Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

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Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by PGR » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:54 pm

I've been using USAA's online bankings services for decades now but have recently run into issues that lead to me looking for a new service provider...

In the past i've been able to 'transfer' large amounts to/from other institutions 'linked' accounts such as my local Credit Union or Vanguard for example. It's been effective for years but no longer.

I recently aggregated a large amount of funds at USAA from other institutions with the intent of transferring it to my local credit union who will provide me with a no-charge cashier's check I can pick up in person for a closing I have scheduled....

Surprise - USAA now has a $5k limit on tranfers out. They gladly accepted large transfers in. Their solution is to either wire it or expedite mail a teller's check. And of course make fee on those solutions. (online initiated transfers have always been free and still are, albeit limited)

My short term solution is to complain loudly and insist on their waiving fees in this transaction. Either they will or they won't. I'll move on.

My long term solution is to possibly consider making the painful switch to a new provider. Based on my experience and expectations with USAA Am looking for:
  • A good online banking solution
    Free bill pay with option for recurring/schedule bills
    Access to extensive online records, scanned checks, etc.
    No limits or substantially higher limits on outgoing transfers
    Can act as a 'hub' between other institutions such as Vanguard, my local CU, etc.
    Free checking for the extremely rare paper check
    Free ATM including refund on ATM fees
    Mobile deposit
    Excellent telephone customer service w/ extended hours
No idea where to start... Some of the credit card companies are starting up banking, TIAA is too. I see vanguard has an Advantage account I'm reading up on (am Flagship status). I'm sensitive to fees that are typical of traditional for profit banks. In writing this post it forced me to reflect on - and I must admit that USAA has been offering a darn good service to me for these many years. But this $5k limit on transfers (out) is a bit of a back breaker for me.

Maybe the medium to long term solution is to start linking all of my other institutions to VG and use that as my 'hub' and USAA becomes more peripheral.

Like to hear others comments on good / bad experiences with online banking!


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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by delamer » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:33 pm

We’ve had checking at USAA for over 20 years, and have had a $5,000 transfer out limit for as long as I can remember.

So now I am wondering why you didn’t.

I always assumed they had a limit to reduce their liability in case of identity thrft.
Last edited by delamer on Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by TimeRunner » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:33 pm

It looks like USAA charges $8 for an expedited mail check and $14 for an express mail check. I would pay it and be done with it. Reference: ... k_rqst.pdf
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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by wander » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:45 pm

I have been banking with Schwab for many years since it first came out. Never had any problem.

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by JamesSFO » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:06 am

$5K limit at USAA is somewhat newish to my recollection but a supervisor on phone can do more, I've done $50K multiple times for $0 just get hassle with supervisor

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by krafty81 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:10 am

Really think the goods outweigh the bads in this case. ATM reimbursement, free checks and debit cards, multiple accounts. My kids are grown and still use USAA FSB.

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by BUBear29 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:12 am

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:15 am

Any big bank will probably do what you want. I prefer WellsFargo and it does all that and more such as Medallion Signature Guarantees and other Sig Guarantees. Plus I can walk from my house into the local office if need be.

Just be sure to get the right kind of account at any new place that you choose. They all have different accounts/services for different "tiers" of customers.
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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by Marlago35 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:06 pm

I use USAA for my banking needs and as my 'hub' to see all my other accounts as well. The $5,000 limit has been in place for some time and AFAIK is designed to prevent someone from gaining unauthorized access to your online USAA account, linking to an external account and then emptying out your USAA checking and savings accounts all in one fell swoop.

Personally, I have never had a problem transferring sums greater than $5,000 but I initiate the request with the receiving insitution rather than initiating with USAA. For example, I initiate a transfer request from my online high yield savings bank to take money out of USAA for more than $5,000 all the time and have never had an issue running in to a cap. Perhaps try that first before you move banks (if your other institutions support online banking).

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by leeks » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:12 pm

Definitely follow the suggestion above of complaining to a supervisor, they will probably courtesy-waive the fee or come up with a reasonable alternative.

Even if you have to pay it, would you really leave USAA over a $8/$14 charge for a rarely-needed item? It's clear that the fee upsets you but the hassle of changing banks would not be worth it to me.

I have also been a USAA member for decades and use it for our primary checking account and 2.5% cash-back credit card. I recently had to put a stop payment order on a check (for no fault of USAA) and they waived the fee without me even asking. I have always had amazing customer service from them and since they are not for-profit, I trust their motives. One of the many things I love is that every time I have had a suspicious charge on a credit/debit card (happens once every couple years), they put the money back in my account immediately (pending investigation). I always have the feeling they are "on my side".

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by arf30 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:18 pm

Ally, Alliant CU, Schwab, Fidelity CMA

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by jebmke » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:26 pm

I regularly do ACH transfers out of my USAA checking account that are larger that $5K. They are pull transactions from the other institution.
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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by robertmcd » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:38 pm

If you are willing to move a substantial amount of money into their brokerage business, Chase sapphire banking is a good option. You don't have to hold it in their checking or savings account so you can just buy shares of vanguard funds or etfs or transfer over your existing holdings.

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Re: Suggestions for Online Banking (Having Problems w/ USAA)

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:18 pm

Ally. A real bank.

External Transfer Limits
The accounts you selected qualify for 1-business day delivery. If you choose other accounts or a different frequency, your available transfer speeds and limits may change.

Transfer Speed Maximum Per Day Maximum Every 30 Days

To Ally
1 business day $500,000 $1,000,000
3 business days $500,000 $1,000,000

From Ally
1 business day $150,000 $600,000
3 business days $150,000 $600,000
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