Navy Federal Platinum Complete Review
Low APR if you qualify
Zero APR balance transfer for the first 12 months
No guarantee of a low APR
Not available to everyone
You can only earn rewards on purchases from Navy Federal Deals
The benefits explained
- Low APR if you qualify: The card has a variable APR as low as 7.49%, which can save you a lot of interest if you expect to carry a balance on your card. By contrast, the average rate on cards that assess interest is 14.51%, according to Federal Reserve data for November 2021. Even at its highest level of 18%, its interest rate is lower than what you would expect from a card available to people with average credit.
- Zero APR balance transfer for the first 12 months: If you transfer a balance from another credit card within 30 days of opening your account, you’ll get 0% APR for 12 months. Many cards also offer 0%, and some have longer promotional periods. But this card can still be useful if you want a low balance transfer APR combined with a low ongoing APR.
- Light costs: This card does not charge annual fees, foreign transaction fees, or cash advance fees on advances received at a Federal Navy branch or ATM. Also, other cash advances only charge $0.50 in the US and $1 abroad, which is extremely low. Most cards charge at least balance transfer and cash advance fees, so if you plan to use these features, you can save money with this card. Just keep in mind that cash advances carry an APR 2% above your usual purchase APR and start earning interest immediately.
- No guarantee of a low APR: While it’s possible to get a single-digit APR, you’ll likely need great credit to qualify (think a FICO score in the upper 700s). If your credit isn’t in near perfect condition, you could end up with a higher rate, so keep that in mind if that’s why you’re considering the card.
- Not available to everyone: You must be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union to qualify for this card. To be eligible for membership, you must belong to at least one of the groups below. If you don’t meet these requirements, you’ll have to look elsewhere, such as your local credit unions, for a similar credit card.
- Active duty members, reservists, veterans, retirees, and pensioners of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard.
- Deferred Entry Program Staff
- Ministry of Defense civilians
- U.S. government employees assigned to DoD facilities
- Contractors Assigned to DoD Facilities
- Family members of any of the above
- You can only earn rewards on purchases of the Federal Navy Member Offers: The card doesn’t offer rewards on everyday purchases, so only consider it if you want the low interest rate feature. You can earn up to 15% cash back on online purchases at select major retailers if you go through Credit Union’s Member Deals platform, but that’s it. If you’re looking for a card with more widely available rewards, consider one of Navy Federal’s other credit cards or a premium rewards card from another issuer.
The Navy Federal Platinum card is primarily designed for people who want to take advantage of its low interest rate. If you tend to carry a balance from month to month or need an emergency savings backup, this card may be ideal for that.
It can also be useful for balance transfers when you first get the card.
However, if you want a card for regular use and typically pay off your balance in full each month, it might be a good idea to get a credit card that offers rewards.
Exceptional benefits of the Platinum Card
- Mobile phone protection: If you use your card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you’ll receive up to $250 in coverage if your phone is stolen or damaged. That’s up to $250 per claim and up to $500 per year in total.
- Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Identity theft detection powered by NortonLifeLock
Navy Federal Credit Union received the highest score among midsize card issuers in the JD Power 2021 US Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The credit union scored 866 points out of 1,000. The average score was 796. With the highest score, it would have been first, but JD Power does not officially include it in the rankings.
Navy Federal offers 24/7 customer service, similar to major credit card issuers. You will also have access to your FICO credit score, which is a valuable feature to help you monitor your credit. Some other national card issuers offer this benefit, but not all.
You can lock and unlock your card from the Navy Federal mobile app, which can help prevent fraud if you lose your card or someone steals it. Other security features are industry standard.
Fees to watch
Navy Federal Platinum card fees are lower than what you would typically expect from a credit card. It waives cash advance fees for cash advances requested at any of its branches or ATMs. You also won’t pay any fees on foreign transactions. Card fees for late and returned payments are also relatively low, with a cap of $20.
Consider the Navy Federal Platinum card only if you want to use it for its potentially low interest rate, depending on your creditworthiness. The card’s other features don’t offer much value, given that you can get them with many other credit cards. Plus, there’s a very limited rewards program, which can mean leaving money on the table if you regularly pay your monthly bill in full.
But if you usually have a balance or want a card for emergencies (and you’re eligible for Navy Federal Credit Union membership), this could be a solid choice.