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Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards card review

Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards card review

Published: February 6, 2019
Published: February 6, 2019
Ratings Policy
Cash Back Rating:
2.8 rating
2.8 rating
2.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.3
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.8

In a Nutshell:

With a low APR and up to 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, this modest credit union card is a great choice for cardholders who plan to carry a balance and want low-maintenance rewards at an affordable price.

View similar rewards credit cards

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$238

APR
11.65-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Rewards don’t expire
  • Redeem for statement credit or bank deposit
  • No limit on amount of cash back
  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • Can’t redeem cash through paper checks

Customer Experience

  • Consumer Reports rating: 95 (3% of issuers ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.4/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 3.3/5

Other Notable Features: EMV chip, car rental insurance, luxury hotel discounts, concierge service, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, warranty manager service, automatic room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, VIP status

Low Interest Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 3.8
Rewards: 2.1
Features: 1.0
Customer Experience 4.8

In a Nutshell:

The Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards card offers a very low regular APR along with very reasonable rates and fees, in addition to a low introductory APR.

View similar low interest credit cards

Regular APR
11.65-18% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
1.99% for 12 months (expires Feb. 28, 2019)

 

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
1.99% for 12 months (requests must be made in first 30 days of account opening, offer expires Feb. 28, 2019)

Fees

  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No cash advance fee

Penalties

  • $20 late payment fee
  • 18% penalty APR
  • $20 returned payment fee

Customer Experience

  • Consumer Reports rating: 95 (3% of issuers ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.4/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 3.3/5

Other Notable Features: EMV chip, car rental insurance, luxury hotel discounts, concierge service, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, warranty manager service, automatic room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, VIP status

The Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards card isn’t the most generous cash back card on the market, but it’s a good deal for cardholders who want substantial rewards without a complicated redemption scheme or a sky-high APR. Navy Federal Credit Union’s flagship cash rewards card ranks high on our list of cash back cards, thanks to its relatively high rewards value and affordable APR.

Navy Federal Credit Union membership is limited to active and retired military service members and their families, though, so you may not qualify for the card if you don’t have a military connection.

Simple cash back

If you’re looking for ample cash back but don’t want to keep track of rotating spending categories or bonus purchases, this card can be a good option. The card offers 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase. So if you use the card for all purchases, you can take home a substantial amount of cash. For example, if you spend roughly $1,600 each month for 12 months, you can earn nearly $300 by the end of your card’s first year. Even a modest $500 in monthly spending can earn you nearly $100 in cash back.

Fair introductory APR

Until Feb. 28, 2019, Cash Rewards cardholders can enjoy a 1.99 percent introductory APR on both new purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. While many cards offer a 0 percent introductory offer, the low intro APR can still be a big perk for users needing to pay down a balance transfer or larger purchase over time. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that balance transfer requests must be made within 30 days of account opening.

Easy, straightforward redemption

Navy Federal Credit Union also makes it easy to redeem the cash you earn by imposing relatively few restrictions. There are no caps on how much you can earn. So if you’re a fairly heavy spender, you can potentially take home a considerable amount. If you spend roughly $3,000 a month, for example, you can take home nearly $700 – including the card’s one-time sign-up bonus – by the end of the card’s first year. The cash rewards also don’t expire, so you can rack up cash without immediately redeeming it. In addition, Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t restrict how much or how little you can redeem.

Lower-than-average APR

Compared to most cash back credit cards, the average APR on the Navy Federal Credit Union is also relatively low. Cardholders with the highest credit scores are offered an APR as low as 11.65 percent, which is especially low for a rewards card. The average APR for cash back credit cards, for example, is around 17 percent, according to CreditCards.com data. Meanwhile, the maximum APR for cardholders with imperfect credit is 18 percent, which is significantly lower than many competitors.

Why get the Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards card?

  • You want a simple, straightforward cash back program with no rotating bonus categories.
  • You’re looking for an affordable cash back card with a lower-than-average APR.
  • You’re already a Navy Federal Credit Union member.

How to use the Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards card:

  • Maximize the amount of cash back you earn by using your card for all your everyday purchases.
  • Try to repay your card in full each month to avoid paying interest.
  • Take advantage of the card’s Visa Signature benefits, such as car rental and lost luggage insurance, by using your card for domestic travel purchases.

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