The 6 best Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards of 2021

Dad with his son after he picked the best Navy Federal Credit Union credit card for himImage: Dad with his son after he picked the best Navy Federal Credit Union credit card for him
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If you’re currently serving in the military or are a veteran, or a family member of either, you could be eligible for some of our picks for the best Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards. Here are our top picks.

Card Best for
NFCU More Rewards American Express® Card Everyday spending
NFCU cashRewards Credit Card Cash back
NFCU Platinum Low purchase and balance transfer APR
NFCU nRewards® Secured credit card Establishing or rebuilding credit
NFCU Mastercard® Business Card Business expenses
Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Travel

Best for everyday spending: NFCU More Rewards American Express® Card

Here’s why: This rewards card offers points for all your purchases and even more for purchases at supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants.

The Navy Federal Credit Union More Rewards American Express® Card is a good option for those who want to earn rewards every time they spend. It offers three points per $1 at supermarkets, gas stations, at restaurants, and on transit, plus one point per $1 for all other purchases.

There are also no rewards limits, so you can score points with every purchase and redeem your points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more without the worry of losing them.

The card stays true to its name, too, with more rewards via a welcome bonus. For a limited time, new cardholders can earn 25,000 points, which is valued at $250, when they spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of opening a new card account. The card also has no annual fee.

For other rewards options, check out our picks for the best credit union credit cards.

Best for cash back: NFCU cashRewards Credit Card

Here’s why: This card offers 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, with no annual fee.

This card has a competitive rate of 1.5% cash back, which you can redeem for cash, merchandise or gift cards, with no rewards limits.

For a limited time, new cardholders can also earn a $150 bonus cash back after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of opening an account.

For more info on this category, take a look at cash back cards on Credit Karma.

Best for low interest: NFCU Platinum Credit Card

Here’s why: This card offers the potential for the lowest ongoing potential variable APR on purchases and balance transfers out of all the Navy Federal Credit Union cards. If could be a good option for those who may carry a balance from month to month.

The Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum credit card offers a low variable APR between 5.99% and 18% on purchases and balance transfers. Your rate within that range is based on your credit profile. So it’s important to consider that you’ll only score the best rate if you have a good credit history. If you do get a low APR, this card can be a great way to minimize extra charges if you’re paying off your balance over time. And even better? There’s no annual fee.

Best for no or limited credit: NFCU nRewards® Secured Credit Card

Here’s why: We like this secured card option for the ways it can help cardholders establish or rebuild their credit, all while taking advantage of a few rewards offers.

If you don’t have a robust credit profile, or you’re trying to rebuild your credit, your options for credit cards can be limited. A secured option can help in this scenario, because it’s backed by collateral in the form of a cash deposit. This deposit can reduce risk for credit card companies and increase your chances of approval.

The Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards® Secured credit card is a great option, as it’s a secured card that also offers one rewards point for every $1 spent — points that can be converted into cash back, gift cards or merchandise.

Before applying, cardholders deposit a minimum of $200 into a savings account, which earns interest while serving as the collateral to secure your card. This deposit will determine your credit limit.

What sets this card apart is a regular review process, starting after six months of activity, that could result in the return of your deposit and a transition to an unsecured credit card. There’s also no annual fee.

If you’d prefer an unsecured card from the start, read our article on the best unsecured credit cards for building credit.

Best for business: NFCU Mastercard® Business Card

Here’s why: This card is great for business owners who want a card with no annual fee and the option to have multiple cards for employees.

It’s recommended that business owners separate their business and personal finances, which makes getting a specific card for business a good idea.

The Navy Federal Credit Union Mastercard® Business Card has no annual fee and offers one point for every $1 spent. It also comes with the option to add employees to the account under the same credit limit.

And if you end up making purchases on this card, you can score rewards points with no limits or earning caps.

Compare business credit card offers on Credit Karma.

Best for travel: Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards

Here’s why: This card is great for Navy Federal Credit Union members who want rewards they can use toward travel.

With the Navy Federal Credit Union Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards card, you’ll earn three points for every $1 you spend on travel and two points on all other purchases. Take the points you earn and redeem them for travel, cash, gift cards or merchandise — it’s up to you.

What’s more, this card waives the annual fee for the first year and then charges a reasonable $49 per year after that. With no foreign transaction fees, the chance to earn a $100 statement credit toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and no limits on the amount of points you can earn, this card makes for a great travel companion. Compare other travel rewards credit cards on Credit Karma.

How we picked these cards

We chose these Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards by looking at the overall perks compared to the costs for the consumer. None of our picks has an annual fee, so cardholders aren’t paying any price (apart from their purchases and any interest and fees assessed) to access these rewards.

We also tried to pick cards in categories that would be relevant to current and potential Navy Federal Credit Union members, including active-duty military personnel and their families.

Can anyone apply for a Navy Federal Credit Union credit card?

You must be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to apply for a credit card. If you’re a current or former military service member, you may be eligible to apply for membership. If you have a family member that is eligible or has already joined, you may be eligible to join as well.

How to make the most of Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards

If you’re interested in any of these NFCU cards, you’ll have to make sure you’re eligible for them.

Card applications are only open to members of the credit union, and eligibility is restricted to current and former service members, certain Department of Defense civilian employees, family members of both groups, and others. You can look up more information on membership requirements on the NFCU website.

Once you have one of these cards, you’ll want to make sure you’re clear on the perks that come with each. Every Navy Federal card has unique perks, so make sure to check your card terms. Your credit card agreement should include the details, and customer service could help clarify matters too.

You should also familiarize yourself with the rewards redemption process for your card. For cash back rewards with the Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards Credit Card, you can choose to get an automatic deposit into your savings or checking account, or have the same amount show up as a card statement credit.

The points redemption process is more varied and flexible. With many NFCU cards, you can redeem your points by directly booking flights, hotels and car rentals, but you can also redeem them for cash, merchandise or gift cards. For more details, look into the NFCU instructions for redeeming rewards points.

It’s also worth remembering that credit unions tend to provide more-personalized customer service to their members. Navy Federal’s 24/7 access to representatives is a major benefit of membership, and you shouldn’t be shy about asking for their help when you need it.

About the author: Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy and empowering people to take control of their finances. Her work has been f… Read more.