USAA Expands Membership To All Vets

Perennial Consumerist favorite banker and insurance company USAA announced yesterday that they’re expanding eligible membership to all honorably discharged vets, regardless of dates or lengths of service.

Once the vet joins, their spouse and children are eligible for membership as well.

Here’s the official word on who can join now:

Military personnel

* All current members of the U.S. Armed Forces, active duty, Guard and reserve, as well as those who retired or honorably separated in the past, regardless of dates or branch of service (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard).
* Cadets, midshipmen, and officer or warrant officer candidates in government-sponsored programs leading to a commission.

Family members

* Adult children, widow(er)s, and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members.
* Widow(er)s of officer and enlisted personnel who were killed in action while eligible.

USAA wins rave reviews because of it’s awesome customer service and because they don’t try to rip people off. Also, they let you deposit checks by taking a picture with your iPhone or scanning and uploading them.

Even if you don’t qualify based on the above, you can still take advantage of USAA’s basic checking and savings services.

[Press Release] (Photo: hectorir) (Thanks to Chad!)

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  1. MaxSmart32 says:

    Just a note…they’re extending it to spouses and children of people who have or had in the past USAA coverage, but NOT to spouses/children of veterans that have NOT had coverage…just to clarify it.

    • Tim says:

      @MaxSmart32: No, of CURRENT USAA members, not past ones.

      Hmm. The post mentions un-remarried former spouses of USAA members, but not current spouses. I would assume that current spouses would qualify, no?

      • EllisDees says:

        @TCama:
        I used to be married to a woman whose mother had USAA. We have been divorced for 6 years now and I remarried back in June and I (and my new wife) have USAA insurance and banking. There has been no issue at all with getting remarried.

      • MaxSmart32 says:

        @TCama: Actually if you go to the USAA website, it clearly states “Individuals whose parents are or were USAA members may also be eligible for USAA membership.”

    • sburnap42 says:

      @MaxSmart32: How has this changed? My wife and I have had USAA for more than a decade because her father was in the Navy many years ago and uses USAA.

  2. fate47 - Meh. says:

    It’s about time. My father served two tours in Vietnam (in both the Marines and the Army) and he wasn’t eligible to become a member, whereas I served one term in the Navy and have been a member for a few years.

    • missdona says:

      @fate47 – Meh.: Same with my uncle, who just passed away over the summer. Three tours in Vietnam, was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force, but not eligible because of his enlisted status. He always wanted to get USAA, but never could.

      Now it’s too late for him, but good for those who are still with us.

    • bohemian says:

      @fate47 – Meh.: Yea, about time they did this. The sign up within 2 years of discharge ruled us out also.

  3. Radi0logy says:

    Mandatory Binding Arbitration for everyone!!

  4. SanDiegoDude says:

    Hey! Looks like I’m switching to USAA bank then. (AF Vet, 96 – 2000)

  5. fs2k2isfun says:

    The eligibility for Midshipmen/Cadets is not new. Friends of mine in ROTC all had USAA, regardless of whether their parents are/were in the military. Also, USAA has a great loan for pre-commissionees, $25,000 at 2-3%.

  6. Cruc says:

    The fact that I couldn’t join USAA simply because I didn’t sign up within a specified timeframe, even as a 5-point Desert Shield/Storm USMC vet, always irritated me.

    Well, thanks USAA-you’ve got a new customer coming.

  7. RPHP says:

    USAA is well known as one of the most consumer friendly (for those who are eligible) companies in America.

  8. hagirl says:

    This is very good. I’d just checked on membership for my father and thought it was crazy that a DAV from the Korean war didn’t qualify.

  9. Watcher95 says:

    USAA > All Others

  10. NickelMD says:

    Ah nice. So if you’re not honorably discharged under DADT, you also don’t get to bank at USAA, because you know faggots shouldn’t be in the military in the first place.[/sarcasm]

  11. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    I have had USAA for about 20 years now, despite divorcing my son-of-an-officer husband more than a decade ago. When we divorced, I fully expected to find out that I was no longer eligible. But when I called, they cheerfully informed me that despite severing the tie that created my eligibility to begin with, I could still take advantage of all their services, same as ever. Great company. Great rates. Great services. Thanks USAA!

  12. TheMonkeyKing says:

    This is my favorite company that I have service. They have our cars and house insurance. I am in the process of getting a financial account with them.

  13. Karita says:

    I am so glad my father finally has some kind of recognition for his service in Vietnam. He was drafted and went through hell as a light infantryman in 1965-1967.

    I know this is based on business decisions rather than any attempt to honor his service. But it means a lot to my family, regardless. Vietnam vets got treated so badly for so long that even the smallest acknowledgement actually means a lot more than many of you would expect.

  14. 3skr1mad0r says:

    Finally my Dad can join. He’s a 3 Vietnam tour Navy vet. I got with USAA when I was in the Navy but he wasn’t eligible which was always strange to me. I even tried to sponsor him but no joy.
    Some banks are like that. In the late 90s, I could not join Navy Federal Credit Union even though I was active duty Navy. It was only for overseas and shipboard sailors. Now they take any service member but under the old rules my Dad had to sponsor me in.
    I’ll be sure to have him contact USAA ASAP.

  15. gjones77 says:

    I’m joining as we speak as a US Veteran.

    It’s nice to come in from the cold…

    • marsneedsrabbits says:

      @gjones77:

      I was just on the phone with them, too. We’re already members, but have used only auto insurance until last week. They gave us a quote on homeowners insurance and it easily undercut our current provider with better coverage at a lower cost. One of their reps called today to do the final once-over on our new policy and to help cancel the old one (they write letters to the previous insurer).

      One thing I really like about them is their willingness to put quotes, policies, all sorts of things in email or on the web. You can print out your proof of insurance forms that way, review policy changes, send in appraisals, etc.

      My experience has been that excel at customer service. They always call back when they say they will, and are almost unnaturally cheerful and nice on the phone.

  16. momma_andrea says:

    I have been a USAA member for about a decade. My father-in-law was a USAA employee for awhile, so we (his son and I) could be members. I like USAA’s customer service, but my husband has been in two auto accidents where the other person was 100% at fault, and USAA was not very good to us. We couldn’t get them to give us a fair price for the totalled car. Also, don’t assume that you will always pay less with them. Their homeowners insurance was about $600 a year more than a comparable policy with Traveler’s.

    I do like that I get a rebate back from them every year. They also have some great perks like used to be able to get a $50 reimbursement for a car seat and their Mover’s Advantage program will give you $500 in most states if you use one of their recommended realtors. And I love their 24 hour customer service and rich online resources.

  17. rten says:

    I’ve found USAA to be the most honest of all the major financial companies I’ve ever dealt with (my local bank which has exactly 1 branch in the whole US is the exception). The level of service USAA provided is great and give them 1/3 of my business. I tried the insurance rates which didn’t beat my current carrier, but I’ve heard many favorable reviews of the insurance as well from people who have it. They should be considered an “online only” bank unless you plan to always live near an active military base.

  18. USAAMember says:

    I’ve been a member of USAA since 1972, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. For years, it was just my automobile insurance. Then, I gave them my credit cards, and finally all my banking business.

    When I received a call from a company that promised me I could save up to 25% by going with them, the only response I got when I told him I was with USAA was, “Uh-oh!”

    The last thing he heard me say was, “I could have told you that.”

    USAA gives you the best rates, the best service, and they just don’t try to hurt you.

  19. antonio says:

    Yeah right, USAA comes in the back door using the military. Exclusive to officers only, well I remember that was the way Geico did it, offered it to Officers only, it was exclusive, then expanded it to E-5 and above, that really made it sound good, referred E-5 and below to an affiliate company, CRITERION, (same company) for less benefits for more money; does that make sense? E-5 and below made less money and they had to pay more to get it; and then guess what? ONE ACCIDENT, and I was cancelled in 1963. So this is USAA’s back door, squeeze the military, make it sound like their getting a big favor, get their money, who cares if they get cancelled or they go to a better insurance later, they’ve already got your money.

  20. rbb says:

    @Verucalise(countingcalories):

    No need to slam USAA. You had a two year window and did not take it. How is that USAA’s fault?

  21. RandomHookup says:

    @Verucalise(countingcalories): They ultimately are a business, so honoring service isn’t part of their mission.

  22. Myotheralt says:

    @korybing: You are a member. Your spouse is eligible. Your children will be too. if you should happen to separate, and re-marry, after he becomes a member, both your new family and his would be eligible.

  23. Cruc says:

    @bohemian: Exactly; I’m a DS USMC vet and had no clue I would be “losing” this opportunity (for life….and for all my family members) by not getting a $25 checking account within that two year timeframe. I just wasn’t aware. And seemingly arbitrarily, if I got out a year later, I would have still qualified under the old qualifications that stipulated 1995 or later (I got out 12/94).

    I sucked it up for the last 14 years, but that’s changed as of today. (And I can confirm that it works too having created my accounts today and speaking to a cheerful customer service rep.)