The consensus among reviewers is that USAA offers rudimentary trading tools and little in the way or research or education resources on its website. On the plus side, USAA gets very high customer satisfaction scores and offers banking as well as brokerage services. There is no account minimum. Commissions are $8.95 per trade unless you have at least $50,000 invested or make 25 or more trades in a rolling 90-day period, in which case you pay only $5.95 per trade. There is also a charge of $0.01 per share for more than 1,000 shares ($0.005 if you qualify for the lower commission rate).
We found only one full review of USAA, on BrokerageReview.com. However, ConsumerReports.org includes USAA in its 2011 customer satisfaction survey; J.D. Power and Associates does the same, but it does not include the company in its 2012 survey.
1. J.D. Power & Associates
More than 4,200 investors who make investment decisions without an investment adviser responded to J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 self-directed investor satisfaction survey. The company notes that top-ranked USAA got high ratings for their "account offerings, information resources, account information and interaction."
Review: 2011 Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
ConsumerReports.org ranks 13 brokerage firms based on the results of a 2011 survey of subscribers. Brokers were rated on their customer service, website usability, financial advice and phone service.
Review: Where To Put Your Money, Editors of Consumer Reports, Feb. 2012
This review gives USAA an overall rating of 3.5 out of five, and it lists some of the pros and cons of the company. It is unclear what the rating or the overall review is based on, other than information taken from the USAA website.
Review: USAA Brokerage Investment Services Review 2012, Editors of BrokerageReview.com, March 18, 2012