I had read about USAA's free checking with interest in a magazine article listing money-savings tips. At the time my son was small and I didn't have much income; even a few dollars made a difference and through no fault of my own my bank balance would regularly fall to zero, incurring fees. Yet free checking accounts were becoming hard to find--without keeping a big balance, which was impossible. I was wary about doing everything online and via ATMs--I think at the time I didn't even own a computer--and I worried about giving up personalized service. Instead, USAA customer service has been the friendliest and most efficient service I've ever encountered. Joining USAA has been a terrific opportunity for me to stabilize my financial life.