I am considering signing up for a USAA bank account. Currently I have BofA and have been there for decades. Recently their changes are forcing me to look for alternatives. I had some questions about the online bank here.
1. How is the interface? I was trying to find demo's online but could not
2. Right now BofA sends electronic bill payments to many of my payees, T-Mobile, Quicken Loans etc, so the payment goes through in a day. Is this the same here?
3. I have seen some good reviews, and quite a few horrible ones saying the service has gone downhill over the past couple of years. Should I still consider?
Hi there, Thalador!
Welcome to the USAA member community!
Opening a new account anywhere can always bring up so many questions, especially when you have been baking with someone else for so many years.
I think your best bet would be to call someone over in member services support, they can surely answer any questions you may have. You may reach them at: 1-800-531-8733.
Thank you, and we hope to see more of you here in the community!
Regarding the interface, there are occasional hiccups. I'm not a techie so I can't explain what goes wrong in better detail.
Regarding the e-payments, I never rely on a 1 day turnaround, so I can't advise you there. Relying on a Bank (any banking institution) to pay Customer's bills with Vendor, and have Vendor recognize it the same day that Bank sent it -- well, that's just asking for late charges. The bank could have sent it in time, but the vendor can certainly recognize it in their own sweet time.
If I need a payment to get processed by the vendor the same day, I login to my customer account on the vendor's website and pay from there.
Regarding the negative reviews -- most of what I have seen are people complaining about:
a) the mortgage arm of USAA
b) the failures of third party vendors such as travel agencies, realtors, roadside assistance (which BoA would be using third parties also)
c) the fact that homeowner's insurance doesn't cover flooding (read up on it, people!)
d) and that deposits can and many times will be held to ensure funds are cleared before deposit is released. [Please keep in mind that there are three banking entities involved -- your bank, the payor's bank, and the federal processing center, of which there is only one (per an online article I read dated February 2011) Please please don't be unpleasantly surprised when your deposits are held, particularly for new members (regardless how flipping good your credit and banking history is).
What I recommend is that you keep the BofA account for a little while slowly bulding your reserves of deposit into the USAA checking account. This way you have a little bit of time to get used to them and if you decide to no longer use either one it is a little easier. BofA has a physical branch location in many major cities so this can be convenient and they now offer many things that exclusive USAA members get like the mobile deposit and online banking app access, alerts.
The nice thing about USAA is that the checks are free as long as you remember to order the single style checks and chose bulk mail delivery. They give you free deposit slips with envelopes to mail in deposits and there is no charge or fee unless you opt for the secure checking which is about $10.00 bucks a month.
The thing is that being that USAA Federal Savings Bank is basically an online bank they protect the bank against fraud by holding deposits a little longer to ensure that nothing happens that can impact the Bank and you as a customer. This may help you save against issues in the long run if you can patiently wait for the checks to finally credit into the account. Once your established the deposits go into the account sooner.
You can also use Quicken and do online bill pays too through USAA.