Editorial Review

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, have worked for the Department of Defense and immediate family members of eligible members.

Chanelle BessetteFebruary 5, 2020

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Overall bank rating

Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in the U.S., with over 8 million members and a mission to serve those who serve our country. It has military-based membership: You can join Navy Fed 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 immediate family of someone eligible for membership.

Pros

  • Competitive rates for share certificates.

  • No monthly fees on basic savings and several checking accounts.

  • Over 30,000 free ATMs, plus some checking accounts offer ATM fee rebates.

Cons

  • Small branch network.

  • 0.25% APY on basic savings; better rates 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 elsewhere. (See our best savings accounts roundup 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

0.05%

With $0 minimum balance

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

Navy Federal Credit Union CD

Navy Federal Credit Union CD

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
APY

1.50%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Navy Federal's share certificates, the credit union version of bank CDs, have solid rates that stack up favorably to online bank CD rates.

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Navy Federal has less than 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, which is rare for credit unions.

Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Navy Federal’s nonsufficient funds fee is $29 — expensive but slightly better than the $31 to $34 that many banks and credit unions charge when you try making a transaction online or by check without enough funds.

You can avoid a nonsufficient funds fee by having a linked 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, or OOPS, which limits your overdraft fees to $20, with a maximum of three charges per day. That means you could still be charged up to $60 in a day. If you choose not to sign up, one-time debit swipes and ATM withdrawals will simply 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 elsewhere. (See our best savings accounts roundup 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?

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.