The Navy Federal Platinum Card is not one of our top-rated balance credit cards. You can review our list of the best balance transfer credit cards for what we think are better options.
Full Review of Navy Federal Platinum
Low APR if you qualify
Zero balance transfer APR
Light on fees
No rewards on most purchases
No guarantee of a low APR
Not available to everyone
- Low APR if You Qualify: The card has a variable APR as low as 5.99%, which can save you a lot of interest if you expect to carry a balance on your card. In contrast, the average rate on cards that assess interest is 16.61%, according to Federal Reserve data for the first quarter of 2020. Even at its highest point of 18%, its interest rate is lower than what you’d expect from a card that’s available to people with average credit.
- Zero Balance Transfer APR: If you transfer a balance from another credit card within 30 days of opening your account, you’ll get a 0% APR for 12 months. Many cards also offer 0%, and some have longer promotional periods. But this card can still be valuable if you want a low balance transfer APR combined with a low ongoing APR.
- Light on Fees: This card doesn’t charge annual fees, foreign transaction fees, balance transfer fees, or cash advance fees on advances received at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Plus, other cash advances charge only $0.50 in the U.S. and $1 abroad, which is extremely low. Most cards charge at least balance transfer and cash advance fees, so if you plan to use those features, you can save money with this card. Just keep in mind that cash advances carry an APR that is 2% higher than your regular purchase APR, and they start accruing interest immediately.
- No Rewards on Most Purchases: The card doesn’t offer rewards on everyday purchases, so consider it only if you want the low interest rate feature. You can earn up to 15% cash back on online purchases at select major retailers if you go through the credit union’s Member Deals platform, but that’s it. If you’re looking for a card with more widely accessible rewards, consider one of Navy Federal’s other credit cards or a top rewards card from a different issuer.
- No Guarantee of a Low APR: While it’s possible to get an APR in the single digits, you’ll likely need excellent credit to qualify for it (think a FICO score in the upper 700s). If your credit isn’t in near-perfect shape, you may end up with a higher rate, so keep that in mind if that’s the reason you’re considering the card.
- 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 meet these requirements, you’ll need to look elsewhere, such as your local credit unions, for a similar credit card.
This Card is Best For
Motivated to create positive credit history
The Navy Federal Platinum card is primarily designed for people who want to take advantage of its low interest rate. If you tend to carry a balance from month to month or need a backup to your emergency savings, this card can be great for that.
It can also be useful for balance transfers when you first get the card.
If you want a card for regular use, however, and typically pay your balance in full each month, it may make sense to get a credit card that offers rewards.
Platinum Card’s Outstanding Benefits
- Cell phone protection: If you use your card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you’ll receive up to $250 in coverage if your phone is stolen or damaged. That’s up to $250 per claim and up to $500 per year in total.
- Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Extended warranty coverage
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.
Navy Federal offers 24/7 customer service, as is standard for major credit card issuers. You’ll also get access to your FICO credit score, which is a valuable feature to help you monitor your credit. Some other national card issuers offer this benefit, but not all.
You can lock and unlock your card from the Navy Federal mobile app, which can help you prevent fraud if you lose your card or someone steals it. Other security features are standard for the industry.
Fees to Watch Out For
The Navy Federal Platinum card’s fees are lower than what you can generally expect from a credit card. It waives the balance transfer fee and even the cash advance fee for advances requested at one of its branches or ATMs. You also won’t pay a fee on foreign transactions. The card’s fees for late and returned payments are also relatively low, with a $20 cap.
Consider the Navy Federal Platinum card only if you want to use it for its potentially low interest rate, depending on your creditworthiness. The card’s other features don’t provide a lot of value, considering that you can get them with many other credit cards. Also, there’s a very limited rewards program, which can mean leaving money on the table if you regularly pay off your monthly bill in full.
But if you typically carry a balance or want a card for emergencies (and you’re eligible for Navy Federal Credit Union membership), it could be a solid choice.