Military members face unique challenges, which can make managing finances difficult. Relocation, unexpected deployments, paying bills, and accessing funds while overseas are just some of the challenges military members face.Having a checking account that’s oriented toward military life benefits military members for their service and provides the flexibility that can help ease financial management.In this article, we’ll look at the key features any military-oriented checking account should have. We’ll then go through a list of the top military checking accounts for military members and their families.Our Top Pick: . USAA is one of the best names in military banking. They offer a full range of services – and they have one of the best free checking accounts out there. Open a USAA Classic Checking account here >>
Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is another extremely well known bank for military members – and with good reason. They offer great accounts, no fees, and more. They even make our list of the best business checking accounts, as they support service members and their families who want to start a business as well.There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance to open. You get up to $20/month in ATM reimbursements. The ability to access military pay via direct deposit one business day earlier is available. This product does require military deposits. Free personalized checks for the life of the account are included.Other services include student loans, auto loans, CDs, and credit cards.
PenFed Credit Union (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) is another credit union that is known for being a great partner to military members, the Department of Defense (DOD) employees, and their families. PenFed also makes our list of the best credit unions as well!Their Access America Checking account rounds out our list of the best military checking accounts because it offers great perks, and has few requirements!As long as you have a direct deposit setup of $500 or more each month, you balance requirements or monthly fees. Plus, it pays one of the highest interest rates on a checking account! PenFed also offers a variety of services, such as PenFed student loan refinancing.
With today’s checking accounts, it’s common that there are no monthly fees and a small minimum balance — or no minimum balance needed. If your checking account is charging a monthly fee, consider switching to another bank.Overdrafts are another area to watch out for. You should be able to link a savings or credit card account to your checking account to avoid overdraft fees.
In-network ATMs should be free. Out-of-network ATMs are often not free but are reimbursed up to a certain amount each month. Also be sure to check that there is broad ATM coverage, especially if there are no branches in your area.
These benefits apply in the case that a service member is killed in action. It allows the service member’s debts to be canceled, relieving some of the financial burdens on their family. These benefits are offered on a bank-by-bank basis.
Military members have a number of options for flexible checking accounts outside of their base. On-base checking may fulfill your needs. In that case, there isn’t much reason to find an outside bank. If you need more, the above four options offer some of the best features and benefits for military members.