When looking to open a bank account—as civilian or military personnel—it is always important to do a little bit of research on the bank of your choice. Things like ease of access over internet or in person, convenient ATM locations, loans and credit services, etc. are important factors when looking for a good bank.
Military-friendly banks will have all those features and then some, specifically to help make banking easier for military service members. I am including a list of the top 5 military-friendly banks.
1. USAA hands down, has to be by far the best. My husband and father-in-law both use USAA for investments, loan services, etc. While USAA doesn’t actually pin itself as a bank, banking is definitely a core service provided to military and their families. One of the perks of using USAA is the fact that when payday rolls around, military personnel can access the payment while it is still pending, rather than wait an extra day when it is actually posted into the account. So, payday can actually be a day early. Checks can be deposited directly via internet by scanning them in and sending directly to the USAA account for automatic deposit. USAA also reimburses all ATM fees. While it’s tough to find a branch location sometimes, the ease of access online makes it a #1 choice for military. USAA is also very well-known for their superb customer service.
2. Navy Federal (Credit Union) offers typical banking options, but is available to all branches of the military. They offer savings, checking, and IRA accounts and certificates, with consumer loans, credit cards, mortgages, and home equity loans. Online banking is available, making it easy to access to any account information, and offers 24/7 customer service due to the nature of the membership—mainly active duty/deployed military. They also offer services for retirees/veterans. NFCU has approximately 223 branch locations and over 450 ATMs located world-wide, making it easily accessible to its members.
3. PenFed (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) is another credit union serving members in the USAF, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense/defense-related companies, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and employee groups and organizations. They offer mortgages, credit/debit cards, auto loans, personal loans, checking, money market savings, and other accounts in addition to those stated. Their service is 24/7, as they also serve active duty military, online or by phone. Branches can be located in the D.C. area, Hawaii, New York, and North Carolina, as well as overseas. PenFed can be a great choice in banking services and members’ needs.
4. Armed Forces Bank is another good choice for military personnel. They offer free checking for military service members, and they are a full-service bank that provides checking/savings accounts, savings bonds, loans of all types, credit cards, and CDs. They have many branches, most of which are open 7 days a week, online banking available any time of day, and they also have the option to scan paychecks in and send them in for easy and fast deposit. This bank is geared mainly toward military personnel, but it does offer banking for members without any military affiliation.
5. Most well-known banks offer military banking plans specifically catering to the needs of military service members and their families. Some of these banks include Wells Fargo, Bank of America Military, CitiBank Military, and Chase Military just to name a few. All offer discounts on various products for military service members and retirees, and are excellent at working with the specific needs of military personnel.
I have included the top 5 military-friendly banks with the exception of #5 mainly because there are great options available just for military personnel through many banks where the majority of members are civilians. It is up to the person to research and ask questions, and choose the best option for them. If there are any other great banks that specifically fit the needs of military personnel, please feel free to include them in the comments section.
If you have any questions, you can also post them below, and we will attempt to provide an answer or lead you to the answer. Thank you.