USAA

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by cb7893, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    DS is rising AROTC, MS IV. Apparently, he is now eligible to use USAA services.

    Based on what he has told me and what I can pick up from their website, it seems as though it is a good one stop solution for all banking/financial/insurance services. The car insurance thing is huge.

    I am most interested in him adopting a systematic savings/investing plan while having access to all the tools and products. At the same time, he needs to keep it simple and not waste his time searching for an extra 5-10 basis points on savings. That is the attraction of everything being under one roof.

    My thought was to recommend (IF he asks for advice), to have a local checking account, the best rewards credit card he can find, and put everything else with USAA, be it savings, Roth IRA, etc.

    Thanks in advance for all advice and recommendations.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    My health and life insurance is through my work, but everything else is through USAA.

    My car, renters, personal property and valuable personal property is through USAA.

    I have a tradition and ROTH IRAs and money market accounts, and checking, savings and a credit card. I got the credit card to complete the "trifecta" so I could use the mobile deposit feature on USAA's iPhone App.

    While there is a real USAA location (a couple) in the D.C. area, I haven't really needed to visit it often.

    I had Navy Federal and Suntrust for awhile, but Suntrust alienated me with their fees and Navy Federal, at the time, didn't recognize the Coast Guard as a branch of the military. I closed both accounts. I've been with USAA since 2004, and I've been very happy with it.

    The folks are responsive. I had my debit card info stolen and used to buy $150 worth of Chipotle (that has to be 50,000 calories) in two days at two locations in VA and MD. I shut off the card and USAA started a fraud case. My totally new card arrived in two days.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    With smart phones there really is no need to have a local bank. They just snap a pic of any odd checks they get and deposit directly into their account.

    USAA does not charge ATM fees so there is no plus to that either. He can go to any bank and whatever they charge USAA will reimburse. Plus, just like your local grocery store, but when they go to the commissary, PX/BX/Class Six, Shoppette they can get cash back, so even there they won't pay ATM fees when they need cash.

    USAA has a rewards credit card and their rates are fantastic.

    Once he is AD he should apply for AMEX. AMEX will reimburse the fee. It can take a couple of months, but they will do it. Go for at least the Gold, but Platinum is the best option because of all of their consierge services, and you can use the points for anything. Plus, they have things like shoprrun where they guarantee two day free shipping for your purchases.
    We would use the card to pay all of our bills, and within a year or two we had enough points to upgrade our tickets for travel to 1st class. We even used it to pay for the deposits on our cars.
    ~ We would write it in the checkbook as money spent, just like if we wrote a check or used the ATM so we were not shocked at the end of the month when the bill arrived.

    Hope that helps.

    OBTW, IF he does ask for advice, tell him to really think about not taking the entire amount, especially if he wants to buy a new car. DS did not take the entire amount because he knew that he could get a lower interest rate via the car dealers than the new officer loan rate. He got his car at 0.9%. He recently just purchased his 2nd new carat 0%. We haven't used USAA for the last 4 cars because they just aren't as competitive in that aspect.
    ~ Not taking the full amount will also help him qualify for a new car loan instead of having that 25k debt, even if they invest a chunk it is still a debt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  4. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    My father got USAA back when he was stationed stateside during Vietnam. I have had it my whole life even though I was not personally military. I have never had issues with my car or homeowners insurance. My son set up an account prior to starting college this fall so he would have a versatile account. He lives in one state, will go to school in another and have CORTRAMID in a third. Seemed like the most practical idea. They really make it easy for military folks.

    Plus, he really loves the check deposit app where he doesn't have to send in the checks.
     
  5. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Thanks to all for the quick responses.

    Pima, you are correct about the car loans. Last month I bought a 2014 Subaru Outback off the showroom floor. Had not planed to finance the car, but they practically begged me to take the 0%/36 mo. financing.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The only little hiccup I've had with USAA, is they don't insure SOME collections. In my case, I have a growing (but almost complete) collection of items related to the Tsumura banjo collection. USAA contracts with a company that focuses specifically on collectibles.
     
  7. billyb

    billyb Member

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    I have had USAA for 25+ years. They are great for banking and insurance, but not so good for investing (IRAs etc...). Vanguard is much better with lower fees. If they don't have any investing acumen, just pop the retirement money in a target retirement account and forget about it.

    I have also found for home/car loans I always get a better deal somewhere else. YMMV.
     
  8. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    We have had USAA for 30 years, and now my son has car and renters insurance, bank accounts, credit cards and second class loan through them. However, he went with Vanguard for his IRA and brokerage accounts.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The big perk faith USAA is @ Dec when you get your subscribers check back. Falcon is probably like Bullet and I, the check last year was close to 400 if I remember correctly. If the stock market holds and we don't have a bad hurricane season this year, I am betting the check will be even nicer.
    ~ Hurricanes impact the payout because many subscribers live in hurricane prone areas....think of military bases in Fl, NC, SC, TX and VA. Those homes get damaged by hurricanes like Katrina, Floyd, Andrews, etc., and they have to pay out, which reduces their bottom line.
     
  10. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    USAA is great for for banking, insurance and customer service

    Loans are OK

    Investments? I go with Fidelity
     
  11. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    ^THIS Always perfect timing for Christmas!
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Right!

    I would also say sometimes their insurance is not as competitive as other companies like GEICO. We did not use USAA when we lived in AK. It was the only time we didn't use them because their rate was hundreds more.
     
  13. ABF

    ABF Member

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    USAA for banking, credit card, auto / home insurance. I've also used their car purchase service (because I hate the negotiating for a new car). Their car loans can usually be beat on the economy. I've also been very satisfied with the insurance claims process. And, when I have shopped around for better insurance prices here in CA, the other providers tell me right out that they will not be able to beat USAA, and to stop shopping.
     
  14. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    I/we been with USAA for 35 years now. At 1st it was just Car insurance.

    Over the years we added Homeowners and Banking.

    USAA could not insure our ranch in Colorado so we strayed from that for 3 years but otherwise all insurance through them.

    It never crosses my mind to price check them because their service has been SO AMAZING!

    After tornados blew through our area they called us and asked if we had damage (which we did) and asked if they could pay for the clean up - something that never crossed our minds!

    We'll be with them for life and I suspect our children now in service will do the same.
     
  15. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    As an ROTC cadet, my son racked up a shocking string of straight A semesters. I had to make good on my word and therefore gave him title to an automobile, a first-rate, ten year old beater.

    I've been handling (and paying for) his car insurance with USAA ever since. He was only too happy to give them the required permission to deal with me. It's a big company, and I've not yet talked to the same person twice. But everyone I've dealt so far with has been professional, helpful and pleasant. The policy cost has been low compared to our family account, especially with the Subscriber Allowance, which was another surprise.

    They've been very good about making requested changes to the policy, including giving me the lower storage rate when he was away at CULP and LDAC, as well as writing a new policy when he moved to attend IBOLC.

    I would have put our insurance with them as well, but my father-in-law lacked the foresight to rise above the level of non-com 60 years ago, so his daughter doesn't qualify. She's fine otherwise, but next time around I may look for an officer's daughter.
     
  16. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    LOL! But you know, USAA changed their policy: Active, retired, and honorably separated officers and enlisted are eligible now.
     
  17. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I would have put our insurance with them as well, but my father-in-law lacked the foresight to rise above the level of non-com 60 years ago, so his daughter doesn't qualify. She's fine otherwise, but next time around I may look for an officer's daughter.[/QUOTE]


    If your father-in-law is still with us, as a veteran he is fully eligible for all USAA products and services. Membership is established by having an auto or personal property policy, even if it is a small high value personal property policy. Once he has established membership, his children, including adults, are eligible. That would be your wife, and through her, you!

    USAA opened up to all enlisted personnel, active duty, Guard and Reserve, in 1996. About 5 years ago, USAA was able to change its Association charter to offer eligibility to veterans.



    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  18. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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  19. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    That's interesting... Didn't know they did that. I have a USAA MasterCard currently, but it might be worth adding an AMEX if they waive the fee. Thanks for sharing!
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is a PITA when you apply the 1st time, better to do it on the phone with a rep., and have your military I.d. ready.

    Once you are a card member they will charge you, but reimburse, and you will have to show proof annually from there on out.

    It maybe a pain, but it is a free AMEX and IMPO if you are financially savvy from a points perspective it is the best bang for your buck.

    I don't know if you can do this with companies that have an AMEX option, such as Delta or Macy's. It maybe just the straight out AMEX.

    You'd be amazed how many bills you can pay with AMEX. When Bullet was an O5, I think our avg bill was 5k a month. We paid everything with our AMEX including groceries at the Commissary. The only time we used our ATM was for cash. The only checks we wrote was for the mtg/car pmt and to pay off the AMEX bill. We didn't use our USAA unless it was a huge purchase.
    ~ This of course was before USAA offered a rewards card.
     

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