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Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?

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Repairman
Established Contributor

Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?

Hello, all. I plan on joining Navy Federal Credit Union soon and am eyeing one of their credit cards, as well as in the future, the other financial services they offer. I've read several times online that NFCU is better than USAA in many ways, particularly with rates and credit cards, while USAA is better as a bank in part because of a better website. Is this true? And if so, are there any other areas in which USAA is better than NFCU? 

I ask because I am definitely joining NFCU, but am wondering if I should open up an account with USAA too, to cover all my bases? Maybe USAA has better rates in terms of Mortgages, and Auto and Home insurance? Is it advantageous to sign up for both? Or is opening a USAA account redundant if I already am a member of NFCU?

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help with insight and advice!

Message 1 of 6
5 REPLIES 5
FireMedic1
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?


@Repairman wrote:

Hello, all. I plan on joining Navy Federal Credit Union soon and am eyeing one of their credit cards, as well as in the future, the other financial services they offer. I've read several times online that NFCU is better than USAA in many ways, particularly with rates and credit cards, while USAA is better as a bank in part because of a better website. Is this true? And if so, are there any other areas in which USAA is better than NFCU? 

I ask because I am definitely joining NFCU, but am wondering if I should open up an account with USAA too, to cover all my bases? Maybe USAA has better rates in terms of Mortgages, and Auto and Home insurance? Is it advantageous to sign up for both? Or is opening a USAA account redundant if I already am a member of NFCU?

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help with insight and advice!


You can join both if you want. I'm with NFCU for a few years. No complaints at all. Recently PENFED also. What one has the other may not. NFCU is the largest CU in the world. Go for the services. Dont let your decison go by a website. We all have a lender that has a clunky website. Welcome to NFCU I'll say. Having two CU accounts isnt a problem. Someone will chime in on USAA and their services. Good Luck!


Message 2 of 6
Anonymalous
Valued Contributor

Re: Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?

USAA is better as a bank because it is a bank. Conversely, Navy Federal is not a bank, it's a credit union. That means Navy is owned by its members, while USAA is not. Though to be even more precise, USAA is an insurance company that expanded into banking. While both provide banking services (that's a more general use of the word), they're structured differently, and have different emphases.

 

Since both provide all the basic banking services, yes there's a lot of redundancy. In general, Navy will have better rates, though there will be exceptions. USAA has a better app, and offers insurance products that Navy does not. Though there is a general impression that USAA has gone downhill in the last few years, though YMMV. Navy has an exceptional reputation for customer service. (Disclosure: I am a member of NFCU, and I have family members who are members of USAA, including one who recently dropped their car insurance because the rates got too high.) 

 

I wouldn't join a financial institution just to "cover my bases". Instead, I'd think about what services I want, then find a FI that works for me. If you're joining Navy, that simplifies things, because you'll have most of the bases covered. Is there anything you want that Navy doesn't offer? What services are important to you? You can spot-check the key ones, to see if USAA offers anything better.

Message 3 of 6
cashorcharge
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?

Unless you need USAA insurance....or have some other connection...I would add there are "better banks" that USAA out there.  I guess it depends on what services you need.  With regards to Credit...NFCU is not only easier to deal with, they tend to me generous and more predictable versus USAA.  To each their own...I have banks that I like that others on here despise...I get it...personal experience etc...

 

There's no harm in being a member of both.  If you're trying to build your credit portfolio, I would focus on NFCU

Message 4 of 6
Lou-natic
Established Contributor

Re: Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?

I created an account at USAA once just to check out their services and insurance, car buying stuff and all that. I never ended up depositing any money with them.

 

In 2020 I joined NFCU to get a car loan initially because of the great rate.

Since that time I have moved all my accounts to them, they get all my direct deposits and I do all my general financial business with them.

My mortgage and two car loans are also with NFCU and that first car loan I got with them has been paid off.

 

The customer service throughout has been second to none. You can literally call them up at 2AM on a Sunday morning and get a rep that will help you with whatever issue you are having and get you taken care of.

 

I use Progressive for all my insurance needs.

 

The only thing I don't have with NFCU is a credit card. I think in almost all cases there are better options. If you just want monster limits then they can help you but I really think their credit card products could be better.




3/4/23



Message 5 of 6
Anonymalous
Valued Contributor

Re: Is USAA Better than Navy Federal Credit Union in Any Way? Should I Join Both?


@Lou-natic wrote:

The only thing I don't have with NFCU is a credit card. I think in almost all cases there are better options. If you just want monster limits then they can help you but I really think their credit card products could be better.


I'd argue their credit cards are exceptionally good, but it really depends on the audience. The Cash Rewards isn't 2%, but it's close, and has much easier redemptions than its competitors. The Flagship is one of the cheapest travel cards out there, and the More Rewards probably has the best categories of any 3% card for most of middle America (though the new Autograph and newly refreshed Blue Cash Everyday may rival it). Not to mention all of Navy's cards have low APRs and fees, and strong secondary (payment network) benefits. Pairing the Flagship or the Cash Rewards with the More Rewards makes a two card setup that's hard to beat without getting into unicorns, complex travel rewards, or cards that require a certain amount invested. What Navy doesn't have is any of the travel partners or the 5% categories that optimizers chase. So while they're less appealing for people with a pile of cards, they're an excellent choice for people looking for just a couple.

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