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Usaa?

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by BigNavyPedsGuy, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. BigNavyPedsGuy

    BigNavyPedsGuy Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 11, 2006
    So lots of folks here rave about USAA. I"m thinkg about making the switch. What are the weaknesses with USAA? Are their ATMs only on bases? Is their service all really that good? How is their online bill pay?

    You get what I'm asking for.
    Thanks
     
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  3. deegs

    deegs Member 5+ Year Member

    144
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    Mar 29, 2005
    It doesn't make any difference if their ATMs are only on bases, as they refund 100% of any ATM fees. I've filed 1 auto claim, and they were great. Repainted the entire jeep because someone stole a door. Never used webbill pay, but I like the way all your accounts are interconnected online.
    -deegs
    member since 1996
     
  4. kzjonez

    kzjonez 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 25, 2007
    I do my banking, insurance, loans and must say service is great , they understand the military pay system and acomodate to that.Sometimes you can find seemingly better deal outside but have to put up with bad service and people that don't understand the differences between civilian and military personal finances.The good customer service and convinience is what keeps me in with them.:thumbup:
     
  5. Poseidon

    Poseidon Poseidon 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 19, 2006
    San Diego
    Business Week just rated USAA #1 in Customer service so they must be doing something right. Personally, I think it is the best bank I have ever used. Web Bill Pay is very easy to use. You get interest on your checking account, cashbank from using your debit card and ATM fees covered. My favorite service is the ability to deposit a check from home using my scanner! How cool is that! Anyways just my two cents.....
     
  6. Tiger26

    Tiger26 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 13, 2004
    If you've been commissioned w/in the past year, take the $25,000 2% loan they have. It's like free money at that rate. At the very least, you can put it in a 5% savings account online and make a couple k.
     
  7. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky 10+ Year Member

    More praise for USAA:

    I used their Mover's Advantage program during my recent PCS; it was basically free money. They set me up with a real estate agent (who was great, by the way), and then when I closed, they sent me a check for about $1500. If you sell with them as well, then you double your money.
     
  8. paradude

    paradude Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 9, 2005
    Bethesda, MD
    The only weakness I can think of is you don't have local branches which is only a drawback if you're old-fashioned and you like writing checks and depositing money in person. (I haven't been inside of a bank in years) I've had USAA for 9 years and I really can't think of one complaint for you. My house was broken into 3 times when I was stationed in England and I was compensated each time for the exact amount I quoted and my premiums never went up. I use almost every financial product they offer.
     
  9. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    Mortgage, checking account, auto, umbrella liability, homeowner's, and personal articles insurance are all great. Never had a problem with claims or customer service issues. I miss a brick and mortar bank, but USAA has done everything possible to eliminate the need for one, and even made it so I could withdraw tons of cash from an ATM so I could buy a car (with cash) yesterday without a brick and mortar bank.

    Their investments, however, pale in comparison to Vanguard's.
     
  10. cyclegirl

    cyclegirl Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Apr 25, 2005
    I have my car loan, car & renters insurance, checking, savings, and credit card with them I do not have a single complaint. They have always been very helpful and friendly when I call. They are very quick to respond to claims. I would recommend them!
     
  11. i want out

    i want out Member 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 12, 2006
    I think they only pay for a certain number of ATM withdrawal fees per month, but if I recall correctly its 6/month.

    I do all my banking with USAA, and agree with all positive comments above.

    I also have heard nothing but good from any one else that has used them.

    i want out
     
  12. AF_PedsBoy

    AF_PedsBoy Stuffed Animal Overlord 5+ Year Member

    714
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    Jun 22, 2004
    Japan
    When my car got wiped out in Katrina they sent their reps to the base and within a week or so of filing my claim I had a check for my car. Never had any complaints here
     
  13. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    well said, though I found a better deal for my mortgage.
     
  14. HooahDOc

    HooahDOc Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Jun 23, 2003
    FYI, USAA now uses the [email protected] system for checks and stuff, so no more mailing crap in. I have used it once and it works well.

    As far as ATMs, I have only gotten cash out of an ATM maybe twice in the past year, so I don't think it's really a big deal, but they refund up to $15/mo or something like that.
     
  15. Ex-44E3A

    Ex-44E3A 7+ Year Member

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    Oct 30, 2006
    SE US
    USAA gets two thumbs up from me. They are one of the most enduring benefits of being in the military.

    I use USAA for insurance, car loans, etc. In my case, I went with a national mega-bank for my mortgage, personal, and practice banking. The main reason was that once you do a certain amount of business with the mega-bank, you get a "personal banker" who bird-dogs stuff for you. Between that service (worth its weight in gold, IMO) and a bunch of local branches, the mega-bank lured my business away from USAA.
     
  16. corhof

    corhof 7+ Year Member

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    Mar 1, 2007
    USAA is phenomenal!! My car insurance is a couple hundred cheaper the Progressive or any of the other cheap rate websites. I also have homeowner's insurance with them and just made a claim with them which was painless, had a $10,000 check in my hand in less than 2 weeks. ATM fees are reimbursed immediately. And to top it off, they just sent me $200 bucks as a reimbursement from last year's homeowner's insurance because they had money left over in their annual budget!
     
  17. Pemberley

    Pemberley Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2005
    Texas
    USAA is fantastic. ATMs don't matter because they refund fees up to a generous amount/month. Their customer service has always (I mean, every single phone call I've ever made to them) been top notch.
     
  18. FliteSurgn

    FliteSurgn This space for rent. 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2003
    Agree with everyone. Aside from home mortgage, I feel USAA can't be beat. Free online billpay, free ATM use after the rebates, a large assortment of free (no transaction fee) mutual funds from a multitude of mutual fund companies through their brokerage service, ultracompetetive interest rates on savings accounts, and great customer service are the norm.

    USAA insurance is a "member-owned" entity. So, you essentially have equity in the business which grows over time. When the company has more money than it needs to cover insurance claims, you will get a piece of your equity back in the form of a check.

    The few times that I've filed a claim, it's been great service...even before I had insurance through them...I got broadsided by a USAA member when I was in med school. They had an adjuster out there (in the snow) the next day and I had a check in under a week. When I noticed that the adjuster left off a damaged rim, I called and he immediately apologized, agreed with me, and I had the new check in 2 days.
     
  19. Out in 2008

    Out in 2008 2+ Year Member

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    Dec 15, 2006
    I've been with USAA for 16 years and I'm very happy for the above reasons. Also check out Navy Mutual Aid Assoc. They have a whole life insurance plan (Permanent plus) which is very good (7% return on premiums paid) and they have low interest career starter loans for newly commissioned officers.

    Another benefit to USAA is the Subscriber Savings Account. You get a check every year for $50-$75 and they retain a larger portion in the account. Mine's up to about $1500 now.
     
  20. megadon

    megadon 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 26, 2006
    Memphis
    Also, check out the interest rate on their savings account, outstanding! It gets up to like 4%. Navy Fed, isn't it like 1.5%?
     
  21. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    While 4% is a great improvement over 1.5%, you really shouldn't be saving any significant amount of money at a bank that only pays 4%. You might try some of these locations:

    https://flagship.vanguard.com/VGApp/hnw/FundsSnapshot?FundId=0030&FundIntExt=INT

    http://www.hsbcdirect.com/1/2/1/offer?code=PPG01D0000

    https://www.emigrantdirect.com/EmigrantDirectWeb/index.jsp?source=Google&gclid=CJOcyt-e5IoCFQESgQodSRG6vA&fp_keyword=savings+bank+interest+rate&fp_source=Google

    http://www.eloan.com/s/show/landingpage/savings/savings01?user=gss&mcode=gsskwtwgl

    http://www.mymoneyblog.com/online-savings-accounts-and-comparisons/
     
  22. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    If there is a 7% return on premiums paid this would be the very best whole life insurance plan I've ever heard of. Surely you mean 7% on the portion of the premium that doesn't pay for the insurance, but even so, 7% is a very, very high rate. You might want to recheck your policy. Whole life rarely makes sense for people, but if you truly have access to one that grows at 7%, it might make sense for you.
     
  23. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    I got curious, so I went to look it up. The current "crediting rate" (which of course is always subject to change) is 7.40%. I do not know how long it has been at that level, perhaps one who has held a policy with them for a long time can enlighten us.

    There is something funny going on there. They state the moola is invested in long-term government bonds, which currently pay 5%. I'm not sure how they can afford to pay out 7% while only making 5%.

    Just so you understand that your entire premium isn't growing at 7%, here is what the website explains:

    "Building Cash Value
    When a premium payment is received it is deposited into the member's current cash value account. Every month the account is charged for the cost of insurance and the balance is credited, with interest. The crediting rate is reviewed annually, and is currently 7.40%, effective January 1, 2005."

    I assume the "cost of insurance" has been sufficiently raised that they can afford to have such a high "crediting rate."
     
  24. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    Their home mortgage rates are very competitive if you get one of the fairly standard type mortgages. Perhaps not if you're doing an IO, a 0% down, 1 year ARM etc. The service, as with everything else, is always impeccable.
     
  25. FliteSurgn

    FliteSurgn This space for rent. 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2003
    USAA currently pays 5.22% APR on their performance savings accounts.
     
  26. FliteSurgn

    FliteSurgn This space for rent. 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2003
    I've bought three homes in the last 4 years and was not at all impressed with the interest rates proposed by USAA. I've gotten much better deals elsewhere...twice with local banks that I had ties to and once with an online mortgage provider. Of the loans I settled on, two loans were 5/1 ARMs and the other is a 15 year conventional...all with 20% down. I studied all options/terms and didn't see much competition from USAA on home loans.
     
  27. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    Yes, for all of us students, residents, and young attendings...if you have more than 50K in your savings account, it pays 5.22%. Less than 10K, it only pays 2.22%.
     
  28. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    Remember to compare both interest rates available and the associated fees. I compared to multiple other lenders and online lender sites and found little variation in rates, but significant variation in fees. That being said, if you have ties to a local bank, they can often beat the big lenders because they know you and know you are a low risk client.

    Certainly USAA's mortgage service isn't head and shoulders above the competition like their insurance is, but I do believe it is competitive, at least the day I locked my loan.
     
  29. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Have to agree c flight here. I've definitely done better than USAA for both my old conventional and my new jumbo 30 year fixed 20% down mortgage even when you consider fees/points, etc. My last mortgage was from www.americaninterbanc.com. Can't comment on their service as I haven't had any issue but, their rates were definitely better at the time.
     
  30. finnyel

    finnyel 2+ Year Member

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    Mar 9, 2007
    I just want to chime in that my experience with USAA has been great. I do most of my banking and have my car and renters insurance with them. The rates were very competitive and the customer service is unlike I thought existed anywhere - they answer the phone, listen, act like they care, fix things, explain things - really amazing. (sad that its amazing but its worlds different than calling, say, verizon - or my cable company(now they're a mess!))

    The only negative that i have found is the whole mailing of checks in thing - but they seem to be trying to work around that (FedX, fax), and it's rare that someone gives me a paper check anymore.
     
  31. FliteSurgn

    FliteSurgn This space for rent. 10+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2003
    Wow, I didn't remember there being such a big disparity between small balances and big. Well, at least at $10k the rate goes up significantly to 4.85%.
     
  32. met19

    met19 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 29, 2003
    what do people think about usaa's brokerage investments (specifically IRAs) esp vs big mega-banks (e.g Wachovia or BOA)
     
  33. Monty Python

    Monty Python Blissfully retired 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 5, 2005
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    I've been with USAA since 1983 and have been extremely pleased the entire time. My banking, credit cards, car insurance, life insurance, mortgage, etc etc are through USAA. About the only thing I don't have with them are my taxable investments and my IRAs. Those are with Vanguard, primarily because of a broader range of investment vehicles.
     
  34. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    Ditto.
     
  35. met19

    met19 Member 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 29, 2003
    so for IRAs would you say stay with a large bank such as wachovia or bank or america of USAA? are the USAA products decent and just not as good as vanguard or clearly inferior to other products that are out there in the marketplace?
     
  36. anonymousEM

    anonymousEM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    You can get fine IRAs and mutual funds with USAA. I have some, but the others are right. You'll do better with Vanguard and some of the other corporations out there if you're willing to put in the time and do some research (which you should before you commit this money anyway). That being said, overall the fees associated with USAA's accounts are low and it's a safe place for your money if not the best performer.
     
  37. DiveMD

    DiveMD Giggity giggity!!! Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 10, 2006
    FL
    Up to $15 in ATM fees/month...
     
  38. MonkeyRalph

    MonkeyRalph 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 8, 2004
    Palo Alto, CA
    USAA is definitely one of the best perks of being in the military.
    I have savings, checking, credit cards, investments, and insurance with them. The only thing that I've found outside of USAA that's better are some credit card offers. USAA's rewards program doesn't give as much payback as some of the other rewards programs. I use a Citibank card as my primary credit card, although their ThankYou program has devaluated slightly over the past year.

    I also echo the praise for USAA's [email protected] program. At first, I was very hesitant to scan in my checks to deposit them online, but I've used it over 20 times without a hitch.
     
  39. SgtDoc

    SgtDoc 7+ Year Member

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    Feb 4, 2008
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    I recently got into a car accident (some guy ran into me, his fault). I called USAA and by the time I got to the nearest body shop (which wasn't very long) they already had an Enterprise guy there with a rental car waiting for me. They made the process as painless as possible. They also determined fault very early on, so I didn't have to pay a deductible (I've heard most companies make you pay it, and then will reimburse you). Not one cent out of my pocket. Plus their rates are great.
     
  40. 73BARMYPgsp

    73BARMYPgsp Post Doc 5+ Year Member

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Ft. Gordon, GA
    My favorite thing about USAA is they call me by my rank every time I speak with them on the phone. It's kind of cool.
     
  41. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

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    That's your favorite? How do you feel when you walk across base and everyone salutes you?
     
  42. dEviantrAdiologist

    dEviantrAdiologist Evacuation proctographer 7+ Year Member

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    Jun 30, 2002
    I am not a USAA member. I have however researched home mortgages with them. Currently for a 5/1 arm they offer 5.5% (APR 5.44%) with no points and 10% downpayment. There are much better deals out there (eloan for instance), but in order to get the good rates you must pay 20% down. In the housing market I will be moving to, 100k cash or more for a dp is hard to come by. USAA seems like a decent option but their rates can be beat. You just have to weigh the cost of convenience, reputation, etc..

    I also looked into the VA loan program, but I think the highest loan amount that will qualify is 417k....great for the midwest, terrible for the coast.
     
  43. 350011

    350011 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 7, 2008
    A great perk that has gone unmentioned thus far is that your dependents are also eligible to be USAA members. Since my father is former Navy and a USAA member for something like four decades, I've been a USAA member since (basically) birth. They send a lot of really useful financial planning/decision making material out for young members and even have a monthly (entitled "U25" I believe) that has other valuable information about education, insurance, and other topics that I probably would've paid little attention to without the written provocation. I have a USAA credit card and threw some of my extra college earnings into an IRA that's been doing very well. I second everyone else here in that my experience (and that of my family) has been absolutely superb, they handle every matter diligently without sacrificing courtesy and support. I can't speak to mortgages or auto loans, but their car insurance service is great. I've never owned a car but have always had status as an insured driver. When I was 17 I hit a whitetail with my brother's car (completely destroying the right side and windshield). They had an assesor at our house two days later (which is a feat in rural Wisconsin) with a courtesy car for my brother and ended up cutting him an extra check when their estimate was less than the bill at the body shop.
     

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