USAA Classic Checking for College Students review |
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USAA Classic Checking for College Students review

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Please note: This product has been discontinued, and it's not available on our site.

Compare similar student checking accounts and find the best option for you.

What are the benefits of a checking account with USAA?

This account comes with mobile banking, mobile check deposit and text alerts alongside:

  • No monthly fees. You won’t pay monthly maintenance to use this account.
  • Free incoming wire transfers. But you’ll pay $20 for outgoing wire transfers.
  • Mobile wallet. Set up Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay with your USAA Classic Checking for College Students account.
  • ATM fee refunds. USAA reimburses up to 15 monthly for fees you rack up at ATMs outside USAA’s network.
  • Interest bearing. It isn’t much. But this account earns 0.01% APY on your balance of $1,000 or more.

USAA’s ATM network and fees

  • The USAA Classic Checking for College Students account comes with a debit card and ATM access. You can deposit, transfer and withdraw funds at any of USAA’s 250 nationwide ATMs.
  • USAA checking accounts come with 10 free ATM transactions monthly within the network. After that, you’re charged a $2 fee for each transaction.
  • Each month, USAA reimburses up to 15 in fees you rack up at ATMs outside USAA’s network.
  • Your USAA debit card also allows you access to your account while traveling. But you’ll pay a fee equal to 1% of your transaction for withdrawals made outside the US.

What should I look out for?

In addition to a low $600 daily limit on ATM cash withdrawals, potential drawbacks include:

  • Opening deposit. It’s not a lot at a minimum $25, but you’ll need a deposit to open this account.
  • ATM fees. Expect a $2 fee for each withdrawal beyond your 10allowed monthly.
  • Limited to members. USAA accounts are available to military members and eligible family.

Not sure about this account? Review other student checking options to get the best fit for your banking needs.

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How do I open a USAA Classic Checking for College Students account?

To open a USAA account, you must first become a USAA member:

  1. Go to USAA’s website and click Join Now.
  2. Enter your full name, date of birth, email address and phone number. Click Next.
  3. Tell USAA more about your military connection. Click Next.
  4. Enter your full residential address. Click Next.
  5. 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.

Based on the information you provide, USAA determines your eligibility. If approved, you’re assigned a USAA number. Use this number to set up your online account and review available USAA financial products.

You can then apply for the Classic Checking for College Students account online from USAA’s website.


To be eligible for this checking account, you must meet the following criteria:

  • US citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Military member or spouse, child or other eligible member
  • Enrolled in an eligible postsecondary program

Required information

Have the following information on hand before you apply:

  • Name, date of birth and residential address
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Details about you or your family member’s military service
  • External bank account number and routing number of funding account

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

USAA offers four ways for you to deposit, withdraw or transfer funds:

  • Online. Transfer funds to an externally linked account.
  • Mobile. Use USAA’s mobile banking app to deposit checks or transfer funds.
  • ATM. Deposit or withdraw funds from any of USAA’s 250 nationwide ATMs.
  • In person. Visit a USAA Financial Center in Colorado, Maryland, New York or Texas to meet with a representative.

What other checking options does USAA offer?

In addition to its Classic Checking for College Students account, USAA also offers:

  • USAA Classic Checking for Military Recruits. No initial deposit is required for this checking account offering no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements and mobile banking.
  • Youth Spending. For children ages 9 to 17, an account with no monthly service fees and the option for parents to set spending limits.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

Expert review

Shannon Terrell

Review by

Shannon Terrell is a writer for Finder who studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto. On any given day, you can find her researching everything from equine financing and business loans to student debt refinancing and how to start a trust. She loves hot coffee, the smell of fresh books and discovering new ways to save her pennies.

Expert review

If you’re eligible to join USAA and are enrolled at an eligible postsecondary program, USAA Classic Checking for College Students is a sensible way to manage your money.

It offers no monthly fees, mobile banking and free incoming wire transfers. But look out for ATM fees and eligibility limitations.

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