10 Best Military Banks and Credit Unions of 2018

Save big with military bank and military credit union perks.

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,

10 Best Military Banks and Credit Unions of 2018
BankChecking Account Interest RateSavings Account Interest1-Year CD InterestProducts Offered
Air Force FCU logo 2017Air Force Federal Credit UnionN/A0.10%1.56%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
Navy FCU logo 2017Navy Federal Credit Union0.05%0.25%1.45%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
AndrewsAndrews Federal Credit Union0.20%0.31%1.41%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
RBFCU logo 2017Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union0.05%0.25%1.41%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
 Security Service Federal Credit Union0.05%0.10%0.95%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
Arkansas FCU logo 2017Arkansas Federal Credit Union1.00%0.01%1.00%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
Langley FCU logo 2017Langley Federal Credit Union0.05%0.05%1.00%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
Tyndall FCU logo 2017Tyndall Federal Credit Union0.50%0.05%0.85%Loans, credit cards, investments, insurance
USAAUSAA Federal Savings Bank0.01%0.05%0.71%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance
Fort Knox FCU logo 2017Fort Knox Federal Credit UnionN/A0.10%0.65%Loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, insurance

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.

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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.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Credit Union and a Federal Credit Union?

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.

Up Next: 7 VA Benefits Every Military Family Should Know About

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.

  • Disabled Veteran

    Despite the advertising, USAA is NOT MILITARY FRIENDLY, they are more like an ¨Enemy Combatant¨. They want military and retiree accounts for the direct deposit of Govt pay / benefits to keep their asset portfolio strong and they love to sell you auto insurance, however their financial underwriting department is very strict, has no flexability and appears to be very uneducated about what a ¨Good¨ credit score is. It is common practice to turn down cc apps or provide very low credit limits on their visa cards for customers having a ¨TRUE FICO SCORE¨ over 790, even when there is only a 2% debt to income ratio. Save yourself some time and frustration, go to NAVY FEDERAL or PENFED. Unlike USAA, both of these are true Credit Unions and treat military members / veterans / retirees very well. They offer high credit limits to those with FICO scores over 700 and a reasonable debt to income ratio.
    If you are asking yourself how I know what I have written to be true, I am speaking from 1st hand experience. My TRUE FICO score is 799 with no negative marks on my credit report. I own my house and my debt to income ratio is at 2%. USAA offered my a VISA card with a $500.00 credit line at 17.99%. When I made inquiries, USAA underwriters said I had no credit. When they were informed they had inaccurate information, they didn´t care and made no effort to determine my true credit score. I went directly to FedPen and Navy Federal, transfered my money and opened accounts. Within 24hrs Navy Federal offered me a VISA card with a $17.000.00 credit line and PedFed also offered a VISA card with a $5500.00 line of credit.
    Here is the dangerous part about the game USAA is playing. The financial products they try and sell you, everything from car insurance to credit cards to personal lines of credit are based on ? Yes, your credit score, so when USAA makes no attempt to correct something as serious as a customer showing ¨No credit¨ in USAA´s files, then that customer will not be offered a fair rate of interest or car insurance rates much higher than the customer should be paying.
    Obviously, make your own decision however look DEEP before you leap into bed with USAA. I hope this review has helped. CHEERS !

    • Truth

      I feel exactly what you are saying. I pull everything for USAA except auto insurance. Had been a member for over 15 years, credit score well over 700, active duty, low debt to income ratio, and was turned down for auto loan. Went next day to Service Credit Union and received lowest auto rate available at the time.

  • garry

    USAA and PENFED both have lost interest in providing quality customer information. I’ve been a USAA member since 1992 and Pentagon Federal Credit Union since 1997. I’m about to retire and I have no intention of banking with either once I’m retired

    • Mac mcintire

      Yeah, I agree. Their new director was a mess as a officer in the army, now with no expierance he’s screwing up usaa. Lost something 15 years ago. Now, just another bank

  • Mac mcintire

    I’ve been with usaa since 1979 when I was commissioned. Earlier when if you count as a driver under my father, since 1974. I have seen a dramatic decrease in services, accounts are no longer user friendly, they use only one credit agency equofax which is one of the worst. Note my credit score is 750,. 743, equofax 608. When questioned they just shrug there shoulders. In 2008 used usaa for a va loan, like they had never done a loan before. Although we closed ( 3 weeks ) late, it cost us $2000 more as we had shipped our furniture, car, and ourselves to Hawaii. But because of delays. Had to pay hotel bills and storage. Finally moved in with owners prrmission. Problem. They were losing stuff , when you sent data in via fax it went to universal location, car loans easy, boat loans easy, cheaper rates elsewhere but you call, it’s done. Same with insurance. Rates have been creeping up, they still are better than most. Advice. Va loans at quicken. Or pentagon federal credit union, both easy quick, professional. Insurance, boat, even, is done by progressive, you can get a better rate anywhere. When I bought a boat, USAA registered my mortgage twice, when I sold it, and they did check,, it was a nightmare to fix it, took 20 phone calls, lots of time, no apologies. Like a said, 15 years ago, this never would have happened. Outsourcing banking services, you loose the usaa feel. I understand investments have now been outsourced. Good luck with that. Do I still use them, yep, but I have RV loans, car loan and house under another bank