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$150 Checking and Savings Account Promo at USAA

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USAA is offering a $150 Apple Gift Card for opening a free checking account and savings account with direct deposit. You must be a new member to USAA, and the direct deposit must post by 4/30/07.

Last summer USAA banking operation started to restrict membership. To be eligible for USAA membership, you have to have some military connection, be a child of a USAA member, be a former USAA member, or be a resident of Bexar county, Texas (San Antonio's county). This USAA page has the details. I called and confirmed that Bexar County residents also qualify for both membership and this promotion. To find out more about this promotion and qualifications, please contact USAA at 800-862-6909.

USAA is well known for having a great checking account with good online banking features like fast ACH transfer capability. Some of the nice checking account features include:
  • Only $25 to open and no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees
  • Free checks for life of the account
  • No ATM fees and automatic ATM fee refunds charged by other banks (some limits apply)

Their basic savings account (USAA Savings) also only requires $25 to open and has no fees or minimum balance requirements. The intererst rates are low compared to online banks. Balances up to $999 currently earn 2.45% APY. Balances from $1K to $5K earn 3.25%. Higher interest rates of over 5% are available on the Performance First Index Account for large balances. This account requires an opening deposit of $10K. USAA also has some competitive long-term CD rates, especially for large balances. Unfortunately, the CD rates have just gone down. For more info on USAA, please refer to this FW thread.

Credit for this find goes to this SlickDeals thread.

In addition to banking, USAA has companies in insurance, investment and other areas. USAA Federal Savings Bank is FDIC insured.

  Tags: savings account

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Comments
5 Comments.
Comment #1 by SVG (anonymous) posted on
SVG
As far as I know, USAA was the first bank that offered free ACH transfers using telephone ! ... Oh and this was well before the era of on-line banking !

USAA is an exceptional financial institute with a long history of being very consumer friendly. In early 90s they created a few booklets giving information about many aspects of finance. They used to mail those to anyone (members and non-members) who asked for free.

Personally I recommend USAA whole-heartedly.

- SVG

1
Comment #2 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
I have been a member of USAA since
I was an Ensign in the Navy. My goodness, many years ago.

However, their long-term rates just tanked. Like, 50 basis points.

USAA has great customer service, but with their tanking rates, bye-bye.

1
Comment #3 by SVG (anonymous) posted on
SVG

Deposit @ Home
 
A noteworthy feature offered by both Penfed and USAA is Deposit @ Home. Both these financial institutes accept the deposit from anywhere over internet.

Penfed requires that you mail the deposit instuments (checks) to them after depositing over internet.

USAA has something more sophisticated (provided you have a scanner) ! USAA requires you to scan the images (front/back) of the deposit instruments (checks) and transmit it to them via secure browser session and confirm the deposit over internet. That's that ! Deposit is processed. You are just expected to shred the deposit instruments (checks) after successful transmission. Nothing to mail !

As always - One size does not fit all. Therefore I don't know how many will find this feature useful. For members who are at bases with no quick/easy access to ATMs/Post-Boxes this feature will be useful. For members who have ATMs/Post-Boxes just around the corner from home, this feature will be insignificant.

- SVG

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Be sure to call the number listed for the promo (800-862-6909). When I called the "regular" USAA number, they didn't seem to know what I was talking about, but the CSR at the number above was very knowledgeable. Got my account numbers and USAA routing number while on phone.

1
Comment #5 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks anonymous about the number to call. I had assumed that all CSRs would be aware of this. I've updated the post with the special promo number.

SVG, Thanks for the info Deposit @ Home info. That does sound like a very nice feature that should help USAA cut costs and thereby help keep the savings rates higher. Hope we'll see more of this

1