Reviews Navy Federal Credit Union Go Rewards credit card review
Navy Federal Credit Union Go Rewards credit card review

Navy Federal Credit Union Go Rewards credit card review

Published: April 25, 2017
Ratings Policy
No Annual Fee Rating:
2.6 rating
2.6 rating
2.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.8
Rewards Flexibility: 3.9
Features: 1.0

In a nutshell:

With a relatively low rewards rate and some inflexibility on redeeming points for travel rewards, the Navy Federal Credit Union Go Rewards card is far from the best rewards card you can get with no annual fee, though cardholders may benefit from the card’s low APR.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on restaurant purchases
  • 2:1 on gas purchases
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$227

APR
9.99-18%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for travel, cash, gift cards, merchandise

Cons

  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Some blackout dates on car rentals and rewards-funded hotel stays
  • Must redeem travel through Navy Federal Credit Union’s website
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: Exclusive shopping discounts, car rental insurance, EMV chip, fraud protection, 24-hour phone support

Rewards Rating:
2.5 rating
2.5 rating
2.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 3.9
Features: 1.0

In a nutshell:

One of the best rewards cards available for on-the-go cardholders who plan to carry a balance, the NFCU Go Rewards card offers a solid spending bonus on gas and restaurant purchases and a reasonably priced APR.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on restaurant purchases
  • 2:1 on gas purchases
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$227

APR
9.99-18%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for travel, cash, gift cards, merchandise

Cons

  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Some blackout dates on car rentals and rewards-funded hotel stays
  • Must redeem travel through Navy Federal Credit Union’s website
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: Exclusive shopping discounts, car rental insurance, EMV chip, fraud protection, 24-hour phone support

Travel Rating:
2.6 rating
2.6 rating
2.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.4
Rewards Flexibility: 3.9
Features: 1.0

In a nutshell:

With one of the lowest APRs on the market and almost zero fees, the Go Rewards card from Navy Federal Credit Union is a solid choice for credit union members who want low-risk, affordable rewards.

Rewards Rate

  • 3:1 on restaurant purchases
  • 2:1 on gas purchases
  • 1:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$227

APR
9.99-18%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • Redeem for travel, cash, gift cards, merchandise

Cons

  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Some blackout dates on car rentals and rewards-funded hotel stays
  • Must redeem travel through Navy Federal Credit Union’s website
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: Exclusive shopping discounts, car rental insurance, EMV chip, fraud protection, 24-hour phone support

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The Go Rewards card from Navy Federal Credit Union may not offer the most generous travel rewards on the market. However, this credit union credit card is so well-priced compared to its competitors that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a safer or more affordable choice that still offers comparable rewards.

The Go Rewards credit card offers one of the lowest interest rates on the market, as well as the fewest fees of any travel rewards card we’ve reviewed. Its points rewards program is significantly less generous than many travel rewards cards on the market, dragging down the card’s overall ranking.  But if you’re content with modest rewards in exchange for a low rate, this card is worth a closer look.

Only cardholders who can qualify for a Navy Federal Credit Union membership are eligible. Membership is limited to active and retired military service members and their families.

Consumer-friendly pricing
The most compelling reason to apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Go card is its consumer-friendly pricing. The Go Rewards card charges cardholders with the best credit scores just 9.99 percent to carry a balance, which is one of the lowest rates you can get on a rewards credit card. Meanwhile, cardholders with lower scores are charged a maximum APR of just 18 percent.

The Go Rewards card doesn’t charge cardholders a foreign-transaction fee – a big perk for families spending an extended time abroad. It also doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee, annual fee or cash advance fee if you request your cash advance at a branch. Unlike most credit cards, the Go Rewards card doesn’t sharply increase your APR when you ask for an advance. Instead, the card’s cash advance APR is just two points above your normal interest rate.

Affordable rewards
The Go Rewards card’s rewards value isn’t stellar, but if you drive or eat out often, you can amass a sizable number of points – especially since earnings are unlimited on this credit union card. Navy Federal Credit Union offers cardholders three points for every dollar spent on restaurant purchases and two points for every dollar spent on gas. All other purchases earn one point for every dollar spent. If you spend roughly $1,325 a month, CreditCards.com estimates you’ll take home about $227 a year – not a bad haul for a card with such a low rate. You can earn substantially more per year with other travel rewards cards, but the card issuers will make you pay for those rewards with higher fees and APRs.

Some restrictions on redemption
Navy Federal Credit Union does impose some limitations that make redeeming your rewards for travel a bigger pain. So you may want to look elsewhere if you don’t want travel plans restricted. There are some travel blackout dates, so you’ll have to be flexible and plan ahead when you purchase rewards-funded travel. Like most rewards credit cards, Navy Federal Credit Union also makes you go through its site to redeem points for travel, so you may not always get the best deals.

Few cardholder perks
The benefits that Navy Federal Credit Union offers are also relatively limited, so you may not want to use this as your only card. The credit union card offers car rental insurance and standard card protections, such as fraud protection. But it doesn’t offer any other common credit card perks, such as emergency travel assistance, concierge service, price protection or an extended warranty on purchases.

Reasons to get it:

  • You spend a lot on gas and restaurant purchases.
  • You want a card with a low rate, but also want some rewards.
  • You plan to use additional card services – such as balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions – and so will benefit from the card’s consumer-friendly fee schedule.

How to use it:

  • Use this card for all gas and restaurant purchases in order to maximize the card’s rewards.
  • If this is your lowest-rate card, use it for any purchases you can’t afford to immediately pay off.
  • Do the math before you transfer a balance. You can save money on fees by transferring a balance to the Go Rewards card, but you won’t save money on interest. If you plan to transfer a large amount, you may be better off choosing a card that offers a zero percent balance transfer APR.

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