Navy Federal Credit Union: Checking, Savings and CDs

Navy Federal Credit Union provides accounts and products for people who have served as a member of the military or have worked for the Department of Defense, and immediate family members of those eligible.
Chanelle BessetteJul 26, 2021

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Overall bank rating

Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Savings

  • Checking

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in the U.S., with over 10 million members and a mission to serve those who serve our country. Its membership is linked to the military: You can join Navy Federal if you’ve served in a branch of the U.S. armed forces on active duty or as a reservist, if you’ve worked for the Department of Defense or a DOD contractor, or if you’re an immediate family member of someone eligible for membership.

 

Best for: Those who are affiliated with the military and want competitive rates on share certificates and free access to ATMs, and aren’t concerned with getting in-person services or high savings rates.

Pros

  • Branches available worldwide.
  • Competitive rates for share certificates.
  • No monthly fees on basic savings and several checking accounts.
  • Over 30,000 free ATMs, plus most checking accounts offer ATM fee rebates.

Cons

  • Relatively small number of branches.
  • Better savings rates are available elsewhere.

Full review

Navy Federal Credit Union Basic Savings Account

Navy Federal Credit Union Basic Savings Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.25%

With $5 minimum balance

To become a member, you need to open a Navy Federal savings account, which requires a minimum deposit of $5.

The credit union's basic annual percentage yield of 0.25% isn't the worst rate out there, but you can still find better savings rates at many online banks and credit unions. (See our list of the best savings accounts to compare rates.)

Navy Federal also offers a term-based savings account and money market accounts that pay higher interest rates.

Navy Federal Credit Union Free EveryDay Checking

Navy Federal Credit Union Free EveryDay Checking

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

All five Navy Federal checking accounts earn interest dividends, and you can choose from some solid free and low-cost options. With the Free EveryDay Checking account, you can earn interest on any balance. Navy Federal also offers access to more than 30,000 ATMs with the CO-OP Network for free.

» Looking for a great business checking account, too? See why Navy Federal's is one of our picks for best free business checking accounts

Navy Federal Credit Union Standard Certificate

Navy Federal Credit Union Standard Certificate

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.55%

3-year APY

0.70%

5-year APY

0.90%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Navy Federal's share certificates, the credit union version of bank CDs, have solid rates that are highly competitive compared with online bank CD rates. The minimum deposit requirement of $1,000 is similar to what you’ll find at many other banks and credit unions.

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Navy Federal has almost 350 branches worldwide, a large number of them near military bases in places such as Virginia, Maryland and California. For those who prefer mobile banking, Navy Federal offers apps with decent ratings for Android and iOS devices.

The credit union also provides live phone support 24/7 and online chat support.

Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Navy Federal’s nonsufficient funds fee is $29 for each time you try making a transaction online or by check without enough funds. That’s expensive, but slightly better than the $30 to $36 that many banks and credit unions charge.

You can avoid a nonsufficient funds fee by linking a savings account to cover overdrafts for free or by opting into an overdraft line of credit that has no per-item fee but charges an annual percentage rate starting at 13.90%.

You can also sign up for the optional overdraft protection service, known as OOPS, which limits overdraft fees to $20 per day. If you choose not to sign up for OOPS, debit card swipes and ATM withdrawals will be declined at no charge.

Navy Federal Credit Union Basic Savings Account

Navy Federal Credit Union Basic Savings Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.25%

With $5 minimum balance

To become a member, you need to open a Navy Federal savings account, which requires a minimum deposit of $5.

The credit union's basic annual percentage yield of 0.25% isn't the worst rate out there, but you can still find better savings rates at many online banks and credit unions. (See our list of the best savings accounts to compare rates.)

Navy Federal also offers a term-based savings account and money market accounts that pay higher interest rates.

How does Navy Federal Credit Union compare?

Federally insured by the NCUA

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.50%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

0.40%

With $1 minimum balance

APY

0.55%

With $100 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.