Pros

No monthly fees on several checking accounts.
Some checking accounts offer ATM fee rebates.
At least 0.05% APY on all checking accounts.

Cons

High average balance required to avoid fee on Flagship Checking.
0.25% APY on basic savings; better rates available elsewhere.
Recently ordered to pay $28.5 million for improper debt collection practices.

Overall

3.5

Navy Federal may be right for you if:

  • You’ve served in a branch of the U.S. armed forces, on active duty or as a reservist; you’ve worked for the Department of Defense or a DOD contractor; or you have an immediate family member who is eligible for membership
  • You want a checking or savings account with no minimum deposit or monthly service fee, and you don’t necessarily need access to a branch

Ratings methodology | Reviewed June 26, 2017

Checking

4.5

All five Navy Federal checking accounts earn dividends, and there are some solid free and low-cost options to choose from.

Standard Certificate
1.15%
APY
$10,000
Min. balance for APY
18 months
Length of term
Learn moreat Navy Federal Credit Union
Basic Savings
0.25%
APY
$5
Min. balance for APY
Learn moreat Navy Federal Credit Union
EveryDay Checking
$0
Monthly fee
None
Balance to waive monthly fee
Learn moreat Navy Federal Credit Union
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Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Fair
Fees
High
Zero stars overall
I attempted to get a VA mortgage with Navy Fed and it was possibly the biggest banking mistake ever. I had recently transferred a good amount of money into a personal account with them and when I did I asked about rates. They were at least equally as low as a few others and lower than many more. I put in the application and was pre-approved for $400,000. Two weeks later I found a house for $375,000 and called them to get started. My first loan officer was less knowledgeable than I was on the process and she finally relented and got me a new loan officer. The second one was worse, all he did when I asked him to confirm some questions was tell me, “he has been doing this for 17 years and obviously knows what he is doing.” Not taking his word, I spoke to another loan officer under a different name and asked the same questions, 5 answers, all different, funny thing the second guy had them all right, however I could not use him since I used a different name. I verified all of this info with the VA and put the app in with the 17-year know it all. Three days later I call to get a fee worksheet for my realtor and they said, “oh your loan was disapproved.” Of course, this caught me off guard so I asked for a manager and got a girl who knew even less than 17-year man (names withheld). After they blamed everything on underwriting, I submitted an appeal with the manager after I explained everything to her and gave her all of the VA documentation and she said she would get back to me on Monday, this was the previous Thursday. As I write this review it is Friday at 1700 hrs and 10 emails later with no answer. I would not recommend Navy Fed to my worst enemy and will be going to withdraw all of my money on Monday morning. They are a joke and I could verify this review with emails and phone records. I would hate to see someone else go through the trouble I have when there are so many good lenders out there. I have just submitted two applications this morning with two other lenders and have already been approved by both, same interest rate and no origination fee, which Navy Fed does charge, 1%. Big saving and hopefully less hassle, has been so far by both companies, have to decide on one later. I was also approved with USAA in two days however their interest rate was a half point higher, they do hold my present loan and are very helpful.
Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Fair
Fees
Fair
Nonsense rules but all else ok
1) Outgoing-only ACH transfers between banks: You are not allowed to transfer money in, only out. Customer service just advised me to use my other bank's ACH transfer system to transfer the money. I have had 7 different banks through the years and none of them had this asinine restriction. 2) Restrictions on joint account information disclosure: There was potential fraudulent activity on a joint account I share with my husband. When I called customer service they told me there was no suspicious activity with my online login but could not disclose any suspicious activity with my husband's online login. I complained about that and they said it is to prevent spouses from making unauthorized withdrawals or by other means cheating each other. Perhaps this is to observe obscure marital property laws across their multiple states of operation, but are you serious you won't tell me information about an account that I own? 3) Website ease-of-use is average: The website is okay with regard to ease of use and features. I would rate it as better than credit union online banking but worse than, for example, Capital One or Chase online banking. One really nice thing is they display upcoming scheduled ACH deposits such as direct deposit. 4) Customer service is good but sometimes frustrating: To their credit, their customer service line is very fast, the automated menu is not obnoxious, and the customer service reps are native English speakers with very good manners. However, while resolving the two issues described above their response to my asking why such-and-such seemingly nonsense rule was in place was basically a quote from the terms of service agreement. 5) Fees: they're pretty good about fees, especially refunding ATM fees. They don't offer free standard checks, which some other banks I had would offer once annually. 6) Rates: they're average. They have 1.9% auto loans available which is good but only for a 36-month term. Savings account rates are nothing to write home about. Overall, they're fine but I gave them a below average rating because of those two bizarre and highly inconvenient restrictions that I haven't seen with any other bank.
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