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5 Things to Know About the Navy Federal cashRewards Card

April 10, 2019
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Credit Cards for Average or Fair Credit
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The Navy Federal Credit Union® cashRewards Credit Card might get your attention if you’re looking for a simple flat-rate cash-back card unencumbered by category tracking or a requirement to opt in for bonus rewards.

But — and it’s a big one — you’ll have to join Navy Federal Credit Union to apply, and 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.

If your profile fits the bill, read on to learn five things about the Navy Federal Credit Union® cashRewards Credit Card.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best Navy Federal credit cards

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 also offers a sign-up bonus that’s a bit more generous than many of its competitors’: a $250 bonus cash back when you spend $2,500 within 90 days of account opening.

Still, if you’re considering this card, you’ll want to compare it with competing 1.5% cash-back cards to pick the one that fits you best.

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. You can start redeeming rewards as soon as you earn them, and rewards won’t expire as long as your account remains open.

Other flat-rate cards may offer more redemption options, such as travel, gift cards or merchandise — but, of course, cash back is the most flexible reward of them all, since you can use it for whatever you like.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best cash-back credit cards

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, heavy on extras

The card has an annual fee of $0, so it won’t cost you anything to carry. It doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees either, so it’s a good choice for use overseas. It also won’t charge balance transfer fees, although transferring a balance to this card may not be ideal. The ongoing APR is 11.65% - 18.00%, Variable. It doesn’t feature an introductory APR offer.

It does, however, offer several handy side perks, including cell phone protection, collision damage waiver coverage and travel and emergency assistance.

5. Those with average credit may qualify

Many of the best cash-back cards on the market require good to excellent credit to get approved. This card’s website notes that it’s best for those with “average to excellent credit,” so it may be an option if you’re still working on shoring up your scores.

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