We’re not saying, of course, that the privilege of using one of the country’s best banks shouldn’t be reserved for people who volunteer to serve in the armed forces. That’s a given. It was just nice to have the option available to civilians who are unhappy with their local bank and don’t mind not having a local branch in most of the country.
Check with your parents to find out whether they might be eligible: any honorably discharged member of the military is now eligible for membership. (My own Tax Dad, for example, grew up in the compulsory draft era and served in the Army.)
If you’re looking for a bank without physical branches that has most of the same perks as a USAA checking account, check out Charles Schwab Bank–readers tell us nice things about them. People in New Hampshire and North Carolina may still be able to get USAA car insurance if that interests them, and non-members who already have bank accounts get to keep them.
Who can become a member? [USAA]