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  1. Angry Mandrill is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 10:26am


     Style: bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    To US military members

    it might look like spam, sound like spam, smell like spam, but this ain't spam. i cleared it first with phrost:

    a search of bs.net reveals mention here and there of USAA. for those who don't know, USAA is a military-only insurance, banking and investment company (usaa dot com). i've been a member for around 12 years. i didn't serve, but my father did, which gives me the in.

    a coupla years ago i found out that usaa was limited mostly to officers. i don't know all the details, but a buddy of mine tried to get membership on my advice and was rejected, though he served four years in the army.

    at any rate, usaa has just now (like this week) opened its membership ranks to all who served honorably. this is by far the best financial company i've ever known. insurance rates for both home and auto are the cheapest around. interest rates for auto and home (i've bought 3 of the former, 2 of the latter using them) are the lowest around. plus there are many other, very useful services available. i have all my bank accounts, credit cards and insurance through them. you can even deposit paper checks through your iphone! yes, yes you can.

    i've been benefiting from my association with them for years, a benefit i did not earn. now they've opened it up to everyone who has. take a look, folks, it's worth it.

    [/spam]
  2. Cassius is online now
    Cassius's Avatar

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 11:20am

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It seems silly to say this, but switching primarily to USAA for banking was the impetus to start investing money for me. They make it ridiculously easy to start, their mutual funds, though a little limited, are of good quality, and while their brokerage fees are high for stocks, I purchase stocks primarily as investments, not trading assets, so I don't buy and sell enough to make it worth the hassle of setting up a separate account with a cheaper brokerage service.

    Their customer service department is staffed by friendly Texans who generally speak English in an understandable manner, as opposed to outsourced foreign labor, which is a huge plus.

    The only major downside I can think of is that USAA is primarily an online bank, so if you still deal a lot in paper checks and don't meet the requirements for paperless check deposits, it can be a pain. They have a limit on the refunding of ATM fees, but it's something north of 20 dollars, so that's not really an issue.

    Overall, great bank.
    "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
  3. Angry Mandrill is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 11:31am


     Style: bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cassius View Post
    Their customer service department is staffed by friendly Texans who generally speak English in an understandable manner, as opposed to outsourced foreign labor, which is a huge plus.
    second that. very friendly, like 'is this a trick' friendly and helpful.

    The only major downside I can think of is that USAA is primarily an online bank, so if you still deal a lot in paper checks and don't meet the requirements for paperless check deposits, it can be a pain.
    before i was able to set up auto deposit with my employer, this was indeed a pain. upon request usaa does provide slips and postage-paid envelopes for deposits, though, which is nice. but the way to go is the iphone deposit. i've used it only once, but you log in using their app, take pictures of the front and back of the check, and the money is there. tear up the check. now they need to write apps for other smartphones...
  4. Muerteds is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 12:26pm


     Style: Itinerant Wanderer

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just to be clear- USAA was open to any active-duty military & uniformed service , retirees, and their spouses, not just officers. However, it was not open to veterans who did not retire. The recent change allows for veterans to apply and join.

    They treat me way better than the Armed Forces Bank did. I've been very happy with them.
  5. Angry Mandrill is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 1:02pm


     Style: bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Muerteds View Post
    Just to be clear- USAA was open to any active-duty military & uniformed service , retirees, and their spouses, not just officers. However, it was not open to veterans who did not retire. The recent change allows for veterans to apply and join.
    ah, mea culpa. i asked me dad why my buddy didn't qualify and he said 'i don't know, maybe it's just for officers.' i'm a dumbass.

    how does one leave the service but not retire? pardon my ignorance, please.
  6. ShaolinKungPao is offline

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    Arlington VA
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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 3:18pm


     Style: Noob-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by nohero View Post
    how does one leave the service but not retire? pardon my ignorance, please.
    20+ years of service = retirement eligible.

    Less than that, you just get out at the end of your enlistment, or "EAS" if you want the technical term.

    Edit: People who are injured(resulting in a permanent disability) on active duty can also be medically "retired" and get benefits therein, with less than 20 served.
  7. Angry Mandrill is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/12/2009 3:31pm


     Style: bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    so basically you hadda join up while serving. after eas was too late. well, i'm glad they fixed it. didn't seem fair or right that i got to use their services but my buddy, who actually served, didn't.
  8. D Dempsey is offline
    D Dempsey's Avatar

    Monkey Knife Fight!

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2009 7:50am

    supporting member
     Style: Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Until very recently you had to join while still on active duty or you were out of luck. I been using USAA for 4 years now and I do all of my banking, insurance on both of my houses and both cars, and I got financing through them for one of my cars. Honestly I couldn't be happier with them.
  9. Cassius is online now
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    Posted On:
    11/13/2009 11:35am

    supporting memberforum leader
     Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by nohero View Post
    the way to go is the iphone deposit. i've used it only once, but you log in using their app, take pictures of the front and back of the check, and the money is there. tear up the check. now they need to write apps for other smartphones...
    Again, you have to qualify totally for their paperless checking, and I don't have insurance, a loan, or a credit card through them. But I do have the app . . .

    As I said before, this is a very minor issue, as I really never use checks. One other benefit to USAA: If you're in the military, you usually get paid about a day before everyone else does.
    "No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
  10. Ka-Bar is offline
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    is a Godd*mn Federale!

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    Posted On:
    11/13/2009 4:39pm

    supporting member
     Style: Clinchology: Judo & MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    USAA is great. I have checking, savings, car and home insurance, a nice little mutual fund and a credit card through them.

    The one big drawback is not having a local branch to walk into if I have an issue, but since my civilian paycheck is direct deposited, I rarely have to deposit or cash checks. And if I needed to, you can SCAN a check, and they'll deposit it for you almost instantly. Worst case scenario, you have to mail it to their offices in San Antonio and wait a few days. I thought this would be a big deal, but it hasn't been. And do you know where those other banks get the money to open and staff branches? From you!

    Rudy Reyes > Bear Grylls
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