Skip to Main Content

Navy Federal Credit Union Review 2022

Published January 2022 by Karen Bennett

AT A GLANCE
4.6

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

24/7 Customer Service

Free Checking

High APYs

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 branches, with more than 340 offices worldwide.

  • CDs
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    4.7
  • Checking
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    4.7
  • MMAs
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    4.7
  • Savings
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    • start icon
    3.9
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.70 % APY

    2yr

    Term

    $ 0

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.30 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.70 % APY

    2yr

    Term

    $ 0

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    4.6

    Bankrate Score

    Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union serving millions of military members and their families.

    What we like

    • Members have access to more than 300 branches, including nine international locations.

    • Access is available to thousands of free in-network ATMs.

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

    • The credit union offers strong APYs on its money market account and certificates.

    What we don't

    • The savings account yield is relatively low.

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

    CD rates

    4.7

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.70 % APY

    2yr

    Term

    $ 0

    Min. deposit

    Navy Federal offers several options to members interested in share certificates. Standard certificate terms range from three months to seven years, require a $1,000 minimum deposit and earn competitive APYs.

    The credit union also offers EasyStart Certificates with four terms ranging from six months to two years. A minimum deposit of only $50 is required, and money can be added to the account at any time.

    It also offers a one-year Special EasyStart Certificate that requires a $50 minimum deposit and a $3,000 maximum deposit. It earns a high APY and is available to members who also have a checking account with the credit union with direct deposit.

    What we like

    • Navy Federal offers a range of certificate terms.

    • The standard certificates offer competitive APYs and require a manageable $1,000 deposit to open.

    • EasyStart Certificates and the Special EasyStart Certificate require just $50 to open, and money can be added any time.

    What we don't

    • Standard CDs require $100,000 to earn the highest yields.

    • While it offers a very high rate, the Special EasyStart Certificate only permits a deposit of up to $3,000.

    Checking accounts

    4.7

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    SoFi

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.25 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Navy Federal members can choose from several different checking accounts catering to different types of members. The Free Active Duty Checking account, for example, is designed to suit active military members. There is also a campus checking account for students, ages 14-24.

    Its Free EveryDay Checking account charges no fees, requires no minimum balance and is available to all of the credit union’s members. It includes all of the standard benefits of Navy Federal’s other checking accounts. The $20 overdraft fee is also lower than what many financial institutions charge.

    Globally, Navy Federal members have access to more than 300 branches and over 30,000 free ATMs through its membership of the CO-OP ATM network. Fees for using Visa/PLUS System ATMs may be reimbursed depending on the kind of checking account you have. Customers In North Carolina or South Carolina also have easy access to free Cash Points ATMs.

    Customers may be eligible for $10-$20 (varies by account type) in ATM rebates per statement cycle.

    What we like

    • Several types of checking account options means there’s something for everyone.

    • The free checking account is available to all members.

    • Members have free access to thousands of ATMs.

    What we don't

    • A $10 monthly service fee applies for the Flagship Checking account unless you maintain a $1,500 balance.

    Money market accounts

    4.7

    Bankrate Score

    Unlike the Basic Savings account, Navy Federal’s Money Market Savings Account pays a different yield depending on the size of your deposit. Savers will need to deposit at least $25,000 to earn the top yield on this account. The account doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement to open, but you’ll need at least $2,500 to earn interest. The account has no monthly fee and offers check-writing ability.

    Navy Federal also offers a Jumbo Money Market Savings Account, which requires a $100,000 minimum deposit to earn the higher yield offered on these accounts.

    What we like

    • The Money Market Savings Account offers a higher yield than the Basic Savings.

    • The account doesn’t charge a monthly fee and offers check-writing ability.

    • There’s no minimum deposit requirement to open the account.

    What we don't

    • A substantial deposit is required to earn the top APYs.

    Savings accounts

    3.9

    Bankrate Score

    Just $5 is needed to open the Basic Savings account, and there’s no monthly service fee. It offers a yield that’s above the national average, but much higher rates can be found elsewhere.

    Navy Federal members also have the option of opening an Education Savings Account (ESA), if they have a relative or child in school in need of financial support. Total contributions per beneficiary, however, are capped at $2,000 a year.

    What we like

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

    • No monthly service fees apply.

    What we don't

    • Savings account yields could be higher.

    Bank experience

    Navy Federal offers a mobile app for both Apple and Android users. Members can sign into the app using face recognition technology and deposit checks and pay bills. 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.

    Customer-service representatives are available in the U.S. to speak with members over the phone 24/7. Online, members who have questions have access to 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 unions website.

    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 11 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.

    Karen Bennett Twitter Created with Sketch. @

    Karen Bennett Twitter Created with Sketch. @

    Karen Bennett is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. She uses her finance writing background to help readers learn more about savings and checking accounts, CDs, and other financial matters. Karen brings decades of writing and reporting experience to the table, including the roles of credit cards writer for travel website Million Mile Secrets and money and career writer for The Cheat Sheet. Her work has also appeared in USA Today, Illinois Legal Times, and several Chicago, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C. newspapers. In addition, she’s worked in the areas of marketing and business development, and she was product manager for a consumer money-saving website. When she’s not writing Bankrate articles, she can often be found cheering her kids on at soccer games, cooking and reading up on saving for retirement and other personal finance topics.