Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card Review

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If you have ties to the armed forces and tend to carry a balance on your credit card, the Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card is a great way to lower your finance charges. You won’t earn any rewards on the card, but if you have credit card debt, the generous balance-transfer promotion and exceptionally low ongoing APR more than make up for it.

Navy Federal Platinum

Overall Rating
3.2
Navy Federal Platinum
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 (%) 5.99% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 12 Months
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.3
for Fees
3.5
for Rewards
2.3
for Credit
4.4

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Debt Warrior Persona
    Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt See more cards
    Debt Warrior
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

The Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card is an excellent choice for military families with average credit who have high-interest debt on another card. Balances transferred when you get the card will have an introductory interest rate of 0% for 12 months, and there’s no balance transfer fee—a benefit rarely found on competing cards. Even after that, the APR is as low as 5.99% for the most creditworthy customers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better ongoing rate.

You can’t get the card without being a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union, though, so look elsewhere if you or your family doesn’t have ties to the armed forces. (More on this below.)

Pros
  • No balance transfer fee

  • Low ongoing APR

  • Fees are low or non-existent

  • Visa or Mastercard choice

Cons
  • Navy Federal Credit Union membership required

  • Longer balance transfer periods exist

  • No introductory rate on purchases

  • No rewards or new-cardholder bonus

Pros Explained

  • No balance transfer fee: Most credit cards tack on a 3% fee to transfer a balance. Combined with a promotional rate, the no-fee transfer is more valuable.
  • Low ongoing APR: This credit card is a keeper even after the introductory period expires. Your ongoing APR could be as low as 5.99% on both purchases and balances transferred, which is one of the lowest available. 
  • Fees are low or non-existent: You won’t pay foreign transaction fees, and most fees that you do have to pay are far lower than those on competing cards. (More about this in the Fees section at the bottom of this review.) 
  • Visa or Mastercard choice: You’ll get the opportunity to choose between a Visa or Mastercard. The Mastercard comes with some additional perks, but the Visa may appeal to heavy Costco shoppers, since that’s all Costco takes. 

Cons Explained

  • Navy Federal Credit Union membership required: You won’t be able to get this card without being a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union. You or your family must have current or former ties to the armed forces or Department of Defense. However, the “family” included is broader than how some other military cards define it, and includes immediate family, siblings, grandparents/grandchildren, and household members.
  • Longer balance transfer periods exist: While 12 months isn’t terrible if you need more time to pay off a big balance, there are many cards offering 15 or 18 months of 0% interest. 
  • No introductory rate on purchases: Many cards with competitive 0% balance transfers offers also have 0% interest on purchases for a similar amount of time. 
  • No rewards or bonus: Without an opportunity to earn rewards on your purchases, you’ll miss out on cash back or points that could be worth hundreds of dollars a year or more. As well, you won’t get a sign-up bonus, which some other balance transfer and 0% interest rate cards offer. 

If you don’t plan to carry a balance, you’re probably better off with a card that offers rewards on your purchases, even if it has a higher APR. Other credit cards issued by Navy Federal offer cash back or points, and the APRs are still competitive. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

If you’re carrying debt on a higher-APR credit card, transfer your balance immediately (within 30 days of opening your account) to take advantage of the promotional offer of 12 months at a 0% APR. 

While there are plenty of other credit cards offering an introductory promotion with no interest for 12 months, you’re likely to come out ahead with this deal because of the lack of a balance transfer fee. (You'll also get 12 months to make new purchases at a 0% APR.) Here’s an example: 

  Balance APR Balance Transfer Fee Total Charges
Navy Federal Platinum Card $2000 0% 0% $0
Competing Card $2000 0% 3% $60

You cannot move more debt than your card’s credit limit or $30,000 per transfer, according to this card’s terms and conditions. 

And although this isn’t a cash-back card, you can get cash back if you use the Platinum card in conjunction with the Navy Federal Credit Union’s Member Deals website, an online shopping portal.

Excellent Perks  

Perks on credit cards are common, but editors at The Balance have determined some are more valuable than others. One feature of this card makes our cut for an excellent perk:

  • Cellphone coverage: Pay your cellphone bill with your credit card and you could be covered for stolen or damaged devices (but not lost devices). Maximum reimbursement will depend on whether you get the card on the Mastercard or Visa network. (For Mastercard, it’s $600 per occurrence or $1,000 per year, and for Visa, it’s $250 per claim or $500 per year. Both have a $50 deductible.) 

Depending on whether you have Mastercard or Visa coverage, cellphone coverage exclusions may exist. Read your contract carefully. 

Other Features

When you apply for the card, you’ll choose between a Visa or Mastercard version. Both come with these additional perks:

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Travel and emergency hotline
  • Extended warranties

And these features are listed online for the Mastercard version only:

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Lowest advertised price match
  • Discount on airport meet and greet services

Customer Experience

Navy Federal Credit Union received the highest overall score in member satisfaction from J.D. Power’s 2020 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, and scores highly compared to both regional and national banks.

Navy Federal has a mobile app for managing credit cards and other accounts. And cardholders have 24/7 online or phone access to customer service representatives located in the U.S., which is especially useful for service members who are deployed in varying time zones.

Plus, while many credit cards offer a free credit score, the Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card provides access to your FICO score—the one most widely used by lenders.

Security Features

In addition to industry-standard security features, the Mastercard version of this credit card comes with identity theft protection. If you enroll in the service, it will alert you to potential identity theft by searching the internet for any suspicious use of your personal details, monitoring your financial transactions, and even keeping tabs on URLs and domain names of your choice. 

Fees

The Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card stands out for better-than-average fees. There is no foreign transaction fee or annual fee, and it has relatively low late and returned-payment fees. The penalty APR and cash advance APR are also small compared to competing cards. To boot, the only cash advance fee is an ATM fee (outside of Navy Federal ATMs) of 50 cents to $1, depending on location.

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CURRENT CARD
Navy Federal Platinum
overall rating
3.2
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 (%) 5.99% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 12 Months
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. "Platinum Credit Card Special Offer." Accessed August 28, 2020.

  2. Navy Federal Credit Union. "Navy Federal Credit Union Credit Card Application Disclosure." Accessed August 28, 2020.

  3. Navy Federal Credit Union. "Your Guide to Card Benefit for All Visa Consumer Credit Cardholders." Accessed August 28, 2020.

  4. Navy Federal Credit Union. "Guide to Benefits for Mastercard Cardholders." Accessed August 28, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "Customers Losing Faith in Credit Card Issuers as COVID-19 Pandemic Lingers, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed August 28, 2020.