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Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the United States, both in asset size and in membership. This credit union serves those in the military and defense space and their families. Headquartered in Virginia, Navy Federal has over $103.2 billion USD in assets, 8.4 million members, 295 branches and 580 ATM locations. Navy Federal offers the standard suite of banking services offered by most big banks, including savings accounts, checking accounts, IRA accounts, and certificates of deposits. Navy Federal also offers consumer loans, credit cards, mortgages and home equity lines of credit, as well as some small business services.

 Mission: “Serve & enrich the lives of those in the military community”
The Navy Federal credit union holds strong their family bond. Therefore, once a member, you are always a member. Your life is their mission.

  • Higher interest rates compared to other brick & mortar banks
  • No fees or service charges on certain accounts
  • A large network of 30,000 ATMs
  • Limited branch locations
  • Low interest rates on savings

Banking with NFCU

Before you can begin banking with the Navy Federal Credit Union you must become a member. Every credit union has its own membership requirements that you must meet before you can enjoy the benefits of their banking experience.


Checking Accounts

Savings Accounts


Money Market Accounts


Personal Loans

Credit Cards


Navy Fed caters to all enlisted personnel and their families, you qualify as a member of NFCU if you are:

  • Active Duty military
  • DoD Officer
  • Veteran
  • Be a contractor to U.S. Government Installations
  • Retired DoD employee
  • Or be a family member of one of the above
  • Apart of the Delayed Entry Program 

An interesting feature of this credit union is that they allow more than immediate family to qualify under the ‘family member’ criteria. They also allow the following family to become members:

  • Grandparents
  • Spouses
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Household Members
  • Adopted Children and Stepchildren

Another great benefit of the Navy Federal credit union is that even after you have left the military, you can continue banking with them for the rest of your life.

Checking Accounts

Navy Federal Credit Union offers an impressive five options for checking accounts, all of which earn dividends with slightly different attributed perks:

Active Duty Checking Account: designed for active-duty service personnel

  • Earn 0.05% APY and Dividend Rate
  • ATM fee rebates up to $20 per month
  • free customizable checks
  • access your direct deposit one business day earlier
  • No fees and No minimum balance

EveryDay Checking: this is the most basic checking option with no-frills T

  • Earn 0.05% APY and Dividend Rate
  • No minimum balance and No fees
  • a $3 fee applies if the account is not used within a year

Campus Checking: this account is for students between the ages of 14 to 24 similar to

  • Earn 0.05% APY and Dividend Rate
  • No fees and No minimum balance
  • get $10 in ATM rebates
  • free name-only checks.

Flagship Checking: this checking option gives you a higher yield with a high balance

  • Earn between 0.35% to 0.45% APY and Dividend Rate
  • keep $1,500 or more in the account to avoid monthly fees
  • get $10 in ATM fee credit

e-checking: this type of account is for customers not within proximity to a branch location.

  • Earn 0.05% APY and Dividend Rate
  • No fees with a direct deposit setup
  • No minimum balance
  • get $10 in ATM fee rebates

Savings Accounts

When you become a member at Navy Federal credit union, you must open a Basic Savings account as a part of your membership. Navy Fed also offers other types of savings accounts geared towards different life goals:

Basic Savings: basic savings account that is required when becoming a member

  • No fees
  • Tax-exemptions on Education funding
  • Interest rates of 0.25% APY
  • Minimum balance of $5
  • Dividends are compounded monthly

SaveFirst: perfect account designed to help you save for a particular goal

  • Earn 1.35% APY and Dividend Rate
  • Minimum balance of $5
  • Terms from 3 months to 5 years
  • Freedom to make additional deposits at will

Education Savings: designed for parents with kids in college or planning to attend college

  • Tax-free for education funding
  • Total contributions cannot exceed $2000
  • More than one ESA per child is allowed


Navy Federal Credit Union offers different types of Certificates to help get you to your savings goals:

Regular Certificate:

9-Month Certificate18-Month Certificate5-Year Certificate
2.50% APY3.00% APY3.25% APY
  • Minimum required $1,000
  • No limit on deposit amount
  • Available as a Share, IRA or ESA certificate

Standard Certificate:

  • Minimum purchase amounts of $1,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, and $100,000
  • 3-month to 7-year terms available 
Term$1K APY$10K APY$20K APY$50K APY$100K APY
Short-Term Certificate Rates
3 Month1.10%1.10%1.10%1.10%1.25%
6 Month1.90%1.90%1.90%1.90%2.05%
9 Month2.50%2.50%2.50%2.50%2.50%
12 Month2.25%2.25%2.25%2.25%2.40%
18 Month3.00%3.00%3.00%3.00%3.00%
24 Month2.40%2.40%2.40%2.40%2.55%
Long-Term Certificate Rates 
3 Year2.50%2.50%2.50%2.50%2.65%
4 Year2.55%2.55%2.55%2.55%2.70%
5 Year3.25%3.25%3.25%3.25%3.25%
6 Year2.85%2.85%2.85%2.85%3.00%
7 Year2.90%2.90%2.90%2.90%3.05%

Special EasyStart Certificate:

  • 50% APY Special
  • Requires a Checking account with direct deposit
  • Minimum required $50
  • Make additional deposits anytime up to $3,000
  • 12-month term

EasyStart Certificate:

  • Minimum required $100
  • 12-month term
  • Additional deposits can be made at any time, minimum of $10

Three-year Variable:

  • Available in Share, IRA or ESA Certificate
  • Minimum required $500
  • Add funds on the 12- and 24-month anniversary dates

Money Market Account

Money market accounts offer a higher APY from the savings accounts at NFCU. Navy Federal Credit Union offers two types of money market accounts a regular and jumbo money market account. The higher your balance, the higher your interest rate.

Deposit AmountAPYDeposit AmountAPY
$10K-$24,999.990.85%$250K +1.35%
  • No term restrictions & No minimum balance to open
  • Jumbo rate is only applicable at $100K
  • Dividends are compounded at the end of each calendar month
  • Additional deposits are allowed at any time


Traditional, ROTH, ESA and SEP IRAs are also available at Navy Federal Credit Union. The same rates as above apply. IRA accounts are potentially tax-deferred retirement plans. You can open an IRA as long as you are under the age of 70.

Personal Loans

Navy Fed also offers a variety of personal loans to suit almost everyone and every need. They offer loan products including, but not limited to auto loans, home loans (mortgage and home equity), student loans, personal loans and other vehicle loans.

Borrowing from NFCU has some benefits:

  • Lower interest rates compared to traditional banks
  • Easy approval process
  • Easy & quick online application
  • Online calculators to help you estimate your monthly payment

Credit Cards

There are several options to choose from when it comes to credit cards at Navy Federal. All cards feature the following perks:

  • 24/7 access to stateside member reps
  • Zero Liability policy for unauthorized transactions
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud notifications
  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card
  • Access to your FICO® credit score

Let’s explore the two most popular cards the credit union has to offer:

CashRewards Card:

  • No annual fee
  • Get $250 bonus cash as new client
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on purchases
  • Cash back is immediately redeemable
  • Cellphone protection

Navy federal More Rewards American Express Card:

  • No annual fee
  • Get 30,000 bonus points and low intro APR for new clients
  • Earn 3X Points for grocery purchases, gas and restaurants
  • Earn 1X Point on all other purchases
  • Up to 25% off car rental and rental insurance
  • Points can be redeemed for travel, cash, gift cards or merchandise
  • Roadside assistance

Banking Features

  • Mobile banking: allows you to manage your day-to-day with ease and convenience. Partnered with Zelle so you can make transfers quick and easy.
  • Security: NFCU offers two-factor identification steps for extra security and provides fraud alerts when suspicious transactions are spotted.
  • Customer Service: Customer support is available at any branch location or 24/7 via their online chat option. There are also customer service hours depending on your region.

About Navy Federal

The Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest and influential credit union in the United States with over 8 million members and a single mission to serve those who serve the country and their families. Navy Fed has some old roots dating back to1933 when they were established as the Navy Department Employees’ Credit Union of the District of Columbia. After President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act in 1943, along with a few other changes to the credit union, NFCU was officially born in 1954. They opened their doors to all enlisted personnel and their families.

Today the NFCU offers over a dozen banking options and each type of account earns a competitive interest rate. If you qualify for membership under their definition then you are able to benefit from the wide variety of banking perks and community building.

The Bottom Line

Navy Federal credit union is ideal for service members who might prefer credit unions over big banks but still want to be able to handle off their banking under one roof. Another plus, is that this credit union definitely beats traditional bank rates.

On the downside however, you can find better savings rates elsewhere. If you are also not one to keep large balances in your account this credit union might not be the best option.