Review of USAA Bank and Financial Products (Insurance, Banking, Investments and Retirement)

Here is this year’s updated review of USAA (United Services Automobile Association).

USAA is a financial services institution that is mostly available to active military personnel, veterans, widows/widowers of USAA members, spouses, and children of USAA members.

If you are a non-military individual or un-related to someone in the military, you can still qualify for any of these USAA products: Investment products, checking accounts (limited selection for non-military), savings accounts (limited selection for non-military), life insurance (USAA offers great rates), credit cards, and other shopping discounts.

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History and Growth of USAA Bank

Founded on the virtues of honesty, integrity, loyalty and service, USAA has grown from a small institution started in San Antonio, Texas in 1922 by 25 Army officers, to one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”.

USAA employs over 26,000 staff members across the United States, England and Germany. The institution plans to increase that number by 5,000 employees, with at approximately 30 percent of those new employees expected to be former military personnel and their spouses.

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USAA Bank Products and Services

As stated above, USAA primarily services individuals with some connection to the Army. Members of the public are, however, allowed to access some products and services.

 Product/Service

Offerings

USAA Insurance Services

Auto, Homeowner, Renters, Rental Property, Valuable Personal Property, Flood, Life, Annuities, Umbrella, Motorcycle, Boat, Recreational Vehicle, Small Business, etc.

Banking

Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Credit Cards, Auto Loans, Certificates of Deposit, Mortgages, Home Equity Loans, Personal Loans, Credit Monitoring and ID Protection, etc.

Investing

Mutual Funds, Stocks, Bonds, IRAs, etc.

Real Estate

Home and Rental Search, Real Estate Agent Finder, Mortgages, Home Equity Products, etc.

Retirement Planning

Financial Planning, Rollovers and Transfers, Trustee Services, Wealth Management Services

Health Insurance

Dental, Vision, Medicare, Major Medical, Long-Term Care

Shopping and Discounts

Home and Security, Travel, Retail, Car Buying Service

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USAA Rates and Fees (Auto, Credit Cards, Mortgage)

Accounts and Certificates of Deposit

USAA checking account rates on balances greater than $1,000 is 0.01%. For savings accounts, interest rates range from 0.10% to 0.20% percent, with a minimum initial deposit of $25. Certificate of Deposit rates are 0.25% to 1.10% from 30 days up to seven years. IRA Certificates of Deposit range from 0.71% to 1.11%.

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Credit Cards

USAA credit card interest rates range from 6.90% to 23.90%, and are determined by a number of variables, including the creditworthiness of the customer. There are no annual fees, and late payment and returned payments can cost as much at $35. Balance transfers and cash advances incur a 3% charge up to $200, while foreign transactions cost customers 1% per transaction.

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Auto Loans

Loans for new cars range from 1.39% to 3.49%, while used car loans range from 2.49% to 4.25%.

Mortgages and Home Equity Loans

USAA members can access 15 – 30-year fixed-rate loans for home purchase with interest rates from 3.125% to 4.413%. Home equity loans are available to members from a low of 6.59% to 12.06%, depending on the loan amount and whether or not the member has fair or excellent credit.

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Pros of Being a USAA Member – Positive USAA Reviews

  • USAA is a diverse and award-winning institution. The USAA has received a number of awards and recognition for its continued dedication to the American servicemen and women, and their families.  Some of these awards include:
    • FORTUNE – 100 Best Companies to Work For (2010-2013)
    • J.D. Power and Associates – Customer Service Champion (2011-2012)
    • Computerworld –Best Place to Work in IT (2001-2012)
    • Military Times –“Best for Vets” Employer (2010-2012)
    • G.I. Jobs – Top 100 Military-Friendly Employers (2003-2013)
    • Latina Style – 50 Best Employers of Latinas (2001-2012)
    • Insure.com – People’s Choice Awards for “Best Auto Insurance” and “Best Homeowners Insurance” (2013)
    • Harris Poll EquiTrend – 2013 Brand of the Year (Insurance)
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  • Making deposits to a USAA account is convenient and simple. USAA has made it extremely easy for its members to make deposits. In addition to visiting a USAA branch in person, members are able to make check deposits through other channels, such as:
    • [email protected]® – Check deposits from an iPhone, iPad or other Android device.
    • [email protected]® – Check deposits at home from a scanner and computer.
    • Easy Deposit® – Check deposits at over 2,000 The UPS Store select locations.
    • Mail Deposits – Mailing checks to USAA using the free, postage-paid envelopes provided.
  • Accessing funds from USAA membership accounts is hassle-free. There are over 60,000 USAA-preferred ATMs across America. These ATMs are absolutely free for USAA members to use, and members may be reimbursed up to $15 in fees associated with using ATMs from other financial institutions.

 

  • They offer protection for their MasterCard debit card holders. With card fraud and identity theft rampant globally, USAA members can rest assured that they will not be forced to pay for unauthorized transactions on their account. USSA MasterCard holders are guaranteed zero liability for unauthorized transactions on their USAA Debit MasterCard.
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  • When compared to its competitors, USAA offers more when it comes to identity protection. In addition to daily credit monitoring and alerts to customers if there is a change in their credit report status, USAA also does internet scanning for its members’ social security number (SSN) and credit card numbers. This helps to mitigate unauthorized access and usage. USAA also provides an online security center for members to educate themselves on the various steps to follow in protecting their personal and financial information.
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  • Workers love USAA. Popular online job portal Indeed.com shows a four-star rating for USAA as an employer. Among the accolades is the institution’s emphasis on training for employees and the host of team building initiatives in place. Overall, most employees enjoy working at USAA.
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USAA Review | Top Complaints about Doing Business with USAA

  • USAA’s auto insurance product is not highly favored. According to ConsumerAffairs.com, one of the common online consumer complaints websites, based on reviews from 152 customers, 90% have given USAA’s Auto Insurance a one-star rating.

     

    There are over 200 complaints lodged about the Auto Insurance product, when compared to 36 complaints against the institution’s Homeowners Insurance product, most of which relate to USAA’s alleged refusal to pay on insurance claims.

  • Lengthy hold on deposits. Although convenient, funds availability for checks deposited using [email protected]®, [email protected]®, EassyDeposit® is unacceptable for some members.

    According to the USAA Depository Agreement and Disclosures, checks may be held up to seven business days after a deposit is made.

Fortunately for some customers, “USAA may make such funds available sooner based on such factors as credit worthiness, the length and extent of your relationship with us, transactions and experience information, and such other factors as USAA, in its sole discretion, deems relevant.”

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