What Is the USAA Bank?

Allison Martin
Military personnel have unique credit needs.

USAA Bank is a top-rated financial institution that offers membership to individuals affiliated with the United States armed forces. Credit products offered through this lender usually feature low interest rates and attractive terms.


USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association. What started out as a car insurance provider for military officers has evolved into a financial institution for a wide range of military personnel and other eligible people.

Membership into USAA is not available to everyone. Although this financial institution often broadens membership eligibility, such as a decision to extend new membership to military veterans, people who join must have some form of affiliation with the armed forces:

  • Active duty personnel
  • People retired from the military
  • Veterans who were honorably discharged
  • Former USAA auto or property insurance policy holders
  • Dependents of past or current USAA auto or property insurance policy holders
  • Dependents and spouses of military members or USAA members
  • Former spouses, widows, or widowers of USAA members that were USAA auto or property insurance policyholders while married
  • Office candidates that will be commissioned within 24 months
  • Advanced ROTC cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies
  • ROTC scholarship candidates that are cadets and midshipmen at U.S. service academies

Products Offered by USAA Bank

USAA offers checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loan products, and certificates of deposit to eligible members.

Checking and Savings Accounts

USAA Bank checking and savings accounts are available to members and affiliates. Along with a zero minimum balance requirement, account holders enjoy:

  • No monthly service fee
  • Online account management
  • Mobile deposit capabilities
  • Fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • Online budgeting tools
  • Account alerts
  • Overdraft protection
  • Free direct deposits
  • Free account transfers
  • Free automated bill pay services
  • Apple Pay

The minimum deposit to open a checking or savings account is $25. To open a checking account, complete the online application. Savings accounts can also be opened online through USAA's website via the online application.

Credit Cards

USAA Bank categorizes their credit cards, which are available to creditworthy members, as follows:

  • Cash back
  • Rewards points
  • Low rate
  • Build credit
  • Military affiliate

Interest rates for these credit cards are variable, but are often among the lowest interest rates offered nationwide.

Balance transfers are also offered on most cards and can be accomplished using convenience checks or through a direct balance transfer completed by USAA. There is a balance transfer fee associated with these types of transactions. The amount of the fee depends on the amount of the balance transfer.

You can apply for a USAA Bank credit card by visiting the website and selecting the online application option for card that best suits your needs.


USAA Bank offers several loan products with some of the lowest rates in their respective industries. They include:

  • Auto loans: Financing for automobiles is available for 100% of the purchase price. You can also save money using the USAA Car Buying Service.
  • Personal loans: The fee-free application is very straightforward, and decisions are often granted within seconds. If approved, funds can be accessed the following business day.
  • Mortgages and home loans: Members qualify for reduced interest rates and closing costs. There is also a rewards program that enables you to earn cash if you buy or sell through USAA.

To learn more about the various loan products offered by USAA, along with the eligibility criteria and application process, visit USAA's website.

Certificates of Deposit

Members can earn more competitive rates than available through traditional savings accounts with variable, adjustable, or fixed CDs. You are also allowed to earn a higher rate of return over time on the variable and adjustable CDs by making additional deposits. To open an account, complete the online application.

How to Join USAA

People with a military affiliation who are eligible for membership with USAA can apply by submitting the online questionnaire or calling USAA at (800) 531-8722. The site will guide potential members through the process of establishing eligibility and applying for any credit, loan, or banking products.

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What Is the USAA Bank?