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If you have average credit — generally defined as FICO scores between 630 and 689 — and are eligible to apply for it, the Navy Federal Credit Union® cashRewards Credit Card is a great deal: It offers a solid rewards rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases for an annual fee of $0. That beats what most other credit cards for average credit offer.
You have to be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to apply; eligibility for membership is generally restricted to those who are current or former members of the military, current or former employees of the Department of Defense, or an immediate family member of someone who meets that criteria.
Here are five things to know about the Navy Federal Credit Union® cashRewards Credit Card.
1. It earns 1.5% cash back
The card offers a solid, straightforward rewards rate: 1.5% back on everything you purchase, which has become the industry standard for cards in this class. It comes with 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, and then the ongoing APR of 9.65% - 18.00%, Variable.
It's hard to find a card for average credit with a similar rewards rate and no annual fee. The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example — also for average credit — offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase but comes with an annual fee of $39. If you really want to earn rewards but are willing to wait a year, then you might also want to consider the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card, which offers 1.5% cash back after 12 months of on-time monthly payments and an annual fee of $0.
The Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card, another credit union credit card for those with average credit, is even better: It offers 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases for an annual fee of $0. Points are worth 1 cent apiece, essentially making it a 2% cash back card. But to apply, you have to be a member of Alliant Credit Union.
2. You can redeem rewards for cash or statement credit
You can have your rewards deposited directly into a qualifying Navy Federal checking or savings account or get a statement credit on your credit card bill. Or, you can redeem rewards for gift cards, merchandise or travel. You can start redeeming rewards as soon as you earn them, and rewards won't expire as long as your account remains open.
3. You can choose between a Visa or Mastercard version
In most cases, when you apply for a credit card, you're choosing the issuing bank and a specific card offered by that bank — but the payment network typically isn't a choice.
The Navy Federal Credit Union® cashRewards Credit Card is a little different, as it lets you pick either a Visa or a Mastercard version during the application process.
Both come with perks and features that are similar but not identical, so it's worth comparing before making your pick.
4. It's light on fees
The card has an annual fee of $0, so it won't cost you anything to carry. It also doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, so it's a good choice for use overseas. There are no balance transfer fees, either.
5. It comes with useful benefits
The card comes with several handy side perks, including cell phone protection and secondary rental car coverage. You’ll get the rental car coverage when you rent an eligible car for 15 days or less and decline the collision damage waiver at the front desk. To get the cell phone protection — which generally covers theft or damage of a covered cell phone — you’ll need to pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card. The Mastercard version offers more generous cell phone coverage than the Visa version.