The USAA (United Services Automobile Association) got its start back in 1922 as a mechanism for self-insurance by and for military officers.
Oddly enough the perception of military officers during this time was that they were a “high risk” group and were thus unable to secure auto insurance.
The USAA was initially created to solve this unique problem, but over time they outgrew their original mission.
They have evolved into a diverse set of companies all in the financial services sector with a range of products that includes property, casualty and life insurance, banking, investing and financial planning. They service over 12.4 million members and just shy of $130 billion in assets under management (AUM).
In our review below we will be focusing on the certificate of deposit rates offered by the banking division of USAA.
USAA CD Rates + Account Details
USAA CDs are federally insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor or $500,000 on joint accounts.
USAA offers sixteen, standard term certificates of deposit with terms ranging from 30 days to 7 years. Some of the term lengths are a bit unusual compared to other banks and credit unions, but USAA has regularly offered promotional CDs with these oddball terms in the past – sometimes with exceptional APYs.
USAA CD Rates
|Term||Standard APY||Jumbo APY|
To put these offers in perspective, the current national average for a 12 month CD and a 60 month CD sit at 0.22% APY and 0.47% APY, respectively.
Along with their fixed rate deposits, USAA also offers “variable rate CDs” and “adjustable rate CDs.”
Their variable rate CDs consist of two terms – a 182 day term and a 1 year term. They feature the same APY as listed above for those respective terms. The main difference with these CDs is that the rate is variable and can change at any time without notice.
Their adjustable rate CDs are simply their 3 to 7 year CDs. These products allow for you to call in and receive a one-time interest rate hike if/when interest rates rise during the lifespan of your deposit. This one-time adjustment has a maximum increase of 2 percent from its original yield.
As you can see Jumbo CDs and standard CDs both come with the same annual percentage yield currently. They also have “Super Jumbo CDs” that come with an even higher minimum deposit requirement but the same yields as listed above.
Minimum Deposit Requirements
|CD type||Minimum Deposit Required|
Interest on USAA CDs is compounded daily and credited monthly either back into the CD (for further compounding) or into another connected account. This is a nice feature for those using interest payments as income.
If you need any or all of your funds prior to your CD maturing you will have to pay an early withdrawal fee.
Early Withdrawal Fees
|30 days or less||30 days’ interest|
|30 to 364 days||90 days’ interest|
|365 days to 5 years||180 days’ interest|
|5 years +||365 days’ interest|
How to Open a USAA CD Account
You can open a CD account with USAA in one of the following 3 ways:
- Online, through their website. This is the quickest way. Steps outlined below.
- By downloading their app for either IOS or Android.
- Stopping by one of their local branches. Locate them here.
If you choose to open the CD online. Here are the steps to open and fund your account:
- Navigate to the USAA CD landing page here. Click “Open a CD.”
- From here you’ll have an option on the left to login if you’re already a member. On the right, you can click the green “Join Online” button to become a member.
- Fill out the required personal information. They may ask about employment and citizenship information. Have your drivers’ license or state issued ID handy.
- Follow the next prompts to fund your account. For this you’ll need the bank account number you’re funding the CD with as well as the routing number for the bank.
While we appreciate the range of terms and products within USAA’s certificate of deposit suite, better yields can be found through online banks and nationally available credit unions.
Check back often though as USAA is known for offering promotional CDs with higher rates than their standard term products.