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2021 Review: The Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card – Few Fees, Good Rewards for NFCU Members

Updated Sep 21, 2021 | Published Jul 07, 20219 min read

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Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card

Min Credit Level Fair
Annual Fee $0
Regular APR 9.65% - 18.00% Variable
At a glance

The Navy Federal Visa cashRewards is a good option if you’re an NFCU member looking for a flat-rate card. It’s straightforward with few fees, decent rewards, and a nice selection of benefits.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Our Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card 4 out of 5 Stars. It’s pretty simple. Earn cash back for every purchase and get a handful of useful perks, depending on what kind of card you’re issued.

Why We Like It

  • Straightforward: earns 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • $250 cash back for spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No balance transfer fee

Why It Could Be Better

  • No balance transfer APR offer
  • Must join NFCU to apply for the card, and access is limited — learn about NFCU eligibility here

The Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards card is easy to fit into your life. Use it for every purchase to earn a little cash back in your pocket. There are few fees, including no annual fee, so it won’t burn a hole in your wallet waiting to be used.

It comes with a handful of useful perks and benefits, including cell phone protection, and some that are relatively surprising to see on a card with no annual fee. It’s an attractive card, but keep in mind it’s only available to NFCU members.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Useful for everything: The card earns the same rate for everything you buy, so don’t leave home without it. Why not earn some rewards for purchases you’re already making?
  • Use it for the essentials: If you don’t have another credit card that earns higher rewards for gas and groceries, use the NFCU cashRewards for those. Or…
  • Pair it with another rewards card: There’s no annual fee or specific bonus categories to keep track of, so you can pair it with another rewards credit card or travel credit card that earns more rewards for specific purchases. Use the NFCU card for everything the other one doesn’t have bonus categories for.
  • Pay your phone bill: The cashRewards card comes with a handy cell phone protection perk, but only if you’re paying your phone bill with your card.
  • Bring it with you overseas: With no foreign transaction fee, you won’t have to pay extra for purchases in foreign currency. And, because it can be issued as either a Visa or Mastercard (what’s the difference?), you should have no problem with acceptance.
  • Use it for car rentals: Another useful perk of the NFCU cashRewards card is rental car insurance. Simply decline the rental car provider’s offer and charge the full amount to your card and you’ll be covered by secondary insurance.

The Rewards

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back for all purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $250 cash back for spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening

Redeeming

You can redeem your cash back for:

  • Deposits directly into an NFCU banking account (best option)
  • Statement credits
  • Merchandise and gift cards

There’s no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn, and your cash back will never expire. Depositing your cash back directly into your NFCU bank account is going to be the best option. It’s quick and easy, and it’s money you can use right away.

The Benefits

The NFCU cashRewards card offers a pretty impressive set of perks for a card with no annual fee. The protection benefits could potentially save you some money in the right (or wrong) circumstances. However, you’ll get some variation in the perks for this card depending on what version you get: Visa, Visa Signature, Mastercard, or World Mastercard.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental car provider’s insurance and charge the full amount to your card to get secondary rental car insurance.
  • Cell Phone Protection: If your phone is damaged or stolen, you can be reimbursed depending on your card type if you pay your phone bill with the cashRewards card:
    • Visa cardholders get up to $250 per claim two times per 12 months, with a $50 deductible, for lost, stolen, and damaged phones.
    • World Mastercard users get up to $600 per claim two times per 12 months, up to $1,000 per 12 months, only for stolen and damaged phones.

Visa Benefits

  • ID Navigator Powered by NortonLifeLock: Get alerts if your information is mentioned on the dark web or of any changes to your credit file. If your wallet is stolen, get help with cancelling and replacing your key documents like credit and insurance cards.
  • Purchase Protection: Replace, repair, or get reimbursed for eligible purchases made within 90 days. Up to $500 per claim.
  • Visa Concierge (Visa Signature): Call 1-800-953-7392 for help with non-emergency tasks like dinner reservations, entertainment tickets, and travel booking.
  • Fine Wine and Food (Visa Signature): Gain access to special dining and wine events.
  • Roadside Dispatch (Visa Signature): Run into car trouble? Get 24/7 access to services like towing and locksmith referrals.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services (Visa Signature): Get help finding medical, legal, and travel help while on the road.
  • Travel Accident Insurance (Visa Signature): You and your family are protected against accidental death and dismemberment while traveling by common carrier, up to $250,000.

Mastercard Benefits

  • Mastercard Airport Concierge: Get a 15% discount on Airport Meet and Greet services at over 700 locations worldwide.
  • Mastercard Global Service: Call 1-800-307-7309 to report your credit card lost or stolen, cancel your account, and request a temporary card to be sent to you within 24 hours.
  • Price Protection: If you find a lower price for an eligible item you’ve purchased within sixty days, you could be reimbursed for the difference.
  • Purchase Assurance Coverage: Your purchases are covered against damage or theft for 90 days. $1,000 per incident, up to $25,000 per year.
  • Extended Warranty: If a new, eligible purchase has a manufacturer’s warranty of twelve months or less, Mastercard will double it.
  • Travel Assistance Services: Need travel advice? Call 1-800-307-7309 to learn about any travel requirements, like required documents, you may need for your destination, exchange rates, or required immunizations. This perk will also help locate lost or stolen travel material (luggage included), and provide emergency cash during a travel emergency.
  • ShopRunner membership (World Mastercard): A ShopRunner membership provides unlimited two-day shipping and returns for purchases at over 140 online stores.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
1.99% for 6 months, then 9.65% - 18.00% Variable 9.65% - 18.00% Variable 2% above your variable APR
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$0 $0
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$0 $0
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $20 Up to $20

The intro purchase APR for the cashRewards is a bit unusual. Many cards offer 0% purchase APRs for some period of time, but here you’ll get a rate above 0% — so we don’t recommend carrying a balance.

While there may be fewer fees here than with other cards, it’s still important to note there is a late payment fee and a returned payment fee. But as long as you’re paying off your statement balance in full each month, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Insider tip

Another great reason to pay off your statement balance each month is to take advantage of the credit card’s grace period. Grace periods help avoid unwanted interest charges.

The Bottom Line

The Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card could be a good choice for Navy Federal Credit Union members. It’s a straightforward card with few fees, decent rewards, and some nice surprises sprinkled amongst its perks. However, you should also consider other flat-rate cards that offer more rewards, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review).

No matter what type of card you’re issued (Visa or Mastercard) you’ll probably be happy with the benefits. World Mastercard owners will get a ShopRunner perk, for example, while Visa Signature cardholders can take advantage of the Concierge and get protected by Travel Accident Insurance.

It would be good to pair this card with another that earns higher rewards for specific purchases. You can see some of the best rewards credit cards right here. Or, check out some of the best credit cards for travel if you’re often on the road.

Having a flat-rate card plus a card that offers better rewards for a varied selection of purchases is a great way to maximize the return on your spending.

How Do I Apply For the Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card?

Just follow the link below to be taken to the credit card issuer’s website where you can apply.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify For the Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card?

You should have at least fair credit before applying for this Navy Federal credit card.

Having fair credit means your FICO score is at least 580, while your VantageScore 3.0 is at least 650.

However, issuers and lenders will take additional information into account when deciding your creditworthiness. The additional info includes income, and monthly mortgage or rent payments. That means even if your scores are lower than what’s recommended you could still be approved. But it also means you could be denied even if your scores are high enough.

Frequently Asked Question

What’s the difference between the Visa and Mastercard versions of the Navy Federal Visa cashRewards card?

The main differences are in the benefits that will come with the card. The Visa version will come with Purchase Protection, and if you’re issued a Visa Signature card, you’ll get the added perks of a Concierge, Travel Accident Insurance, and Roadside Dispatch.

The Mastercard version includes Extended Warranty protection and Travel Assistance Services. The World Mastercard version adds a ShopRunner membership.

Check out our page on Visa vs. Mastercard to learn about the more intricate differences, or learn more about Visa Signature benefits in particular.

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Alternatives to the Navy Federal Visa cashRewards Card

Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
Why We Picked It

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review) is one of the best cash back cards available.

Similar to the cashRewards card, it doesn’t have an annual fee, and earns rewards for every purchase. However, it works a little differently. It earns 1% cash back when a purchase is made, and another 1% once it’s paid off (must pay at least the minimum due on time to earn rewards).

So it earns more than the cashRewards card while sacrificing none of the flexibility. But it does have a less impressive benefits package. It comes with few perks and no shopping or travel protections. But, like the cashRewards, you could pair it with another categorial rewards card that has some nice benefits, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review).

It even comes with a 0% APR balance transfer offer (for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)). But keep in mind, unlike the cashRewards card, the Double Cash has a balance transfer fee.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 2% cash back for every purchase (must pay at least the minimum due on time):
    • 1% back when you make a purchase
    • 1% back when you pay for that purchase
Key Features
  • Free FICO credit score: See your Equifax-based FICO Bankcard Score 8 on statements, online, and by mobile app.
  • Citi Concierge: Get restaurant suggestions, reservations, travel arrangements, shopping research, and more.
  • Citi Entertainment: Get preferred access and pre-sale tickets to events and experiences, from music to movies.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer fee: Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
  • Annual fee: $0

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Rates & Fees

  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Review) is one of, if not the best, cash back credit cards for gas and groceries.

It earns a staggering rate at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%) and for select U.S. streaming services, as well as a great rate at U.S. gas stations. It does have an annual fee, but the rewards you earn should quickly cover it.

It comes with a fairly decent selection of benefits, including Amex Offers and a handful of shopping and travel protections. It would be a good option to pair with the cashRewards card.

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms apply.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 6% cash back:
    • U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%)
    • Select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Transit
  • 1% cash back on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $300 statement credit for spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Key Features
  • Amex Offers: Find offers for extra cash back at a changing selection of merchants.
  • $120 Equinox+ Credit: Get up to $10 per month for a stand-alone monthly membership to the Equinox+ app. Will not apply if you purchase the membership through the Equinox app or a third party.
  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • Shopping protections: Return Protection, Extended Warranty, Purchase Protection
  • Travel protections: Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, Global Assist Hotline
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees)

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APRSee Terms
Why We Picked It

The Discover it® Cash Back (Review) offers a different approach to rewards than the cashRewards credit card. Instead of a flat rewards rate, it earns 5% cash back for a rotating selection of bonus categories (up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%; activation required).

The bonus categories change quarterly, so you’ll have a new selection of purchases to earn rewards for every three months. Plus, Discover will double your cash back for the first year you have the card, bumping up the cash back to 10% and 2%. It also has an intro APR offer for both purchases and balance transfers.

While the benefits aren’t as nice as what the cashRewards card offers, it would be a great card to pair with the NFCU card. Use the Cash Back for its bonus categories, and the cashRewards for everything else.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories (up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%; activation required):
    • January – March: Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS
    • April – June: Gas Stations, Wholesale Clubs, Select Streaming Services
    • July – September: Restaurants, PayPal
    • October – December: Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • Cashback Match: Get double cash back for the first year, provided at the end of the first year
Quarter 5% Cash Back Categories
January – March Grocery Stores, Walgreens, CVS
April – June Gas Stations, Wholesale Clubs, Select Streaming Services
July – September Restaurants, PayPal
October – December Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com
Key Features
  • Free FICO credit score: See your FICO Score 8, based on your TransUnion credit report, on statements, online, and by mobile app.
  • Cash at Checkout: When you shop at participating locations, you can get immediate cash by charging an additional amount over your purchase for no extra fee.
  • Refer a Friend: Receive statement credits if you refer people you know to apply for a Discover card and they’re approved. They’ll receive statement credits, too.
  • Security features: Social Security number, credit inquiry, and new account alerts, and quick card freeze
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: See Terms for See Terms, then See Terms
  • Balance Transfer fee: See Terms
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $0
Apply Now

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Why We Picked It

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ (Review) has no annual fee and boasts one of the most flexible rewards programs around.

Every quarter you’ll have a new selection of bonus categories to earn 5% cash back in (up to $1,500 spent, then 1%). And in addition to its rotating categories, it also provides rewards for a handful of static categories as well. So it covers quite a bit of ground. It also comes with an intro APR for new purchases, which is a great way to save money while paying something off over time.

It even includes a pretty impressive benefits package, full of shopping and travel protections, and some useful perks like a three-month DoorDash membership and a ShopRunner membership. Definitely a good choice for a partner to the cashRewards card.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5% cash back on:
    • Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Lyft rides (through March 2022)
    • Grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) up to $12,000 spent in the first year
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1%
  • 3% cash back at:
    • Restaurants
    • Drugstores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • $200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
Quarter 2021 Categories 2020 Categories
January – March
  • Wholesale Clubs
  • Internet
  • Cable/Phone Services
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Gas Stations
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Internet, Cable, Phone Services
April – June
  • Gas Stations
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Fitness Club & Gym Memberships
  • Select Streaming Services
July – September
  • Grocery Stores (excluding Target and Walmart)
  • Select Streaming Services
  • Amazon
  • Whole Foods Market
October – December
  • Walmart
  • PayPal
  • Walmart
  • PayPal
Key Features
  • Three-month DoorDash membership: Subscribe for a free DashPass for three months, which provides free shipping and reduced service fees on orders over $12. You’ll be automatically enrolled in DashPass for 50% off for the next nine months.
  • Shop through Chase/Chase Offers: Earn extra cash back and find discounts with select retailers.
  • ShopRunner membership: Get free two-day shipping at a wide selection of retailers.
  • Lyft credits: Once per month you can earn a $10 Lyft credit for every five rides you take.
  • Boxed rewards: You’ll earn 5% cash back rewards on Boxed Wholesale orders to be used for future purchases.
  • Fandango discount: You’ll get $5 off every two tickets you buy.
  • Chase Credit Journey: Monitor your credit with free access to your VantageScore 3.0, based on your TransUnion credit report, and receive helpful insight into the factors influencing the score.
  • Shopping protections: Cell Phone Protection, Purchase Protection, and Extended Warranty
  • Travel protections: Travel and Emergency Assistance Services, Roadside Dispatch, Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, and Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

The information related to Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Do you have the Navy Federal Visa cashRewards card? Have you been impressed by its rewards or benefits? Let us know in the comments below!

See a broad selection of reward cards to fit your spending. Best Cash Back Credit Cards of October 2021

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Evan Zimmer

Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.

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