Citizenship required for bank account, but not credit card or insurance

tqx
Contributor

I've recently enlisted (as a permanent resident) and attempted to open a bank account for the military pay required direct deposit, being turned down with the reasoning that U.S. citizenship is required for opening a bank account, but that USAA will be glad to offer me a credit card or car insurance.

 

Can whoever makes these policies or someone who has an idea explain the rationale for this? I could imagine it might make sense the other way around- like "we'll open an account for you, because that's where we keep YOUR money, but we won't extend you credit or offer you car insurance because that could put OUR money at risk". But the way this policy is set up is puzzling.

 

I thought the reason might be that the Treasury department requires more reporting for not-yet-citizens and USAA doesn't want to bother with more regulatory paperwork, but since non-citizen spouses (with no military affiliation whatsoever) can be added as joint account owners, this logic is obviously wrong.

 

So, what's going on here?

3 REPLIES

Oh goodness, @tqx! I appreciate you taking time to share your feedback with us. Anyone in your situation would certainly be frustrated too. I regret any frustration this situation caused you and am happy to forward this matter to the appropriate area for further review. I appreciate your continued patience and allowing us this additional opportunity to address your concerns. ~ Stacy K. 

This post is to balance the plethora of negative posts about USAA I found during my research. A few days after I posted this article, I receied an e-mail from a Mr. Gonzalez, Member Advocacy Specialist, saying he is looking into the issue. A few days after that, Mr. Gonzalez called me and was able to open the desired account for me.

 

So, if you are a permanent resident ("Lawful Permanent Resident", green card holder), you CAN have an account with USAA. As you can find in a number of other posts in these discussions about the matter, you'll hit the roadblock of "verification of citizenship", where you need to call. Once you do, even if they tell you that you have to be U.S. citizen (which is what I had been originally told), I guess you have to be persistent, and politely ask them to escalate the call (only at that time I wasn't, I just accepted it as a given), or if even that fails, (I know this is not a very systematic solution) post the problem here.

 

I must say I am pleasantly surprised. In this world of mammothian corporations and automated processes, it's rare to see the little guy with no clout being helped navigate the maze towards a fairy tale ending.

 

One note about the "free checks" which seemed to be an issue for many that I found out during my research and hopefully, the search function will take you here. The free checks can indeed completely free, BUT you need to NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. If you want the expression (like the "Voting is a privilege" etc) Harland Clarke will charge you $6 extra, if you want the picture (like the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima), it'll cost you another $9. That's fine, as long as it's disclosed. However, if you change the font, HC will still tell you it's free, only in the next step, shipping and handling will suddenly be $5 (with no free alternative). Whether this is an unintentional glitch or it's deliberate drip pricing, it is what I would consider an unfair and deceptive practice.

 

I don't believe USAA has anything to do with this, but it should talk to HC. We can all debate whether the price for the add-ons is justified, but as long as it's disclosed, it's fair. But the fee for the other fonts should be disclosed just like the expression and picture and not deceptively added by disqualifying you from free shipping and handling. If nothing else, USAA rectifying the issue would reduce the number of members who feel cheated and then complain on these forums.

@tqx, Thank you for sharing this update with us. I'm very happy to hear that your issue has been resolved. I will certainly have your feedback regarding the check alterations submitted on your behalf. ~ Sam