Is USAA A Credit Union | Comparison Of 5 Best Military Banks And Credit Unions

Is USAA A Credit Union

A credit union is a type of nonprofit-making financial institution which is quite similar to a commercial bank. Usually, this type of institutes is a member-owned financial cooperative and operated by the members. On the other hand, USAA is a San Antonio-based financial institute that serves millions of U.S. military and their immediate families. This financial institution was established on June 20, 1922, by 25 Army officers and it has been operated by military personal. So, USAA is also a member-owned financial institute; therefore, USAA is a credit union.

Comparison Of 5 Best Military Banks And Credit Unions

Best forNameKey Features
All-aroundUSAA Federal Savings BankEarly direct deposits for military paychecksNo-fee accountsLarge ATM networkATM reimbursements
Extra military benefitsNavy Federal Credit UnionEarly direct deposits for military paychecksATM reimbursementsLoan discounts for active duty and retired militaryFree personal finance counseling
Checking accountsAmerica’s Credit UnionCompetitive APIsA basic checking account has no monthly fees or minimum deposit
Savings accountsService Credit UnionCompetitive APYs, including 10% APY on savings accounts for active duty in combat zones ($5 minimum opening deposit, up to $10,000)
Credit cardsPentagon Federal Credit UnionVarious credit card offerings with rewards for military service membersLarge ATM network

Best Military Banks And Credit Unions     

Best Military Banks And Credit Unions     

1. USAA Federal Savings Bank

2. Navy Federal Credit Union

3. America’s Credit Union

4. Service Credit Union

5. Pentagon Federal Credit Union

1. USAA Federal Savings Bank

USAA Federal Savings Bank

USAA is best known for its insurance products. This financial institution has a long history of serving members of the military. Initially, USAA only offered auto insurance to officers but now this institute is serving more than 13 million members with a range of bank account. The services offered by USAA Federal Savings Bank ranges from insurance to bank accounts and mortgages. Most of these services are designed to help customers who are on active duty.

a. Eligibility

If you want to open a bank account in USAA then you or a family member must have served in the military. It means you will need a USAA membership. USAA offers various banking facilities like one-day-early direct deposit, etc. Moreover, active-duty service members will get reduced rates on credit cards and other loan debt.

b. Military Benefits

If you are on active duty and set up direct deposit for your military paycheck then those funds will be made available at least one business day earlier than your actual payday. You will get 10 months of free ATM withdrawal. For ATM withdrawal outside the country, you have to pay a 1% foreign transaction fee. Moreover, with the Zella app, you will be able to send up to $1,000 a day to anyone with a mobile number or email address.

c. Product And Services

The checking account of USAA has no monthly fees and 0.01% APY on balances of $1,000 or more. USAA has more than 60,000 ATMs and refunds up to $15 per month to cover ATM fees from other banks. There are two savings accounts available in USAA with different minimum opening requirements and interest rates. You will need a minimum of $25 to open and earn an APY of 0.01% on all balances. On the other hand, the USAA Performance First Savings Account requires a minimum of $10,000 to earn an APY of 0.01% to 0.2% depending on your daily closing balance. Other products of USAA are automated investing, IRAs and rollovers, and annuities. 

2. Navy Federal Credit Union

This is another very popular financial institution with more than 9 million members. In fact, Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest federally insured credit union and it provides competitive rates on certificates. This financial institution is open to current and former members of all branches of the U.S. military. It was established in 1933 and since then it has been providing various services and banking products to the military.

a. Eligibility

You must be an active-duty member, a veteran, retiree of any branch of the armed forces or if a member of your family has served the USA military, then you will become eligible to open a bank account in Navy Federal Credit Union. Moreover, Department of Defense personnel is also eligible to open an account in this credit union.

b. Military Benefits

NFCU provides various military benefits including free military checks and early military pay with direct deposit. Moreover, Active duty and retired military members will receive a 0.25 percentage point discount on select automobile and personal expense loans. You can also apply for VA and Military Choice Home Loans.

c. Products And Services

Banking products offered by Navy FCU are checking accounts, loans, credit cards, etc. You have five different options available when it comes to opening a checking account. The top three checking accounts are – 

a. Free Active Duty Checking Account

b. Free Easy Checking Account

c. Free Every Day Account        

The Free Active-Duty account offers up to $240/year ATM fee rebates. Moreover, there is no monthly service fee for a qualifying direct deposit. On the other hand, the Free Easy Checking account offers up to $120 a year in ATM fee rebates and this account has no monthly fees. Both the free Active-Duty and Free Easy Checking accounts earn an APY of 0.05% on all balances. On the other hand, the Free everyday account doesn’t have any ATM fee rebates. You will get an 0.01% APY on all balances at your Free Every Day Account.

3. America’s Credit Union

America’s Credit Union was established in 1954 and this credit union is best for members who were civilian federal employees at Washington state’s Fort Lewis. In the beginning, only the members who were civilian federal employees can open a bank account but later this credit union was opened to military personnel and then civilians. This credit union offers military benefits to more than 39,000 members. 

a. Eligibility

If you want to join ACU then you have to live in the Pacific Northwest and have to be a member of the Pacific Northwest Consumer Council. Moreover, you have to be a member of the armed forces, civilian personnel or someone related to a member of these groups, or a member of the Association of the United States Army.

b. Military Benefits

Military benefits offered by America’s Credit Union include free organizational accounts to military unit organizations to open military fund accounts such as the Family Readiness Group. It also offers low-interest loans to help military members in financial need. America’s Credit Union also provides relocation and deployment assistance when needed.

c. Products And Services

The checking accounts of ACU offer checking accounts. You can also open savings accounts, insurance, mortgages, and other loans from this credit union. The no-fee Affinity Basic checking account offers 2.02% APY on the first $1,000 deposited and 0.1% APY on balances between $1,000.01 – $15,000 and 0.25% APY on balances above $15,000. Moreover, this account doesn’t have any monthly fee or required minimum deposit. The Affinity Plus account offers ATM fee reimbursements of up to $10 a month along with 0.75% APY for up to $25,000.

4. Service Credit Union

This credit union was established in 1957 and it is the largest credit union in New Hampshire. This credit union offers competitive savings rates on balances up to $500. Service Credit Union has more than 320,000 members worldwide and offers various benefits to people who are on active duty or belong to a military family. This is one of the few credit unions that allows non-military members but is limited to only areas in two states.

a. Eligibility

The membership to this credit union is open to active-duty military and veterans, current and former Defense Department employees as well as members of selected employer groups. Moreover, family members of these eligible groups can also qualify for membership. If you are a member of the American Consumer Council then you can also open a bank account      

b. Military Benefits

Service Credit Union offers various competitive savings rates to armed forces members, veterans, and their families. It also allows the military members to receive paychecks two days earlier than the usual time. Moreover, you will get a 0.75 percentage point discount on a select automobile, motorcycle, and personal loan. Moreover, Military and civilian personnel who have received relocation or deployment orders can also apply for Service CU’s Military Relocation Loan.   

c. Products And Services

This credit union offers various types of bank accounts, loans, and investment and insurance options to eligible members. The Everyday Checking account of this credit union has three levels: Basic, Direct Deposit, and Direct Deposit +. For the first two types of accounts, you can receive up to $15 in monthly ATM fee reimbursements and loan discounts of 0.50% APR. On the other hand, the Dividend Checking account offers an APY of 0.15% on all balances. You have to pay a monthly fee of $10 if you can’t maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance. 

5. Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935 and it is one of the biggest credit unions with more than 2 million members worldwide. Most of the members of this credit union included civilian employees of the War Department. Since 2001, this credit union has provided more than $38.5 million in financial support to military families.

a. Eligibility

Anyone is eligible to apply and open a bank account in Pentagon Federal Credit Union. You have to open and maintain a savings account with at least $5.

b. Military Benefits

This credit union is renowned for its credit cards that offer higher facilities than other rewards cards. For example, Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers 2% cashback on all purchases made with the VISA card. Moreover, this card offers a $100 bonus when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days. You will also get other benefits like discounts on health and auto insurance.

c. Products And Services

This credit union offers checking accounts, savings accounts, auto loans, and home mortgages to its customers. The Access America Checking account charges a $10 monthly fee but you can omit this fee by depositing a monthly direct deposit of at least $500 or maintaining a daily balance of $500. For balance below $20,000 you will earn 0.15% APY and on balance between $20,000 and $50,000 you will get 0.35% APY.

Final Thought

Finally, these are the best military banks and credit unions in the USA. Which financial institutions will be the best for you depends on your financial requirements. If you need credit card benefits then Pentagon Federal Credit Union will be the best option for you. Similarly, if you need Extra military benefits then Navy Federal Credit Union will be the right choice for you. Therefore, check the above information and compare the bank and credit union to pick the right financial institute for you.

Last Updated on January 12, 2022 by Musa D

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