Navy Federal Go Rewards Card Review

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If you have the military connection needed to qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership, the Go Rewards credit card is a standout option for applicants with just average credit. Not only does it have a stronger rewards program than many comparable cards, but what really sets it apart is its consumer-friendly pricing, including a very low APR and minimal fees. 

Navy Federal GO REWARDS®

Overall Rating
3.3
Navy Federal GO REWARDS®
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
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 8.99% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points at restaurants, 2X points on gas, and 1X point on everything else.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
2.4
for Credit
4.4

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
    Adventure Seeker

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.

Pros
  • Available to qualified applicants with average credit

  • Low APR

  • Solid rewards rates

  • Very few fees

Cons
  • Military or Defense Department affiliation required

  • No promotional APR offers

  • No bonus for new cardholders

Pros Explained

  • 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. (Unfortunately, there’s no limited-time interest-free promotion on transferred balances.) 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. 

Cons Explained

  • 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.
  • No promotional APR offers: Navy Federal used to offer an especially low introductory interest rate for purchases and balance transfers, but it’s no longer available on this card. That would make the low ongoing rate and lack of a balance transfer fee all that much sweeter.
  • No bonus for new cardholders: While cards for this market don’t always have bonuses, Navy Federal offers borrowers with fair credit a bonus on its More Rewards American Express Card, but not on this one.

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 nearly $50 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. 

Redeeming Rewards

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

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.  
  • Insurance coverage for lost baggage: Visa Signature cardholders will also get $3,000 worth of coverage for lost baggage if it’s lost on a trip 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 

Customer Experience

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.

Security Features

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. 

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Navy Federal GO REWARDS®
overall rating
3.3
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
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 8.99% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points at restaurants, 2X points on gas, and 1X point on everything else.
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.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Navy Federal Credit Union. "Membership Eligibility." Accessed May 12, 2020

  2. Navy Federal Credit Union. "GO REWARDS Credit Card." Accessed May 12, 2020.

  3. Navy Federal Credit Union. "Navy Federal Credit Union Credit Card Application Disclosure." Accessed May 12, 2020.