Joining a military bank or military credit union can provide valuable perks for active-duty military or veterans and their families. Some banks and credit unions focus mainly on military personnel but other general financial institutions sometimes have special offers for military personnel and veterans. Keep your hard-earned money when you sign up for a new account just by making sure you choose the best bank.
10 Best Military Banks and Credit Unions of 2018
To help you find the best military banks and credit unions, GOBankingRates compiled a list of the best options for 2018. The financial institutions on this list offer everything from free checking accounts and no-fee ATMs to special benefits like early access to paychecks and free budgeting tools. Keep reading — and use the handy chart — to identify the 10 best banks for military members,
Air Force Federal Credit Union
Airmen volunteers chartered the Air Force Federal Credit Union in 1952 and it continues to offer excellent perks today. Members have access to convenient CyberMAT Online Banking and free online bill pay, and members with multiple accounts get rate reduction rewards of up to 50 basis points off their loans. Air Force FCU is a great military credit union for veterans and active-duty service members and their families — and it’s also open to civilians who work for or retired from the Department of Defense and members of the Airman Heritage Foundation.
Navy Federal Credit Union
The Navy Federal Credit Union, founded in 1933, provides financial services for current service members and veterans as well as their extended families. In addition to its mobile app, NFCU offers text banking, free bill pay and its Spending Tracker tool, designed to help budget-minded members. Perks include an auto loan refinancing bonus and up to $5,050 cash back for homebuyers who use the RealtyPlus program. Department of Defense employees and retirees are also eligible for membership.
Andrews Federal Credit Union
Back in 1948, a group of eight people kicked in $5 each to form Andrews Credit Union — today, those modest assets have grown to more than $1.5 billion. Membership is open to active-duty service personnel, veterans, Department of Defense employees and retirees and American Consumer Council members. The credit union covers military installations and personnel in central Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Its international scope enables those who serve internationally to access special services, like Euro Bill Pay.
Military Money: How Much Do Our Men and Women in Uniform Earn?
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union’ roots are in Texas, serving members with ties to the military and the communities in which it has a presence. It offers a free checking account with no minimum balance requirements and you get a cash-back rewards debit card with the account. Online banking and mobile payments are two other services this military credit union offers in its comprehensive lineup.
Security Service Federal Credit Union
Security Service Federal Credit Union brings a 50-year history to the table, growing from a modest eight-member start to more than 730,000 members today in Texas, Colorado and Utah. Security Service FCU caters to the military with its “Operation Salute the Strong,” a special suite of services for active-duty and deployed service members. The program includes deployment loans, assistance with vehicle shipping and reduced loan refinancing rates. Although membership is primarily limited to those who live in the three states the credit union serves, it’s also open to military members in select branches and Department of Defense employees at specific military bases within its service areas.
Arkansas Federal Credit Union
Arkansas Federal Credit Union prides itself on its high money market rates. In addition, it offers rewards for debit and credit card purchases, making its Visa one of the best credit cards for military members. Arkansas FCU also offers a Health Savings Account that pays 1.00% APY, plus the option to check your account information quickly via text banking. Membership is open to anyone living in the state of Arkansas.
Langley Federal Credit Union
Langley Federal Credit Union started out with a mouthful of a name. It was established as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Laboratory Federal Credit Union in 1936, but the name was shortened as its membership grew. It’s now a modern financial institution, with services like Touch ID fingerprint account access to protect members’ security and a rewards program for those with multiple accounts. Those rewards include free money orders, domestic wire transfers, checks, cashier’s checks and coin machine use.
Tyndall Federal Credit Union
Tyndall Federal Credit Union serves South Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, providing customers with appealing benefits like debit card rewards and easy online banking from any device. The ability to turn your credit card off and on remotely makes it a contender for one of the best cards for those who want to control their accounts from anywhere. Tyndall FCU has 60 years of history behind it, making it a well-established financial institution.
USAA Federal Savings Bank
USAA Federal Savings Bank prides itself on being one of the best banks for military veterans and those on active duty, as well as their family members. In addition to typical benefits like free, nationwide ATM use and free checking accounts, perks like making military paycheck funds available in advance and giving special loan APRs during deployment make it possibly the best bank for military personnel. In addition to financial services, it also provides a variety of personal budgeting tools to help you with money management.
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union opened in 1950 for civilian employees. Within a decade, it expanded to military personnel, and membership currently extends to those with various ties to Kentucky as well. A checking account earns you a free suite of services like worldwide ATM use, notary service, early pay and even accidental death and dismemberment insurance — these features got it on this list of best banks for veterans and active-duty military. Fort Knox FCU claims its online banking is so comprehensive that you’ll feel like you have a branch at home, and it helps you manage your finances by providing free budgeting tools.
Barb Nefer contributed to the reporting for this article.
Methodology: GOBankingRates.com identified the best military banks and credit unions by analyzing products offered, low-fee or free ATM use, free checking option, and savings account and one-year CD interest rates. All fees and rates are subject to change at the institutions’ discretion. And, some bonus offers might or might no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how you access the web page.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article.