The Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship 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 Visa Signature Flagship Rewards
High rewards rates
Flexible redemption options
Fees are relatively light
No one-time offer
Travel benefits are limited
Not available to everyone
- High Rewards Rates: This card offers triple points on travel purchases, which isn’t out of the ordinary for a travel credit card, but it also offers 2 points per dollar on everything else. The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card also offers this base rewards rate, but it charges an annual fee that’s almost double this card’s.
- Flexible Redemption Options: You can use your rewards in many ways, including:
- Cash back
- Statement credits
- Gift cards
- Event tickets
With many of those options, including cash back, statement credits, and airline tickets, you can expect to get 1 cent per point in value.
- Fees Are Relatively Light: The card charges a $49 annual fee after the first year, which is modest compared with many of the best travel cards on the market. And, like other travel cards, it doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. What makes it stand out, though, is that it doesn’t charge fees for balance transfers or for cash advances obtained at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Cash advances obtained elsewhere cost a modest $0.50 for domestic transactions and $1 for foreign ones.
- No One-Time Offer: Travel credit cards typically offer a one-time offer as an incentive to apply, and even travel cards with no annual fee often provide at least a couple hundred dollars worth of points or miles. These bonuses can help you get a head start on planning your next vacation. With the Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards credit card, however, there’s no bonus, so it’ll take longer to earn enough rewards to cover a major travel expense.
- Travel Benefits Are Limited: As a cardholder, you’ll get an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years, which is worth up to $100. That’s impressive considering most cards that provide this benefit charge higher annual fees. Aside from that, though, there aren’t any travel benefits beyond the standard insurance protections most travel cards offer.
- 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, and 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 qualify to join the credit union, this card won’t be an option.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
The Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards credit card can be a good fit for members of the credit union who have very good or excellent credit. According to FICO, a very good credit score starts at 740.
This card could be especially beneficial for people who travel at least a few times per year and can take advantage of the higher rewards rate on travel purchases and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
If you’re not a big spender, though, the card’s annual fee after the first year can make it less appealing. Also, if you’re looking for a big bonus—some cards offer several hundred dollars worth of value—this card may not be for you.
Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Credit Card One-Time Offer
The card doesn’t offer a one-time offer. If you’re looking for a card with a bonus, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which offers 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That’s worth $750 in travel when you book through Chase.
Rewards Earning Details
As a cardholder, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on travel and 2 points per dollar on everything else. There aren’t many credit cards that offer a 2% base rewards rate, and the travel cards that do typically charge higher annual fees. In fact, many cards with a tiered rewards system like this provide just 1% back as a base rewards rate.
This means that you can make this card your primary payment method without worrying about losing value in rewards.
You can also earn up to 15 points per dollar on top of the card’s rewards rate if you shop online through Navy Federal’s Member Deals platform.
Rewards Redemption Details
The Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards credit card provides plenty of redemption options, including:
- Cash back: You can request a cash deposit into a Navy Federal savings account, though not a checking account.
- Statement credits: This option, called Pay with Points, essentially provides a statement credit on your card account.
- Gift cards: Use points to purchase gift cards or a Navy Federal Visa Awards card.
- Travel: Book flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, vacation packages, tours, and attractions.
- Event tickets: Redeem your points for concerts and other events.
- Merchandise: Use points to buy items through Navy Federal’s catalog.
- Annual fee credit: You can use 4,900 points to apply the cost of your annual fee every year after the first year.
If you use your points to get cash back, statement credits, airline tickets, or an annual fee credit, they’ll be worth 1 cent apiece. However, redemption value can vary with other options. Also, note that if you want cash back or a statement credit, you’ll need to redeem at least 5,000 points, which will give you $50.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Plan to use the card as much as possible to maximize your rewards, but make it a goal to pay off your bill in full every month to avoid interest charges. Also, check the Member Deals portal regularly to see if you can take advantage of bonus rewards on purchases you’re planning to make.
When it’s time to use your rewards, check the redemption rate before you redeem to make sure you’re getting the maximum 1 cent per point in value.
Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards Credit Card’s Outstanding Benefits
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: These programs allow you to get expedited security screening when returning to the U.S. and in domestic airports, respectively While membership isn’t guaranteed, the card will cover up to $100 in application fees.
- Cell phone protection: If you use your card to pay your monthly phone bill, you’ll get up to $250 in coverage twice per year if your phone is damaged or stolen.
- Lost luggage reimbursement: If your luggage is lost or stolen, you’ll get up to $3,000 in coverage to replace your belongings.
- Rental car insurance (secondary coverage)
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Extended warranty coverage
- Roadside dispatch
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.
As a member of the credit union, you’ll have 24/7 access to customer service, which is standard for major credit card issuers. You’ll also get access to your FICO credit score, which can be beneficial for credit monitoring. Many other card issuers offer FICO score access, but not all of them.
You can lock and unlock your card from the Navy Federal mobile app, which can come in handy if you misplace your card or it’s stolen. The card’s other security features, which include fraud notifications and zero-liability fraud protection, are standard for the credit card industry.
Fees to Watch Out For
The Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards credit card’s fees are lower than those of most travel credit cards. Its $49 annual fee after the first year is modest, given its high rewards rates, and there are no balance transfer or foreign transaction fees. There’s also no cash advance fee if you request the advance at an eligible branch or ATM. Even the late and returned payment fees on this card, which go as high as $20, are well below average.
If you’re already a Navy Federal Credit Union member or eligible to become one, the Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship Rewards credit card is worth considering.
Its rewards rates are solid compared with other travel credit cards and can provide more long-term value than some cards that offer bonuses. Its other benefits aren’t life-changing, but they could come in handy, especially if you travel a lot.