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6 Best Banks for Military Members

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Military banks and credit unions are institutions that specialize in working with active-duty members of the military — be it in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.

These banks and credit unions often can provide more flexibility to service members that civilians are not offered. These flexibilities are usually necessary in light of their jobs. For example, if an active-service member is sent on deployment, it’s understandable if they cannot meet the minimum balance requirements. As such, many military banks have lower or no minimum balance requirements for checking and savings accounts or monthly service fees, amongst other perks. 

Another benefit military members enjoy at these institutions is low-interest loans, as service members can be particularly affected by government shutdowns or tours of duty that they unexpectedly might have to extend.

Here are the best banks for service members, plus the perks active and former military personnel enjoy with membership.

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USAA

The United Services Automobile Association is a financial services group that offers banking, investing and insurance to people and families who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces.

USAA offers benefits, products and discounts for U.S. military members and their families. These include free checking and savings accounts with no minimum balance fees, free checks, free rewards debit cards, free overdraft protection and free web bill pay. There are also no ATM fees.

 Some of this bank’s other perks include:

USAA ranks among the Top 100 Banks and Best Online Banks for 2022 by GOBankingRates. See the review.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal was created in 1933 by and for Navy members who wanted to help themselves and their coworkers meet their financial goals. Today, it includes officers and enlisted personnel of all branches of the armed services, Department of Defense employees and their family members. Members enjoy:

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Navy Federal Credit Union ranks among the Top 100 Banks and Best Credit Unions for 2022 by GOBankingRates. See the review.

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Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Physical branches are only in Washington, D.C., and on select bases in the U.S. and abroad, but this bank is much easier to join than others on this list. While military banks usually require being a member of the armed forces to join, PenFed allows membership if you or a family member are or were military or if you work for or belong to qualifying organizations such as the DoD, Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family association. Members will enjoy: 

PenFed ranks among the Top 100 Banks for 2022 by GOBankingRates. See the review.

Security Service Federal Credit Union

Security Service Federal was originally founded to benefit members of the Air Force and currently operates branches in Texas, Colorado and Utah. The good news is that the credit union takes part in shared branching, so you can bank freely at thousands of their partner locations throughout the country. Members will enjoy:

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Security Service Federal ranks among the Top 100 Banks and Best Credit Unions for 2022 by GOBankingRates. See the review.

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Andrews Federal Credit Union

Andrews is more strict than other banks about who can join, but non-military residents of Washington, D.C., can apply for membership, as can members of the American Consumer Council, a non-profit organization. They offer to their members:

Service Credit Union

Service Credit Union was founded in 1957 to support military members and their families, and now has 50 walk-in locations throughout New Hampshire, North Dakota, Massachusetts and even Germany. The union also serves former members of the military and employees of the DoD, select employee groups in New Hampshire and members of the American Consumer Council. Members will enjoy:

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