USAA or the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) is a known financial services company that is especially catered towards military personnel and their family members. They are based in San Antonio and is especially known for the diverse services that they offer including banking, traditional insurance, and automobile insurance. As of 2017, they had a total count of above 12 million members which proves the quality of their service.
What is USAA?
USAA is a financial services company that is best enjoyed by military members and their family members. To see your validity for their services, you may visit their website and to see the extent of the services which you can avail.
Although it is catered towards these particular people, some of their services are still available for non-military personnel and family members. These include the investment feature and the life insurance plans.
USAA is known as the United Services Automobile Associate as it was originally a company made by army officers with the sole intention of giving insurance for their cars. This explains the particular association with military members.
While this is their history, the USAA has since branched out to other military members up to those who are not on-duty. Their spouses and children were also included, later on.
What are the features of USAA?
USAA is particularly recommended for military members. If you happen to be one or is a spouse or a child of one, you can enjoy the following features that are hard to find with other financial service companies.
These include the following:
- Savings account – If you are eligible to be a member of their service, you can avail for a savings account. Although it is isn’t high-yield, USAA is still recommended for this particular service. During the financial crisis of 2011 particularly among banking companies, USAA was one of the few banks that managed to increase their net worth which proves their integrity and reliability.
- Good customer service – Due to its particular niche and simple features, USAA dedicates a lot of their efforts towards good customer service. They are one of the usually top-ranked companies among other financial service companies. The included lists which they have excelled at include Forrester Research’s Customer Experience Index, Fortune, J.D. Power and Associates, and many more.
- Loans and mortgages – This feature is only exclusive for military members and relatives. In case you are planning to apply for a loan for a car or personal reasons, USAA offers competitive rates that are flexible and affordable.
- Easy transactions – Unlike financial services that have separate fees for payments of fees and such, USAA offers free checking, bill payment, and online transferring. They also do not have service fees and minimum balance requirements.
- Investment accounts – These allow you to be able to apply for mutual funds, traditional IRAs, and standard brokerage accounts. This is an especially recommended future that allows military members to gain passive income. As the bank is also known for its reliability and excellent customer support, investing through their service is recommended.
- Credit cards – You can also avail for a credit card through USAA. They regularly offer cash rewards for special promotions, special benefits, and occasional discounts.
- Insurance – This is also a highlight of their service. Given their services’ integrity and customer trust, they are especially recommendable for this. Their insurance services are divided into several plans that can accommodate different budgets and coverage needs. They also give reliable compensation that can be expected in the case of an actual emergency.
- Car-buying service – For their members to be able to avail for cars for lower prices, they have a car buying service with partner brands to help members buy them for lower prices.
- Smooth digital transactions – USAA is known for its digital transactions which are mainly because of the lack of many physical branches of the financial institution. There is only one physical branch of USAA which is located in San Antonio, Texas. This is why they are one of the first which developed several ways of reaching to customers via the internet. These includes the following:
- USAA is known for having the first remote-deposit service. This allows customers to be able to deposit money even from remote locations such as home or office. This means that direct deposits can be avoided for more convenience. Named as Deposite@Home, this service was first started in 2007 to avoid having their customers to have to mail their money directly to the financial institution which is a big hassle for everyone.
- For users to still be able to use more convenient ATMs that are placed nearer them, USAA also refunds ATM fees, with up to 15$ for each month of use. They also do not charge their own ATM fees for the first 10 withdrawals for every month.
- As they are technically an inter-insurance exchange company, USAA and their members are insuring each other. USAA’s assets can generate additional distributions during the end of each year as long as their premiums have exceeded claims. This will certainly benefit those who will want their money to increase through passive methods. Factors like the length of membership and the amount of money stored will be taken into account, though. Members that are considered as the adult children of service members and the junior enlisted personnel are not included. This is because they are insured through USAA Casualty Insurance Company which is separate from those that offer additional distributions. They will still receive dividends though.
- Credit card annual percentage rate – Currently, USAA offers a 4 per cent APR for those who have credit cards. This is only exclusive for those that are deployed. Those which are mandated by the Civil Relief Act enjoys this benefit with 2 per cent lower, though. Some fees are also waived by the institution. They can also enjoy rebates on interest during deployment and certain discount for auto insurances.
Can you use USAA if you are not qualified for membership?
Those who are not members of the military or is not a direct relative of one cannot avail for a membership. USAA still offers some features for these people, though. This includes life insurance, investment accounts, discounts, and mutual funds. Starting in 2009, this list is expected to grow in the future as the institution branches out with more potential customers.
Is USAA recommended?
USAA is recommended for those that are currently a part of the army. This is because they give room for potential passive income. They also have a secure and steady growth within the institution that remains steady among financial hiccups that normally affect other companies. Aside from this, they also offer countless benefits and discounts for its members.
The only downside to using it is the lack of ATMs and physical branches which may make it hard for elder veterans to deal with. Aside from this, those which are not eligible for a membership can only access a couple of features that may not be enough.