My dad was in the Army Reserves for a little more than a decade and at one point he and my mom made a smart financial decision. They joined USAA, the greatest financial institution on the planet. Assuming you can meet their somewhat strict requirements here, namely active military status or parents who are USAA members, then the reasons are limitless why you should join. Below are some of my favorite reasons why you should join USAA.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Join USAA
- I’ve been a member since 1993 and my parents have been members for a couple decades beyond that. When you call them for service on your accounts or policies their computer screen must have a big fat window on it that says “Mr. Hutter has been a member for over 14 years!” because they treat you like royalty. Most banks couldn’t care less even if you opened the account with your friend Rockefeller or Carnegie at the turn of the 20th century.
- During years that their premiums collected exceeded their claims paid out, they send you a refund check. Yes, you read that correctly. Does your financial institution EVER EVER EVER send you money back saying, in essence, “we charged you more than we needed to last year. Here’s the difference.” Plus, the check comes around the holidays which is very convenient. I don’t have statistics but I bet I have received refund checks four of the past five years including 2005, the year of Katrina and Rita.
- You can deposit checks from the comfort of your own home with USAA’s revolutionary Deposit@Home program. Basically, you need a scanner, a computer and an Internet connection. Scan the check, upload it to USAA and within 60 seconds the money is in your account. Pretty incredible for a bank, huh?
- If Step 3 is too complicated for you, just mail your checks to them, free of charge, in the USAA-supplied postage-paid envelopes. Again, never leave the house to deposit checks. I recently opened a business checking account with a local bank (only because USAA does not offer business checking) and I asked the branch manager if her bank allowed me to mail the checks for deposit. She replied “sure, just send me an envelope addressed to me and I will deposit it for you.” Wow, thanks. Ever heard of USAA?
- I can withdraw money from any ATM with no fees. Yes, again you read that correctly. They credit you 10 withdrawals from any ATM up to $2 per withdrawal. I have to laugh (and do) when I see my friends drive out of their way to use their bank’s ATM to save the $2. And spend that money in wasted gas driving out of their way.
- Their consumer auto loans can’t be beaten. Great rates and top-notch customer service. Oh yeah, two years in a row and counting by J.D. Power and Associates for #1 highest in overall customer satisfaction among loan service providers. Source is here.
- USAA received basically the highest aware a business can get from J.D. Power and Associates for overall customer service. Source is here.
- USAA just recently received #1 customer service champs here from BusinessWeek. A new survey BusinessWeek just started and USAA gets #1 first try.
- A plethora of praise from members (and even a laid-off USAA employee!) can be found here. Excerpt: “I am a former employee laid off a few years ago, and have to say here that all of the tough decisions made during that time were right on the money!!- There was so much duplication across the enterprise … that it would have been irresponsible to the members to not tighten up the ship.” If a polar opposite phrase exists for the words disgruntled ex-employee then that guy is it!
- I willingly tell the phrase “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket” to go jump in a creek when it comes to USAA. I have researched the competitors and I have five bank accounts with them (two for the household and a savings account for each child), two life insurance policies, homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, a personal floater policy for my wife’s wedding ring, and a partridge in a pear tree.
If you are active-duty military or have parents that are USAA members I cannot urge you strongly enough to join this stellar organization.