USAA Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

USAA Bank checking account options

USAA Classic Checking

A low-cost checking account with decent ATM access. However, the interest rate is so low it’s practically non-existent.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: 10 free transactions per month at all ATMs. After 10, transactions at USAA ATMs are free but out-of-network transactions are $2 each.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $15 per statement cycle.
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item

You can open a USAA Classic Checking account with a starting deposit of only $25. After that, there is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. You can earn interest with a daily balance of $1,000 or more, but the rate is extremely low.

With this account, you can make 10 withdrawals per month from any ATM without paying a fee to USAA. The bank will refund up to $15 of fees charged by out-of-network ATM owners per statement cycle. If you make more than 10 ATM transactions in a month, USAA Bank will charge $2 for each additional transaction at an out-of-network ATM. You can make unlimited free withdrawals from USAA ATMs.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

USAA Cashback Rewards Checking

This account doesn’t offer interest, but instead earns a dime every time you make a debit card purchase.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: 10 free transactions at all ATMs per month. After 10, transactions at USAA ATMs are free but out-of-network transactions are $2 each.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item

The USAA Cashback Rewards Checking account does not earn interest. Instead, it earns cash back every time you buy something on the debit card. It earns 10 cents per transaction. Terms apply.

You can open this account with a deposit of only $25. After that, there is no minimum balance requirement and this account does not charge a monthly fee.

With this account, you can make 10 withdrawals per month from any ATM without paying any fees to USAA Bank. If you make more than 10 ATM transactions in a month, you can still make unlimited free withdrawals from USAA ATMs, but USAA Bank will charge $2 for each additional transaction at out-of-network ATMs. In addition, this account does not refund fees from out-of-network ATM owners.

This account is not available nationwide, and can only be opened if you live in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

USAA Youth Spending account

USAA Bank’s Classic Checking account for kids under the age of 18.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: 10 free transactions at all ATMs per month. After 10, transactions at USAA ATMs are free but out-of-network transactions are $2 each.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $15 per statement cycle.
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item

If you have children younger than 18, you could set up a USAA Youth Spending account on his or her behalf. This account offers the same features as Classic Checking, except that you have control over the child’s account. For example, you can set limits on how much can be taken out per month or restrict transfers to other accounts. When the child turns 18, this account automatically converts into a USAA Classic Checking account.

This account requires an opening deposit of at least $25, but after that there is no minimum balance requirement or monthly fee. The account earns interest with an average daily balance of $1,000 or more, but the rate is very low.

With this account, the child can make 10 withdrawals per month from any ATM without owing a fee to USAA Bank and the bank will refund up to $15 of fees charged by out-of-network ATM owners per statement cycle. If the child makes more than 10 ATM transactions in a month, USAA Bank will charge $2 for each additional transaction at an out-of-network ATM. However, they can make unlimited free withdrawals from USAA ATMs.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How USAA Bank’s checking accounts compare

USAA Bank does a nice job keeping fees low on its checking accounts. We also like that you can open an account for only $25, and that ATM refunds are on offer for two of its accounts (Classic Checking and Youth Spending). If you frequently spend money using your debit card, being able to earn some cash back with Cashback Rewards is a nice feature that’s otherwise become much harder to find — most banks only offer rewards for credit cards and not debit cards.

Still, despite these positive features, we are reluctant to endorse the USAA Bank’s checking accounts because of their low interest rates. Cashback Rewards doesn’t pay interest, while the other two accounts pay so little that the rate may as well be nothing.

If you want a low-fee checking account that actually earns interest, these top online checking accounts could be a better alternative than USAA Bank ’s accounts.

USAA savings account options

USAA Savings

Pays more interest than the USAA checking accounts but still doesn’t earn much, although the fees are low.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01 (less than $1,000)
0.05%$1,000
0.05%$5,000
0.05%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: 10 free transactions at all ATMs per month. After 10, transactions at USAA ATMs are free but out-of-network transactions are $2 each.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $15 per statement cycle.
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item

You can open a USAA Savings account with a deposit of only $25; after that, there is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee. This account earns interest on all balances. However, the interest rate at all levels is low, even if you earn the highest possible rate by having a daily balance of $10,000 or more.

With this account, you can make 10 withdrawals per month from any ATM without owing a fee to USAA Bank and the bank will refund up to $15 of fees charged by out-of-network ATM owners per statement cycle. If you make more than 10 ATM transactions in a month, USAA Bank will charge $2 for each additional transaction at an out-of-network ATM. You can make unlimited free withdrawals from USAA ATMs.

Since this is a savings account, Federal Reserve Regulation D limits certain transfers out of the account up to six per statement cycle. If you ever make more than six in a statement cycle, USAA Bank will not charge a fee for the first transaction. The second time it happens within 12 months, a $5 fee will be charged. If this happens three times in 12 months, USAA Bank will charge a $5 fee and convert your savings account into a checking account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

USAA Performance First

Offering better rates than the regular USAA Savings account, but still doesn’t earn enough considering the high deposit requirement.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01 (less than $10,000)
0.05%$10,000
0.05%$50,000
0.05%$100,000
0.10%$250,000
0.05%$500,000
0.15%$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: 10 free transactions at all ATMs per month. After 10, transactions at USAA ATMs are free but out-of-network transactions are $2 each.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $15 per statement cycle.
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item

The USAA Performance First savings account is meant for larger deposits — you must deposit $10,000 to open this account. After that, there is no minimum balance requirement and this account does not charge a monthly fee. However, if your daily balance falls below $10,000, you earn a much lower interest rate.

As with the USAA Savings account, with this account you can make 10 withdrawals per month from any ATM without owing a fee to USAA Bank ; the bank will refund up to $15 of fees charged by out-of-network ATM owners per statement cycle. If you make more than 10 ATM transactions in a month, USAA Bank will charge $2 for each additional transaction at an out-of-network ATM. However, you can make unlimited free withdrawals from USAA ATMs.

As a savings account, the USAA Performance First product is limited in how often you can make certain transfers out of the account up to six per statement cycle, per Federal Reserve Regulation D. If you ever make more than six in a statement cycle, USAA Bank will not charge a fee for the first transaction. The second time it happens within 12 months, they will charge a $5 fee. If this happens three times in 12 months, USAA Bank will charge a $5 fee and close your savings account, turning it into a checking account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

USAA Youth Savings

A savings account for children under the age of 18. Offers the same interest rates as USAA Savings.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.09%$0.01 (less than $1,000)
0.10%$1,000
0.10%$5,000
0.15%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: 10 free transactions at all ATMs per month. After 10, transactions at USAA ATMs are free but out-of-network transactions are $2 each.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $15 per statement cycle.
  • Overdraft fee: $25 per item

USAA Bank also offers a savings account for children under the age of 18. With this account, you control how your child has access to his or her money: you are able to set a maximum number of ATM withdrawals or prevent them from transferring to other accounts. When your child turns 18, this account automatically turns into the USAA Savings account in his or her name.

This account earns interest on all deposits and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. However, the interest rate at all levels is fairly low, even at the highest possible rate when there is a daily balance of $10,000 or more.

With this account, your child can make 10 withdrawals per month from any ATM without owing a fee to USAA Bank and the bank will refund up to $15 of fees charged by out-of-network ATM owners per statement cycle. If your child makes more than 10 ATM transactions in a month, USAA Bank will charge $2 for each additional transaction at an out-of-network ATM. He or she can make unlimited free withdrawals from USAA ATMs.

Since this is a savings account, it limits certain transfers out of the account up to six per statement cycle. If you ever make more than six in a statement cycle, for the first transaction USAA Bank will not charge a fee. The second time it happens within 12 months they will charge a $5 fee. If this happens three times in twelve months, USAA Bank will charge a $5 fee and close the savings account, turning it into a checking account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

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How USAA Bank’s savings accounts compare

USAA Bank’s savings accounts have the same problem as its checking accounts — that they do not earn enough interest. While the savings rates are a step up over the checking rates, they are still low compared to the best online savings accounts on the market today.

The USAA savings accounts do have some nice features. None of them charge a monthly fee or have a minimum balance requirement to earn interest. They also refund fees from out-of-network ATMs, which gives you more convenient access to your money than the average savings account. Still, these benefits are not enough to make up for the low interest rates.

USAA CD rates

Fixed Rate CDs

USAA Bank offers a wide variety of fixed CD terms. The rates on short-term CDs aren’t great, but they get better for CDs of at least 2 years.
TermAPY Standard
($1,000 - $94,999)
APY Jumbo
($95,000 - $174,999)
APY Super Jumbo
($175,000 and up)
30 daysN/A0.05%0.05%
91 days0.05%0.05%0.05%
120 daysN/A0.05%0.05%
150 daysN/A0.05%0.05%
182 days0.05%0.05%0.05%
7 months0.05%0.05%0.05%
270 days0.05%0.05%0.05%
1 year0.17%0.17%0.17%
15 months0.18%0.18%0.18%
18 months0.19%0.19%0.19%
2 years0.22%0.22%0.22%
30 months0.25%0.25%0.25%
3 years0.28%0.28%0.28%
4 years0.30%0.30%0.30%
5 years0.40%0.40%0.40%
7 years0.49%0.49%0.49%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 for Standard, $95,000 for Jumbo and $175,000 for Super Jumbo.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 for Standard, $95,000 for Jumbo and $175,000 for Super Jumbo.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty depends on the length of your CD term (detailed below)

USAA Bank offers fixed rate CDs with terms that range anywhere from 30 days all the way up to 7 years, with many options in between. They break the CD rates into three groups depending on how much you deposit: Standard requires at least $1,000, Jumbo requires $95,000 and Super Jumbo requires at least $175,000.

Three of the CD terms are not available at the Standard level (30 days, 120 days and 150 days). Even though USAA Bank has split the CDs into three categories, it currently pays the same rates on Jumbo and Super Jumbo.

Once you sign up for a Fixed Rate CD, you cannot add more money to the account. These CDs charge an early withdrawal penalty if you take money out before the end of the term, which depends on the length of your CD term:

  • For CD term 30 days or less, the penalty is 30 days of interest.
  • For terms more than 30 days and up to 1 year, the penalty is 90 days of interest.
  • More than 1 year but less than 5 years, the penalty is 180 days of interest.
  • For terms of 5 years that were opened or renewed before March 1, 2014, the penalty is 180 days of interest.
  • For terms of 5 years or more, opened or renewed on or after March 1, 2014, the penalty is 365 days of interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

USAA Adjustable Rate CDs

If USAA Bank starts offering higher rates, you can increase the rate on these CDs before the end of the term.
TermAPY Standard
($1,000 - $94,999)
APY Jumbo
($95,000 - $174,999)
APY Super Jumbo
($175,000 and up)
3 years0.91%0.96%0.96%
4 years1.22%1.27%1.27%
5 years1.49%1.54%1.54%
7 years1.54%1.59%1.59%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 for Standard, $95,000 for Jumbo and $175,000 for Super Jumbo.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 for Standard, $95,000 for Jumbo and $175,000 for Super Jumbo.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty depends on the length of your CD term (detailed below)

When you sign up for a long-term CD, there is always the risk that interest rates will go up after you sign up, meaning you’re earning less than if you had signed up later. With the variable rate CDs, USAA Bank gives you the chance to increase your rate when this happens.

If USAA Bank starts paying higher rates on its variable CDs, you can increase the rate on an existing Variable CD to make up the difference. You can increase your rate by up to 2% above what you originally signed up for. When you choose to increase your rate, you also have the option to add more money into the CD, with a deposit of at least $25.

These CDs charge an early withdrawal penalty if you take money out before the end of the term. The penalty depends on the length of your CD:

  • For CD terms more than 1 year but less than 5 years, the penalty is 180 days of interest.
  • For CD terms of 5 years that were opened or renewed before March 1, 2014, the penalty is 180 days of interest.
  • For CD terms of 5 years or more, opened or renewed on or after March 1, 2014, the penalty is 365 days of interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

USAA Variable Rate CDs

Short-term CDs structured more like a savings account. You can add money whenever you want and the interest rate can change daily.
TermAPY Standard
($250 and Over)
182 days2.53% Variable
1 year2.46% Variable
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For CD terms more than 30 days and up to 1 year, the penalty is 90 days of interest.

You can open a USAA Variable Rate CD and earn the APY with a deposit of only $250. These CDs only come in two terms: 182 days and 1 year. Both terms currently earn the same interest rate, one that’s significantly lower than the other types of USAA Bank CDs.

After you sign up, you can add more money into the account whenever you want. USAA Bank also has the option to change the interest rate on this account daily, based on market interest rates.

These CDs charge an early withdrawal penalty if you take money out before the end of the term. The penalty for CD terms more than 30 days and up to 1 year is 90 days of interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How USAA Bank’s CD rates compare

USAA Bank’s CDs are better than its typical large bank competitors. Its fixed rate CDs come in a wide variety of terms and pay an OK rate, especially for CD terms of at least 2 years.

While its adjustable and variable CDs do not earn as much, they offer other additional benefits. The Adjustable Rate CD could be a good choice if you are worried about interest rates going up in the future while the Variable Rate CD can be opened for just $250, which is low compared to the typical CD.

Still, while USAA Bank offers better CDs than the typical bank, there are better rates out there. If you want to earn the best return on your savings, check out these top CDs instead.

USAA IRA options

USAA Fixed IRA CD rates

These IRA CDs can be opened for just $250. The rates are OK, but not the greatest.
TermAPY Standard
($250 - $94,999)
APY Jumbo
($95,000 - $174,999)
APY Super Jumbo
($175,000 and up)
1 year0.17%0.17%0.17%
2 years0.22%0.22%0.22%
3 years0.28%0.28%0.28%
4 years0.30%0.30%0.30%
5 years0.40%0.40%0.40%
7 years0.49%0.49%0.49%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250 for Standard, $95,000 for Jumbo and $175,000 for Super Jumbo.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250 for Standard, $95,000 for Jumbo and $175,000 for Super Jumbo.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty depends on the length of your CD term (detailed below)

USAA Bank offers several of their fixed rate CDs as part of an IRA. You can open IRA CDs for terms ranging from 1 year up to 7 years. You can open an IRA CD for only $250, smaller than the $1,000 minimum deposit on USAA Bank’s CDs. These accounts do not charge an account setup fee, or an annual maintenance fee.

If you end your CD before the end of the term, USAA Bank will charge an early withdrawal penalty, which depends on the length of your CD:

  • For CD terms more than 1 year but less than 5 years, the penalty is 180 days of interest.
  • For CD terms of 5 years that were opened or renewed before March 1, 2014, the penalty is 180 days of interest.
  • For CD terms of 5 years or more, opened or renewed on or after March 1, 2014, the penalty is 365 days of interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on USAA Bank’s secure website

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How USAA Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

USAA Bank’s IRA CDs are not a bad choice if you want to open a small retirement account. You can open these accounts for a deposit of just $250, and there are no setup or annual maintenance fees — and these IRA CD rates are better than average.

However, if you can deposit more than $250 in your IRA CD, there are better options available. These top IRA CDs require a larger contribution — some as high as $5,000 — but if you can deposit this much, your retirement savings will earn a better return.

How to get USAA’s banking products

For any of USAA’s banking products, you’ll need to become a USAA Bank member. You can sign up online, by phone or by visiting one of its financial centers. You will need to provide your contact information, date of birth, Social Security number and the reason why you are eligible for USAA Bank membership. After you join USAA Bank, you can set up the accounts of your choice. You will need to provide your membership number and other personal information, along with your initial deposit for the account. You can make the initial deposit by credit card or a transfer from another bank account.

Overall review of USAA’s banking products

If compared only against other large national banks, USAA Bank looks like a star. At a time when large banks are increasing fees and account balance requirements, USAA Bank’s ultra-low fees are a welcome change. In addition, nearly all of its deposit accounts refund out-of-network ATM fees and its savings accounts, CDs and IRA CDs all pay more than the ultra-low rates at the other national banks.

Still, if you look beyond the big players, there are other banks which do an even better job than USAA Bank on deposit accounts. Others pay more interest, include more account benefits and also keep their fees low.

If you decide to use a USAA Bank deposit account, you won’t be making a bad choice. Maybe you plan on using the company’s insurance or financial products and want to keep all your accounts in one place, or you’re just a loyal USAA Bank member. There’s nothing wrong with — but if you want the very best account for your money, you should look elsewhere.

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