Navy Federal Credit Union Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Lance Davis

AT A GLANCE
4.5

Bankrate Score

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24/7 Customer Service

Free Checking

Top CD rates

Navy Federal Credit Union is a great option for families nationwide with ties to the military. It’s a good fit for anyone looking for a brand known for providing a good customer service experience and offering a branch network.

  • CDs
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    4.7
  • Savings
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    3.9
  • Checking
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    4.7
  • MMAs
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    4.0
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Valley Direct

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.55 % APY

    $ 1

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    4.5

    Bankrate Score

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

    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
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Navy Federal offers a handful of options to members interested in share certificates. There are standard certificates with terms ranging from three months to seven years. It also offers a three-year variable rate certificate with a yield that automatically adjusts annually.

    Navy Federal requires a manageable $1,000 deposit to open most of its certificates. The variable rate certificate is the outlier with a $500 deposit requirement. APYs on its standard certificates are the same across deposit amounts until you hit the $100,000 mark. Customers who make a six-figure deposit are rewarded with a slightly higher yield.

    What we like

    • Navy Federal offers a range of certificate terms.

    • All certificates offer strong APYs.

    • There’s a manageable $1,000 deposit to open most certificates.

    What we don't

    • You’ll need $100,000 to earn the highest yields.

    Savings accounts

    3.9

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Valley Direct

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.55 % APY

    $ 1

    Min. balance for APY

    Every Navy Federal member begins with a Basic Savings account. Just $5 is needed to open the account, and there’s no monthly service fee. It offers a yield that’s above the national average, but you can find much higher rates if you shop around.

    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 per 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 are low.

    Checking accounts

    4.7

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    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 $29 overdraft fee is also lower than what most 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. If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina, you’ll also have 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

    • Account options are available for multiple types of members.

    • 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

    4.0

    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 its Jumbo Money Market Savings Account. Customers will need to deposit at least $100,000 to take advantage of the extra 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

    • Savers need to deposit large amounts of money to earn the top APYs.

    Bank experience

    Navy Federal has a mobile app that’s available 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. There is also a Navy Federal app for Kindle Fire users.

    Representatives are available in the U.S. to speak with members over the phone 24/7. Members who have questions can also access an online live chat. Those who are looking for tools to help them manage their finances can use several different calculators, including a retirement calculator and a homebuying budget.

    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 nearly 10 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.

    Lance Davis Twitter Created with Sketch. @LRD0015

    Lance Davis Twitter Created with Sketch. @LRD0015

    Lance Davis is the senior editorial director for Bankrate, overseeing content for mortgages, deposits, investing, loans and insurance. Lance leads a team of more than 20 editors and reporters who are passionate about creating content that helps readers make smarter financial decisions. Lance started at Bankrate as a copy editor in 2013, where he learned the finer points of personal finance while reading almost every article before it was published. In this role, Lance saw how small moves today can have a big impact on your financial future. He developed a passion for sharing these lessons to help others budget their money, buy a house, save for retirement and more. Lance also gets involved with fun projects like hosting Bankrate’s webinars with Greg McBride and publishing the annual Best Banks list, which has been cited by MSN, Fox Business, The Points Guy, among others. When he’s not reading Bankrate articles or playing around on the retirement calculator, Lance enjoys following sports, going on runs and reading books. He dreams of being able to retire early and buy a home on a beach where the temperature rarely falls south of 60. Lance earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University in 2013. Have feedback or suggestions for the editorial team? Send Lance an email at lance.davis@bankrate.com.