Navy Federal Credit Union Review & Rates 2024

Navy Federal Credit Union logo

Navy Federal Credit Union

8.4 rating

Expert Take

Between well-regarded customer service and accounts suited for anyone, Navy Federal is a solid credit union overall.


  • Tons of checking account options
  • Excellent customer service
  • Limited fees
  • Both in-person and online banking


  • Low savings rates
  • No reimbursement for ATM fees
  • Eligibility restrictions

Bonus Offers


Product Variety


Customer Experience


Interest-Bearing Accounts




Free ATM Access


Navy Federal Credit Union logo

Learn More

at Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU), usually referred to as Navy Federal or Navy Fed, is a global credit union based out of Vienna, Virginia.

Founded in 1933 by a small group of naval employees, Navy Federal is now the largest credit union in the US in terms of both assets and membership.

Navy Federal offers deposit accounts, credit cards, investment accounts and IRAs, personal loans, and refinancing.

NFCU provides accounts and financial services to members of all branches of the armed forces, as well as their family members.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about qualifying for membership, plus an in-depth look at the products, features, and service come along with choosing Navy Federal as a financial partner.

Navy Federal Checking Accounts

All Navy Federal checking accounts have no monthly service fees (with one exception) and come with a Navy Federal Zero Liability debit card.

Each account has full access to digital banking, and dividends are credited monthly.

Let’s take a look at each account option:

1. Free Active Duty Checking

Free Active Duty Checking is designed for both active duty and retired service members. The account comes with up to $240 annually in ATM rebates plus free personalized checks.

The checking account is interest-bearing, and the APY and dividend rate are both 0.05%. Account holders can also access their paycheck a day early with direct deposit, and there are no minimum balance requirements.

You’ll need a qualifying military direct deposit to qualify for this account. If your direct deposit doesn’t show up in your account for 90 days, the account automatically converts to a Free EveryDay Checking account.

2. Free Easy Checking

Free Easy Checking is an interest-bearing account with a 0.05% APY and 0.05% dividend rate.

You’ll get $120 annually in ATM fee reimbursements, and there are no minimum balance requirements.

3. Free Campus Checking

Free Campus Checking is an account for members aged 14 to 24 but is otherwise nearly identical to Free Easy Checking — members get the same $120 per year in ATM rebates, along with a 0.05% APY and dividend rate.

The account has no minimum deposit requirements.

4. Free EveryDay Checking

Free EveryDay Checking is a basic checking account for all Navy Federal members.

The account has lower APY and dividend rates of just 0.01% each, and no ATM fee reimbursements.

5. Flagship Checking

Flagship Checking is Navy Federal’s highest-earning checking option with a variable APY of 0.35% to 0.45%.

The same rate applies to dividends; you’ll have to maintain a balance of $1,500 or more to earn the dividends.

If you enroll in direct deposit, you’ll get $120 per year in ATM rebates. The account is also the only checking option with a potential monthly fee of $10, which you can avoid if your balance is $1,500 or higher.

Basic Savings is Navy Federal’s only savings account and is required for membership.

You can open multiple Basic accounts, one as the main savings account and another as an emergency fund. You get the same features no matter how many accounts you open. Basic Savings has no monthly fee and comes with a 0.25% APY. It also requires a balance of just $5 to earn dividends at the same rate.

Basic Savings is designed to help you fulfill your short- and long-term savings goals and comes with useful tools and guidance.

You can automate your savings with recurring transfers and keep yourself on track with a savings goal calculator.

Navy Federal’s Money Market account comes with a tiered APY of up to 1.50%. The rate is based on your balance and increases the more you deposit.

Here’s the current breakdown:

  • Up to $2,499: 0.00% APY
  • $2,500 to $9,999: 0.95% APY
  • $10,000 to $24,999: 1.06% APY
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 1.10% APY
  • $50,000+: 1.5% APY

If you have a higher total balance, you can opt for a Jumbo Money Market, which gives you access to a slightly higher rate.

If you have less than $100,000, you’re better off with the standard option, but you can access rates as high as 2.25% on higher balances if you can maintain at least a $100,000 balance.

Both Money Market accounts are fee-free, and you’ll have more flexibility in accessing your money than a standard savings account.

Here are the current CDs that Navy Federal has to offer:

1. Standard CD

A Standard Navy Federal CD, also known as a Share Certificate, allows for terms ranging from 3 months to 7 years, with higher rates the longer you commit your funds.

There’s a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement, and you’ll get a small boost on your rate if you deposit $100,000 or more.

Here are the current standard and jumbo Navy Federal Credit Union CD rates:

Product APY Min Deposit
3 Month CD2.75% APY$1,000
1 Year CD4.80% APY$1,000
18 Month CD4.50% APY$1,000
2 Year CD4.20% APY$1,000
3 Year CD4.00% APY$1,000
5 Year CD3.80% APY$1,000
7 Year CD3.80% APY$1,000

2. EasyStart CD

EasyStart CDs have a low minimum deposit requirement of just $50. The rates are lower than other options, but the low threshold for opening makes this a more accessible option.

Here are the current Navy Federal Credit Union EasyStart CD term lengths and rates:

Product APY Min Deposit
18 Month EasyStart CD4.70% APY$50
2 Year EasyStart CD4.15% APY$50

3. Special EasyStart CD

The Special EasyStart CD has the same $50 minimum deposit requirement but earns at a much higher rate. There’s a maximum balance limit of $3,000, and the only term length available is 12 months.

To open a Special EasyStart CD, you’ll first need a Navy Federal checking account and direct deposit; there’s a limit of one of these accounts per member.

Here is the current Navy Federal Credit Union Special EasyStart CD term length and rate:

Product APY Min Deposit
1 Year Special EasyStart CD5.30% APY$50

4. SaveFirst CD

SaveFirst is a straightforward CD option that earns the same rate no matter how long you commit your funds. You only need $5 to open an account and can choose a term length anywhere from 3 to 60 months.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers various credit card options. Each one comes with 24/7 access to customer representatives, plus no fees on balance transfers or foreign transactions.

Let’s take a quick look at what else comes with each credit card:


cashRewards is a no-annual-fee card earning up to 1.75% cash back on all purchases. You can start redeeming rewards as soon as you earn them, and you’ll get a $250 initial bonus when you spend at least $2,500 in your first 90 days, plus a one-time $98 Walmart+ subscription rebate as a statement credit.

More Rewards (AmEx)

The More Rewards American Express® card is a tiered rewards card with no annual fee. You’ll earn triple points on purchases at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations and single points for everything else.

When you open a new card, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $2,000 in your first 90 days, plus get a one-time $98 statement credit for a Walmart+ subscription.

Visa Signature Flagship Rewards

Signature Flagship Rewards has no annual fee for your first year, but it’s $49 for each year after. You’ll also get a free Amazon Prime membership for a year ($130 value).

The card earns triple points for travel and double points on all other purchases. You can also take advantage of a $100 statement credit toward Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check®.

GO Rewards

GO Rewards is a no-annual-fee credit card that pays triple points at restaurants, double points on gas, and single points on everything else.

If you spend $1,000 within 90 days of opening the account, you’ll earn 15,000 bonus points.


Platinum is a good option if you’re looking to save on interest. There are no rewards, but with its lower APR on purchases and balance transfers, it’s a good choice to help pay down existing or new debt.

nRewards Secured

nRewards Secured is a card for those new to credit cards and looking to establish their credit score. There’s no annual fee, and all purchases earn single points.

The card is unique because it’s linked to your savings account. The balance in your savings account establishes the credit limit for the card, so you won’t have to worry about spending more than you have.

After 6 months, your account is reviewed, and if you’re eligible, you can upgrade to a cashRewards card.


Here are the top features that Navy Federal Credit Union offers its members:

350 Branches Worldwide

Navy Federal has 350 brick-and-mortar branches, including many international locations and 53 branches on or near military bases.

Its greatest presence is in Virginia near its headquarters, but Navy Federal currently operates branches in 30 US states.

30,000 Free ATMs

Aside from its own branch ATMs, Navy Federal also belongs to the CO-OP network, giving members access to more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. You can find either type of ATM through the locator on the website or app.

Online Banking

With Navy Federal online banking, you can manage your accounts and bank cards digitally whenever needed. Transfers, bill pay, and account maintenance are seamless, and you can reduce waste and increase account security with paperless statements.

Mobile App

Navy Federal’s mobile banking app is available on both iOS and Android and currently holds a respectable 4.9-star (out of 5) rating in the App Store and 4.3 stars in the Google Play Store.

With mobile banking, you can make mobile check deposits, set up notifications and alerts, and take care of any other banking needs that you would online or in-branch.

Member Benefits

As a Navy Federal member, you have access to exclusive benefits. This includes discounts on everything from insurance to car rentals, and you could even be eligible for a reduced rate on a home or auto loan.


With Navy Federal, there aren’t a ton of traditional banking fees, but it isn’t entirely fee-free. Let’s look at the most common charges you’ll see.

  • Monthly Maintenance Fees: Almost all Navy Federal deposit accounts come without a monthly fee, except Flagship Checking. There’s a $10 monthly fee if your balance falls under $1,500, so be sure you can maintain at least that amount if you plan to open this account.
  • ATM Fees: Navy Federal charges a $1 fee for using out-of-network ATMs, and it also doesn’t reimburse the fees charged by the ATM. ATM fees can add up quickly, so always look at the map before opening an account to ensure you have one nearby.
  • Overdraft Fees: If you overdraft your account, there’s a standard $29 fee, charged up to three times a day if you keep making transactions. Navy Federal provides three options to get around it — you can cover your overdraft with a transfer from your savings, open a line of credit, or opt into Optional Overdraft Protection Service (OOPS). The best option is linking with your savings, which automatically corrects your balance for free. A line of credit comes with a variable interest rate, and OOPS coverage still costs $20 per transfer.
  • Wire Transfer Fees: Incoming wires to your Navy Federal accounts are always free, but sending them comes with a fee. Domestic transfers are $14 each, and international wires cost $25.

Overall, these fees are lower than you can expect from an average bank.

Getting Started

To sign up for a Navy Federal account, you’ll first have to determine if you’re eligible.

Navy Federal membership is exclusive to those who have ties to US military members. All of the following people are eligible:

  • Active Duty members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Space Force
  • Delayed Entry Program recruits
  • Department of Defense (DoD) officer candidates/ROTC, reservists, civilian employees, contractors, and retirees
  • Veterans, retirees, and annuitants
  • Immediate family members of members

If you qualify, you can sign up online at for an account in as little as 10 minutes. You can also opt to enroll over the phone or in-branch.

To join Navy Federal, you’ll need your Social Security Number, current home address, US ID, and a credit card or bank account for funding.


There’s no sign-up bonus for a new Navy Federal membership or account, but there’s a pretty solid referral program once you’re a member.

When you refer new Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), you’ll get $100 per new member. There’s a limit of 5 referrals per member, so you can earn up to $500 if you keep bringing in new people.


Navy Federal accounts are monitored 24/7 by fraud protection software, and you can protect yourself with biometric authentication (including VoiceID), card freezes, and custom notifications.

Navy Federal also utilizes 2-step authentication to log in and has digital tools in place to protect against phishing, card scams, and wire fraud.

Like most credit unions, Navy Federal accounts are protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), so your money is insured for up to $250,000.

Customer Service

Navy Federal has an outstanding reputation when it comes to customer service, with an impressive 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot.

Part of the appeal is that someone is always available — phone support (1-888-842-6328) is available 24/7.

Otherwise, you can send a secure message online, pop into your local branch, or chat with someone on the website or social media.

Customer Reviews

Navy Federal Credit Union currently holds an impressive 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot with over 24k reviews. Here is what some of its customers have to say.

By far the best financial institution, I have used in the last 20 years.
Antonio Trustpilot

Overall a great experience, however, the closest NFCU ATM according to the website isn’t an NFCU ATM and the next closest doesn’t take deposits, most times I have to drive to the branch which is always and out of the way, not a big enough problem to change banks but inconvenient.
JOHN Trustpilot

Love the customer service! Hate how long it takes for transactions to come out of my account as this has led to me accidentally overdraft my account.

Pros & Cons


  • Tons of checking account options
  • Excellent customer service
  • Limited fees
  • Both in-person and online banking


  • Low savings rates
  • No reimbursement for ATM fees
  • Eligibility restrictions
  • No sign-up bonus

Alternatives to Navy Federal Credit Union

If you’re interested in banking partners that are available exclusively to those associated with the military, Navy Federal isn’t the only option.

USAA and Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) both offer similar platforms and are worth taking a look at.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Navy Federal a good credit union?

Yes — it’s the biggest one for a reason. Between well-regarded customer service and accounts suited for anyone, Navy Federal stands out as a solid credit union overall.

What’s so special about Navy Federal Credit Union?

It depends on who you ask. It could be that it’s the biggest credit union in the US or that its approach is specifically tailored to those who serve and their families.

It’s all about what you need in a financial institution. It’s entirely possible that Navy Federal isn’t special for you specifically and that there’s a better option out there. Take the time to determine what you want and need, and find the financial partner to provide it.

Is there a monthly fee for Navy Federal?

No, there is no monthly fee for a Navy Federal membership. That said, there might be one for your specific account, so be sure to understand all of the ins and outs before opening one.

Is Navy Federal Credit Union Right For You?

If you’re associated with the US military, you already have the unique ability to be a part of the largest credit unions in the country.

That membership gives you access to a high level of customer service, tons of account options, and some solid perks.

With Navy Federal, you can feel good about choosing a well-established personal finance solution that brings a lot to the table.

On the other hand, the fact is that while there’s a lot to like, it might not be your highest-earning option.

Navy Federal offers competitive rates overall but doesn’t come with the truly high-yield APYs you’ll see in other credit unions and online banks. There’s also no sign-up bonus to entice potential new members.

Finding the best banking solution for you is a matter of identifying your goals and using the correct tools to get you there.

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