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Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card Review

overall rating
4

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The Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card offers triple the points on select everyday spending categories and carries few fees. To be eligible for this card, you need to be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union.

Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card

overall rating
4
Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card
On Navy Federal Credit Union's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 25,000 bonus points (a $250 value) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. Offer expires on Aug. 31, 2020.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 9.65% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3 points per dollar at gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants and commuting expenses. 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee None
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card

Pros
  • Solid rewards on everyday spending categories

  • Redemption options are plentiful

  • Light on fees

Cons
  • No 0% APR promotion

  • Not everyone is eligible

Pros Explained

  • Solid Rewards on Everyday Spending Categories: Earning 3 points per dollar isn’t out of the ordinary with tiered rewards credit cards, but the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card offers that rate on four commonly used categories: supermarkets, restaurants, gas, and transit. 
  • Redemption Options Are Plentiful: Once you’ve earned enough points to use them, you can choose from multiple redemption options, including:
    • Cash back
    • Statement credits
    • Gift cards
    • Travel
    • Event tickets
    • Merchandise

What’s more, for things like cash back, statement credits, and air travel, you’ll get the same redemption value: 1 cent per point. The others vary.

  • Light on Fees: This credit card not only has no annual fee, but it also skips foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, and cash advance fees (if you get the advance from a Navy Federal branch or ATM; otherwise it’s a modest $0.50 in the U.S. and $1 abroad). 

Cons Explained

  • No 0% APR Promotion: While this card doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee, it may not be your best option if you’re looking to transfer a balance from another credit card. There are several credit cards that offer an introductory 0% APR promotion for a year or more, which can be a big money saver if you want to transfer a balance or pay down a large purchase over time. If this feature is a priority for you, make sure to compare this card with 0% introductory APR credit cards to find the right fit.
  • Not Everyone Is Eligible: 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

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist

The Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card is designed for members of the credit union who want to rack up a lot of rewards on their everyday spending. There’s no cap on how much you can earn in bonus points at supermarkets and restaurants or on gas and transit.

Note that this card also doesn’t charge a cash advance fee in most instances. However, it’s still a good idea to avoid using the card for that purpose. The cash advance APR is 2% higher than your regular purchase APR, and cash advances typically start accruing interest immediately instead of giving you a grace period as regular purchases do.

Finally, the card is available to people with average to excellent credit, which typically means a FICO credit score of 580 or higher. In contrast, most of the best rewards credit cards require good credit at the very least, which starts at a 670 FICO score. 

Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card One-Time Offer

If you spend $3,000 with this card within 90 days of opening the account, you’ll receive 25,000 bonus points. That’s worth $250. 

Rewards Earning Details

You’ll earn unlimited 3 points per dollar on purchases made at supermarkets and restaurants, as well as on gas and transit. All other purchases will earn just 1 point per dollar, though, so it may be good to pair this card with another one that offers a higher base rewards rate (for example, 1.5% or 2%). Then use the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card for its bonus categories and the other card for everything else. 

Even if this is your only credit card, you can still get a lot of value out of it, simply because its bonus categories probably account for much of your monthly spending.

You can also earn more rewards if you shop online through Navy Federal’s Member Deals platform, which offers up to 15 points per dollar on top of what you’re already earning with the card.

Rewards Redemption Details

Navy Federal offers a range of redemption options to cardholders, including:

  • Cash back: You can have your cash back deposited into a Navy Federal savings account.
  • Statement credits: Called Pay with Points, this option allows you to request a statement credit on your account.
  • Gift cards: Buy gift cards from popular retailers or a Navy Federal Visa Awards card. 
  • Travel: Book flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, tours, and attractions with your points. 
  • Event tickets: Redeem your rewards for concerts and other events.
  • Merchandise: Use points to buy items directly with Navy Federal.

With cash back, statement credits, and airline tickets, you’ll get a redemption value of 1 cent per point. With other redemption options, however, your rate can vary. One thing to keep in mind is that the minimum redemption for cash back and statement credits is $50, or 5,000 points.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Make sure to use the card whenever you can, but especially when you will earn bonus rewards.

Also, check the credit union’s Member Deals platform regularly to see if you can take advantage of extra rewards on purchases you’re planning to make.

Of course, make sure to keep your spending in check to avoid credit card interest, which can offset the value you gain with rewards. In an ideal scenario, you’d be able to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid interest charges.

When it comes to redeeming your rewards, check the redemption rate to make sure you’re getting the most value possible, which is 1 cent per point. Try to avoid redemptions that give you less than that amount.

Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card’s Outstanding Benefits

  • Flight discounts: You can get a discount of up to 10% on select flights with Delta Air Lines if you book the trip through the American Express travel website.
  • Global dining program: Take advantage of discounts and other benefits, such as a complimentary appetizer or wine, at participating restaurants.
  • Rental car savings: You can get up to 25% off your rental car worldwide when you book through the credit union’s reservation line.
  • Entertainment access: The card offers early access to tickets for various events and experiences through its entertainment website. 

Standard Benefits

  • Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Emergency assistance
  • Price protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Return protection

Cardholder Experience

Navy Federal Credit Union received the highest score among regional banks and credit unions in the J.D. Power 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, earning 871 points out of 1,000. The average score was 802.

The credit union offers 24/7 customer service, which is standard for major credit card issuers. It also offers access to your FICO credit score, which can come in handy if you’re working on improving your credit or just want to stay on top of it. While many other card issuers provide this benefit, not all do. 

Security Features

If you lose your credit card, you can lock and unlock it from the Navy Federal mobile app to prevent fraudulent purchases. The card’s other security features, including fraud notifications and zero-liability fraud protection, are standard for the credit card industry.

Fees to Watch Out For

The Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card’s fees are lower on the whole than those of most credit cards. There’s no balance transfer fee or cash advance fee if you request the advance at an eligible branch or ATM, and it also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. What’s more, the card’s late and returned payment fees (up to $20) are lower than most cards charge.

Our Verdict

If you’re eligible to apply for the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express card, it may be worth considering if your spending aligns with its bonus categories.

Just keep in mind that you may be able to get more value with another rewards credit card, depending on how you spend your money and the features you want. Take some time to compare the card with other options to find the right fit for you.

Apply Now
For Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card
on Navy Federal Credit Union's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card
overall rating
4
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 9.65% - 18% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3 points per dollar at gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants and commuting expenses. 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.