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USAA Youth Spending review

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A basic account for kids offering free ATMs and no monthly fees — but it lacks robust financial tools.

finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0

★★★★★

The USAA Youth Spending checking account is designed for children interested in getting their financial footing. Parents and guardians can monitor and set spending limits without a monthly fee. But although the account earns interest, the APY is only 0.01%. The account also doesn’t offer robust spending or savings tools that you’d find with other providers.

$0 per month

Fee

0.01%

APY

$25

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.01% on balances of $1,000+
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$25
ATMs60,000+ USAA ATMs
ATM transaction fee$2
ATM fee rebatesFirst 10 transactions each month
Foreign transaction fee1%
Overdraft fee$0
Nonsufficient funds fee$29

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

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. If you were hoping for integrated savings and spending tools you can use to teach your kids the value of money, keep looking.

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.
  • ATM and debit limits. Set withdrawal limits to keep your child’s spending in check.
  • Text alerts. Get alerts for excessive transactions or spending beyond the limits you put in place.

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.

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.

Before you sign up, compare checking accounts with other providers to find one that suits your family best.

Compare with other student checking accounts

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking
$0
80,000 ATMs for free
$0
No minimum or maximum balance and no monthly service fee.
Capital One MONEY
$0
39,000+ Capital One and Allpoint ATMs nationwide
A teen checking account with zero fees.
Wells Fargo Teen Checking
$25
$2.50
Everyday checking made easy. Open with $25.
Chase College Checking
$0
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
New Chase customers can get a $100 signup bonus when they 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.
USAA Youth Spending
$25
60,000+ USAA ATMs
Enjoy a checking account without the monthly service fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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.

  1. Go to USAA’s website, click the Products tab and click Youth Banking.
  2. Click Get Started in the Youth Spending section.
  3. Click Join Online.
  4. Enter your full name, date of birth, email address and phone number. Click Next.
  5. Tell USAA more about your military connection. Click Next.
  6. Enter your full residential address. Click Next.
  7. 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.

Eligibility

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

Required information

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

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.

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.

Frequently asked questions

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