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USAA Now Open To Non-Military Folk!

by J. Money on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

USAA now open to non-military!This is GREAT news for anyone who’s ever wanted to join USAA :)

*UPDATE: As of August, 2013, USAA’s banking no longer open to non-military :( See comment #19 by USAA Rep John Hancock down below (yes, real name! :))

Consumerist “broke the news” on Monday (although one of my favorite twitterati, @AskJune_USAA, says it’s been around for a while?), and I checked out their site and indeed it’s true! The stars have aligned and USAA is now open to the general public.

Non-Military folks don’t get access to *everything* they have, but pretty damn close. It would be enough for me to change over if I was unhappy w/ my current getup! Here’s a list of everything via their Become A Member link (at the bottom under “Other Individuals”):

USAA’s investment products, most bank deposit products, life insurance, and shopping and discounts are available to other individuals. While auto and property insurance policies are not available due to membership eligibility requirements, we can still help. USAA’s General Agency has a 20-year relationship with Progressive insurance.

The following products are available to other individuals:

Product Availability
Insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Auto insurance not available through USAA. Please call 1-888-870-8096.
  • Property insurance not available through USAA.
Banking
  • Checking
  • Teen Checking
  • Savings
  • College Checking
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • CD IRAs
  • Youth Savings
  • Prepaid Card
Investments All products
Shopping and Discounts All products

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this! Seriously, It’s like getting asked out by Megan Fox (only dorkier). If you’ve ever wanted to join, or know of anyone who does, now’s the time baby! Get ready for awesome rates, plenty of options, free* atm withdrawals!, and the most important: Excellent customer service. I’ve probably called them at least 100 times before, if not more, and only once was I surprised with bad service. I’m telling you, they rule. And I’m not getting paid to say that (though that would be nice! haha…).

There really is a reason I have 15 accounts with USAA – they know how to rock the business. We have our savings (2), checkings (2), roths (2), money market, credit cards (2), heloc, insurances, etc, and I’ll continue using them for as long as they’ll let me ;) But ask around and learn for yourself. If anyone reading uses USAA, what do you think of them? Are you happy?

Whether you use USAA or not, just know that it’s now an option. That’s really the point of me expressing my undying love for them here. If you’re completely satisfied with what you’ve got, great! Leave it alone and be happy. If not, might be worth checking out?

——
PS: Major thanks to donkee for the heads up on this!

*USAA does not charge a fee for the first 10 ATM withdrawals and refunds up to $15 in other banks’ ATM usage fees each month. A 1% foreign transaction fee applies to withdrawals outside the United States.

*UPDATE: As of August, 2013, USAA’s banking no longer open to non-military :( See comment #19 by USAA Rep John Hancock down below (yes, real name! :))

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charles Smith June 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm

My wife and I are very intereted in filing applications for term life insurance with USAA. I called a few minutes into your customer service department to ask this question and was told that non military people are not able to participate in USAA insurance products but your web site says they are. Please let me know if non military are eligiable for life insurance products through USAA. Thanks much.

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2 J. Money June 6, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Hmmm…well I’m not affiliated with USAA but I guess if they said you can’t you can’t :( I know that there are certain products not available to non-military folks (as that breakdown shows) but they would know more of the details…sorry!

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3 Jerry July 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

We LOVE USAA! We’ve used them for years because I was prior military. And, the insurance rates are great. We do our homeowner’s and car through them. I’m glad that opening will lead to non-military to enjoy the same benefits.

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4 Jean July 31, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Left Pentagon Federal to join USAA. I am the daughter of a Viet Nam vet and work on a contract basis for the DoD. Please consider opening up the full range of benefits for families like PenFed does! So far I am loving banking at USAA!!!

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5 USAA Insurance Fan August 22, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I’m a big fan of USAA even though I’m non-military. Have been a banking customer of USAA since 1992. I’ve always coveted the property and casualty insurance but have never been eligible, so I’m with State Farm. I’ve noticed that USAA has gone back and forth on non-military members and what they are and are not eligible for. Seems like once a decade they switch. Oh well, I’m happy with USAA nonetheless!

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6 Jerome November 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm

USAA is the greatest. I pay lower car insurance (full coverage) rates in Michigan than anyone I know. Their banking (checking/savings) and investment products are top notch. I am in the process of investing in some of their mutual funds for my Roth

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7 J. Money November 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm

yup! got a Roth there myself and pretty much use them for everything :) visited their headquarters this Summer and fell in love even more! haha…

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8 Raul V.Utreras December 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

I would to be come a member of USAA.

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9 Jaime October 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I made the switch to USAA today. I was getting so tired of Bank of America.

They’ve done a lot of horrible things lately to other people that it made me wonder, “what if I’m their next victim?” I did my research and people rave about ING, Ally, and USAA, so I decided to go with USAA. I’m a civilian and the lady who helped me over the phone was super nice.

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10 J. Money October 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

There you go!! Awesome :) I’ve been with them for over 15 years (half my life) and still love them just as much as from the start – if not more. You’re in good hands! Not a fan at all of BofA, bleh.

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11 Allison February 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Love this bank. I can’t say enough good things about them. Free checking, refunds on atm charges, deposit@mobile (can cash checks with my phone), easy to report fraudulent activity on credit card and get the money back. I use them for checking, insurance, and retirement accounts. Everything is so easy.

The one negative: because there aren’t physical branches, it is hard to deal with cash transactions (depositing cash). It’s not really an issue that comes up that often, except when I sell a large item. In that case I can get a money order and deposit it as a check.

Unlike most banks, they aren’t out to screw you. Very customer service oriented.

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12 J. Money February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

YES! Exactly. And when the cash thing comes up for me, I just use that money instead of hitting the ATM that month which I usually do on regular basis so I can have pocket change. So this actually saves me time for hitting up the ATM ;)

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13 Cristopher Diestel April 12, 2012 at 6:30 am

When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

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14 Jill Grebler August 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

Can non military families get insurance? Home and car? Please lmk.
Thank you. Jill grebler

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15 J. Money August 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

@Cristopher Diestel – Hey bud, sorry to hear that :( I tried searching for your email and also your first/last name but don’t see you signed up anywhere? Maybe you already unsubscribed yourself since it’s been a few months since I’ve seen this comment come in? (Sorry about that, btw). If you’re still getting them, there should be a link to unsubscribe in the email notifications you’re getting – it’s super easy to cancel out of :)

@Jill Grebler – I don’t believe so actually – I think that’s still military-only :( A lot of the stuff that’s open to everyone is their banking services… Do you have anyone in your family who’s in service or has served before?

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16 Sarah September 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

I must say I find it incredibly ridiculous that they’ve opened USAA up to non-military. My family has made the many sacrifices of a military family. My dad, sister, brother-in-law, my sons father, two cousins, six uncles, and my grandfather fought for this country-some are still active duty. A lot of the services that were once exclusive to our military have been opened to military and civilians alike. Pretty soon there will be nothing left for those selfless men and women who protect our country. As with anything else in this country, it boils down to money and that is extrely pathetic.

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17 J. Money September 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

Maybe they need the extra money to keep providing us with all their awesomeness? If I had to choose between USAA being open to others and USAA closing down, I’d certainly go with the first. Not that I have any knowledge of what’s going on over there… maybe some outside rules are forcing them to? A great question indeed for someone over at USAA :)

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18 AliveH August 25, 2013 at 1:46 am

Banking not open anymore guys. Now when you click on the link.
“Our investment products, life insurance, and shopping and discounts are available to other individuals. USAA auto and property insurance and USAA banking services are not available due to membership eligibility requirements. ”

Oh well, I was hoping to join… I wanted to avoid all the big banks that did horrible things to the economy, bribed all the politicians and have successfully avoided prosecution for repeated criminality. I’ll have to keep looking for small, safe local banks…

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19 John Hancock August 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

It’s true, J. Money…AliveH is correct. Just this month we changed our eligibility criteria for bank products with USAA to mirror the eligibility requirements of our insurance products: USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military, and their eligible family members.

With more and more people turning to USAA to help facilitate their financial security, we made the change to ensure we are able to focus our resources on serving our military members and their families.

We hope that AliveH and your audience understand our commitment to our members – those who are serving or have honorably served, and their eligible family members. We’ve been serving our military since 1922 and look forward to continuing to serve them and their families.

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20 J. Money August 31, 2013 at 7:26 am

Thanks for the heads up, AliveH, and for the confirmation John. It was nice while it lasted! :)

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21 Rich Y September 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

I am eligible for USAA membership based on prior military service. Is there a minimum amount of insurance coverage I’m required to purchase in order for my child to be able to purchase an insurance product? For instance, do I have to have auto insurance with USAA for my child to get separate auto insurance coverage on her own. Do I need to have home owner’s coverage for her to get renter’s insurance. I am interested in switching to USAA in the future but my daughter would like to switch earlier.

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22 J. Money September 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Hey Rich – excellent question :) I’m 99% sure that all you have to do is become a USAA member in general. and then your daughter can take advantage of any product of theirs she wishes. You may not even have to open up an account there, I’m not sure (and if you do, you could just pick up a savings acct or something super easily and then move over your other stuff later). USAA is one big “house” and once you’re a family member you’re siblings have access to everything. The amounts you put in/sign up for shouldn’t matter at all.

I’d just give them a quick call and find out for certain :) 1-800-531-8722. They have great customer service.

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23 John Hancock September 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hey Rich, the short answer: No, there are no minimums for insurace. For people such as yourself who want to establish membership, I’d consider looking at getting a Valuable Personal Property policy. Once you have that in place, your family becomes elgible and we’ll wait for you to bring over the rest of your business. Give us a call.
- John
…pardon the brevity, I’m currently at 35,000 feet headed out of town.

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24 Rich Y September 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Thanks John, however when I attempt to get a quote online I get the message below. Since I live in Texas the minimum VPP apparently doesn’t apply in my case. Is there another simple solution. As I stated, I personally am not ready at this time to switch over. If I can’t get a simple solution for my daughter at this time this is likely to cost USAA not only my Homeowner’s and Auto Insurance business, but also significant Banking and Investing business that I might be eligible for.

If you decide to purchase a Valuable Personal Property policy, you will need a USAA Homeowners or Renters insurance policy1

1 Applicants in CT, FL, GA, HI, ME, NH, NM, NY, PA, SC can purchase a Valuable Personal Property policy without a Homeowners or Renters policy. Contact a USAA representative for details. Underwriting restrictions apply.

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25 John Hancock September 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm

OK…did some checking and unfortuntately it looks like our web site is not set up to handle that kind of transaction. i did get an email from the team that manages that area and they asked that you give them a call or, if you’d like, send me your contact info and they’ll give you a call. My email is john.hancock@usaa.com.

Let’s get your family started!

john

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26 paul October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

My father served in WWII and my brother served in Vietnam, I went on the USAA website and applied for membership using my fathers SS# and I got a message saying I was not eligible. Any advice?

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27 Erika November 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm

My father served in Vietnam, my grandfather served in Korea… My great great great grandfather was in the civil war…. USAA wouldn’t allow me to sign up! They took my fathers ss# and said I didn’t qualify. What????!

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28 John Hancock November 11, 2013 at 8:16 am

Erika, USAA is a legacy association – passed down from generation to generation. Your father needs to be a member before membership can be passed along to his children. Unfortunately, it can’t skip a generation. I hope that makes sense.
- John

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29 J. Money November 11, 2013 at 10:41 am

I think what John is hinting at up there is to have your fathers create an account with USAA first, and then you guys can get one from there ;) If they don’t need one, just have them sign up to a savings account or something and drop $100 in it, haha… They just need to be an official member first before you guys can get it!

(And FYI – John Hancock works at USAA. He’s not just a lovely reader ;))

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30 Kimberly January 14, 2014 at 6:50 am

My son is active duty and has bugged me for a long time to switch to USAA. I went online to check it out today but I don’t qualify. How come parents of active duty don’t qualify?

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31 J. Money January 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

Hey Kimberly,

I reached out to a contact I have over there and it is indeed true, I’m afraid. Here’s the note I received:

“The legacy of USAA begins with the service member and is extended to his family – spouse & children – but does not go in the opposite direction – to parents, siblings, etc. The mission of the association is to facilitate the financial security of our military and their families.”

Wish I had better news to report!

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32 Kimberly January 16, 2014 at 5:02 am

Thank you J. Money. I told my son this and his response was: “That’s stupid Mom, you and dad had to sign for me to go in.” My son was only 17 when he swore in 4.5 years ago….

Unfortunately, my parents weren’t military. My step father was but he is not a member of USAA.

Thank you again for taking the time to look into this.

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33 J. Money January 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Awww, well no problem :) Thank your son for me for serving!!

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34 Barbara January 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I think it is embarrassing that USAA allows family membership to USAA military who have never served in active combat while not allowing admittance to the family of someone who fought on the ground during actual combat and survived. The loophole of “legacy” membership used by USAA is disgraceful. Active military are punished for not having the foresight to have joined USAA when they were primarily focused on serving their country and staying alive. The sacrifices our military made cannot be repaid. If you have honorable discharge paperwork from a family member who served his/her country it should be equally acceptable as is a “legacy” membership.

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35 sarah February 28, 2014 at 9:37 pm

That’s a good point Barbara. Will that ever be a possibility John Hancock and J.Money? Can you please respond to the comcast email provided. Thanks much. SK

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36 J. Money March 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I have no idea personally – I just love and use them, I don’t work there :( If I find out any more info I’ll let y’all know.

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37 Rhonda April 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Does anyone know if the rules have changed since 08. My husband served 8 yr. navy but never became a Ussa member when he passed away on 08 I called to see if me and our 6 kids qualified. I was told then if he was alive him and his family would qualify but because he was deceased he didn’t qualify and that ment the family didn’t ether. I was just wondering if this had changed since 08 when u called?

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38 J. Money April 16, 2014 at 9:15 pm

That’s a great question, and one I’m not sure of personally. I’ll shoot it by my contact and let you know (or have him let you know) if I hear back. If you’re on a time crunch, you can just call them up too and ask – you’ll have your answer within seconds :)

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