The Navy Federal GO REWARDS® is not one of our top-rated rewards credit cards. You can review our list of the best rewards credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Navy Federal GO REWARDS
Available for average credit
Multiple redemption options
Light on fees
No standout rewards
Not available to everyone
- Available for Average Credit: There aren’t a lot of solid credit cards for people with average credit, which is often translated as a “fair” FICO score of 580 to 669. While this card’s rewards program won’t blow you away, it’s pretty good compared with other cards for that credit score range, especially considering how few fees it charges.
- Multiple Redemption Options: Once you have enough points to redeem, you can choose from the following options:
- Statement credits
- Gift cards
- Event tickets
If you use your points to get cash back, statement credits, or air travel, you’ll get 1 cent per point in value. So, for example, 5,000 points are worth $50.
- Light on Fees: Most credit cards charge fees for balance transfers and cash advances, and many also charge a fee on foreign transactions. This one, however, doesn’t charge any of those—though you need to get your cash advances at a Navy Federal branch or ATM to avoid a fee. Even if you don’t, it’s just $0.50 in the U.S. and $1 abroad. The card also has no annual fee.
- No Standout Rewards: The card offers 3 points per dollar at restaurants and 2 points per dollar on gas, neither of which is out of the ordinary for tiered rewards credit cards. What’s more, most of your purchases will likely net just 1 point per dollar, which means it can take a while to earn enough rewards to redeem.
- Not Available to Everyone: You have to be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to be eligible for this card. To qualify for membership, you’ll need to belong to at least one of the following groups:
Active-duty service members, reservists, veterans, retirees, and annuitants of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard
- Army and Air National Guard personnel
- Delayed Entry Program personnel
- Department of Defense civilians
- U.S. government employees assigned to DoD installations
- Contractors assigned to DoD installations
- Family members of one of the above
If you don’t belong to any of these groups, you’ll need to find a different card from another issuer.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
The Navy Federal GO REWARDS credit card can be a good fit for Navy Federal members who spend a lot on dining and gas.
That said, if you think this card may be a good option, also consider the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card, which offers 3 points per dollar at supermarkets and restaurants, as well as on gas and transit.
Both cards are available for people with average to excellent credit and are similar in other ways, making the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card a better option overall in terms of rewards. However, because the Navy Federal GO REWARDS Credit Card comes as a Mastercard or a Visa, it is likely to be more widely accepted worldwide than an American Express Card, which could be a consideration for some cardholders.
Navy Federal GO REWARDS One-Time Offer
New cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus points (a $100 value) when you spend $1,000 within 90 days of account opening. Expires on Nov. 01, 2021.
Rewards Earning Details
You’ll earn 3 points per dollar at restaurants, 2 points per dollar on gas, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. If you spend a lot in the card’s bonus categories, it could be easy to rack up rewards.
You can also earn up to 15 points per dollar on top of what you’re already earning with the card through the credit union’s Member Deals shopping portal.
However, since many of your purchases will likely earn just 1 point per dollar, it may be worth considering pairing it with another card like the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards credit card. That card offers 1.5% cash back on everything, so you could use it for non-restaurant and gas purchases to get more in the way of rewards.
Rewards Redemption Details
Navy Federal Credit Union offers several redemption options, giving you a lot of flexibility with your points. Options include:
- Cash back: Get a direct deposit into your Navy Federal savings account ($50 minimum).
- Statement credits: Though its Pay with Points feature, you can get a statement credit directly on your card account.
- Gift cards: Buy gift cards from major retailers or request a Navy Federal Visa Awards Card.
- Travel: Book flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, tours, and attractions.
- Event tickets: Includes concerts and other events.
- Merchandise: Buy items through the credit union’s catalog.
Redemption rates can vary, but cash back, statement credits, and airline tickets all have a value of 1 cent per point.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Take advantage of the card’s bonus rewards categories by using it every time you dine out or buy gas. Also, check the Member Deals platform regularly to see if you can get even more points when shopping online.
For non-bonus spending, consider using another credit card that offers more than 1 point per dollar in value. Also, it’s always a good idea to pay your bill in full every month if possible, so you can avoid interest charges on the account.
Navy Federal GO REWARDS’ Outstanding Benefits
- Cell phone protection: If you use the card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you’ll get up to $600 in coverage per claim ($1,000 total per year) if your phone is stolen or damaged.
- Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
- Purchase protection
- Travel assistance services
- Extended warranty coverage
- Price protection
- Identity theft protection
Navy Federal Credit Union received the highest score among regional card issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, earning 869 points out of a possible 1,000. The average score was 813. However, the credit union was not officially ranked due to the unique nature of the company. If it had been, it would have been the number one regional card issuer.
Navy Federal provides 24/7 customer service, which is standard for major credit card issuers. It also provides access to your FICO credit score. While some other card issuers provide that benefit, it’s not standard for the industry.
You can lock and unlock your card from the Navy Federal mobile app, which can help prevent fraud if you misplace your card or someone steals it. The card’s other security features are standard for the industry.
Fees to Watch Out For
For the most part, the card’s fees are lower than those on other, competing credit cards. There’s no balance transfer fee or cash advance fee if you request the advance at an eligible branch or ATM. There’s also no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Even the card’s fees for late and returned payments (up to $20) are relatively low.
The Navy Federal GO REWARDS card has many good features, and it could be a solid option for members of the credit union with just average credit.
That said, if you qualify for this card, you might get a lot more value from its sister card, the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card. Regardless of which card you choose, consider getting a second card with a high rewards rate across all spending categories, so you can maximize your rewards.