Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
People with imperfect credit histories should give this card a good look, since it’s hard to find such an affordably priced card if you don’t have good credit—especially one that comes with rewards on purchases.
If you carry a balance every once in a while, it’s good to know you’re not going to be charged an arm and a leg in interest. Plus, the Go Rewards card has a solid rewards program, offering extra points for dining out and filling up at the gas pump. Cards for people with fair credit scores don’t always have rewards, and if they do, they may not be on everyday expenses.
Just keep in mind you must have some connection to the military or the Department of Defense to apply. Membership in the Navy Federal Credit Union is restricted to active duty and retired service members, veterans, family members, and civilian employees of the Department of Defense.
If you regularly carry credit card debt, we recommend you look at the Navy Federal Platinum Card, which is also accessible to those with fair credit scores and has an even lower APR range. There are no rewards on purchases, but you’ll get your first year interest-free on transferred balances.
Available to qualified applicants with average credit
Solid rewards rates
Very few fees
Military or Defense Department affiliation required
Balance transfer deal could be sweeter
- Available to qualified applicants with average credit: The Go Rewards card is more accessible than many credit cards, particularly given all its appealing features.
- Low APR: The range of variable APRs on the Go Rewards card is well below what you’d typically find on similar cards for borrowers with fair credit scores, and even lower than the average APR for all credit cards.
- Solid rewards rates: There aren’t many no-annual-fee cards that offer unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on dining. The handful that do offer comparable rewards often require applicants to have better credit and carry a higher interest rate. The card’s 2 points per $1 spent on gas earnings rate is less notable, but still decent.
- Very few fees: Like other Navy Federal cards, the Go Rewards card waives a bunch of common fees, apart from penalty fees. The lack of a balance transfer fee is particularly outstanding, given the relatively low APR on this card. You can also use this card to make purchases abroad and even get a cash advance from a Navy Federal ATM without paying anything extra.
- Military or Defense Department affiliation required: One of the biggest downsides to the Go Rewards card is that it’s so exclusive: If you don’t qualify for Navy Federal membership, you can’t get the Go Rewards card.
- Balance transfer deal could be sweeter: Navy Federal is giving new cardholders a low 1.99% introductory rate on balance transfers right now, but only for six months. If you have debt on a high-APR card, using the current offer could save you money on interest costs, but you won't have much time to pay off the transfer before the standard APR kicks in. You can find longer offers on other cards right now, even if you want to stick with this credit union.
Earning Points & Rewards
The opportunity to earn 3 points per $1 spent on restaurant purchases is generous for a no-annual-fee card—especially since you probably don’t need stellar credit to qualify for this particular card. If you and your family regularly spend $250 a month on dining out, you’ll take home at least $90 a year in rewards just for that.
The 2 points per $1 on gas is less competitive, though still good among cards for just a so-so credit profile. If you usually spend $200 a month on gas, you’ll still earn $48 worth of rewards annually just from filling up your tank. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1.
You have unlimited earning potential with this card and, as long as your account is open, you don’t have to worry about your points expiring if you decide to save them.
You can redeem your points for cash, gift cards, merchandise, or to book travel (including car rentals, cruises, hotels, tourist attractions, and events), either online or by calling the redemption center.
If you use your points for cash, gift cards, and airfare, they’ll be worth a penny each, which is the standard. (So, for example, if you save up 50,000 points, you can redeem them for $500 in cash or use them to book a $500 airplane ticket.) With other options, like merchandise, the value of your points may vary.
How to Get the Most Out Of This Card
Earn 10,000 bonus points (a $100 value) when you spend $1,000 within 90 days of account opening (expires on Nov. 01, 2021). Then, use this card for dining out and for gas to get the bonuses, and then redeem your points for any option that will give you the full value of 1 cent apiece.
We applaud the low APR of this card, but you should still avoid carrying a balance, especially if you’re focused on earning rewards. Even low interest rates wipe out the value of any rewards you accumulate.
Navy Federal Go Rewards Card’s Excellent Perks
Your benefits will vary, depending on whether you’re given a Visa, Visa Signature, Mastercard, or World Mastercard. You may be offered one or more of the following benefits, which the editors of The Balance consider superior to typical card perks:
- Cellphone coverage: Depending on the card, you’ll be given $250 to $600 worth of insurance coverage for up to three phones. (To activate, you must pay for cell phone service with your card.)
- Travel accident insurance: If you’re given a Visa Signature card, you’ll also get up to $250,000 of travel accident coverage for trips paid for with your card.
Navy Federal Go Rewards Card’s Other Features
- Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
- Extended warranties
- Lowest advertised price match
- Travel and emergency hotline
- Discounts on travel, food, and entertainment
Navy Federal offers a number of customer-friendly perks, including free access to your FICO score and 24/7 access to customer service representatives based in the U.S.
This card offers the ability to instantly freeze your account if you misplace your card, and other standard security features such as zero fraud liability and fraud alerts.
Navy Federal Go Rewards Card’s Fees
This card is very fee-friendly. The credit union doesn’t charge a number of common fees such as foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, and cash advance fees if the cash is drawn directly from a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Even the penalty fees are on the low side for a credit card.