USAA Checking Account Review: Free ATMs, Low Interest Rates

This free checking account is open to military members.

USAA Bank serves military members and their families, providing products and guidance for their insurance, banking, investment and retirement needs. Banking products offered by the members-only organization include checking accounts, credit cards, auto loans and mortgages.  If you’re considering opening a USAA Classic Checking account, keep reading this review to find out if it’s the best online checking account for you.

USAA Classic Checking Account at a Glance
Minimum Opening Deposit$25, waived for new recruits
Monthly Service Fee$0
Interest Rate0.01% APY on accounts with a daily balance of $1,000 or more
ATM Service Fee$0 for first 10 ATM withdrawals; $2 each for subsequent withdrawals
Pros
  • No monthly service fees or minimum balance requirement
  • Free use of ATMs nationwide
  • Industry-leading security measures
  • Overdraft protection
  • USAA online banking
  • Free mobile tools
Cons
  • Lower interest rate compared to the national average for interest checking accounts
  • Limited physical bank locations

In this review:

What You Need to Know About USAA Classic Checking

In order to open a checking account with USAA, you will need to be a member. Membership is open to U.S. military members and eligible family members. If you qualify for membership, you can enjoy free checking with a USAA Bank account for as little as $25 to start.

Best for: Military members and their family members who want a checking account with no fees.

Best Features of USAA Classic Checking 

In addition to having no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees and a low minimum opening deposit, USAA Classic Checking has a couple of perks that you won’t find at some other banks:

  • Free ATMs nationwide
  • Free mobile tools

Free ATMs Nationwide

Not only will you get unlimited free withdrawals at any USAA Bank-owned ATM, but you’ll also get 10 free ATM withdrawals each month at ATMs outside the network. If the outside bank charges a usage fee, USAA will refund you up to $15. Any subsequent withdrawals are subject to a $2 charge. 

Free Mobile Tools

USAA Classic Checking account holders have access to a number of free mobile tools for easy payments and money management. These tools include:

  • Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Zelle
  • Special offers and discounts available in the mobile app’s “wallet”
  • Quick and easy access to balances
  • Mobile bill pay
  • Virtual assistant services
  • Budgeting tools
  • Customizable spending alerts

Read: Here’s Your USAA Routing Number

Other USAA Checking Accounts

In addition to the Classic Checking account, USAA offers three specialized checking accounts:

  • USAA Classic Checking for Military Recruits
  • Youth Spending
  • USAA Classic Checking for College Students

The bank no longer offers the USAA Cashback Rewards Checking account.

Should You Open a USAA Checking Account?

If you are an eligible USAA member, the Classic Checking Account is a good option for those who don’t want to have to worry about paying a monthly fee or maintaining a minimum balance. Being able to withdraw from any ATM without paying a fee is also a huge perk with this account. All these benefits will help you increase the money you’re saving. Although USAA customer service can be reached via phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if you want in-person support your options are more limited — USAA only has limited locations in Colorado, New York, Maryland and Texas — so this might not be the best option for in-person banking.

Click through to read more about the best military banks and credit unions of 2018.

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