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As credit card companies bump up interest rates in step with the Federal Reserve's hikes in the federal funds rate, one issuer is doing just the opposite. Navy Federal Credit Union announced that it will begin offering lower interest rates to qualified applicants on two of its credit cards starting today:
The lowest variable rate on the Navy Federal Credit Union® Platinum Credit Card will drop from 8.74% to 6.74%
The lowest variable rate on the Navy Federal Credit Union® GO REWARDS® Credit Card will drop from 10.24% to 9.74%
The maximum APR on both cards is still 18%. Navy Federal says it determines what APR you qualify for by assessing your creditworthiness and relationship with the credit union.
“In the last year, we’ve seen three rate increases” from the Fed, says Matt Freeman, head of credit card products at Navy Federal. “We wanted to make sure there was still a low-rate, low-cost option for our members to go after.”
Neither card charges annual fees, balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees. The Navy Federal Credit Union® Platinum Credit Card features lower minimum interest rates, while the Navy Federal Credit Union® GO REWARDS® Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus and rewards: 3 points per dollar spent at restaurants, 2 points per dollar on gas and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
To qualify for these cards, you need to be a Navy Federal Credit Union member. You may be eligible for membership if you’re a current or former military service member, a civilian currently or formerly employed by the military or a family member of a Navy Federal member. Read more about qualifying groups and membership requirements on Navy Federal's website.
For consumers who carry a balance and qualify for the lowest interest rates, these lower APRs make these cards worth getting. Among credit card accounts assessed interest in the first quarter of 2017, the average APR was 13.86%, according to Federal Reserve data.
If you already have one of these Navy Federal cards, you can call and see if you qualify for the newly reduced rates. The credit union will run a credit check to make the decision, but it will be a "soft" inquiry that won’t affect your score, Freeman says.