Navy Federal Credit Union has long been a popular choice for US military members, veterans, and their families. But how does Navy Federal stack up for everyday consumers looking for great rates, fees, service and convenience?
This in-depth Navy Federal Credit Union review provides a comprehensive overview of their products, services, fees, rates, customer experience and more. Read on to find out if Navy Federal is the right credit union for you.
Introduction to Navy Federal Credit Union
Founded in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union is now the largest credit union in the world with over $156 billion in assets and serving over 11 million members globally. Membership is open to active duty military, veterans, Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families.
Navy Federal offers a full suite of financial products including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, personal loans, investing and retirement accounts, insurance and more. They are known for great rates, minimal fees and excellent member service.
In this Navy Federal review, we’ll take an in-depth look at their products, rates, fees, accessibility, customer satisfaction and more. Whether you’re an existing or prospective member, read on to see if Navy Federal Credit Union is the right fit for your financial needs.
Navy Federal Products and Services
Here’s an overview of the key products and services offered by Navy Federal Credit Union:
Savings and Checking Accounts
- Savings Accounts – Regular, IRA and minor savings accounts with competitive interest rates and low minimum opening deposits.
- Checking Accounts – Free Active Duty Checking, Campus Checking, EveryDay Checking, Flagship Checking and eChecking accounts available. Varying requirements, fees and interest rates.
- Youth Accounts – Minor savings accounts along with a custodial checking account for teens.
- Money Markets – Tiered and jumbo money market accounts with high interest rates.
- Certificates – Wide range of term lengths from 3 months to 7 years, $500 minimum opening deposit.
Loans and Credit Cards
- Mortgages – Variety of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, VA home loans and refinancing options.
- Auto Loans – New and used auto loans with 100% financing, discounted rates and fast pre-approvals.
- Personal Loans – Personal loans and lines of credit from $500 up to $50k.
- Credit Cards – Large selection of Visa and Mastercard credit cards with excellent rewards programs and balance transfer offers.
- Student Loans – Private student loan refinancing and school debt consolidation options.
- Investing – Brokerage accounts, IRAs, mutual funds, annuities and more through Navy Federal Financial Group.
- Insurance – Auto, home, life, health, disability and long-term care insurance.
- Business Services – Business savings and checking accounts, loans, credit cards and more.
- Financial Tools & Resources – Credit monitoring, budgeting tools, financial advice, mobile apps and online/mobile banking.
Navy Federal Account Interest Rates and Fees
Navy Federal Credit Union is well-known for offering some of the best interest rates and lowest fees compared to big banks and other credit unions. Here’s a breakdown of their current rates and fees for key products:
- Regular Savings: 0.75% APY
- IRA Savings: 1.30% APY
- Jumbo Money Market Savings: 0.80% – 1.00% APY depending on account balance
- Active Duty Checking: Up to 2.00% APY on balances up to $50k
- Flagship Checking: Up to 0.50% APY on balances up to $50k
- Minimum opening deposits range from $0 – $5k
- Rates: 1.00% – 4.50% APY depending on CD term
- $500 minimum opening deposit
- New Auto Rates: 2.44% – 18% APY
- Used Auto Rates: 2.64% – 18% APY
- Fixed Rate: 4.99% – 7.79% APR
- Adjustable Rate: 3.00% – 5.74% APR
- VA Loans: 3.34% – 4.79% APR
- Jumbo Loans: Call for rates
- No monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts
- No fees for online banking, bill pay, debit cards or ATM withdrawals
- Low credit card late fees ($20 – $49 maximum)
Accessibility and Convenience
With over 350 branches across the US and Europe, 30,000 fee-free ATMs, shared branching and digital banking, Navy Federal offers excellent accessibility and convenience.
- Branches – 342 branches in 29 states located on or near military bases. Branches in Guam and Italy.
- ATMs – Fee-free access to over 30,000 ATMs in the CO-OP ATM network.
- Shared Branching – Do your banking at any of 5,600+ shared credit union branches.
- Digital Banking – Robust online and mobile app with mobile check deposit, peer-to-peer transfers and more.
- Phone Support – Extended weekday and weekend call center hours.
Navy Federal’s broad branch and ATM network, shared branching, and digital banking options make banking with them easy and convenient from anywhere.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
Navy Federal Credit Union is routinely ranked among the top financial institutions for member satisfaction and service. Here are a few highlights:
- Rated 5 out of 5 stars on ConsumerAffairs, based on 3,000+ customer reviews
- Scored 94/100 on Forbes annual banking survey for top customer experience
- Voted #1 credit union by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for customer service
- Received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with zero unresolved complaints
Members consistently praise Navy Federal’s excellent customer service, knowledgeable staff, quick resolution of issues and overall exceptional member experience. Their US-based service teams are available 24/7 by phone, online chat, email or secure messaging for assistance.
Pros and Cons of Banking with Navy Federal
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key advantages and potential drawbacks of banking with Navy Federal Credit Union:
- Great interest rates on savings, checking and certificates
- Low fees and minimal account requirements
- Strong rewards credit cards with no annual fees
- Smooth online and mobile banking experience
- Access to branches and ATMs on military bases
- Helpful, US-based customer service
- Membership restricted to military community
- Limited local branch availability for non-military
- Website and apps lack some bells and whistles
- Lower interest rates on jumbo deposits over $100k
Is Navy Federal Credit Union Right for You?
Navy Federal Credit Union offers a great banking experience for military members, veterans, and their families looking for top-notch service, competitive rates and minimal fees.
Prospective members who don’t qualify for membership still have plenty of attractive options like Alliant Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and other online banks and credit unions.
Here are a few final pros and cons to consider about Navy Federal:
- Active duty military, veterans, families
- Students with Campus Checking
- Anyone who prioritizes great service
- People who frequently move or travel
May Not Be Ideal For
- Non-military members or families
- Advanced traders or investors
- Those needing extensive in-person support
- People wanting luxury facilities and amenities
At the end of the day, Navy Federal Credit Union delivers an excellent combination of great rates, minimal fees, outstanding service and banking convenience to meet the needs of most members.
Frequently Asked Questions About Navy Federal
Still have some questions about banking with Navy Federal Credit Union? Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:
How do you qualify to join Navy Federal Credit Union?
Membership is open to active duty military, veterans, Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families. You can also join if you work for qualifying organizations or live in a Navy Federal affiliated community.
What are Navy Federal’s membership benefits?
Benefits include excellent rates on loans and savings, minimal fees, robust digital banking tools, access to branches/ATMs on military bases, discounted financial services, and top-rated member service.
Does Navy Federal offer good mortgage rates?
Yes, Navy Federal offers very competitive mortgage rates along with a streamlined application process. They also offer VA home loans tailored specifically for veterans.
How does Navy Federal’s auto loan financing work?
They offer 100% financing options on new and used autos along with pre-approvals in minutes. Rates are very competitive, especially for those with good credit.
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What credit cards does Navy Federal offer?
They issue a variety of Visa and Mastercard credit cards with no annual fees, excellent rewards programs, and leading purchase and balance transfer offers.
How is Navy Federal’s mobile banking app?
Navy Federal’s mobile app earns 4.8 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store with positive reviews citing an intuitive interface, robust features and superior convenience.
Is it easy to find Navy Federal ATMs to avoid fees?
With over 350 branches and 30,000 fee-free ATMs, it’s convenient to locate a surcharge-free Navy Federal or CO-OP Network ATM nearby virtually anytime.
The Bottom Line: An Excellent Credit Union for Military Families
Our Navy Federal Credit Union review finds that they deliver outstanding value, service and convenience tailored specifically to meet the needs of the military community.
Prospective members are sure to benefit from great interest rates on deposits and loans, minimal fees, robust digital banking capabilities and best-in-class member support. While membership is restricted, Navy Federal Credit Union should be a top choice for anyone eligible to join.