USAA Bank Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Liz Hund

AT A GLANCE
3.8

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

ATM fee refunds

Digital Leader

Low Fees

USAA is good for people eligible for membership who want to bank at a direct bank and want access to 60,000 free ATMs.

  • Savings
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    2.9
  • CDs
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    3.1
  • Checking
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    4.5
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Valley Direct

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.55 % APY

    $ 1

    Min. balance for APY

    Vio Bank

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    0.55 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    Live Oak Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    3.8

    Bankrate Score

    USAA Federal Savings Bank is a members-only bank that requires membership through serving in the military or by having eligible family members who served.

    What we like

    • The mobile app has positive reviews and popular features.

    • There's no minimum balance requirement or monthly fee for the savings account.

    • Generous free access to ATMs plus minimal out-of-network ATM fees and reimbursements available.

    What we don't

    • USAA has limited brick-and-mortar locations.

    • If you don’t have a link to the military — through your own experience or through family — you won’t be able to join.

    • You can find higher yields elsewhere.

    Savings accounts

    2.9

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Valley Direct

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.55 % APY

    $ 1

    Min. balance for APY

    USAA Performance First is the bank's top-yielding account. You earn higher rates on higher balances.  However, you will need at least $10,000 to open the account.

    What we like

    • There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.

    • Savers are rewarded with a higher APY with a bigger their balance.

    • USAA offers an ATM card for its savings account.

    • There are over 60,000 ATMs available nationwide that you can use for free.

    What we don't

    • You can find lower minimum deposits and higher APYs elsewhere.

    CD rates

    3.1

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    USAA offers some unique CDs that aren’t available at other banks. However, savers can find higher-yielding accounts if they shop around.

    Early withdrawal penalties for CDs are standard. The penalty is 90 days of interest for CDs with terms longer than 30 days up to 12 months. For CDs maturing in more than one year but less than seven years, the penalty is 180 days of interest.

    What we like

    • Accrued interest can be paid out before maturity.

    • There's a wide range of CD terms available to choose from.

    What we don't

    • There are no bump-up or penalty-free CD terms available.

    • You can find more competitive rates elsewhere.

    Checking accounts

    4.5

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    USAA Bank customers can earn interest with USAA Classic Checking on balances $1,000 or more. There’s no monthly fee for the account and no minimum balance. USAA reimburses up to $15 per statement cycle in other banks' ATM fees.

    Another option that does not earn interest USAA Cashback Rewards Checking. After a $25 opening deposit, the account does not require a minimum balance or monthly fee and offers members in certain states 10 cents back on every debit card purchase.

    There are over 60,000 ATMs available nationwide that USAA customers can use for free. In addition, customers can get up to $15 in fee reimbursements if using non-USAA preferred ATMs, plus there’s a low $2 out-of-network fee..

    What we like

    • Classic Checking account holders can earn interest on balances of $1,000 or more.

    • The account works with a well-reviewed mobile app.

    • There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.

    • You can get up to $15 in fee reimbursements if using non-USAA preferred ATMs.

    What we don't

    • The Cashback Rewards Checking account does not earn interest.

    • The interest offered on the Classic Checking account is minimal.

    Bank experience

    USAA has long been regarded as a digital leader among financial institutions and its reputation remains so.

    Its mobile app comes with standard features, like deposit checks and send money with Zelle. But the app also comes with edgier features, such as a digital assistant that you can conjure up within the app to answer your questions.

    USAA also stands out for letting members pull in all of their financial accounts into one portal to customize their budget and track their spending. It also offers a Digit-like tool that moves $1 to $9 to someone’s savings every few days — based on how much funds you have in your checking account.

    While you won’t be banking at a traditional branch, USAA also provides access to more than 60,000 ATMs that members can use for free.

    About USAA

    The USAA Federal Savings Bank opened in 1983. Generally, active military, former military, and veterans with a discharge type of “Honorable” from the U.S. military — and their eligible family members — are eligible for USAA membership. USAA Federal Savings Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of USAA. Eligible family members are spouses, widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who joined USAA prior to or during their marriage. Individuals whose parents joined USAA are also considered an eligible family member. There are four USAA financial centers in the United States, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Highland Falls, New York, Annapolis, Maryland and San Antonio, Texas. There is also a USAA Federal Savings Bank at West Point, New York.

    Liz Hund Twitter Created with Sketch. @LIZ_HUND

    Liz Hund Twitter Created with Sketch. @LIZ_HUND

    About the author Liz Hund is a social producer at Bankrate and occasionally writes special features on-site with a social-first angle. Her writing has been featured on MSN, Business Insider and in various local publications. In the media MSN Business Insider The Points Guy