, and military-specific benefits and discounts.
So, is USAA Bank as desirable as its insurance arm? What special benefits can they offer soldiers? What products do they offer and what are their interest rates these days?
USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association. In the early 20th century, insurance companies viewed soldiers as inherently higher risk and charged them premiums. So, in 1922, 25 military officers founded USAA with the goal of providing an affordable option for service members and their families.
Since then, USAA has grown into a Fortune 500 financial institution that provides insurance, banking, investment and other options to nearly 13 million service members and their families nationwide.
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Today, USAA Bank offers its members a variety of account types such as checking, savings accounts and CDs, as well as affordable loan options for cars, boats and RVs.
USAA Bank (and all USAA products) is open to anyone who is a member of USAA. By and large, these are American soldiers and their families. Specifically, this includes:
If you have just found out that you are probably eligible for a USAA membership, I highly recommend that you take advantage of it. Even if you don't have bank or insurance coverage with USAA, Vanilla USAA membership is free and includes tons of benefits like deep discounts and free financial advice.
Of course, the first step to opening an account with USAA Bank is to get a USAA membership. You will need the following items on hand:
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To get started, the bank will ask you to open a checking account with a minimum deposit of $25. You have two options: USAA Cashback Rewards Checking or USAA Classic Checking.
I'll go over the details of each in the sections below, but in short, USAA Cashback Rewards Checking prioritizes rewards points, while USAA Classic Checking provides interest netting and ATM fee reimbursement automatically.
Once you open a checking account, you can access your online dashboard to open all of USAA's additional account types, including the USAA Performance First Savings Account, CDs, and more. Again.
If USAA Bank were an actor, it would be Betty White. Born in 1922, but hip and modern enough to host SNL with Jay-Z. For example, USAA Bank's online dashboard and mobile app are both easy to navigate and use. They certainly haven't let their reputation for supporting aging veterans stop them from offering advanced banking technology.
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Finally, if you need to contact USAA's trusted customer service team, you can do so via instant messaging through the app or by calling them the old-fashioned way. USAA is known for taking care of its employees, so you shouldn't hesitate to ask for help.
True to its roots, USAA Bank is not about getting money out of the military, but rather about making their lives easier.
So naturally, in the rare cases where USAA Bank does charge fees, they are usually well below the industry average.
USAA Bank requires an initial deposit of $25 for a checking account, after which there are no monthly service fees or closing fees. Also, after going through their fee schedule for all account types, I couldn't find any unexpected fees.
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Services like overdraft protection and declined debit card purchases (where other banks like cheap people) are completely free.
When it comes to overdrafts, USAA Bank charges $0 for overdraft protection on all account types and, thankfully, $0 for extended overdrafts, which is a daily fee as long as your account is discovered. This is a bigger issue than it sounds, as extended overdraft fees are a pretty nasty way for some banks to keep account holders in debt.
First, amazing access to ATMs. I will explain in more detail in a later section, but 60,000 is no small number. To remind you that there are only 40,000 McDonald's establishments in the world.
Second, that 0.01% APY. Most checking accounts don't earn interest—on the contrary, they charge you fees throughout the year. But the USAA Classic Checking account generates a constant 0.01% APY on your balance. Sure, it's only $1 for every $10,000 you have in your account, but it's still a good reminder that USAA isn't trying to take you, it's giving.
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Since August 2022 everything has been fine. The bank doesn't display its interest rates prominently, but if you poke around in your personal loan account long enough, you'll see the range of 7.69% to 8.69% APR start to appear.
Historically speaking, 7.69% for a personal loan is not bad. But there are so many competitors in the lending industry these days that interest rates have dropped as low as 3.99%.
Given the convenience and customer service that USAA offers, I'd say it's worth keeping them on your short list when looking for personal loans. But rates are king, so feel free to take 3.99% if it's available!
USAA mortgage rates are between 5% and 7%, which is pretty standard for today's market.
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And one thing is certain. USAA is a great choice for VA loans. They know VA loans like Salt Bae knows steak and are widely regarded as one of the best lenders in the country to get one.
USAA also offers traditional home loans, vacation home loans and a variety of disbursement options. Simply put, they are seasoned experts in housing military and their families in homes, and if you are both a qualified borrower and a USAA member, they deserve a spot on your short list of mortgage lenders to consider.
However, you still want to get a few quotes before committing to a mortgage lender. Check out our list of the best mortgage rates, updated daily.
It's worth mentioning that none of the USAA cards have annual fees or APR penalties, and each includes a number of travel and retail benefits in addition to the benefits of your USAA membership. .
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USAA Bank may only have four locations, but its network of free ATMs is extensive: over 60,000 in a select network (including PNC Bank and other logos). Even if you can't find a USAA-compliant ATM nearby, remember that USAA will not charge you a fee for your first 10 monthly withdrawals.
Also, if you have a USAA Classic checking account, it will cover the other bank's fees up to $15 per month. That's a pretty neat perk, as it expands USAA's network of "free" ATMs to 3.5 million.
The difference between savings and Performance First accounts is quite noticeable. The USAA Savings Account requires just $25 to get started, while the USAA Performance First Savings Account requires $10,000 and offers a higher interest rate in return.
Finally, the Youth Savings Account works like a regular savings account, but with the option to give your child limited access when they turn 13.
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A CD, or certificate of deposit, is like a savings account with a fixed term and fixed interest rate. Knowing both terms ahead of time can help you plan for your financial future more accurately than a traditional variable rate savings account.
USAA Bank offers a pretty impressive selection of 16 CD terms, ranging from as little as 30 days to 7 years. Most banks only offer about five. Additionally, the minimum deposit for CDs is only $1,000, which is lower than some other banks (although others go as low as $500).
Plus the USAA CD price is pretty good. They don't vary by deposit amount: a regular four-year ($1,000) will generate the same APY as a Jumbo ($95,000+) — so you don't have to worry about locking up too much money to maximize your interest.
The rates in question range from 1.16% APY to 1.76% APY as of this writing (you can always check the latest rates here).
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It should be quickly noted that USAA Bank does not offer investment accounts (Roth, 529, etc.). Instead, USAA refers you to "strategic partners" Charles Schwab and Victory Capital to open such accounts with them.
At first glance, neither broker appears to offer a clear USAA-only advantage. Victory Capital mentions USAA mutual funds and the USAA 529 Education Savings Plan, but it is unclear how these products differ from the products Victory Capital offers to all of its investors.
USAA offers attractive, below-average interest rates on auto loans, with APRs as low as 3.69% on new cars and 4.34% on used cars. You can always check the latest prices here.
These rates are solid, but you could always lower them with another lender. According to Experian, borrowers with Super Prime credit
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