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USAA Classic Checking for College Students review

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A low-fee student account for military members and their families.

Looking for flexible access to your funds as you set out for college? The USAA Classic Checking for College Students Students offers mobile banking, ATM access and no monthly maintenance fees. But you must be eligible for membership with the military-focused USAA.


Monthly fee




Minimum deposit to open


APY0.01% on balances of $1,000+
Monthly fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$25
ATM fee rebates15
Foreign transaction fee1%

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.

Compare with other student checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
(can be waived)
Get about four years of interest paid up front! New Chase customers can get a $100 signup bonus when they enroll in paperless statements and complete 10 qualifying transactions within 60 days of account opening. Plus no monthly service fee as long as you’re between 17-24 years and a student for up to 5 years.
Get free access to 32,000 ATMs across the US
No account fees. No account minimums. No ATM fees. No incoming wire fees
0.01% on balances of $1,000+
An online checking account means no driving around town, no waiting in line and no bankers' hours.
39,000+ Capital One and Allpoint ATMs nationwide
A teen checking account with zero fees.
0.05% on balances of $100,000+
0.03% on balances of $0 to $99,999.99
Everyday checking made easy. Open with $25.
0.10% on balances of $50,000+
0.06% on balances of $10,000 to $49,999
0.05% on balances of $0 to $9,999
3,013 branches and 5,323 bilingual ATMs
A checking account can be a safe, convenient place to stash the cash you need for bills and other expenses.
0.01% on balances of $1,000+
250 USAA ATMs nationwide
Enjoy a checking account without the monthly service fees.
Over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs
(can be waived)
An account designated specifically for students with access to over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs, money management tools and a one-of-a-kind recognition program.
16,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
(can be waived)
Customize your account to fit your needs and experience a wide array of services from a Big Four bank.
Anywhere Visa is accepted
(can be waived)
Current connects your money to friends, family, brands, and experiences that matter.

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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.

Bottom line

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, ATM access, mobile banking and free incoming wire transfers. But look out for ATM fees and eligibility limitations.

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

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