Navy Federal Credit Union GO REWARDS review

Our rating

4 stars (4/5)

See explanation of our ratings system

See breakdown of this card’s rating

The GO REWARDS card from Navy Federal Credit Union promises a low APR and the ability to earn flexible rewards with everyday purchases. Does it deliver? Our review will tell you what to consider before applying.

Getting the card

You must be a Navy Federal Credit Union member, or qualify for membership, to get the card. Those qualifications are:

  • Affiliation with the Armed Forces, DoD, Coast Guard or National Guard, or
  • A family member who has at any time been affiliated with the military (including grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, grandchildren, children and household members), or
  • A family member who is already a Navy Federal Credit Union member.

Rewards

Assuming you qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership (and that your credit history qualifies you for the card), you’ll earn:

  • 3 points per dollar at restaurants
  • 2 points per dollar on gas
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else

There are no limits to how many points you can earn. Your points become currency in the Navy Federal Rewards program, where they can be redeemed for the following:

  • Cash back, starting at 5,000 points: Points are worth 1 cent each. You can redeem for cash back into your savings account, or you can redeem them for statement credits against purchases made in the past 90 days.
  • Merchandise: Redeem for a catalog of products, from gadgets to home items. Your point value will vary (and it will vary widely) when redeemed this way.
  • Gift cards: Value will vary.
  • Airline tickets: Starting at 7,500 points, you can redeem your points at one cent each toward airline tickets.
  • Charitable donations: Value varies.
  • Travel packages, hotel certificates, car rental vouchers: Value varies.
  • Digital downloads: Value varies.

Benefits

The card is offered at the Visa Signature level and has the standard Visa Signature suite of benefits. These include, secondary rental-car insurance coverage, partner discounts (including with Silvercar and GroundLink), lost luggage reimbursement, extended warranty, travel accident insurance and more.

Look through your benefits package (which you’ll receive upon account approval) to make sure you don’t miss out on any protections or savings opportunities.

A good choice?

If you qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union status, this card combines no annual fee, rewards on every-day shopping categories and a lower-than-average APR. This is rare among rewards cards.

That said, Navy Federal Credit Union’s rewards program isn’t as lucrative as some offered by larger banks. If you’re looking for rewards maximization, you may need to branch out. However, the GO REWARDS card is offered by a trusted financial institution and has consumer friendly terms. If that’s what you’re looking for, the card’s rewards are icing on the cake.

Since it always pays to comparison shop, here are some comparable rewards cards that carry no annual fee (American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner):



Why we gave it 4 out of 5 stars

We rated this card based on our standards for Flexible Rewards programs, as you can redeem your points for a variety of things, from cash back to merchandise to travel within NFCU’s proprietary rewards program.

Rewards-earning rate: This card meets our standards for no-annual-fee cards by offering at least 1 point per dollar on all spending and at least 2 points per dollar in a bonus category.
Rewards value: This card meets our standards by offering at least one redemption option with a value of 1 cent per point.
Unique perks: This card doesn’t offer much in the way of unique card perks that can’t be found elsewhere.
Fair annual fee: With no annual fee, you don’t have to worry about “earning back” a yearly fee through rewards.
Bonus opportunities: This card has an advertised sign-up bonus. Plus, Navy Federal Credit Union offers the Member Mall, a bonus-shopping portal where can earn bonus points through NFCU’s partners.

Written June 5, 2017

 
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