Full Review of Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card
Solid rewards on everyday spending categories
Redemption options are plentiful
Light on fees
No 0% APR promotion
Not everyone is eligible
- 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
- Event tickets
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).
- 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
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 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.
- Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
- Roadside assistance
- Emergency assistance
- Price protection
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty coverage
- Return protection
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.
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.
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.