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Navy Federal Credit Union Review 2024

Updated April 3, 2024
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At a glance

4.0
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down

CDs

Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5

Checking

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Savings

Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5

MMA

Rating: 3.1 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Overview

Navy Federal Credit Union is open to families nationwide with ties to the U.S. military, with many of its branches located on or near military bases. It’s a good fit for anyone looking for a credit union known for providing reliable customer service and an extensive network of more than 300 branches worldwide.

Highlights

  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Free Checking
  • ATM Fee Refunds
Sponsored offers
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Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
4.25
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 5/19/2024
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
$1
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer:
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
4.35
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 5/19/2024
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
$0
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer:
Bank logo
Member FDIC
CD
5.05
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 5/19/2024
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
$0
Minimum deposit
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer:

Overall

Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union serving millions of military members and their families. It offers more than 300 branches worldwide and 24/7 customer service. Its money market account and share certificates generally earn yields above the national average, but higher rates can still be found elsewhere.

Pros

  • Checkmark

    Members have access to more than 300 branches.

  • Checkmark

    Access is available to more than 30,000 free in-network ATMs.

  • Checkmark

    Navy Federal has been recognized for offering high-quality customer service.

  • Checkmark

    The credit union offers APYs on its money market account and certificates that are above national averages.

Cons

  • The savings account yield is relatively low.

  • Membership is only available to those with a military affiliation.

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We want to know what you think about Navy Federal Credit Union

Do you have experience with Navy Federal Credit Union? Let us know your thoughts.

Navy Federal Credit Union banking products

3.4
Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score

Navy Federal Credit Union savings overview

Just $5 is needed to open the basic savings account, and there’s no monthly service fee. It offers a very low yield; much higher rates can be found elsewhere.

Navy Federal members also have the option of opening an Education Savings Account (ESA), in which funds grow tax free for qualified primary, secondary and higher education expenses. Total contributions per beneficiary, however, are capped at $2,000 a year.

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The minimum deposit needed to open and maintain the account is very low.

  • Checkmark

    No monthly service fees apply.

Cons

  • Savings account yields are very low.

  • The account does not come with an ATM card.

  • An inactive member fee is assessed quarterly to those who don’t meet minimum balance or account activity requirements.

  • See how rates for this account have changed over time. Interact with the trend lines to view APY by date.

    Navy Federal Credit Union
    APY
    APY
    Info
    National average APY
    How do we get this data?
    Info
Compare Offer
Sponsored Offer
Info

This is a sponsored offer rated 4 stars or higher for competitive rate, fees, and minimums.

Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
4.25
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 5/19/2024
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Info
$1
Min balance for APY
Promoted offer:

Bank fees

Fee Charged?
Overdraft fee $20
Non-sufficient funds fee $29
Monthly maintenance fee $0 – $10
Out-of-network ATM fee $1
Excessive transaction fee None

Customer experience

Customer support

Branch availability. Navy Federal offers more than 300 branches, some of which are located on military bases. It offers overseas branches located in 10 countries.

Customer service. Customer service representatives are available in the U.S. to speak with members over the phone 24/7. Online, members who have questions can access live chat. Those looking for help to manage their finances will find a bevy of useful tools, including calculators, deployment advice, seminars and events, and more on the credit union's website.

ATM access. While Navy Federal grants fee-free access to 30,000 ATMs across the U.S., consumers should note there are areas where you’ll be hard pressed to find an ATM. “In Virginia Beach, there were multiple branches and ATMs, likely due to the higher military/veteran population,” said a Bankrate staff member who uses Navy Federal personally. “Now that I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, I don’t have access to a single branch and there’s only one ATM in my area. I would not recommend Navy Federal in the Charlotte metro area for customers who prefer in-person banking.”

Digital experience

Highly rated mobile app. Navy Federal offers a mobile app for both Apple and Android users. These are highly rated and let customers do things like deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money between accounts. Apple Pay and Google Pay are options for account holders looking for a mobile wallet. Navy Federal also offers an app for Kindle Fire users.

Digital tools. Navy Federal customers can use Zelle for person-to-person transactions and connect external accounts for easy transfers. Moreover, customers can use the My Credit Score dashboard feature via the accounts page.

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Bankrate staff insights

Featured customer reviews

The consumer reviews posted on Bankrate.com ("Bankrate") are individual, subjective opinions of reviewers, and not of Bankrate. Bankrate does not endorse any of the opinions expressed by reviewers or any responses to reviews. Bankrate cannot guarantee or verify the accuracy of the opinions shared by individual reviewers. Some reviews may be edited for length and clarity.

Raindrops
Apr 1, 2023
Should I switch from Chase to Navy Federal?
I've used Navy Federal for years. I have four checking and two credit accounts with them. They're very friendly and very quick to reverse fraudulent charges if something happens. Only downside is they have very few locations so you will likely need everything to come through the mail, but they're very used to that so it's not so bad.
via Reddit
RollTideHTX
Feb 1, 2023
Changing to Navy Federal as primary bank
Have been a member of NFCU for 25 years, my mom longer than that. They have always done a great job and I’ve never had any issues. Like other posters said, go elsewhere for a HYSA, but other than that, I have had 0 issues.
via Reddit

Our editor's take

Navy Federal has approximately 300 branches across the U.S. Compared with other big institutions, this is a relatively small amount, but customers get fee-free access to more than 30,000 ATMs nationwide, making it easy to get access to your cash. 

Navy Federal offers a large host of financial products and services, ranging from share certificates to mortgages. However, not all of the credit union’s products are competitive, as is the case with its base savings account. 

About Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union was founded in 1933. While it began with just seven members, the credit union now serves more than 13 million members across the globe. It’s headquartered in Vienna, Virginia.

The credit union primarily strives to support military members, veterans and their families. Membership is open to Department of Defense employees, retirees, veterans and active-duty service members in any branch of the armed forces.

Members have access to credit cards, loans and deposit accounts in addition to special discounts and offers for their affiliation with the credit union.

How does Navy Federal Credit Union compare to other banks?

Navy Federal Credit Union vs. USAA

Both Navy Federal Credit Union and USAA are financial entities that solely service military members, veterans and their families. USAA offers a wider array of services covering everything from car insurance to investment accounts. Navy Federal focuses solely on banking. 

Neither institution offers high yields on its savings account. However, both Navy Federal and USAA are now offering above average rates on its share certificates. Moreover, Navy Federal offers a money market account while USAA doesn’t. If that’s what you’re in the market for, Navy Federal may be a good option.

In terms of digital and mobile banking, both Navy Federal and USAA get high marks for their apps and online experience. That noted, USAA is mostly an online-only experience, with no branches but access to around 100,000 ATMs. In contrast, Navy Federal has more than 300 branches and offers access to more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs. Thus, if you’re primarily looking for physical presence, Navy Federal Credit Union will be the better choice.

Navy Federal Credit Union FAQs

Review methodology

With so many financial institutions to choose from, it can be hard to know who to trust. Bankrate’s ever-growing list of bank and credit union reviews is updated regularly. Our editorial team analyzes and reviews each institution across deposit products such as savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts (MMAs). Banks are rated by important factors such as offered interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, access to funds and more.

We assign a score to each type of account and its features, weigh them carefully based on importance to account holders and determine an overall score. Read our full review methodology.