Banking

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by SF1775, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. SF1775

    SF1775 Member

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    Incoming cadets have to submit a direct deposit form so that the DFAS can deposit excess stipend funds into a cadet's private bank account of their choosing.

    Right now I am with Chase. Is there any benefit in opening an account with PenFed? I know PenFed has multiple ATMs on post, but Highland Falls also has Chase. Also, it's much easier to find a Chase ATM everywhere else in the country than PenFed.
     
  2. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Many cadets have PenFed or USAA accounts. There's a USAA branch right outside Thayer Gate. My DS kept his home bank with a debit Visa card. Other than the occasional ATM fee he hasn't had any issues. I'm also on his home bank account so if needed I can add $$, not possible if he opened a USAA account. For now the only $ you're getting is $150-250/month pay (depending on if you paid all or part of the initial $2000 deposit). I imagine before my DS graduates he'll open a USAA account but for now he's not interested.
     
  3. Sledge

    Sledge Member

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    It is possible for parents to be on the USAA account. Your cadet just has to set it up that way.

    Pretty easy to write a check and electronically deposit it by phone.

    In addition to having a banking center outside the gate, USAA reimburses all ATM fees from other banks when you are not near post.
     
  4. SF1775

    SF1775 Member

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    I think I'll stay with Chase. There aren't any compelling reasons to switch.
     
  5. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    USAA cadet deal is about the best you'll get anywhere. Things like reimbursed ATM fees anywhere, etc.

    If I could get that deal I'd move in a heartbeat
     
  6. SF1775

    SF1775 Member

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    They do reimburse non-USAA ATM fees up to $15 a month, but they start charging $2.00 per USAA ATM transaction after you use your free 10 transactions. On the other hand, Chase requires $1,500 daily balance to have $0 in fees and doesn't charge for ATM transactions at their ATMs, unlimited.
     
  7. 845something

    845something Member

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    Oh @SF1775 you will come around to USAA eventually. They'll get you with the cow loan if nothing else while you're a cadet. And they do a great job of simplifying military life with auto and home/renters insurance, credit cards, dropped APR when you move or deploy, and so on....
     
  8. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    In the world of debit cards you have bigger issues than banking if you are using more than your 10 free ATM withdrawals. :)

    ATM usage is just one aspect. There are many benefits to the USAA accounts for cadets/soldiers that are virtually unmatched in the civvy banking world for similar asset levels.

    USAA was created by soldiers for soldiers. That is their focus. It become clear to my wife and I as we listened in on a speakerphone when DS setup his initial account as an appointee. We were stunned at the level of service relative to conventional banking.

    I'm sure they are not perfect, but after dealing with all the big civvy players, I'd switch to the cadet deal without a thought if eligible.

    As a cadet you'll end up with several accounts due to how the finances work. The differences between the banking will become clear.

    As an example, ask your bank if they offer renters insurance suitable for cadets. Covers laptops, class rings, etc. For a very nominal cost.

    USAA has tuned offerings for cadets & soldiers, it's that simple.
     
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  9. Fishpart

    Fishpart Member

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    I have had USAA since I was an ROTC Cadet in 1987 and have nothing bad to say about the company.. One thing no one talks about is that USAA actually pays depositors interest above the 0.000000001% that most banks pay. Deposit by smart phone or at UPS store. For insurance, you will have a hard time finding better rates.
     
  10. SF1775

    SF1775 Member

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    Okay I've seen the evidence now. USAA seems like the better option, particularly in the long run when it comes to more than just checking and savings.
     
  11. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    They don't let 17 year olds set up an account...


    2019 WestPoint class appointee

    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  12. jkurre

    jkurre New Member

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    We were able to set up my 17 year old with an account at USAA with a parent as a joint account holder. Which is fine since we can then deposit money into the account if he needs any. The USAA office at USMA was very accommodating though it did require a few phone calls to set it all up.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I second USAA. I was NFCU prior to this as that is the bank on campus at USNA. USAA was our 2/C loan provider and most of switched at graduation to USAA for all our banking and are still there. I still have NFCU as I have gotten better rates on car loans, but that is all I have used them for since graduation. USAA has a great low cost property insurance option of cadets that covers things like books, uniforms, etc. I never had to use it, but a few friends did when their cars were broken into or other items lost. USAA can also provide a very small credit card to cadets (or at least they used to) with around a $500 max. I used this for emergencies and plane tickets as a Mid and to build my credit up. Worked perfectly. I don't live anywhere near a USAA ATM and only withdraw money maybe twice a month and the fees are covered. I guess the long story short... as a young cadet ATM fees are probably your biggest concern, but as you get older and have a car things like insurance matter. USAA is great for that especially dealing with things like deployments. They understand a military person's life and know how to deal with these things as they pop. Eventually you will want investments, mortgages, etc. As some of old grads can attest to, having things consolidated is much easier.
     
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  14. SR-71

    SR-71 Member

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    My 17 year old was able to setup an USAA account without us as a joint account holder. He called USAA and let them know that he is a cadet at academy. He also was able to establish a Visa card through USAA with $500 credit limit. So far he has not asked us to transfer any money to his account, but we can electronically transfer from our account to his account very easily.
     
  15. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Really? They didn't let me do it. Was he almost 18?


    2019 WestPoint class appointee

    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  16. SF1775

    SF1775 Member

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    So would one have to wait to turn 18 or is proof of appointment enough?
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Member

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    On the Class of 2019 Facebook page there is info of who to call at USAA. They set up a special number. Also, once you are set up, you can easily generate the 1199A From needed for DD.
     
  18. civic29

    civic29 Member

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    Spent over an hour on the phone with them only for them to get to the point and tell me that since I'm not 18 they can't do it. I don't know if it was just who I talked to or what, but it was frustrating. Maybe if I call down there again they might tell me otherwise.


    2019 WestPoint class appointee

    Recipient of 4 year army rotc scholarship.
     
  19. Craig

    Craig Member

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    From the Facebook page:

    "I reached out to the local contact for USAA after seeing the challenges posted. I received this message today - "To help the incoming class we have established a very specific number for folks to call to put in place the personal banking products (checking with direct deposit) that they may be interested in. This is not a general use number and is only for the purpose and audience (incoming class) noted above - 800-531-4610 - Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM to 6 PM Central Standard Time."
    (Candidate must set up own account if parents are not USAA members.)"
     
  20. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    We were amazed to find USAA reps understood and even had SOP on how to setup USMA cadets. Was painless for us. Maybe we dodged the age issue since he had my wife on the account.

    There's nothing that says if you have a banking relationship you are happy with that you have to change. Just that even with larger assets than most cadets will have most civvies cannot get anywhere close to the deal the cadet checking/savings at USAA is when you look at fees, net cost, ease of usage.

    Don't know the details of the last incoming batch, but historically most cadets will end up with a penfed and another account in addition to their primary account due to top-off and the way book funding works.
     

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