USAA Youth Spending review
- $0 per month
- Age requirements
- Any age
The USAA Youth Spending checking account is designed for children under the age of 18. The biggest draw is that this account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements — and your teen gets access to a free network of more than 60,000 ATMs.
Parental controls, such as the ability to set spending limits, make it a practical way for kids to manage their money with a little bit of guidance. But you won’t find any stand-out perks or features beyond these basic controls. And while the USAA Youth Spending checking account has a modest 0.01% APY, it’s on the lower end of the industry — especially compared to Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking account’s 0.25% APY.
Shop around if you’re looking for a high yield kids checking account or if you need integrated kid savings and spending tools.
No monthly fees
Automatically converts at 18 to a USAA Classic Checking
Low interest rate
How do I open a USAA Youth Spending account?
Parents or guardians can apply for the Youth Spending account in a child’s name. But you must be a USAA member.
- Go to USAA’s website, click the Products tab and click Youth Banking.
- Click Get Started in the Youth Spending section.
- Click Join Online.
- Enter your full name, date of birth, email address and phone number. Click Next.
- Tell USAA more about your military connection. Click Next.
- Enter your full residential address. Click Next.
- If your military connection is a family member, tell USAA more about this person, including their full name, date of birth, Social Security number, full mailing and physical address and branch of military service.
USAA determines your membership eligibility based on the information you provide. If eligible, you’re provided a USAA number. Use this number to set up your online account and review USAA’s financial products.
Apply for the Youth Spending account online. When the account is set up, add the child as the primary account holder.
The primary account holder for the USAA Youth Spending account must be at least 18 years old, among other basic criteria:
- US citizen
- Social Security number
- Military member or family member of a military member, including spouses, children and children-in-law
Be ready to supply the following information when applying:
- Name, date of birth and residential address
- Contact information
- Social Security number for you and your child
- Details about you or your family member’s military service
- External bank account and routing number of funding account
USAA membership eligibility
You must be a member of one of the following groups to qualify for USAA’s free membership:
- Active duty member of the US Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard and Reserves
- Veterans with an Honorable discharge
- Eligible family members of USAA members
- Cadets and midshipmen at US service academies and affiliated schools
What are the benefits of a USAA Youth Spending account?
This account comes with standard checking features, such as ATM access, mobile banking and mobile check deposit, as well as:
- No monthly fees. You can maintain this account for free and there’s no minimum balance requirements to earn interest.
- Parental controls. Set ATM and withdrawal limits to keep your child’s spending in check. Plus parents can decide whether their child can transfer money and make deposits.
- Text alerts. Get alerts for excessive transactions or spending beyond the limits you put in place.
- Overdraft protection. USAA doesn’t charge a fee to transfer funds from a second USAA Bank deposit or credit card account to cover a transaction if you don’t have enough money in your account. Transfers from a credit card account are treated as cash advances and may be subject to interest and other charges.
- Automatically converts at 18. The Youth Spending account is automatically switched over to a USAA Classic Checking account when your child turns 18. Unless you opt for removal, you remain on the account as a parent or guardian, but without access to parental controls.
What should I look out for?
The USAA Youth Spending account offers a few parental controls, but it falls short compared to other providers that offer integrated money management tools. Other potential drawbacks include:
- Low interest rate. Your balance of $1,000 or more attracts a low 0.01% APY — but it can still teach the benefits of steady growth.
- Opening deposit. You’ll need to deposit at least $25 to open this account.
- Limited eligibility. You must be a USAA member to apply for this account. To meet eligibility, you’ll need to be a member or an immediate family member of someone in the military.
Before you sign up, compare checking accounts with other providers to find one that suits your family best.
USAA’s ATM network and fees
The USAA Youth Spending account comes with a debit card that gives you free access to USAA’s network of more than 60,000 ATMs nationwide. The first 10 transactions at a USAA ATM each month are free. After that, expect to pay a $2 fee.
If you plan to take your USAA debit card on adventures abroad, you’ll pay a fee equal to 1% of your transactions outside the US.
Compare USAA Youth Spending account with other student checking accounts
Use the table to discover other student checking accounts with contrasting interest rates, minimum opening deposits and ATM fees.
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?
Deposit, withdraw or transfer funds from your USAA Youth Spending account in four ways:
- Online. Transfer funds from your checking account to any externally linked account.
- Mobile. Deposit checks or transfer funds through USAA’s mobile banking app for Android and iOS.
- ATM. Deposit or withdraw cash from any ATM.
- In person. Visit a USAA Financial Center in Colorado, Maryland, New York or Texas.
Is USAA Youth Spending safe?
Yes, your Youth Spending account is safe for you and your children. USAA doesn’t sell your data and uses world-class virus and intrusion software to protect your information. You’ll also have strict controls over your child’s spending and account. You can also grant your kid limited, secure access USAA’s site if they are 13 or older.
What other checking options does USAA offer?
Besides its Youth Spending account, USAA offers:
- USAA Classic Checking. This USAA checking account offers no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement and minimum $25 opening deposit.
Kids’ debit card ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We analyze top debit cards for kids and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. We rate kids’ checking accounts by these factors: Monthly fee, features, ATM access, customer support options, and availability. We also consider APY as a factor only for those that earn interest. We rate prepaid debit cards for kids by these factors: monthly fees, features, customer support options and account availability.
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Have you considered SoFi Checking and Savings?
Earn up to 4.60% APY on savings by meeting deposit requirements, and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Members without deposit requirements will earn 0.50% APY on both savings and checking balances. Turn on automatic savings or use the Roundups feature to help you reach your savings goals faster. Get up to $2M of additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks.
- 0.50% APY on checking balance
- Up to 4.60% APY on savings
- $0 account or overdraft fees
- Get a $300 bonus with direct deposits of $5,000 or more
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