My parents were in the military, so I was able to get free checking and insurance through them. I've never had to make any insurance claims, but their prices were way cheaper than any other company I looked at. They are very flexible as far as due dates for my premium, and they've never charged me a late fee. I once went 6 months owing them around $30 and still no late fee.
The checking is fair. My credit won't qualify me for the thing where you can take a picture of a check and deposit it with you phone (Mobile Deposit is what they call it.) so I have a local bank where I deposit checks, and then just transfer it thirty seconds later. Always ask your local bank for a "no-holds account" so your checks are deposited immediately!!! I've only overdrawn once or twice, because transactions show up immediately, even pending transactions, so you know exactly how much money you have if you check. They didn't charge me an overdraft fee. I transferred the money the next day and all was good.
Their fraud services account called me on a Monday in December, saying I had suspicious activity on my account. The Saturday before (two days earlier) 5 $100 debits were posted in Tennessee and Alabama. I had been in Virginia the entire month. The next day they put the money back into my account, and let me know that it would stay when they finished their investigation and determined it to be fraud. The weird thing was I still had my debit card with me, so they sent me a new one. Problem solved.
Whenever I've had a question and called in, I've never waited on hold for more than 3 minutes. Literally. 3 minutes max. And their operators speak perfect English, are very polite, and know what they're talking about.
I called one Friday night at 1:30 am when I realized I didn't have my debit card. A girl answered right away, put a hold on the card, and told me to call back when I found it or considered it gone. Problem solved.
I took the bait when USAA sent me a offer of low credit card balance transfers, so I transferred my high rate cards. What I did not know is that after a short promotional period they would treat the balance as a cash advance, big bucks as we all know. I now pay more than before I transferred my balances! So I asked if I can pay off what they considered "cash advances" separate from my regular credit card balance, no! I take full blame for not getting out my microscope to read the entire journal (agreement) but, damn!
So, don't buy into all the "we help military personnel and their family's" crap. Your better off with Capitol One or other major credit card companies who don't go waving the American Flag while they give you a financial enema!
I became a USAA member when my Air Force Reserve recruiter recommended them to me. It seemed legit and I had a great experience with them for the first few years.
Then about three years ago, I had bill-pay setup and then they started retroactively bouncing my checks. When I called to complain, they said that the checks were drawn on the account on the day they went out, which completely defeats the purpose of automatic bill pay! I said " screw it" and cancelled my bill pay; I could pay my bills myself without the extra worry of USAA randomly changing bank policy just so they can get a few extra dollars from me in NSF fees. No muss, no fuss.
Then last year, I wrote a check to pay my rent while I was on TDY. I was already late when I paid it because USAA also had a new policy of retroactively bouncing physical checks that I would personally write and mail in to my leasing company two days early. I didn't make a stink about that, even though I hated that I couldn't trust them to do the right thing. But this time, I waited till I got paid, wrote the rent check on Friday (the same day I got paid) and went about my weekend. On Monday I got a call from the leasing company that I would be evicted if I didn't pay my rent. I checked my account and sure enough they bounced my check even though there was more than enough money to cover it. I called USAA and there was no explanation given. I demanded back the NSF fees and the $50.00 fee my leasing company charged. The lady I spoke to was nice enough to give me all that back, but the damage was already done.
If I can't trust you with literally the most valuable stuff I have: my money, then I want nothing to do with you. USAA made me look like a deadbeat to my leasing company and put a mark on my rental history.
If you value your credit and your money, you should steer far away from USAA. I have been telling everyone in my unit that USAA is a ticking time bomb waiting to blow up their lives. Run!