Comparing the Different Navy Federal Credit Cards — Which One Works Best for You?

FT Contributor  | 

Navy Federal Credit Union credit card options are only for valid credit union members. To join the credit union, you must be an active duty or retired member of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Air National Guard or an immediate family member of an active member.

These credit cards are designed specifically for veterans, active duty members, and their family members to reward them with exclusive financial benefits. If you qualify for a credit card with Navy Federal Credit Union, there are five different cards to choose from. By reviewing the benefits and terms of each, you can choose which credit card is right for you.

Navy Federal Credit Card Types

Navy Federal cashRewards Card

The cashRewards card is a Mastercard with no annual fee and free balance transfers. If you qualify for this card, you may take advantage of a 1.99% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.

After the introductory period, your financed purchases are subject to a variable APR between 11.15% and 18%. There are no foreign transaction fees or minimum interest charges. Additional fees include the following:

  • Cash advance APR: 2% higher than your regular APR.
  • Late or returned payment: 18% APR and an additional $20 fee.
  • Returned check convenience fee: $20.

You earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase made with the card that can be redeemed at any time.

Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card

The More Rewards card is an American Express card offered through Navy Federal with the same terms and conditions as the cashRewards card. You won’t pay an annual fee or balance transfer fees. You can take advantage of the same introductory APR and you’ll be subject to the same variable APR and transaction fees when your introductory period expires.

With the More Rewards card, you automatically earn points on your purchases. You earn one point for every dollar spent and triple rewards points on:

  • Groceries;
  • Gas;
  • Transit expenses;
  • Restaurant bills.

The points you earn can be redeemed for cash back or travel rewards through the Navy Federal More Rewards program.

Navy Federal’s Visa Signature Flagship Rewards

The Flagship Rewards card is a Visa card that requires a $49 annual fee. It offers no balance transfer, foreign transaction, or cash advance fees. The card provides the same 12-month introductory APR offer as the More Rewards and cashRewards cards. After the introductory period, your financed purchases are subject to an APR between 7.49% and 18%.

The same cash advance, late or returned payment, and returned check convenience charges that apply to the More Rewards card also apply for the Flagship Rewards card. However, the rewards program is different. With the Flagship Rewards card, cardholders earn double points on all purchases and triple points on travel purchases. With points, cardholders can earn:

  • Merchandise rewards;
  • Gift cards;
  • Travel;
  • Annual fee credits;
  • Car rentals;
  • Hotels;
  • Vacation packages;
  • Event tickets.

Cardholders are also eligible to receive a statement credit up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

Navy Federal Platinum Card

If you plan to carry a balance on your card, the Platinum card may be the best choice for you. It offers the same features as other Navy Federal cards, including no balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees. The purchase and balance transfer APR is between 7.49% and 18%, the lowest of all Navy Federal credit card options. There’s also no annual fee or cash advance fees.

There isn’t a rewards program attached to the Platinum card. However, as a cardholder, you may take advantage of other perks, such as cell phone protection and travel and emergency assistance.

Navy Federal nRewards Secured Card

While the nRewards Secured Card focuses on raising your credit score, you’ll still earn rewards every time you use it. You earn one point for every dollar spent, which can be cashed in for balance credit, gift cards, merchandise, or cash.

There are no annual fees associated with the nRewards Secured Card, but your purchases and balance transfers are subject to an 18% APR. However, you won’t be charged balance transfer, cash advance, or foreign transaction fees. The company also reviews your account every six months to determine if you’re eligible for an upgrade to an unsecured cashRewards card.

How to Pick a Navy Federal Credit Card

With so many options through Navy Federal, it’s important to determine what’s important to you when learning more about these credit cards. If you travel frequently, you may need to choose a card that offers extensive travel rewards and benefits, such as the Flagship Rewards card. However, if you want to improve your credit score, you may need to apply for the nRewards Secured Card so you can improve your score quickly.

How to Apply for a Navy Federal Credit Card

Apply for a Credit Card

Once you choose which card is best for you, visit the Navy Federal website and fill out the corresponding application. You must provide your income, housing, and credit union member information.

Credit Check

Your credit is checked through one of three credit bureaus. If your credit score is good, you may be approved for the card. Your score will determine your interest rate and credit limit.

Text Approval

If the credit union has a mobile phone number on file for you, you’ll receive a text message that confirms your approval or denial.

If You’re Not Approved

If you weren’t approved for the card, you’ll receive a letter in the mail within 30 days that provides details on your denial. You could be denied due to a low credit score or inability to meet other eligibility requirements, such as being a credit union member. If your credit score is to blame, consider applying for a secured card to improve your score.

Get Your New Card

If you’re approved for the credit card, you’ll receive it by mail in seven to 10 days. When you receive your card, you’ll also be provided with specific details, including your APR and credit limit. Once you follow the instructions to activate the card, you can use it for purchases.

If you’re a Navy Federal Credit Union member, you have several credit card options. Choose the credit card that’s most beneficial for you by analyzing the rewards program, APR, and other requirements and benefits.


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