Founded and based in San Antonio, USAA is an FDIC-insured bank, insurance, and financial services company that serves current and former military members and their families. Started by 25 U.S. Army officers, USAA has since grown to more than 11 million members. Most of their products are only available to USAA members, who are military members or their families.
USAA won a number of awards in 2016, including the title Worldâ€™s Most Ethical Company from the Ethisphere Institute. It scored top rankings in the bank, insurance, and credit card categories in the Temkin Customer Service Ratings from 2013 to 2016.
Looking beyond high customer service standards, USAA CD rates are pretty comparable to the national average, though with some products they are significantly lower. Minimum deposit requirements are lower than with many similar products, though there are CDs out there with better rates and lower minimum deposits than USAAâ€™s CDs. If youâ€™re a member of the military (or a family member of a military member) and looking for a bank that offers a wide variety of products as well as excellent customer service, USAA could be a good bet if youâ€™re will make the tradeoff for lower CD rates.
*All rates are current as of 11/9/2018
A USAA fixed-rate CD is for those who intend to make one deposit to get a guaranteed rate of return over the agreed-upon term. Once you make your initial deposit (which differs depending on the type of CD you choose), your interest rate is set for the duration of the CD term. You are not allowed to make any additional deposits into your CD account after the initial amount.
Interest accumulates daily, and you have the choice to keep any interest earned in the CD until it matures (the interest will compound monthly) or have it paid out monthly to an account of your choosing. The CD will not be renewed automatically once it matures, though you have the option to do so if you want. If not, all the money in the account will be paid into an investment account until you withdraw it or invest it in another type of account.
Early-withdrawal penalties apply depending on the term of your CD:
Also, if you make a withdrawal within six calendar days of a deposit or another withdrawal, youâ€™ll have to pay at least seven daysâ€™ worth of interest.
A standard CD requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 and up to a maximum of $95,000. This type of account is best for those who do not have a large amount of money to invest and want a guaranteed rate for their savings.
Fixed jumbo CDs require a minimum deposit of $95,000 and a maximum amount up to $175,000.
Fixed super jumbo CDs require a minimum deposit of at least $175,000 with no maximum amount. However, FDIC only insures up to $250,000.
Like the fixed-rate CDs, the interest rate is locked for the entirety of the agreed term with an adjustable-rate CD. All interest is compounded daily starting on your settlement date (the actual date when your deposit goes into your account) and the interest is either paid out monthly or kept in the account until your CD matures. Your CD will not be automatically renewed. Instead, the money will be put into an investment account until you decide to put it back into another CD account or withdraw the entire balance.
Unlike with the fixed-rate CD, however, you can adjust your rate once during your CD term as well as make one other deposit when you request a rate adjustment. If rates go up, you can make an adjustment up to a 2 percent increase. The additional deposit needs to be a minimum of $25.
Early-withdrawal penalties are the same as with the fixed-rate CD:
In addition, you will be required to pay at least seven daysâ€™ worth of interest if you withdraw money within six calendar days of either a deposit or another withdrawal from your account.
The minimum opening deposit for an adjustable standard CD account is $1,000. Youâ€™re allowed up to a maximum of $95,000. Otherwise, you will need to open an adjustable jumbo CD account.
Adjustable Jumbo CDs need a $95,000 minimum deposit and rates are applicable up to $175,000.
Adjustable super jumbo CDs have a minimum deposit of $175,000 with no limits on how much you can keep in your account. Keep in mind that FDIC insures up to $250,000 in your account.
As of 8/6/2018
This type of CD account is best suited to those who want the ability to make more than one deposit any time they choose. The rate tends to be lower than the other CDs of the same term length, but you are allowed to make as many additional deposits as you like without extending the maturity date, as long itâ€™s $25 or more each time. This could help you earn more on your deposits than you would with a traditional savings account, though there are better rates to be had among those products, as well.
Unlike the fixed- and adjustable-rate CDs, the interest rate on a variable-rate CD may fluctuate daily so earnings may be affected. However, interest is compounded daily, and just like the other CD accounts and you can either keep earned interest with the CD balance and allow the interest to compound, or you can have it paid out to another account every month.
There are also early-withdrawal penalties with a variable rate CD. Youâ€™ll be charged 30 daysâ€™ worth of interest if you take your money out before the maturity date.
Above all, itâ€™s important to remember that only USAA members can get its products, so if youâ€™re not eligible for membership, USAA CDs arenâ€™t an option for you.USAAâ€™s CD rates are not as competitive as other institutionsâ€™ products (you can see the best CD rates in our monthly roundup). While the $1,000 minimum deposit requirement is lower than some other banks that offer higher APYs on their CDs, you can get a better CD rate on accounts with deposit requirements as low as $500. While the rates for jumbo and super jumbo CDs are better than its standard offers, you can find better rates.
One of the main advantages of opening a CD with USAA is the ability to bump up your rate with an adjustable-rate CD, as other banks donâ€™t always offer this option.. Itâ€™s important to note that a rate increase is not guaranteed. However, you are given an opportunity to make another deposit into your account before maturity.
As for USAAâ€™s variable-rate CD, you may be better off opening a high-yield savings account if youâ€™re looking for an account with a good APY and some liquidity.
Overall, if you want a bank with excellent customer service and the ability to choose from a wide variety of services, USAA is a good option. USAA may be your best choice if you want your CDs at a bank that understands needs specific to military members and their families. But if high yields are your priority, youâ€™re better off looking elsewhere.