Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jle11629, Apr 7, 2011.
Any input on best selection for a bank account at USMA - Ie. for direct deposit????
I was just about to fill the deposit form out, then realized Bank of America may not be anywhere near USMA. Does anyone know if Bank of America has any banks, ATMs or anything near or on the campus? If not, I will have to find another bank for future cadet pay.
Open an account with USAA Federal Savings Bank. It's easy peasy.
I've had USAA for 25 years. They insured my car as a cadet, now all my cars, my house, and have been my bank since I was a cdet. I've never actually been to a USAA office and have never needed to. Cash comes from the PX, ATMs, or the cadet bank. Deposits are also easy.
USAA Cash Machine in Highland Falls
I was just there. My son (2015 Appointee) is now all set up through USAA. There is a cash machine right across from the visitors center where you can make deposits as well as withdrawls. We faxed the 1199A form to them from home and USAA filled it out and faxed it back the next day. The treasurer at West Point told me that PenFed will cash any check (including USAA checks) for no fee up to $250.
My Dad recommended me not to put all my eggs in one basket (banking, insurance, credit, etc), so I didn't go with USAA.
There's are PenFed Atms located throughout the Academy. There's even a branch located in Taylor Hall I believe.
Because I can always switch banks in the future, I went with Penfed for ease of use.
USAA provides the best overall service out of all the banks I reviewed along with many benefits you can't find elsewhere. Since they don't really have banks they also refund all ATM fees. Also, the cow loan has been provided by USAA for the past few years so you will end up having to make an account anyway if the trend continues.
That being said, USAA does not provide the best investment services so you might want a second bank for that. As far as savings, checking, credit, and additional benefits, however, USAA is the way to go.
PS: The course director for Economics at USMA uses USAA and recommends it to his students.
If I am going to use USAA, then should I put down that I am in a "Commissioning Program?"
Obviously, I am not a cadet yet, so I am a bit confused.
My son called and set it all up by phone. He just told them that he was going to be a cadet in the fall and they said "OK." Checking and savings set up. They issued him checks and a debit card even though he had a zero balance. They also sent pre-addressed envelopes for deposits (you have to ask for them). It took 4 working days from when we sent in his initial deposit until it showed up on his account.
Selection of a Bank
On page 5 of the "West Point Instructions for Canidates Offered Admission" they mention:
Pentagon Federal Credit Union
as good choices.
My son is using Chase because that is our regular full-service bank.
I have used HSBC for my personal checking account since I graduated West Point many years ago and have been very happy with them.
For anyone that is associated with Navy Federal Credit Union, there is now a branch within walking distance in Highland Falls. There are also more and more NFCU branches opening up on Army installations.
Bank Account Info
USAA is by far the best bank I have ever used.
Either that or just sincere provision of information
I have heard that as a Cow, you are offered a $35,000 loan at .5% interest which can be used for anything but most people either use it to buy a car or invest it, but that comes from USAA and you must have a USAA account to qualify
You're gonna want either USAA or Pen Fed.
USAA is great, it's the bank I use, and I usually get my pay a few days earlier than my classmates. Great customer service, but you've got to walk to Highland Falls in order to get to an ATM that won't charge you a fee.
Pen Fed is more convenient. There is a branch on post, and ATMs out the wazoo.
You want cash on hand, I'd go with Pen Fed. If you don't mind using a debit card, I'd go with USAA.
You can use the ATM in Grant Hall. USAA will reimburse the ATM fees.
do some research
In the short term it really won’t matter which bank you choose. You can cash checks for free in several location on post (up to certain amounts). ATM use will cost you for some banks. Some (USAA) will reimburse you for your ATM fees (up to 10 a month I think). The difference will come in the long run. Eventually you will realize what each bank offers especially as you start to move very often. We moved 13 times in 20 years. Some move more, some less. Do the research. PENFED is a great credit union. I have known many officers who have used it their entire lives. Navy Federal is good also (more so if you are a marine or sailor- more locations at their bases) USAA was founded by officers for officers (look it up) when other places wouldn’t give officers insurance. They then got into banking. Until the late 1990’s you had to be an officer or a cadet to even join. Their membership rules are still more restrictive than many banks. Over my 20 years in the Army most of my friends used USAA. A few used a credit union and fewer still used their hometown bank. I started with my hometown bank when I was a cadet and changed when I was a LT for the convenience to USAA.
While I can understand the choice of PenFed, I personally recommend USAA because you do basically everything online. Depending on what you're involved in, that can become very useful.
Not to mention they have excellent customer service.
Seriously? I did not know that.
Learn something new every day.
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