I agree having holds placed on checks that never had holds placed on them before isn't great, but I'm not sure USAA is to blame. I place the blame on those who try to take advantage of electronic transactions and perpetuate fraud... not you or I but criminals. Look at the 8 Billion dollars in tax refund fraud last year, look at identity theft, and the Target credit card fiasco.
I have to believe that people are printing up fake checks and using Deposit@Home or Deposit@Mobile and trying to scam USAA which hurts all of us.
USAA bank was open to everyone last year, now you have to be a Member (unless grandfathered by having an existing account). I must assume this was because of lots of bad accounts, the membership requirement will probably weed a good deal of that out.
USAA could always hold deposits (their agreement is https://content.usaa.com/mcontent/static_assets/Media/DaD0406_BillPay0704_SvcFee0606.pdf) Page 19 shows how long they can hold, and the paragraph above the table notes that remote caputre (Deposit@) can be much longer, up to seven business days.
I bet USAA had to start holding checks longer because of lots of shenanigans with a few people that caused the rest of us to suffer. Sure, one returned check shouldn't cause it, but they have to be much more cautious in these times of rampant fraud.
A few things I've learned is that Deposit@Home (or @Mobile) can be the longest hold. There is absolutely no hold on ACH credits (direct deposit of paychecks and government checks) so if you can get that you're all set.
The next quickest (or shortest hold) is in person in San Antonio, but that is quite a drive to the bank for me (although there is a really good steak place in SA). Mail and FedEx work pretty well, one or two days once it gets there. They will even give you free postage paid deposit envelopes (search for deposit envelopes and follow the link -it goes to Harland check printing, but they are free and will send you a pack of 25).
You can always use your own stamp and envelope and send it to the deposit address (make sure you add 9861 Attn: Bank Priority Mail above the address so it gets quickly to the mail deposit tellers)
USAA Federal Savings Bank
10750 McDermott Freeway
San Antonio, TX 78284-8426
Fedex and other overnight couriers have a slightly different zip code, but search for address on the USAA site and you'll find it.
If you call USAA auto loan servicing I bet they'll waive one late payment fee if you explain the situation.
Because of criminals we all have to adjust how we do things, these holds - which they could always do - are now apparently needed to protect our bank from dishonest people. It is a pain, but with the work arounds we should all be OK.
I'm not quite sure where the UPS store deposit holds fall in the funds availabity matrix, but I bet somewhere near deposit@mobile.
I mailed a deposit on the 3rd of April and it was credited on the 7th and there was a weekend in the middle. I used my own envelope and stamp. I could have used deposit@mobile, but it was some $4 rebate check for buying a car air filter and I just didn't want to use the phone for that. So I got an envelope a stamp and a deposit slip and the money was in my account in two business days.