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Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card review

Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card review

Published: July 17, 2018
Published: July 17, 2018
Ratings Policy
Low Interest Rating:
2.1 rating
2.1 rating
2.1 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 1.8
Rewards: 4.6
Features: 4.0

In a Nutshell:

While the Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card features a good rewards program and very reasonable rates and fees, cardholders seeking to save interest on a purchase or balance transfer would be better served with a card that offers a 0-percent introductory APR.

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Regular APR
11.49-18% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
None

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

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, 24/7 concierge service, lost baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, discounted roadside assistance, upgrades on hotels, resorts and cruise lines

Rewards Rating:
3.8 rating
3.8 rating
3.8 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.2
Rewards Flexibility: 3.9
Features: 4.0

In a Nutshell:

Navy Federal Credit Union’s Flagship Rewards card offers twice the points with every purchase, making it an ideal pick for cardholders who want to rack up points without a lot of effort.

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Rewards Rate
2:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 90 days

Annual Fee
$49

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$369

APR
11.49-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, cash, donations or an annual fee credit

Cons

  • Can’t redeem for travel until you reach 10,000 points
  • Blackout dates on some categories
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, 24/7 concierge service, lost baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, discounted roadside assistance, upgrades on hotels, resorts and cruise lines

Travel Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 3.9
Features: 4.0

In a Nutshell:

A great pick for cardholders who plan to carry a balance but still want some rewards, the NFCU Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card earns high marks for its ultralow APR and generous 2:1 rewards rate.

View similar travel cards

Rewards Rate
2:1 on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 90 days 

Annual Fee
$49

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$369

APR
11.49-18% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, cash, donations or an annual fee credit

Cons

  • Can’t redeem for travel until you reach 10,000 points
  • Blackout dates on some categories
  • Can’t transfer points to other loyalty programs

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, 24/7 concierge service, lost baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance, discounted roadside assistance, upgrades on hotels, resorts and cruise lines

You don’t have to work hard to earn a large number of points with this low-maintenance credit card. Unlike most rewards cards that offer bonus points on certain types of spending, the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card offers two points with every purchase, making it easy to accumulate a large number of points in a short period of time. This card does come with some restrictions, though, so cardholders who want more freedom with their rewards may be disappointed. Navy Federal Credit Union membership is also limited to active and retired military service members and their families, so you may not qualify if you don’t have a military connection.

Unlimited rewards

The card’s standout rate of two points per every dollar makes it easy for even modest spenders to accumulate a significant number of points in a short period of time. Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t impose a limit on the total number of points you can earn, so if you use the card for all your purchases, you could wind up with an impressive number of points.

Fair sign-up bonus

The Navy Federal Credit Union Flagship Rewards card offers 30,000 points to new cardholders who spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of membership. While it’s not the most generous sign-up bonus you’ll find on a travel rewards card, it’s a valuable offer — worth up to $300 in travel.

Average redemption value

The downside is that the card’s points are roughly worth 1 cent per point, which is about average for a rewards card, but less than what many competitors’ program points are worth. Many annual-fee cards offer fewer opportunities for acquiring points, but the value of their rewards points is often more generous – particularly on travel purchases, such as airfare. Because of the card’s lower redemption value, cardholders will need considerably more points to earn a free flight.

Restrictions on redemption

Cardholders will also have to wait until they reach 10,000 points before they can use their points for travel. This is a setback for cardholders who aren’t big spenders, since it means they may have to wait up to a year or more before they can redeem points. Redeeming credit card points for travel is also a little more complicated, since blackout dates for some types of reservations may limit when you can take a trip. Cardholders do a have a wide variety of redemption options to choose from, however, including hotel, cruise, car and airline travel, cash back, gift cards, merchandise and even an annual fee credit.

Average perks

The Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card also comes with a decent selection of travel perks, such as up to $3,000 of lost-baggage insurance, travel-accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance, 24-hour concierge services, a rental-car collision-damage waiver, towing and locksmith referral services, and luxury travel discounts. However, the card doesn’t offer any unusual travel perks that can’t be found on similar travel rewards cards.

Relatively inexpensive

Despite its shortcomings, the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card is a good value for the money, particularly for cardholders with excellent credit. Starting at 11.49 percent, the APR is low for a rewards card, and the card’s annual fee of $49 per year is also relatively affordable.

Why get the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card?

  • You’re a Navy Federal Credit Union member.
  • You want a hassle-free rewards card that makes it easy to earn points.
  • You don’t want to bother with bonus categories or restrictions on your rewards spending.
  • You use your card for most purchases and so can earn a substantial amount with your spending.

How to use the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card:

  • Use this as your primary method of payment so you can redeem points faster.
  • Or, if you carry a number of rewards credit cards, use this card to pay for expenses that aren’t included in your other cards’ bonus categories.
  • Check for blackout dates before you plan a rewards-funded trip. Blackout dates may apply to a variety of travel expenses, including car rentals and hotel stays.

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