USAA FSB: Cut, cut, cut!

Where have I seen this behaviour before? Ah yes done by companies that are circling the drain! Now I am not that worried about USAA itself, but FSB is raising some eye brows. FYI, it is a single branch bank catering to military people. Lots of products, perhaps most noted for checking account devoid of regular fees.

Anyway we now have a succession of “CUT” events, as follows.

  1. Last year the awesome “Limitless” credit card was killed off. It provided 2.5% back on all credit card purchases. They are back to a 1.5% cash back card.

  2. Then, several weeks ago, USAA killed off credit score availability online, found on any page with your credit card. They had an Experian (I think) score that typically ran lower than others. Being able to see a credit score is pretty much normal for many credit cards, but no more for USAA.

  3. Now comes Discontinuation of Home Value Monitoring service. This product is a bit unusual, but its loss signals another cost cutting measure. So, if you wanna see USAA valuation of your home, you have a month to add it to your USAA aggregation page and read it.

I’m happy with my Costco Visa and get over $600 a year back. It’s not worth my time and effort to get a few extra bucks jumping through hoops, although it may benefit some people to find a card best for them.

Check Nerd Wallet, they have the best cards for your spending habits.

I dropped USAA insurance because while they were good, they were also about twice as expensive as others, for homeowners and car. And some of their policies are a bit strange.

When I was married, My wife was a signer on my account. they had issued her a card with my number and her name, as well as a separate card with her name, although neitehr of us remember applying for it. So I’ve been unaware that she was on my card. Then, she got a letter at her sisters address (which was only used as a temporary address while she was looking for a house) that said there was unusual activity on the card. I had received nothing, Then a week later, I got a letter ad my address to confirm the address change to her sisters address. I called and said that nobody changed the address. But, it was my wife’s (that I haven’t been married to for 15 years). I said just close it. No can do said USAA…she had to do that. She didn’t even know she had the damn thing. So I went to block cards and saw that she had a card for my account. I called and said please take her off my account. No can do said USAA - I would need a letter from her authorizing it. Now, my ex and I are on very good terms, but I asked them what I would do if it wasn’t an amicable divorce and 15 years later I wanted to take her off my card. Well…I need to close my card and get a new one. I had some bills (church donations and Netflix) that were automatically processed. Now I need to contact those organizations and give them the new number. And one other thing they dropped - live agents on a weekend. They are still good I guess, but their customer service has gone downhill…and there stupid “automated attendant” is guaranteed to raise your blood pressure, I’ll keep the cards and secondary checking account I have there, but they have definitely gone downhill a bit.

Nice war story there KC. [begin rant] Had a few USAA run ins myself over the years. Back in the day you could write to the General, but he is long gone though still present as a name on I-10 in San Antone. In later times, when they would really piss me off I usually concluded that they had too much of my biz, and took some elsewhere. FSB has been generally more offensive than the insurance side but the brokerage lost all my biz.

One weird bank policy is a limit on ETF money transfers. 5K I think, which is a bit low but tolerable. That is unless you setup a recurring transfer in which case your limit is lowered by the amount of recurring!

Taking the cake though was treatment of new bride. She’s computer averse and I figured to help simplify with aggregation so we set up some linkage and did a couple of transfers and they slammed her USAA login, declaring “suspicious!” Fine, but it was like pulling teeth to get it straightened out, so much so that she became USAA averse! And after multiple calls they never fixed her aggregation; oddly enough late wife had aggregation problem that we ultimately got fixed. New bride considers BoA better than USAA! [end rant]

Maybe I can swerve back to original subject… I fear with all this cutting practice, we will see more declines in service and increased costs, like bank charges never before seen in the history of USAA FSB.