USAA Federal Savings Bank Review: Fee-Free Checking for Military Personnel

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Quick Take: From checking that's free of monthly maintenance fees to home and auto insurance, USAA Federal Savings Bank (or USAA Bank) might be the only financial institution you need. If you qualify for membership, you'll have access to everything the bank offers.
  • Minimum Opening Deposits
    4.5
  • Monthly Service Fees
    5.0
  • Customer Service
    5.0
  • Mobile Experience
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Wide variety of products and services
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Affordable opening deposits
  • Wide range of CD terms

Cons

  • No high-interest savings account
  • Annual percentage rate for checking account below the national average

About USAA Federal Savings Bank

What started in 1922 as a way for 25 Army officers to insure their vehicles is now a fully integrated bank with more than 13 million members. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, USAA Federal Savings Bank (or USAA Bank) has assets totaling $200 billion. USAA Bank membership is open to current and former military personnel as well as their spouses and children. This includes veterans and pre-commissioned officers. USAA provides a wide variety of products and services to its members, including interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs and loans. GOBankingRates has ranked USAA as one of the the Top 100 Banks and Best Online Banks, and has also recognized it for having one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2022.

USAA Federal Savings Bank Products

USAA Bank offers several bank and insurance products for its members. Here’s a quick look:

Checking Accounts

USAA offers three checking accounts. Here are the details.

USAA Classic Checking

The USAA Classic Checking account has no minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees. A $25 minimum opening deposit is required. While the bank has a network of 60,000 fee-free ATMs, if you use an out-of-network ATM, USAA will refund up to $15 in ATM fees per statement cycle. Balances in a USAA Classic Checking account earn 0.01% APY on balances of $1,000 or more.

USAA Cashback Rewards Checking

The USAA Cashback Rewards Checking is ranked as a Best Checking Account of 2022 by GOBankingRates because of its benefits. The account pays unlimited 10 cents cash back for each qualified debit card purchase, which can really add up over time if you use the account for the bulk of your transactions. The account requires a low $25 opening deposit and has no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. Additionally, up to $15 in out-of-network ATM fees will be refunded per statement cycle.

USAA Youth Spending

The USAA Youth Spending account is designed to help kids learn how to manage money and requires a $25 minimum opening deposit. The account pays 0.01% APY on balances of $1,000 or more. And like USAA’s other checking accounts, no minimum balance is required and no monthly maintenance fees apply. The account comes with an ATM debit card with zero liability for unauthorized charges. When your child turns 18, the account will automatically be converted to a USAA Classic Checking account.

Savings Accounts

USAA has three savings accounts that target different types of customers. Here are the details. 

USAA Savings

USAA Savings is a no-frills account for new customers that requires an opening deposit of only $25. It has no monthly service fees or minimum deposit requirements and pays a 0.01% APY on all balance tiers.

USAA Performance First Savings

USAA Performance First Savings is for customers who have at least $10,000 to open an account. It has no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. It pays 0.01% to 0.20% APY depending on the balance. To receive a higher APY than 0.01%, your balance must exceed $10,000.

USAA Youth Savings

The bank also offers a Youth Savings account for younger customers. The account requires a minimum opening deposit of $25 and it has no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. Like the USAA Savings Account, this account pays 0.01% APY on all balance tiers.

CD Accounts

USAA Bank offers an impressive variety of CDs, including fixed-rate, variable and adjustable CDs in standard, jumbo and super jumbo options.

Fixed Rate CDs

A $1,000 minimum deposit is required for standard CDs, while a $95,000 minimum deposit is required for jumbo and a $195,000 deposit is required for super jumbo CDs. Each CD option has varied terms of 30 days to seven years and all options pay 0.01% to 0.04% APY depending on balance.

Adjustable Rate CDs

Adjustable Rate CDs require a $1,000 minimum opening deposit for standard CDs, a $95,000 minimum deposit for jumbo CDs, and a $195,000 deposit for super jumbo CDs. Terms range from three to seven years and start at 0.01% APY.

Variable Rate CDs

Variable Rate CDs are only available in the standard option and offer the following two terms: 183 days and one year. The APY starts at 0.01% APY. 

Banking Experience

GOBankingRates gave USAA an overall score of 4.75 on the following standout features. Here’s what you need to know.

Minimum Opening Deposits

USAA Bank keeps its minimum opening deposits affordable with all checking and most savings accounts requiring a low minimum opening deposit of $25 each, which makes it easier to open more than one account at a time. Additionally minimum opening deposits for CDs start at $250 for Variable Rate CDs and $1,000 for Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate CDs, which is more affordable than the $2,500 minimum opening deposit some other banks require.

No Monthly Service Fees

Monthly service fees are nonexistent for USAA’s deposit accounts, which means your money can stay where it belongs — in your bank account. Monthly service fees can really add up over time, even if the fees are just $5 per month. While many banks offer account holders options for waiving service fees, it can sometimes be a hassle to consistently meet the requirements, such as maintaining a minimum daily balance or completing a certain number of debit card transactions per month.

Customer Service

The best way to contact USAA Bank customer service representatives is by phone. Members can contact the main customer service line at 800-531-8722 and ask for a specific department, or call individual departments directly. The bank’s shortcut mobile number is #USAA (8722). You can also send USAA a secure email message or use its virtual agent, which is powered by AI.

The bank’s mailing address is:

USAA Federal Savings Bank

9800 Fredericksburg Road

San Antonio, TX 78288

Mobile Experience

USAA has a mobile app available for Apple and Android devices. The app has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 in the App Store and a rating of 4.4 in Google Play. You can download the Apple version here and download the Android version here. The app provides information about all your USAA accounts with a single login. Information is protected by a PIN or biometric access.

Editor’s Favorite

USAA’s Cashback Rewards Checking offers 10 cents cash back per qualified debit card transaction, plus the account has no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. If you use the account regularly, you can easily earn $50 or more in cash back per year. 

USAA Bank vs. Competitors

Even if you qualify for membership at USAA, it’s helpful to compare it with other banks before opening an account. Here’s a look at how it stacks up against a few rivals:

USAA Bank vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Both USAA Bank and Navy Federal Credit Union offer products and services to military personnel and their families. USAA Bank offers a greater variety of products, including insurance. Navy Federal Credit Union has more branches available in the U.S. and a bigger presence around the world.

USAA Bank vs. Bank of America

USAA offers a higher APY on its Standard CD accounts, but these rates are only available to those who meet the membership requirements. Bank of America is a better choice for folks who don’t qualify for USAA membership and prefer having access to a larger number of branches.

USAA Bank vs. Chase Bank

Like Bank of America, Chase Bank has more physical branches than USAA across the country. It also runs promotions that give new customers free money for opening an account. However, members of USAA have access to a broad range of non-banking products and services unavailable at Chase, including health insurance, shopping discounts and travel deals.

Final Take

If you meet the membership requirements at USAA Bank, it’s worth a second look. You get free checking and savings accounts and an array of other financial products and services at competitive prices. Find out if you qualify for membership and open an account to access everything the bank has to offer.

USAA Bank FAQ

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about USAA Bank.
  • Does USAA have actual banks?
    • USAA Bank has financial centers in Colorado, New York, Maryland and San Antonio, TX.
  • What days are USAA Banks open?
    • In general, Monday through Saturday. However, the West Point Main Exchange location in West Point, NY is also open on Sunday.
  • How long does it take for a mobile check to clear through USAA Bank?
    • Mobile check deposits might not be available right away, but are generally available seven days after the deposit.
  • What time does USAA Bank release funds after ATM deposits?
    • You should have access to cash and check deposits the first business day after you make your deposit at an ATM.

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 17, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by USAA Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by USAA.

Is this your bank?

Stay Up to Date on the Latest From Your Bank

Keep a good thing going with top financial tips and advice from GOBankingRates.

Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Get ready to receive top financial tips from the experts at GOBankingRates.

Take Advantage of our Best Offer(s)

About the Author

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

Best Bank Accounts of June 2022

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.