Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card Review

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The Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card offers flat-rate rewards with lower fees and interest rates than competing cash-back credit cards. If your goal is earning rewards without paying for the privilege, this card may be for you.

Navy Federal cashRewards

overall rating
3.8
Navy Federal cashRewards
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.4% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on purchases
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.2
for Fees
4.4
for Rewards
4.0
for Credit
4.0

Get the cashRewards credit card, and you can earn $250 bonus cash back when you spend $2,500 within 90 days of account opening.

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
    Savvy Saver

Since the Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on everything you buy, it’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t like complicated rewards programs but would like to earn something from their credit card purchases. With below-average APRs and fees, this card is also smart for anyone who wants to minimize costs associated with their credit card.

Pros

  • Simple rewards scheme 

  • Low interest rate and fees

Cons

  • Must be a Navy Federal customer

  • Limited redemption options

Pros Explained

  • Simple rewards: The Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back for each dollar you spend. This simple rewards formula means you’ll never have to worry about bonus categories or earning caps. 
  • Low interest rates and fees: This card comes with no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no cash advance fees, and no foreign transaction fees. The ongoing variable APR range is also lower than you’ll find with competing cards. 

Cons Explained

  • Must be a Navy Federal customer: If you’re not already a Navy Federal Credit Union member, you’ll have to join to apply for this credit card. To qualify, you must be a military veteran, active duty military, a Department of Defense civilian or government employee, Army or Air National Guard, Delayed Entry program personnel, or a family member of someone who meets one of these requirements.
  • Limited redemption options: Unlike some other cash-back credit cards that let you redeem points for gift cards, this card only lets you redeem rewards for statement credits to your credit card or a Navy Federal bank account. 

Navy Federal CashRewards Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

Once you sign up for this card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn $250 in cash back after you spend $2,500 within 90 days of opening an account. The minimum spending requirement to earn this bonus is higher than other similar cards require, but the bonus amount is also generous among cash-back credit cards with no annual fee. 

Earning Points & Rewards

This card’s rewards scheme is simple enough for anyone to understand and keep track of. Once you sign up, you’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on everything you buy. The rewards you earn are unlimited and they’ll never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. 

Redeeming Rewards

Your cash-back rewards will show up in your account the same day as the transaction posts. You can redeem them for a statement credit or cash in your Navy Federal bank account whenever you’d like—there’s no minimum. Cardholders manage rewards redemption via the app or online.

Note

This card’s redemption options are somewhat limited when compared to other cash-back credit cards. You can only redeem your rewards for statement credits into a Navy Federal bank account or to your credit card account.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Considering you earn a flat 1.5% cash back on each dollar you spend with this card, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you use it for as many purchases and regular bills as you can. 

Obviously, you’ll get the most value from your rewards if you pay your credit card bill in full each month and avoid interest payments. Even with a low variable APR of 11.40% to 18.00% on purchases, using this card to earn rewards is still a losing proposition with the 1.5% cash back rate if you carry a balance.

Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card’s Excellent Perks

This card has one benefit that was deemed “excellent” by editors of The Balance.

  • Cellphone insurance: Qualify for this coverage when you pay the bills on up to three cell phones with your credit card. This coverage is limited to reimbursement for damage or theft in amounts up to $600 per claim, minus a $50 deductible. An annual cap of $1,000 per year also applies. 

Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card’s Other Benefits

When you apply for this credit card, you may be approved for either a Visa Signature or a World Mastercard version. Your cardholder benefits can vary depending on the card you’re approved for, but they may include:

  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
  • Secondary auto rental coverage
  • Refund when merchant won’t accept returned item
  • Lowest advertised price match
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Travel and emergency hotline
  • Extended warranties

Customer Experience

The Navy Federal cashRewards Card gives cardholders access to their FICO score for free as well as 24/7 stateside customer service assistance. 

Navy Federal Credit Union does have its own mobile app that lets you track your spending, pay your bill, and redeem rewards from your mobile device. Their app has received decent ratings from consumers, with 4.4 out of 5 possible stars on Google Play and 3.4 out of 5 stars on iTunes. 

Security Features

Navy Federal cashRewards credit card security is standard for the industry, including benefits like 0% fraud liability and account monitoring. If your card is lost or stolen, they also let you temporarily freeze and unfreeze your account. 

Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card Fees

The Navy Federal cashRewards Credit Card is surprisingly free of fees and hidden charges. You’ll never pay an annual fee, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees in the U.S., or foreign transaction fees.

For Navy Federal cashRewards

Compare This Card

See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
Navy Federal cashRewards
overall rating
3.8
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.4% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1.5% cash back on purchases

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.