Tag: USAA

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Earning Interest

Review of USAA CD Rates

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

USAA CD rates
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Founded and based in San Antonio, USAA is an FDIC-insured bank, insurance and financial services company that serves current and former military members and their families. Started by 25 U.S. Army officers, USAA has since grown to more than 11 million members. Most of their products are only available to USAA members, who are military members or their families.

USAA won a number of awards in 2016, including the title World’s Most Ethical Company from the Ethisphere Institute. It scored top rankings in the bank, insurance, and credit card categories in the Temkin Customer Service Ratings from 2013 to 2016.

Looking beyond high customer service standards, USAA CD rates are pretty comparable to the national average, though with some products they are significantly lower. Minimum deposit requirements are lower than with many similar products, though there are CDs out there with better rates and lower minimum deposits than USAA’s CDs. If you’re a member of the military (or a family member of military member) and looking for a bank that offers a wide variety of products as well as excellent customer service, USAA could be a good bet if you’re will to make the tradeoff for lower CD rates.

USAA Fixed-Rate CDs

A USAA fixed-rate CD is for those who intend to make one deposit to get a guaranteed rate of return over the agreed-upon term. Once you make your initial deposit (which differs depending on the type of CD you choose), your interest rate is set for the duration of the CD term. You are not allowed to make any additional deposits into your CD account after the initial amount.

Interest accumulates daily, and you have the choice to keep any interest earned in the CD until it matures (the interest will compound monthly) or have it paid out monthly to an account of your choosing. The CD will not be renewed automatically once it matures, though you have the option to do so if you want. If not, all the money in the account will be paid into an investment account until you withdraw it or invest it in another type of account.

Early-withdrawal penalties apply depending on the term of your CD:

  • Terms of 30 days or less: 30 days’ worth of interest
  • 30 days to 364 days: 90 days’ interest
  • 365 days to five years: 180 days’ interest
  • Five years or more: 365 days’ interest

Also, if you make a withdrawal within six calendar days of a deposit or another withdrawal, you’ll have to pay at least seven days’ worth of interest.

Standard rates

A standard CD requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 and up to a maximum of $95,000. This type of account is best for those who do not have a large amount of money to invest and want a guaranteed rate for their savings.

CD Term

APY

91 days

0.30%

182 days

0.56%

7 months

0.56%

270 days

0.66%

1 year

0.71%

15 months

0.95%

18 months

0.76%

2 years

0.81%

30 months

1.26%

3 years

0.91%

4 years

1.46%

5 years

1.06%

7 years

1.06%

As of Dec. 1, 2017

USAA fixed jumbo CD rates

Fixed jumbo CDs require a minimum deposit of $95,000 and a maximum amount up to $175,000.

CD Term

APY

30 days

0.22%

91 days

0.35%

120 days

0.45%

150 days

0.50%

182 days

0.61%

7 months

0.61%

270 days

0.71%

1 year

0.76%

15 months

1.00%

18 months

0.81%

2 years

0.86%

30 months

1.31%

3 years

0.96%

4 years

1.51%

5 years

1.11%

7 years

1.11%

As of Dec. 1, 2017.

USAA fixed super jumbo CD rates

Fixed super jumbo CDs require a minimum deposit of at least $175,000 with no maximum amount. However, FDIC only insures up to $250,000.

CD Term

APY

30 days

0.22%

91 days

0.35%

120 days

0.45%

150 days

0.50%

182 days

0.61%

7 months

0.61%

270 days

0.71%

1 year

0.76%

15 months

1.06%

18 months

0.81%

2 years

0.86%

30 months

1.36%

3 years

0.96%

4 years

1.56%

5 years

1.11%

7 years

1.11%

As of Dec. 1, 2017

USAA Adjustable-Rate CDs

Like the fixed-rate CDs, the interest rate is locked for the entirety of the agreed term with an adjustable-rate CD. All interest is compounded daily starting on your settlement date (the actual date when your deposit goes into your account) and the interest either paid out monthly or kept in the account until your CD matures. Your CD will not be automatically renewed. Instead the money will be put into an investment account until you decide to put it back into another CD account or withdraw the entire balance.

Unlike with the fixed-rate CD, however, you can adjust your rate once during your CD term as well as make one other deposit when you request a rate adjustment. If rates go up, you can make an adjustment up to a 2 percent increase. The additional deposit needs to be a minimum of $25.

Early-withdrawal penalties are the same as with the fixed-rate CD:

  • Terms of 30 days or less: 30 days’ worth of interest
  • 30 days to 364 days: 90 days’ interest
  • 365 days to five years: 180 days’ interest
  • Five years or more: 365 days’ interest

In addition, you will be required to pay at least seven days’ worth of interest if you withdrawal money within six calendar days of either a deposit or another withdrawal from your account.

Standard rates

The minimum opening deposit for an adjustable standard CD account is $1,000. You’re allowed up to a maximum of $95,000. Otherwise, you will need to open an adjustable jumbo CD account.

CD Term

APY

3 years

0.12%

4 years

0.31%

5 years

0.43%

7 years

0.43%

As of Dec. 1, 2017

Jumbo rates

Adjustable Jumbo CDs need a $95,000 minimum deposit and rates are applicable up to $175,000.

CD Term

APY

3 years

0.17%

4 years

0.36%

5 years

0.48%

7 years

0.48%

As of Dec. 1, 2017

Super jumbo rates

Adjustable super jumbo CDs have a minimum deposit of $175,000 with no limits on how much you can keep in your account. Keep in mind that FDIC insures up to $250,000 in your account.

CD Term

APY

3 years

0.17%

4 years

0.36%

5 years

0.48%

7 years

0.48%

As of Dec. 1, 2017

USAA variable-rate CDs

This type of CD account is best suited to those who want the ability to make more than one deposit any time they choose. The rate tends to be lower than the other CDs of the same term length, but you are allowed to make as many additional deposits as you like without extending the maturity date, as long it’s $25 or more each time. This could help you earn more on your deposits than you would with a traditional savings account, though there are better rates to be had among those products, as well.

Unlike the fixed- and adjustable-rate CDs, the interest rate on a variable-rate CD may fluctuate daily so earnings may be affected. However, interest is compounded daily and just like the other CD accounts and you can either keep earned interest with the CD balance and allow the interest to compound, or you can have it paid out to another account every month.

There are also early-withdrawal penalties with a variable rate CD. You’ll be charged 30 days’ worth of interest if you take your money out before the maturity date.

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

182 days

0.46%

$250

1 year

0.46%

$250

As of Dec. 1, 2017

Overall review on USAA’s CD rates

Above all, it’s important to remember that only USAA members can get its products, so if you’re not eligible for membership, USAA CDs aren’t an option for you.

USAA’s CD rates are not as competitive as other institutions’ products (you can see the best CD rates in our monthly roundup). While the $1,000 minimum deposit requirement is lower than some other banks that offer higher APYs on their CDs, you can get a better CD rate on accounts with deposit requirements as low as $500. While the rates for jumbo and super jumbo CDs are better than its standard offers, you can find better rates.

One of the main advantages of opening a CD with USAA is the ability to bump up your rate with an adjustable-rate CD, as other banks don’t always offer this option.. It’s important to note that a rate increase is not guaranteed. However, you are given an opportunity to make another deposit into your account before maturity.

As for USAA’s variable-rate CD, you may be better off opening a high-interest savings account if you’re looking for an account with a good APY and some liquidity.

Overall, if you want a bank with excellent customer service and the ability to choose from a wide variety of services, USAA is a good option. USAA may be your best choice if you want your CDs at a bank that understands needs specific to military members and their families. But if high yields are your priority, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Credit Cards, Earning Cashback, Reviews

USAA is Secretly Testing a New 2.5% Limitless Cashback Credit Card — And It Could be a Game Changer

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Two best friends sitting in a cafe and gossiping,

A cashback rewards card that gives you more than 2% cashback on every single purchase with no annual fee, no spending cap, and no category restrictions is fairly rare. That’s why the new USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card could be a game changer.

Rumors of the card’s existence first surfaced on Reddit last month. The card was featured briefly on the USAA website in mid-October but quickly disappeared.

MagnifyMoney reached out to a USAA spokesperson, who said they could confirm the card is in pilot mode but could not say when it will be released to the broader USAA membership.

“We believe this new product can provide our members better value and reward them for their loyalty to USAA,” said Gloria Manzano, senior communications partner for the company.  “If we determine this potential new product can help us better serve our members, we’ll make it available to all of our members as soon as possible.”

Manzano declined to offer more details on the terms and benefits that the card will offer.

Because of the exclusivity of this pilot product, there was very little information on the offer until recently. In this post, we’ve put together what we know about the card so far, based on customer testimonies online and the brief glimpse of the cards terms when it was featured on USAA.com in October.  We will update this post as new information is published.

  • The credit card basics
  • How to apply for the card and redeem cashback
  • USAA eligibility criteria
  • The fine print details
  • The pros and cons

The Basics of the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card

  1. Earn unlimited 2.5% cashback.

All purchases get 2.5% cashback with no cap.

  1. A USAA bank account with a monthly $1,000+ direct deposit is required to earn 2.5% cashback.

The 2.5% cashback deal does come with one catch. You must have an open USAA bank account and maintain a monthly direct deposit into that account of over $1,000 every 30 days to earn 2.5% cashback.

  1. Earn unlimited 1.5% cashback without direct deposit.

If you don’t meet the $1,000 direct deposit condition, all purchases get 1.5% cashback instead.

Applying for the Card and Using Cashback Earned

USAA members can log in to their USAA account to review all credit card products. Because the card is in pilot mode, you can apply for the card only if the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card shows up as an available offer. You can also call USAA and give member services your member number to find out if you’re eligible.

Redeeming cashback rewards with USAA is simple. Cashback can be redeemed at any time in increments of $1. You can request a cash deposit into a USAA checking or savings account. The other option for redemption is statement credit.

USAA Eligibility Criteria

USAA credit cards are only open to USAA members. USAA serves customers who meet certain eligibility criteria. Those who don’t fall into any of the qualifying groups will not be able to take advantage of the 2.5% cashback opportunity.

USAA offers membership to active military currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. You can also apply for membership if you’re a former military service member who’s retired or has been honorably discharged.

Family of USAA members, including children, widows, widowers, and un-remarried former spouses, are eligible for membership as well. Cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies, in advanced ROTC, or on ROTC scholarship and officers within 24 months of commissioning are eligible for USAA services.

You can review the eligibility criteria and apply for membership here.

The Fine Print and Fees

Keep in mind there may be changes to the terms of this card in the future since it’s currently a pilot program.

Right now, the card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. The only fine print is that you must have $1,000 to direct deposit into a primary bank account with USAA every 30 days to get the unlimited 2.5% cashback. This may or may not be possible based on your job, financial situation, and where you prefer to bank.

Pros and Cons

Pro: Earn 2.5% cashback. Getting unlimited 2.5% cashback without having to worry about a spending limit or changing your spending habits each quarter is a sweet offer.

Con: The $1,000 direct deposit requirement for 2.5% cashback. Even though this isn’t a difficult requirement to satisfy, it’s still another hoop you must jump through beyond becoming a member to unlock the 2.5% cashback. We’ll cover another cashback card below that offers double cash without stipulations.

Pro: USAA has a straightforward redemption process. You can use your cashback at any time as long as you redeem it in $1 increments. 

Con: It may still be a waiting game. The rollout of this card was pretty “hush-hush.” The card wasn’t even shown on the USAA website until recently. At first, only targeted members were getting a special invitation and sneak peek of the offer. Now the terms appear on the site, and you can log in to your USAA account to see if the pilot program is available to you. 

Pro: No fees. This card has no fees across the board. You earn an unlimited amount of cashback while avoiding annual and foreign transaction fees. There’s also no fee to open up a USAA bank account to set up your monthly direct deposit for the 2.5% cashback.

Other Cashback Cards to Consider

Since the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card is a bit heavy on the qualifying conditions, let’s cover two cards that will give anyone cashback.

The Citi® Double Cash Card may be the biggest rival to the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card because you can earn double cashback without having to meet any special conditions. This card has no caps or category restrictions. You get 1% cashback when you make a purchase and then another 1% cashback when you pay off the statement. There’s also no annual fee, and you can redeem cash earned for a check, statement credit, or gift card.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

For another quick cashback comparison, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cashback unlimited with no annual fee. There are no category restrictions on the cashback, which is consistent with the Citi Double Cash Card and USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card. Cashback also never expires, and you can redeem cashback at any time with a statement credit or check. Although you’re getting a little less cashback here, it’s another option that has limited fine print conditions. 

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Who Will Benefit the Most from the USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature Card?

The USAA Limitless Cashback Rewards Visa Signature card is one that any USAA member who’s on the hunt for a cashback card should consider. Earning unlimited 2.5% cashback with no fees or category restrictions is a unique offer and one that’s worth jumping on.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Personal Loans, Reviews

USAA Personal Loan Review: Low Interest for Members

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

USAA Personal Loan Review: Low Interest for Members

USAA offers a personal loan for members with low, fixed interest and protections to fall back on if you get behind in payments. To qualify for this loan and other banking products at USAA you have to be military or federal government affiliated. Usaa personal loan

We’ll go into detail on the requirements of membership later in this post.The qualification criteria are somewhat limiting, but if you’re eligible for membership you can take advantage of top-notch customer service, flexible loan terms and minimal fees.

Basics and Rates

USAA interest rates start at 8.99% APR and include a 0.25% discount for autopay.

Terms are available for 72 months. If you choose a lease term over 60 months you must have excellent credit to get the lowest rates.

The USAA website has a convenient loan payment calculator. Put in your desired loan amount and term and it’ll calculate your expected monthly payment. There’s also a debt consolidation calculator you can use to find out whether or not a personal loan will benefit you.

There are no application fees. Funds can be made available to you as soon as the next day. According to USAA, decisions are often made instantaneously after you complete a short online application.

Note: there are many lenders offering rates lower than USAA. You might want to shop around before agreeing to a loan with USAA.

We recommend using LendingTree’s personal loan tool. With a single online form, LendingTree can complete a soft credit pull (that will not hurt your credit score). Dozens of lenders can then compete for your business – and you may be matched to real offers from lenders. At a minimum, get those rates (many from online lenders) and compare them to the rates at USAA.

Disclosure: LendingTree is the parent company of MagnifyMoney.

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Loan Benefits

If you take out a USAA loan you can sign up for USAA Debt Protection. It costs an additional fee, but it will cover you in case an unexpected circumstance occurs and you can’t make payments. Plans will cover death, disability and unexpected unemployment. The cost of protection varies based on the plan you choose and your principal balance. If you opt into USAA Debt Protection the fee is added to your loan.

Qualification Criteria

Anyone can become a USAA member and qualify for products like investments, life insurance and shopping discounts. But you must have full membership to borrow from USAA. Full membership is free and open to people who are:

  • Active Military
  • Military Veterans
  • Spouses of USAA Members
  • Windows, Widowers or Former Spouses of USAA Members
  • Individuals Whose Parents Are or Were USAA Members
  • Former USAA Members

Employees of some federal government agencies also qualify for membership. You can find out if you’re eligible by calling USAA membership services.

Fees and Gotchas

There are no gotchas that should deter you from a USAA personal loan. There’s no fee for application or prepayment of the loan. The late fee is 5% of the payment due. You are given a grace period of 15 days to make payment. Past due balances are reported to credit agencies after 30 days. The returned check fee varies depending on your bank.

Pros and Cons

The major con is you have to be somehow affiliated to the military or a few select government agencies to qualify for the loan. However if you are eligible for USAA you can gain access to this loan plus tons of other membership products. Overall, the pros of the USAA loan are competitive interest and the speed you can get your hands on money. The application process can be completed within minutes and Debt Protection is an option that can give you peace of mind.

Alternatives to a USAA Personal Loan

If you don’t qualify for a loan with USAA there are many other personal loan options including products by PenFed and SoFi.

PenFed offers interest rates of 9.99%. Terms are available for up to 5 years. There are no application fees or origination fees. You do have to become a member of PenFed Credit Union to qualify. However anyone can become a member by signing up for Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. It’ll cost you at least $19, which includes membership dues and a share deposit into a PenFed Credit Union account.

SoFi offers rates starting at a fixed 5.49% or variable 5.29% (if you sign up for autopay). This loan has no origination fees or prepayment fees. You must have excellent credit to qualify for the lowest rates at SoFi. Loans are available from $5,000 to $100,000 and for 3, 5, and 7 year terms. SoFi offers unemployment protection like USAA and will even help borrowers find a new job if they’re laid off.

SoFi

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on SoFi’s secure website

Who Will Benefit Most from a USAA Personal Loan?

Ultimately people who qualify for full USAA membership will benefit the most. If you have a membership with USAA in the “other” category (open to everyone) you won’t qualify you for the personal loan. Eligibility criteria aside, the loan interest rate is right in line with other online loan products if you have decent credit. Borrowers with excellent credit should consider SoFi first since it has lower interest.

* We’ll receive a referral fee if you click on the “Apply Now” buttons in this post. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations You can learn more about how our site is financed here.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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