Navy Fed More Rewards Review: Rich Rewards on Everyday Spending

The $0-annual-fee card also offers an unusually big sign-up bonus. But you must join the credit union to get it, and if you travel abroad, the card may not be ideal.

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: If you qualify for membership at Navy Federal Credit Union, this card can earn easy rewards on groceries, gas, dining and transit. For a card that travels well, look elsewhere.

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

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

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Qualify with average credit

  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • None

Alternate Pick: No membership requirement

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

High rewards on all purchases

This card earns 2% cash back on everything: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it back. It has a $0 annual fee, and as a Mastercard, it will have widespread international acceptance.

Read our review

Full Review

For an everyday rewards card, the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card is an excellent choice: Cardholders earn a high rewards rate on supermarket spending, gas and transit spending and restaurants — a wide swath of daily spending — all for no annual fee.

There's also a richer-than-usual sign-up bonus, plus the card is available to people with average credit, which is not always the case with rewards cards.

As an American Express product, international acceptance may be somewhat limited. But as long as you can qualify for it by being eligible to join the Navy Federal Credit Union, it’s hard to find a better card for daily use.

Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card: Basics

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Open a Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card, and you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points (a $300 value) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, dining and transit. (The transit category covers rideshares, tolls, railways, parking lots, taxi services, bus lines, limos and more. )

  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

You can redeem points for things like cash back, gift cards and travel, including airlines, cruises, car rentals, hotels, tours and attractions, and events. Points are generally worth 1 cent apiece.

APR: The ongoing APR is 9.65% - 18.00% Variable APR.

Balance transfer fee: None.

Foreign transaction fee: None. (Note, however, that American Express isn't as widely accepted internationally as Visa or Mastercard.)

Other benefits:

  • Up to 25% off car rentals, plus car rental loss and damage insurance.

  • Roadside assistance.

Benefits of the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card

Bonus rewards on everyday spending

The Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card makes it easy to earn back some value on your purchases whether you're shopping for one or a large family. You get an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent at supermarkets and gas stations; 3 points per $1 spent on dining and transit; and 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else. A card that offers top rewards in all of these everyday spending categories is rare, and some that do offer them put a cap on those higher rates. But there's no limit to the rewards you can earn with this card.

A generous sign-up offer

The card features a rich bonus offer for a $0-annual-fee product: Open a Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card, and you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points (a $300 value) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. That's more generous than you'll find on many other cards in its class.

Average credit is welcome

With average credit — also known as fair credit, meaning FICO scores of at least 630 — your pool of options is limited when it comes to rewards cards. Some of those options even charge annual fees. The Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card is an exception. It's surprisingly generous with a high rewards rate, introductory incentives and low fees. Other options to consider for average credit include Discover it® Secured and Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards, which also requires credit union membership.

Flexible redemption

The card offers a variety of redemption options: cash back and travel, yes, but also merchandise, gift cards, event tickets and more.

Why you might want a different card

Credit Union membership requirement

To get this card, you'll have to join the Navy Federal Credit Union. Typically, membership is limited to current or former members of the military, Department of Defense employees, or their qualifying family members. If you don't qualify or if it's just one too many hoops to jump through, remember that general rewards credit cards usually don't require membership with the issuing bank.

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers similar rewards categories and doesn't require a credit union membership. You might also want to consider other cards that reward spending on restaurants, gas and grocery stores.

lack of 0% intro APR offer

The card doesn't offer a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. True, there are no balance transfer fees, and the card's ongoing interest is potentially lower than you might find on other cards (depending on your creditworthiness). But the Navy Federal Credit Union® Platinum Credit Card is a better balance transfer option. You get a $0 annual fee, no balance transfer fee and an intro 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 5.99% - 18.00%, Variable.

limited global acceptance

Even though it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, this card isn't the best travel companion. As an American Express, you'll face limited merchant acceptance abroad compared with the Visa and Mastercard networks. If you are in the military or belong to a military family that moves from country to country, you’ll need a backup payment method. The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card runs on the Mastercard network and is an ideal option with no foreign transaction fees. It earns 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

set rewards categories

Perhaps you would benefit from the ability to choose your own rewards categories. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card earns 3% cash back on a chosen category (from a list of six) and 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases. Possible 3% options include gas, dining, online shopping, travel, drugstores, or home improvement/furnishings. Or consider the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card. It earns 5% back on the first $2,000 in combined purchases in two categories of your choice from the issuer's approved list; 2% unlimited cash back on an everyday category of your choice (such as gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants); and 1% back on all other purchases.

Is the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card right for you?

If you can qualify for membership at Navy Federal Credit Union, the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card can reward you handsomely for your everyday purchases.

But if you're looking to pay down debt or for a good travel buddy, consider another option. See how the card stacks up with others by visiting NerdWallet's roundup of the best credit cards to get.

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