Visa Signature Flagship Rewards

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Poor cash-back redemption value really hurts this card.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

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If your credit card spending isn’t concentrated in a couple of categories, like supermarkets or gas stations, Navy Federal Credit Union’s Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card could be for you. It offers a decent rewards rate — as long as you don’t opt for cash back — and charges no fees for balance transfers or foreign transactions.

Review

The Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card earns 2 points per $1 spent on all purchases. On the surface, that looks like a pretty good value. But the redemption rate when you opt for cash back is low enough that this card earns poor marks.

When you measure Flagship Rewards against other rewards cards, it falls short in two key areas:

  • You’ll pay a $49 annual fee (although the first year fee will be refunded within 90 days of account opening). Many of the best rewards cards on the market charge no annual fee.
  • The redemption value of your rewards may be worth less than a penny per point.

You can pay your annual fee with points, but it takes 6,500 points to offset this annual fee. In that scenario, your points are worth just 7/10ths of a cent.

Other redemptions with this card value your points equally low. Cash-back redemptions start at 13,245 points for $100 cash, up a maximum of $1,500 cash back. That means when redeeming for cash back, a point is worth less than a penny.

If you redeem your points for airline tickets, you’ll fare a bit better, as points are worth 1 cent. For example, 15,000 points is worth $150 in airfare. You can start redeeming your points for travel rewards at 100 points toward travel. Still, there are rewards cards that offer better rates and better redemption values than this one. It would be hard to recommend this card over a rewards card that offers better value for your points.

There are some noteworthy benefits to this card, starting with the sign-up bonus.

You’ll earn 30,000 points when you spend $3,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening. That bonus is worth about $210 in cash-back rewards or $300 in travel. The bonus offer is good until Jan. 2, 2018.

And, like all of Navy Federal’s credit cards, this card has an APR range better than the average card. If you qualify for the lowest end of the range — a variable 10.99% APR — that’s one of the lowest interest rates currently available on any credit card.

 

Who should get this card

If travel is the only redemption option you’re looking for in a rewards card, this is a decent card to pick up. Just don’t try to redeem for cash back. Still, if you’re shopping for a Navy Federal credit card, there are better options.

Advantages
  • The earnings rate of 2 points per $1 is decent.
  • Points can be redeemed for cash-back, travel or merchandise.
  • There are no balance transfer or foreign transaction fees.
  • If you qualify for the lower end of the APR range, it’s an outstanding rate.
Disadvantages
  • The redemption values of points on this card aren’t as strong as other rewards cards.
  • There’s an annual fee, which may not make it worth the cost of ownership.
  • This card doesn’t come with a 0% introductory offer on purchases or balance transfers.

Fees and APR

  • Annual fee is $49, but your first-year fee will be refunded within 90 days after account opening.
  • You’ll pay a variable APR of 10.99% to 18.0%  on purchases and balance transfers based on creditworthiness.
  • If you miss a payment or pay late, you may be subject to a variable penalty APR of 18.0% plus a late fee of $20.
  • Pay no balance transfer fee.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.

Extras, perks and using points

This card comes with Visa Signature benefits which include auto and travel protections and discounts and benefits at participating hotels.

This card is also eligible for Visa discount coupons at participating merchants.

To redeem your points, log into your Navy Federal account and select “Rewards” to enter the online rewards center. Points can be redeemed for digital downloads, gift cards, airline tickets and cash back.

How this card compares

Navy Federal Credit Union GO REWARDS®

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

Card Details
  • Earn 3 GORewards point per $1 spent at restaurants.
  • Earn 2 GORewards point per $1 spent on gas.
  • Earn 1 GORewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 2 points on warehouse club purchases and 4 points at Costco gas stations through December 31, 2017.
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR Currently, rates range from 9.99% APR to 18% APR, are based on creditworthiness, and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee No Annual Fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

For a no-fee credit card, the Navy Federal Credit Union GO REWARDS card offers a pretty decent rewards rate on dining out and gas. Where this card really shines is with its low APR on purchases and balance transfers for those who qualify.

Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

Card Details
  • Earn 3 points at supermarkets.
  • Earn 3 points at gas stations.
  • Earn 2 points at restaurants.
  • Earn 1 point on everything else.
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 10.65% to 18.00%. This APR is based on your creditworthiness and will vary with the market based on the U.S. Prime Rate.
Annual Fee No Annual Fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

Navy Federal Credit Union’s first partnership with American Express is a no-fee rewards card that pays big on everyday spending — the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card. For those who spend a lot on groceries and gas, the unlimited earnings structure of this card make it a terrific choice.

Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

Card Details
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Earn 3% cash back on at warehouse clubs through December 31, 2017.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 10.65% to 18.0% This APR is based on your creditworthiness and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee No Annual Fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

For those who find tracking bonus categories too cumbersome and just want simple cash-back rewards, the Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards card delivers. The card pays 1.5% back on every purchase, without any complicated rules or fees.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.