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USAA Youth Spending review

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An account for kids offering ATM limits and text alerts to keep spending in check.

finder.com’s rating: 4.2 / 5.0


The USAA Youth Spending checking account is designed for children under the age of 18. Offering no maintenance fees, text alerts for parents and the ability to set spending limits, it’s a practical way for kids to learn how to manage their money.


Monthly fee




Minimum deposit to open


APY0.01% on balances of $1,000+
Monthly fee$0
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.com 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 interested in getting their financial footing. Parents and guardians can monitor and set spending limits without a monthly fee. And while the rate is low, balances earn interest that can drive home steady savings.

However, USAA membership is required, and you may find more robust spending and savings tools with other providers.

What are the benefits of a checking account with USAA?

This account comes with ATM access, mobile banking and mobile check deposit alongside:

  • No monthly fees. You can maintain this account fee-free.
  • 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.
  • Steady interest. Your balance of $1,000 or more attracts a low 0.01% APY — but can teach the benefits of steady growth.

USAA’s ATM network and fees

  • This account comes with a debit card that gives you 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.
  • Your USAA debit card allows access to ATMs outside USAA’s network, but you’ll pay surcharges that vary by provider.

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 perks for kids feeling out finances. But watch for potential drawbacks that include:

  • 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 APY ATMs Fee
Chase College Checking
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
(can be waived)
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.
North Loop International Student Account
Get free access to 32,000 ATMs across the US
No account fees. No account minimums. No ATM fees. No incoming wire fees
Capital One MONEY
39,000+ Capital One and Allpoint ATMs nationwide
A teen checking account with zero fees.
Wells Fargo Teen Checking
0.05% on balances of $100,000+
0.03% on balances of $0 to $99,999.99
Everyday checking made easy. Open with $25.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I open a 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 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.

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 Youth Spending account must be under age 18, 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 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.
  • USAA Classic Checking for College Students. A checking account designed for college students with no maintenance fees, mobile banking and ATM fee refunds.

Frequently asked questions

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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.

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