Navy Federal Credit Union Review 2022

The benefits explained

  • Competitive rates on certificates – There are four certificate options available through Navy Federal, and many of them offer better rates than those found at most national banks.
  • No monthly fees on most savings and checking accounts – Most deposit accounts through Navy Federal do not have monthly maintenance fees.
  • Large network of free ATMs – Members of the Navy Federal have access to more than 30,000 free ATMs.


Disadvantages Explained

  • Small branch network – Although it is the largest credit union, the number of local branches available is not as widespread as its members.
  • Strict membership conditions – Many credit unions offer a way to donate to a charity to become a member if you don’t meet the other requirements. Navy Federal does not do this.
  • Low interest rates compared to online banks – While some of the rates available may catch your eye, they still don’t compare to the higher interest rates found at many online-only banks.


Who is Navy Federal Credit Union for?

Federal Naval Credit Union is a full-service credit union offering a wide range of products and services. It is a good choice for customers who:

  • are part of the armed forces or are related to someone who is a member
  • Want a full-service credit union for all their banking needs
  • Look for simple bank accounts that earn interest


What does Navy Federal Credit Union offer?

As the largest credit union in the United States, Navy Federal Credit Union offers a host of banking products:

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Verify Accounts

Navy Federal currently has five checking accounts. Each varies slightly, which means the fund has an account for almost every need. Three of the checking accounts are currently earning an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.05%, with the exception of daily checking, which earns 0.01% and flagship checking, which earns between 0.35% and 0.45% APY. Here is a breakdown of each verification option:

  • Free active service check – This checking account is designed for active duty military and retired military. There are no monthly fees with an eligible military direct deposit. There is also no minimum balance requirement. Customers get free personalized checks and up to $240 in out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement per year.
  • Free easy verification – This is a simple checking account with no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees with eligible military direct deposit. It comes with up to $120 out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement per year.
  • Free campus verification – Designed for members ages 14-24, this checking account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Accounts also come with up to $120 annual out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement.
  • Free daily check – This is a no frills checking account. It has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirement, but not much else.
  • Headlight check – Navy Federal’s first checking account, Flagship Checking, has a monthly fee of $10, which can be waived by keeping a average daily balance over $1,500 per month. He earns up to $120 in out-of-network ATM cashbacks with direct deposit. Only balances over $25,000 enjoy the highest interest rate of 0.45% APY.
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Interest dividends are credited monthly to all checking accounts.

Navy Federal Credit Union Checking Accounts
Account name Minimum opening deposit Monthly fee Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
Free active service check $0 $0 0.05%
Free easy verification $0 $0 0.05%
Free campus verification $0 $0 0.05%
Free daily check $0 $0 0.01%
Headlight check $0 $10 (if balance is less than $1,500) Less than $10,000: 0.35%; $10,000 to $24,999: 0.40%; $25,000 or more: 0.45%
(As of August 16, 2022)

Savings account

Navy Federal offers a membership stock savings account, which is required to join the credit union. It is a basic savings account that earns an APY of 0.25%. An initial deposit of $5 is required to open a savings account.

Navy Federal Credit Union Savings Account
Account name Minimum opening deposit Monthly fee APY
Share savings account $5 $0 0.25%
(As of August 16, 2022)

Money market accounts

Two money market accounts are available through the Navy Federal Credit Union: the Money Market Savings Account and the Jumbo Money Market Savings Account. Both offer competitive rates nearby what is offered with the best money market accounts.

Navy Federal Money Market Accounts
Minimum deposit APY
$2,500 to $9,999 0.40%
$10,000 to $24,999 0.45%
$25,000 to $49,999 0.45%
$50,000 or more 0.45%
(As of August 16, 2022)

Navy Federal Jumbo Money Market Accounts
Minimum deposit APY
$0 to $99,999 0.25%
$100,000 to $249,999 0.50%
$250,000 or more 0.75%
(As of August 16, 2022)

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Another popular account option through Navy Federal is its certificates, which are comparable to certificates of deposit (CD). There are five CD options available through Navy Federal.

  • Standard certificates – Navy Federal Master Certificate has a term of three months to seven years and earns up to 3.10% APY. To earn the highest level of interest, you will need a balance over $100,000. It comes with a minimum deposit as low as $1,000.
  • EasyStart certificates – This starter certificate comes with a term of six months to 24 months, earning up to 2.05% APY. With a minimum deposit of $50, members can add money at any time, and there is no account maximum.
  • EasyStart special certificates – This certificate comes with a single duration: 12 months. It earns up to 3.00% APY and can be opened for as low as $50. You must have a checking account and direct deposit set up to open this certificate, and there is a maximum purchase of $3,000.
  • SaveFirst Account – This certificate comes with a minimum deposit as low as $5 with terms from three months to five years, earning up to 0.40% APY.

Standard certificate rates are based on both term length and balance amount. Only accounts with a balance of $100,000 or more earn the highest interest rates.

Navy Federal Standard Certificates
Term APY $1,000 minimum APY $20,000 minimum APY $100,000 minimum
3 months 0.40% 0.40% 0.45%
6 months 0.45% 0.45% 0.50%
1 year 2.10% 2.10% 2.15%
18 months 2.10% 2.10% 2.15%
2 years 2.10% 2.10% 2.15%
33 months 3.30% N / A N / A
3 years 2.35% 2.35% 2.40%
5 years 2.80% 2.80% 2.85%
7 years 3.10% 3.10% 3.15%
(As of August 16, 2022)

Credit card

Navy Federal Credit Union also offers a handful of credit cards, including several rewards credit cards, a cashback card, and a secure credit card. Here is the complete list of its offers:

  • cashRewards card
  • American Express Plus Navy Federal Rewards Card
  • Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Card
  • Go Rewards Card
  • Platinum card
  • nRewards Secure Card


Other Financial Products Offered by Navy Federal

Navy Federal offers a host of other products and services:

  • Retirement savings accounts
  • Money Market Accounts and Jumbo Money Market Accounts
  • Certificates
  • Education savings accounts (ESA)
  • Education Money Market Accounts
  • Study certificates
  • Prepaid cards and gift cards
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans (currently suspended)
  • Home equity lines of credit (currently suspended)
  • Student loans
  • Personal loans
  • Car loans
  • Loans for motorcycles, boats and motorhomes


Federal Navy Customer Service

Federal Navy members have access to a wide range of credit union support options. Phone support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with options for domestic and international callers:

  • Domestic: 888-842-6328
  • International: 703-255-8837

Other support options include chat, email, mail, and social media.

Navy Federal gives members online and mobile access, which many credit unions don’t. Members can check balances, make payments, transfer money and order checks from almost anywhere.


How to Bank Through Navy Federal Credit Union

Banking at Navy Federal requires membership, which is not open to everyone. To become a member of the Federal Navy, you must be an active, retired, or veteran member of the armed forces, which includes:

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Marine
  • Aviation
  • coast guard
  • National Guard
  • space force

Military family members, including minors, can also become members of the credit union. Membership is also an option for Department of Defense civilians, including retirees and pensioners, and other selected citizens.

You can apply for membership only on the Federal Navy website or by calling 888-842-6328. You’ll need to have some personal information handy to verify your identity, including your social security number, driver’s license or other valid ID, and a credit or debit card number. bank account to fund your Navy Federal account.

Verdict

If you are an individual eligible for membership, the Navy Federal Credit Union offers enough accounts and services to meet most banking needs. It is a full-service credit union that rivals national banks. If you prefer a credit union to a bank, Navy Federal may be the best place to keep your savings. It’s not for everyone, however, especially if you don’t qualify for membership. Despite its size, it still does not have enough local branches to offer in-person services to all of its members. You can find better rates on most deposit accounts at an online bank.


Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased and comprehensive bank reviews. We’ve collected over 20 data points from over 80 banks, including available products, interest rates, fees and affordability, to ensure our content helps users make the right decision for their savings and banking needs.