Navy Fed Cards Launch 1.99% APR Offer, but It Comes at a Cost

From Jan. 3 through March 2, 2020, five of the issuer's cards are offering new applicants a 12-month 1.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Robin Saks FrankelJanuary 3, 2020

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» These offers have expired

The limited-time offers described in this article expired in March 2020. See our roundup of the best Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards for current information.

If you need to finance a large purchase or pay down your debt in the new year, you may want to look into whether you're eligible for a Navy Federal credit card.

From Jan. 3 through March 2, 2020, five of the issuer's credit cards are offering new applicants a 12-month 1.99% APR on all purchases and balance transfers. Existing cardholders will be eligible for the offer on balance transfers, but not on purchases. Navy Federal credit cards don't charge balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees.

Now for the potentially bad news: Once these new offers take effect, three of the five cards will no longer offer sign-up bonuses to new applicants.

The following cards are participating in this promotion:

CARD

ANNUAL FEE

ONGOING REWARDS

$0.

1.5% cash back on purchases.

$0.

3X points at supermarkets, gas, transit and restaurants, 1X points on everything else. Terms apply.

$49.

3X the points on travel, 2X the points on everything else.

$0.

3X the points on restaurants, 2X the points on gas and 1X the points on everything else.

$0.

None.

The cards losing their sign-up bonuses are:

  • The Navy Federal Credit Union® cashRewards Credit Card: Previously, the card offered $250 bonus cash back when you spend $2,500 within 90 days of account opening.

  • The Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card: The card formerly offered 30,000 bonus points (a $300 value) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of opening your account.

  • The Navy Federal Credit Union® Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card: The card's previous offer was as follows: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account

The Navy Federal Credit Union® GO REWARDS® Credit Card and the Navy Federal Credit Union® Platinum Credit Card did not offer sign-up bonuses.

"At the beginning of the year, we know that there are a lot of members that carry a lot of debt from their holiday spending," says Justin Zeidman, manager of credit card products for Navy Federal. "We see this as an opportunity for our members to consolidate and refinance some of that high-interest debt to a lower rate."

Is it a good deal?

For the right person, it could be.

For starters, you must join Navy Federal Credit Union to apply for these cards. Membership is generally limited to current or former members of the military, current or former employees of the Department of Defense or DOD contractors, or immediate family or household members of someone who fits the criteria.

It's also worth noting that while a promotional APR of 1.99% is hard to beat, a promotional APR of 0% accomplishes that feat — and it was available on two of these Navy Federal cards before these limited-time offers went into effect:

  • The Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card previously offered a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months.

  • The Navy Federal Credit Union® Platinum Credit Card previously offered a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months.

You can find other cards that offer even longer 0% intro APR periods and don't require credit union membership. The loss of sign-up bonuses on some of these Navy Federal cards also hurts, especially if you don't carry a balance from month to month and thus have no need for a low APR.

But if your goal is to finance a large purchase or pay off existing debt with a balance transfer, rewards are not as important for your decision. And the lack of balance transfer fees on these Navy Federal cards can save you money and helps set them apart from other similar cards.

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