Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card Review

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If you devote a big portion of your budget to food and transportation, you’re unlikely to find a more rewarding and affordable option than Navy Federal Credit Union’s More Rewards American Express card. Most competitors with comparable rewards charge higher interest rates and fees. It’s also rare to find a card that offers unlimited points on so many everyday spending categories, including gas, transit, groceries, and dining. Plus, you can use them for a wide variety of rewards, including travel, merchandise, and cash back.

You don’t need stellar credit to qualify for the More Rewards card, either. However, you do need to have some connection to the military or to the Department of Defense to qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership.

Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card

overall rating
4
Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card
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 (%) 11.65% - 18% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points at supermarkets and gas stations, 2X points at restaurants, and 1X point on everything else.
Intro Purchase APR 1.99%
Intro Purchase APR Length (number of months) 6
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.7
for Fees
4.2
for Rewards
3.6
for Credit
4.2

Open a Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card, and you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points (a $300 value) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening.

Top Rated For

  • Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

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

Anyone who spends a fair amount of money on food and transportation should be able to get a lot of value out of this unusually generous everyday spending card. However, families with long commutes and a lot of mouths to feed will likely get the most value out of the More Rewards American Express card—especially since, unlike many no-annual-fee cards, it doesn’t cap rewards on groceries and other bonus categories. 

Public transit riders will also appreciate the More Rewards card: It’s rare to find a card that offers such big rewards on public transportation purchases. 

Unlike most competitors, the More Rewards American Express card isn’t just for people with excellent credit, either. It’s open to a wide range of potential borrowers, including consumers with average credit.

Pros

  • Great rewards at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations

  • Flexible transportation rewards

  • Attractive sign-up bonus and intro interest rate on purchases

  • Low ongoing interest rate and few fees

  • Available to consumers with “average” credit

Cons

  • Credit union membership required

  • No points transfer to travel partners

Pros Explained

  • Great rewards at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations: The More Rewards card is unique in that it offers a high rewards earning rate on all three of the most common everyday spending categories (plus 1 point for every $1 on everything else). And there’s no cap on earnings in those categories.
  • Flexible transportation rewards: Whether you ride to work on a subway, or bus or a ferry, or drive on a tollway, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on your commute and weekend travels, no matter how you get around. Public parking, taxis, and limousines are included, too. The More Reward’s card’s expansive transportation rewards are unusual for a low cost everyday reward card.
  • Attractive sign-up bonus and intro interest rate on purchases: In addition to the rewards you earn from your everyday spending, you also get a sign-up bonus that’s worth $300. The More Rewards card also offers a 0% introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 12 months—not as long as some competitors offer, but few of those cards offer the ability to rack up so many rewards from everyday spending.
  • Low ongoing interest rate and few fees: For such a high-value card, you’d expect to see a higher interest rate or bigger fees to help pay the cost of maintaining the rewards program. But the APR is well below average for a rewards card. The card also waives most fees, including balance transfer, cash advance, and foreign transaction fees. 
  • Available to consumers with “average” credit: The More Rewards card is one of the only competitive rewards cards available that accepts cardholders with average credit. Since this is a credit union card, you also won’t have to worry about getting stuck with a huge penalty interest rate if you make a mistake.

Credit union interest rates, including those for credit cards, are capped by federal government credit union regulators. The current cap is 18% through March 2020, when regulators will set a new cap (or extend the current one).  

Cons Explained

  • Credit union membership required: To apply for this card, you need to be connected to the military or to the Department of Defense (for example, as an active duty service member, retiree, veteran, a family member of one of those, or a civilian employee of the DOD).
  • No points transfer to travel partners: You can often boost the travel value of a credit card rewards point by transferring it to an airline or hotel rewards program. But unlike some card issuers, Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t have any transfer partners. 

Sign-Up Bonus

Spend just $3,000 within the card’s first 90 days ($1,000 a month) and you’ll receive 30,000 bonus points that are worth $300 in rewards. By comparison, most no-annual-fee cards offer no more than $150 to $250 in introductory bonuses.  

Earning Points & Rewards

The More Rewards card offers a generous 3 points for every dollar you spend on groceries, gas, transportation, and dining. You earn 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.

If you regularly spend $500 a month on groceries, $200 a month on gas, and $200 on dining, you’ll easily earn more than $300 worth of rewards annually—just from your everyday spending. If you have a big budget and spend a lot on fine dining, you could earn even more. For example, if you spend $1,000 a month on dining, you’ll earn $360 worth of rewards every year just from your restaurant purchases. That’s a total of $660—an unusual amount of value for a no-annual-fee credit card. 

Points are unlimited, so you won’t have to worry about reaching a cap that limits your earnings potential. Your rewards also won’t expire, so you won’t have to rush to spend them. 

Redeeming Rewards

You can use your points to rent a car, book a plane ticket, or hotel room through Navy Federal’s portal. Or you can use them to purchase event tickets, book reservations for a tour, attraction, a cruise, or a vacation package with a telephone call. In addition, Navy Federal allows you to redeem your points for merchandise or gift cards or use them to pay for specific transactions. If you prefer more flexibility, you can simply redeem your points for cash. You don’t have to go through Navy Federal’s rewards portal to redeem your points for travel, either: You can book your trip yourself and request a statement credit later. 

Even though this card is an American Express card, the points you earn are not American Express Membership Rewards points. You will use Navy Federal’s rewards portal online to track and redeem your More Rewards points.

For travel, cash back, and statement credits, your points will be worth 1 cent each. However, the value of your points may vary if you redeem them for gift cards or merchandise through Navy Federal’s portal.  

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Try to stick to grocery stores when you’re stocking up on home supplies—even if you’re just purchasing toiletries or cleaning supplies. You’ll only receive the 3-point earnings rate if a merchant’s category code is tagged as a supermarket. If you pick up toothpaste at a drugstore or buy groceries at a big box store or wholesale club, you may only get 1 point per $1 spent. Similarly, you may not earn the gas rewards rate if you fill up at a warehouse club, or the restaurant rewards rate if you dine at a hotel or casino.

When it’s time to redeem your points, use them for travel or cash back to extract the most value (1 cent per point), and avoid merchandise or gift cards that may be worth less.  

The More Rewards Card’s Other Benefits

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Refund when a merchant won’t accept a return
  • 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, 24/7 access to customer service representatives based in the United States, and an instant chat feature on its website. 

Security Features

The More Rewards card offers the ability to instantly freeze your account if you misplace your card and other standard security features such as zero liability for fraudulent charges and fraud alerts. 

The More Rewards Card’s Fees

The More Rewards card’s fees are low for a credit card—even the $20 late payment fee is low relative to other cards. It also waives many common credit card fees including foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, and cash advance fees.

For Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card

Compare This Card

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CURRENT CARD
Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card
overall rating
4
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 (%) 11.65% - 18% variable
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 3X points at supermarkets and gas stations, 2X points at restaurants, and 1X point on everything else.
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  • 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.