Navy Federal Credit Union Review 2024 (2024)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Why you can trust Forbes Advisor

Navy Federal Credit Union Account Basics


Navy Federal offers five different checking accounts for various types of needs and situations. All five of these checking accounts earn interest, which, in a credit union—since the account holder is a member—is referred to as earning dividends.

Here’s an overview of this credit union’s checking products:

  • Navy Federal Credit Union Free Active Duty Checking®. This checking account is designed for active duty or retired military personnel. It enables account holders to receive their military pay one day early with qualifying direct deposit. The account has no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement. It also provides personalized checks and up to $20 per statement period in third-party ATM fee rebates. This account pays dividends of .0.05% APY.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Free Easy Checking. This account pays 0.05% APY and offers up to $10 of third-party ATM fee rebates per statement cycle. There is no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement. To maintain eligibility for this account, you must set up direct deposit or make at least 20 transactions with a Navy Federal debit card per statement cycle.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Free EveryDay Checking. This checking account also pays dividends but at a lower rate of 0.01% APY. There is no monthly service fee, no minimum balance requirement and no minimum opening deposit.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Free Campus Checking. Designed for students and younger adults (ages 14 to 24), this account pays 0.05% APY, provides up to $10 of ATM fee rebates per statement cycle and has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Flagship Checking. If you can maintain a higher balance in your checking account, this checking account has three earning tiers: 0.35% APY for balances of $0 to $9,999, 0.40% APY for balances of $10,000 to $24,999 and 0.45% for balances of $25,000 or more. The rates on this checking account are almost competitive with some of the best high-yield savings accounts. To earn dividends on your Flagship Checking account, you must have an ending daily balance of at least $1,500. There is a monthly service fee of $10, but you can avoid this fee by maintaining an average daily balance of at least $1,500. If you’re signed up for direct deposit, this account provides up to $10 of third-party ATM fee rebates per statement cycle.

All Navy Federal checking accounts include a Navy Federal debit card with zero liability protection and digital banking with mobile deposit and bill pay. Checking accounts all come with three optional types of coverage to help you avoid overdrafts:

  • Savings Transfer. This automatically moves money from savings to checking and is set up for you when you open a checking account.
  • Checking Line of Credit. This offers coverage for large or unexpected expenses. Interest rates range from 13.9% to 17.9% APR.
  • Optional Overdraft Protection Service (OOPS). This is overdraft protection. There’s no fee on transactions of $5 or less or if your total overdrawn balance is less than $15. There’s a $20 fee for each overdraft otherwise.


The Navy Federal Credit Union Share Savings Account is its traditional savings account option. This basic savings account has a minimum deposit of only $5 and pays 0.25 APY. While Navy Federal’s savings account rate doesn’t beat the best high-yield savings accounts, it’s better than the national average savings account yield as reported by the FDIC. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly.

There’s also the Navy Federal Credit Union IRA Share Accounts, which also pay 0.25% APY.

Money Market

Navy Federal offers two money market account options with tiered-rate structures. Generally, the more you deposit, the more you earn.

  • Navy Federal Credit Union Money Market Account. With this money market account, your APY depends on how much money you have deposited. To earn dividends, you need to have at least $2,500 deposited. Current Navy Federal Credit Union Money Market Account rates breakdown as follows: Balances from $0 to $2,499 earn 0.00% APY; balances from $2,500 to $9,999 earn 0.95% APY; balances from $10,000 to $24,999 earn 1.06% APY; balances from $25,000 to $49,999 earn 1.10% APY, and balances of $50,000 or more earn 1.50% APY.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Jumbo Money Market Account. For higher balances, Navy Federal offers a special jumbo money market account. You’ll need to deposit at least $100,000 before you qualify for a higher APY than the standard Money Market Savings Account provides. In fact, this jumbo account pays a lower APY ($0 to $99,999 earn 0.25% APY; balances from $100,000 to $249,999 earn 1.65% APY; balances from $250,000 to $499,999 earn 1.85% APY; balances from $500,000 to $999,999 earn 2.05% APY and balances of $1,000,000 or more earn 2.25% APY) than the regular Money Market Savings Account pays on balances of $2,500 to $99,999. That said, with the jumbo MMSA, you can earn 0.25% APY on balances below $2,500, which isn’t possible with the standard MMSA. Current Navy Federal Credit Union Jumbo Money Market Account rates breakdown as follows: Balances from $0 to $99,999 earn 0.25% APY; balances from $100,000 to $249,999 earn 1.65% APY; balances from $250,000 to $499,999 earn 1.85% APY; balances from $500,000 to $999,999 earn 2.05% APY and balances of $1,000,000 or more earn 2.25% APY.

Navy Federal’s APYs are competitive with the best money market accounts. The credit union also offers money market accounts, with the same APYs, for IRAs and Coverdell ESAs.

Dividends are compounded and credited monthly.

Share Certificates

Navy Federal offers several types of share certificates, the credit union version of certificates of deposit (CDs) found at banks. Here’s a look at Navy Federal’s certificates:

  • Navy Federal Credit Union Standard Certificate. These certificates require a minimum deposit of $1,000 and offer terms ranging from three months to seven years. Rates vary by term. Higher balances of $100,000 or more qualify for slightly higher APYs.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union EasyStart℠ Certificate. These certificates require a lower minimum balance than Standard Certificates, only $50, and offer terms ranging from six months to 24 months. They also allow you to add money at any time, but the APYs on these certificates are slightly lower.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union Special EasyStart Certificate. This type of certificate pays up to 5.30% APY on a maximum balance of $3,000 with a term of 12 months. There’s a $50 minimum balance requirement. To qualify, you must have a Navy Federal checking account and set up direct deposit.
  • Navy Federal Credit Union SaveFirst Account. Navy Federal’s SaveFirst Account is a hybrid share certificate and savings account. With the SaveFirst Account, you make a minimum deposit of $5, choose a term of three months to 60 months and earn an APY of 0.40%. You can add money to this certificate at any time—in this way, this type of certificate is similar to an add-on CD.

Here’s a look at terms and rates for Navy Federal Standard Certificates:

Certificate TermAPYMinimum Deposit
3 Months2.75%$1,000
12 Months4.75%$1,000
18 Months4.45%$1,000
24 Months4.15%$1,000
36 Months4.00%$1,000
60 Months3.80%$1,000
84 Months3.80%$1,000

Navy Federal’s certificates are fairly competitive with the best CD rates. Dividends compound daily and are credited monthly.

Other Accounts and Services

In addition to the accounts listed above, Navy Federal members have access to a full range of financial services and products, including:

  • Auto loans
  • Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)
  • Credit cards
  • Investments, financial planning, life insurance and trust services (from Navy Federal Financial Group)
  • Mortgages (VA loans and conventional fixed rate)
  • Motorcycle, boat and RV loans
  • Prepaid cards and gift cards
  • Retirement savings accounts
  • Student loans

Access on the Go

Navy Federal’s customer experience is highly digital, with more than 70% of the credit union’s members using the credit union’s mobile app and website. The Navy Federal mobile app includes the following features:

  • Mobile deposits
  • Sending money fast with Zelle
  • Online bill pay
  • Online transfers
  • Digital security and fraud prevention
  • Digital and mobile wallets
  • Card on File for easier online shopping
  • Ability to temporarily freeze or unfreeze your credit and debit cards

The Navy Federal Credit Union mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices. It currently has a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on the App Store and 3.9 stars out of 5 on Google Play.

In addition, Navy Federal members have access to more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs through the CO-OP ATM network and more than 1.7 million ATMs through the Visa/PLUS System. Although the Visa/PLUS ATMs charge a fee to Navy Federal members, many of Navy Federal’s checking accounts offer ATM fee rebates (up to $20 per statement cycle, depending on your account).

Who Can Apply For Navy Federal Credit Union?

Navy Federal Credit Union membership is open to active duty, retired and veteran members of the armed forces; military family members; and Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees. Family members include parents, spouses, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and other household members.

If you work for the DoD in any of the following capacities, you may also apply for membership: DoD civilian employees, U.S. Government employees assigned to DoD installations, DoD contractors assigned to U.S. Government installations and DoD civilian retirees and annuitants. Once you are a member, you can open accounts with the credit union.

Pros and Cons of Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide array of financial services, a strong digital experience, competitive APYs and customer-friendly features for checking accounts. Among credit unions, which are known for supporting their members, Navy Federal has an exceptional track record of putting its members first and delivering great value.

One drawback is Navy Federal’s membership, which is limited to active duty military service personnel, veterans, retirees, their families and Department of Defense employees and contractors. But if you fall into one of these categories, you may want to consider managing your personal finances with Navy Federal.

Find The Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Learn More

Navy Federal Credit Union vs. USAA

Navy Federal Credit Union has more generous membership guidelines than USAA. Only U.S. military members and their families and pre-commissioned officers can apply for membership with USAA, while DoD civilians can also qualify for Navy Fed membership. Both institutions offer checking and savings accounts as well as credit cards and loans.

USAA offers CDs with rates comparable to those offered by Navy Fed’s certificates, although it doesn’t offer money market accounts. That said, the bank’s savings account rates are much lower than Navy Fed’s.

Navy Federal Credit Union vs. PenFed

PenFed is open to everyone, so you don’t need military or DoD status to join and open an account like you would with Navy Federal Credit Union. That being said, this credit union has fewer physical branches. You’ll only find a few dozen PenFed branches across the U.S.

Like Navy Federal Credit Union, PenFed also has a wide network of fee-free ATMs. You can pull cash for free from more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide. As far as financial products are concerned, the two credit unions have similar offerings, although PenFed’s savings account rates are more impressive.

Forbes Advisor Banking Reviewer and Writer Ben Gran and Writer Lara Vukelich contributed to this article.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Navy Federal Credit Union insured?

Navy Federal is a credit union insured by the National Credit Union Administration (charter #5536). NCUA insurance offers protection that is similar to banks’ FDIC insurance. Deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category, in the event of a credit union failure.

Where are Navy Federal Credit Union’s branches located?

Navy Federal has 350 branches worldwide, including 184 branches on or near military installations. It also maintains international locations in Bahrain, Cuba, Greece, Guam, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Spain. Generally, wherever your military career or international travels may take you, Navy Federal is likely to have a branch or an ATM nearby.

How can I contact member services at Navy Federal Credit Union?

You can contact Navy Federal Credit Union by phone, 24/7 toll-free at 888-842-6328, or call collect internationally at 703-255-8837.

You can also send a secure message via online banking, chat via the credit union’s website, connect on social media or reach Navy Federal Credit Union by mail.

Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circ*mstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Forbes Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

Navy Federal Credit Union Review 2024 (2024)


Is it worth joining Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

Navy Federal Credit Union is a good fit for military members and their relatives who want to choose from multiple checking accounts with APYs that are better than popular banks. It's also ideal for those looking for accounts with low or zero minimum deposits or monthly service fees.

What credit score is required for Navy Federal? ›

The Navy Federal credit card approval requirements include a credit score of at least 700 (good credit), in most cases. You might be able to get other Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards with bad credit. You also have to be an NFCU member to apply for one of their credit cards.

Is it hard to get approved for a loan from Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

NFCU's membership eligibility requirements make it so that only a small portion of U.S. consumers can apply for a loan. If you're eligible to be a member, though, you might be able to get approved even if you have a limited credit history, though you could need a co-applicant.

Why does everyone love Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

"Navy Federal Credit Union is always there when I need them most. As a Veteran, it's a blessing & nice to know there's a financial institution who truly honors you and respects your service & sacrifice to this country. The reps are always kind, professional & helpful.

What is so special about a Navy Federal account? ›

Because we're not-for-profit, any surplus funds are returned to our members as dividends, reduced loan interest and improvements to our products and services. That means we have great rates, lower fees and exclusive discounts.

Will Navy Federal give me a loan with a 550 credit score? ›

Navy Federal says its loans are available to borrowers across the credit spectrum, including borrowers with bad credit or thin credit histories, and there's no minimum credit score requirement. You must be a member of Navy Federal to apply. Here's what you need for your application: Desired loan amount and term.

Can you get denied at Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

We may deny opening a checking account if you have had any previous checking accounts closed for unsatisfactory reasons. A personal checking account may not be used for commercial or business purposes.

Does Navy Federal approve anyone? ›

No, Navy Federal Credit Union does not approve everyone for personal loans. To qualify for a Navy Federal Credit Union personal loan, you need to be at least 18 years old and have enough income to make the monthly payments, among other requirements.

How does Navy Federal verify eligibility? ›

You'll need your personal information and a method to fund your account. Text, Social security number, Driver's license or government ID, Credit card or bank account and routing number.

How fast can you get a loan with Navy Federal? ›

Applying is fast and easy, and you can enjoy a fixed monthly payment at a competitive rate. Plus, you won't pay any origination or prepayment fees. In most cases, you'll receive same-day funding.

How to get a Navy Federal account without being military? ›

Immediate family and household members (including roommates) of current Navy Federal members are eligible to join.

What is Navy Federal Credit Union credit limit? ›

The Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card credit limit is between $500 and $50,000. Everyone who gets approved for the Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card is guaranteed a credit limit of at least $500, but the higher an applicant's credit score and income are, the higher the starting credit limit is likely to be.

How to build your Navy Federal credit score? ›

Pay credit card companies, loans, utility bills, and other accounts on time for at least the minimum payment. Missed payments could lower your credit score quickly.

Can any one join Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

Who Can Join? To become a member, you or one of your family or household members must have ties to the armed forces, DoD or National Guard. Find Out if You're Eligible. So you're thinking of joining Navy Federal Credit Union?

What are the benefits of being in Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

Up to $10 per statement period with Free Easy Checking, Flagship, and Free Campus Checking accounts; up to $20 per statement period with Free Active Duty Checking®. Direct deposit required in order to receive ATM fee rebates for Flagship Checking.

Can a regular person join Navy Federal Credit Union? ›

Membership Eligibility

Our field of membership goes beyond current and retired members of the armed forces to include their families and household members, Department of Defense personnel and more.

Which is better, Navy Federal or USAA? ›

Both institutions are excellent choices for military members, veterans, and their families. For its part, USAA has more savings accounts options and a better rate on a 6-month CD. However, Navy Federal Credit Union has several more checking accounts and much better APYs for most of its CD terms.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 6216

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.