Editorial Review

USAA Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Alice HolbrookApril 3, 2019

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Overall bank rating

USAA Bank
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Military families at home or on the move need a bank that stays with them. Through online banking options, mobile tools and decent ATM fee reimbursements, USAA Bank ensures that members can access their money from anywhere. Free access to ATMs, however, is limited. If you’re eligible for membership, the bank’s no-fee checking account and online budgeting tool deserve a closer look.

Pros

  • First 10 withdrawals per month are free at over 60,000 ATMs; 1,200 USAA-branded ATMs are completely free.

  • No monthly fees or balance requirements for basic checking or savings accounts.

  • Online budgeting tool tracks spending.

Cons

  • Top APY on basic savings account is on the lower side; better rates are available elsewhere.

  • Only five locations in the U.S.

Full review

USAA Bank USAA Savings

USAA Bank USAA Savings

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.05%

With $1 minimum balance

The USAA savings account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement; you need $25 to open an account. Interest starts at a low 0.05% APY for balances below $10,000 and maxes out at 0.10% APY for balances of $10,000 or more.

» Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

USAA Bank Classic Checking

USAA Bank Classic Checking

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.01%

With $25 minimum balance

USAA’s Classic Checking account has no monthly fee and a $15 monthly reimbursement for non-network ATM fees. USAA’s 1,200 branded ATMs are completely free and take deposits.

Customers can access more than 60,000 USAA-preferred ATMs at various locations nationwide, but only the first 10 withdrawals per month are free and deposits aren’t accepted. A $2 ATM fee applies after the tenth withdrawal per month. The interest rate is barely better than zero.

Military payday is a day early with direct deposit. USAA also has a Cashback Checking account that earns rewards on debit purchases, but it’s currently only available in a limited number of states in the U.S.

USAA Bank CD

USAA Bank CD

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.62%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

USAA has broad CD options with fixed terms ranging from 30 days to seven years. Many other banks offer terms up to only five years. The rates are decent but not necessarily top of the line. For example, a one-year certificate earns 0.62% APY, and a five-year CD earns 1.11% APY. You can compare these with the best CD rates this month at other banks and credit unions.

Banking experience

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

USAA only has a few branches, so it is best for those who prefer to do their banking online. You can use the bank’s mobile app to pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money and monitor your balances.

USAA also has an online budgeting tool that categorizes your transactions from the bank and external accounts to help you track your spending. In addition, the bank’s website offers budgeting tools and a financial advice section.

You can reach customer service representatives by phone, chat, Twitter, online message, fax, email and regular mail. Support hours are every day by phone but not 24/7.

Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Most fees at this bank are low, but overdrafts can add up. Members can be charged up to three $29 overdraft fees per day. USAA offers free overdraft transfers from a USAA checking or savings account as a backup, though transfers from the savings account are limited to six per month. It also offers overdraft protection via credit card cash advance, subject to card fees and interest rates.

USAA Bank USAA Savings

USAA Bank USAA Savings

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.05%

With $1 minimum balance

The USAA savings account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement; you need $25 to open an account. Interest starts at a low 0.05% APY for balances below $10,000 and maxes out at 0.10% APY for balances of $10,000 or more.

» Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

How does USAA Bank compare?

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.