USAA was founded in 1922 by 25 army officers as a way to insure each other’s vehicles when nobody else would. Today USAA is still an auto insurance company—the sixth largest in the United States—but it’s also a bank with $25 billion in assets and 10.3 million members. It has great rates and no monthly fees, but it only takes on customers who are linked to the armed forces.
USAA Classic Checking offers service members a truly free checking account with:
- No monthly service fees
- No minimum balance. New recruits don’t even have to make an initial deposit to open an account.
- Provides a complete, printable 1199A form.
- Free transfers and bill payments.
- 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
- USAA refunds up to $15 of out-of-network ATM fees.
- Free direct deposits.
USAA’s savings account has the following features:
- No minimum balances.
- Only requires $25 to open.
- USAA Savings offers an APY of 0.05% to 0.15% for balances under $25,000.
- No monthly fees, regardless of your balance.
- Goal-planning tools.
- Customers can deposit money online or at over 2,000 UPS store locations.
USAA Performance First is USAA’s premier savings account. Requires $10,000 to open but offers rates of 0.05% to 0.30% depending on the balance.
There isn’t much to dislike about USAA, apart from the fact it is not available to everyone. To join you have to be an active or retired military service member, a cadet, or related to people who were USAA members. USAA offers great checking and savings accounts with no monthly service fees and no minimum balance. Its rates are not particularly high but higher than most banks. There are no service fees and users can access their money from 60,000 ATMs. If they can’t find a surcharge-free ATM, USAA will pay up to $15 a month in ATM fees. Customers can even transfer their money to any bank in the United States without paying a fee up to six times a month.