BEST OF

Best Credit Union Credit Cards of May 2021

NerdWalletFebruary 12, 2021
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Credit unions are member-owned cooperatives whose mission is to help the communities they serve succeed financially. Profits that a bank might distribute to its shareholders or owners are instead returned to members in the form of better interest rates and fees. As a result, some credit unions offer better credit cards than you might find at a bank, depending on what you're looking for.

To get a credit card from a credit union, you must be a member. You can usually qualify based on where you live, work or worship, or if you have a qualifying relative. If you don't meet the standard eligibility requirements, some credit unions allow you to join by donating to a partner organization.

NerdWallet's Best Credit Union Credit Cards of May 2021

Best Credit Union Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Bad credit

NerdWallet rating 

3.7

/5
Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

11.50% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

Rec Credit Score

300-850Poor - Excellent

Our pick for

Cash back with no annual cost

NerdWallet rating 

4.3

/5
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

14.99% - 17.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers made between now and September 30, 2021

Rec Credit Score

720-850Excellent

Our pick for

Everyday purchases

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

9.65% - 18.00% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Rec Credit Score

630-850Average - Excellent

Our pick for

Travel with current or former military status

NerdWallet rating 

4.6

/5
Navy Federal Credit Union Flagship Rewards Credit Card

Annual Fee

$49

Regular APR

9.99% - 18.00%, Variable

Intro APR

N/A

Rec Credit Score

690-850Good - Excellent

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST CREDIT UNION CREDIT CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

» FOR ELEVATED CASH BACK

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is designed for big spenders, although perhaps not the biggest spenders. It offers the highest ongoing rewards rate of any flat-rate cash-back card, but it also charges an annual fee, and it limits the amount of spending that earns rewards. (That limit is high, but it's still a limit.) If you're expecting to put more than $2,500 a month on a credit card, this is an excellent one to put it on. Read our review.

» FOR GENERAL-PURPOSE TRAVEL REWARDS 

With premium perks for a $95 annual fee (which can be waived in some cases), jet-setters will get a lot of value from the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. It also offers a generous rewards rate on travel purchases and a decent flat rate on everything else. Plus, you’ll get travel credits and a Priority Pass membership that offers airport lounge access for $32 per visit. Read our review.

» FOR BALANCE TRANSFERS

With debt, the Aspire Platinum Rewards Mastercard® is a decent match to pay off a balance over a short term. It offers a $0 annual fee, a 0% intro APR period and a low balance transfer fee. Terms apply. Membership at Aspire Federal Credit Union is required to be eligible for this card. It's easy to join with a few extra steps. Read our review.

» FOR BAD CREDIT

With low fees and interest, the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has the ideal features to help you build credit. You'll have to clear a few hurdles to qualify for this second-chance credit card. To be eligible, you must be a member of Digital Federal Credit Union and pay a steep security deposit requirement.  Read our review.

» FOR CASH BACK WITH NO ANNUAL COST

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, the gold standard among flat-rate credit cards. Some PenFed members may qualify for more rewards. Honors Advantage program members get an additional 0.5% back, bringing their cash-back earnings rate up to 2%. Read our review.

» FOR EVERYDAY PURCHASES

It's easy to rack up rewards on everyday purchases with the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card. It offers 3 points per dollar spent on groceries, gas, dining and transit. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent. You’ll have to be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to qualify. Membership is typically limited to current or former members of the military, Department of Defense employees, or their qualifying family members. Read our review.

» FOR TRAVEL WITH CURRENT OR FORMER MILITARY STATUS

The Navy Federal Credit Union® Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card can take your travel goals further with perks typically found on cards with higher annual fees. For a $49 annual fee, you earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel and 2 points per dollar spent on everything else. You’ll have to be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to qualify. Membership is typically limited to current or former members of the military, Department of Defense employees, or their qualifying family members. Read our review.

Last updated on February 12, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.