Navy Federal Credit Union: Financial Services for Military Members
6 MIN READ
Published December 05, 2023 | Updated February 09, 2024
Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is popular among members of the military and their families due to its wide range of financial products, great customer service, and attractive rates. Members can choose from a variety of Navy Federal Credit Union credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and loans.
The credit union has minimal fees on all accounts and offers perks for members, such as good customer service and discounts. Members can also take advantage of low-interest rates on Navy Federal personal loans, auto loans, Navy Federal student loans, and credit cards, making sure you can keep more money in your pocket.
“Navy Credit Union is very accessible in most states, and credit unions, in general, offer better rates,” explains Teresa Dodson, a financial expert and the founder of Greenbacks Consulting.
Navy Federal Credit Union serves 13.2 million members and is the largest credit union in the country. It operates more than 350 branches throughout the world, with a focus on military bases.
It offers a combination of easy branch access, attractive rates, and low fees, making it a good choice for anyone eligible for membership. Navy Federal has also been recognized for its excellent member service and has received several awards, such as the Best Credit Union and a leader among banks (multichannel) for customer service by Forrester’s CX Index.
Becoming a Navy Federal Credit Union member can provide you access to a wide variety of financial products. However, membership requirements are quite stringent. Let’s take a look at some more of the pros and cons of becoming a member.
- Over 350 branches and a wide network of ATMs
- Out-of-network ATM fees are refunded for most accounts
- No monthly fees for most accounts
- Overdraft protection
- Free checking account options
- 24/7 customer service
- Qualifying for the membership is difficult
- Savings account yield can be low
- The minimum balance requirement for money market accounts is high
Navy Federal Credit Union offers a large range of banking products like checking accounts, savings accounts, IRAs, certificates, and money market accounts.
Navy Federal currently offers five checking accounts with debit cards, each slightly different.
|Free Active Duty Checking
|Free Easy Checking
|Free Campus Checking
|Free Everyday Checking
|No fee if the average daily balance is over $1,500; $10 if less than $1,000
|ATM Fee Rebate
Here’s what each account offers:
- Free Active Duty Checking: The account is designed for retired military and active-duty military members. There’s no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. The account offers 0.05% APY.
- Free Easy Checking: The Free Easy Checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. It comes with 0.05% APY and up to $120 of annual out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement.
- Free Campus Checking: This checking account is designed for 14 to 24-year-old members and offers the same features and rates as the Free Easy Checking account.
- Free Everday Checking: This is a requirement-free, fee-free checking account that every member is eligible for.
- Flagship Checking: Flagship Checking is Navy Feder’s premier account with a $10 monthly fee. However, the fee can be waived if you maintain an average daily balance of over $1,500. Balances over $25,000 can earn an APY of 0.45%.
You’ll get a Membership Share Savings Account when you join Navy Federal Credit Union. This basic savings account earns an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.25%. A minimum deposit of $5 is required to open the account.
Money Market Accounts
Navy Federal Credit Union offers two money market accounts: Jumbo Money Market Savings Account and Money Market Savings Account. Both accounts offer competitive rates with APY as high as 2.250%. Additionally, there are no limits on withdrawals.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
Another popular product at Navy Federal is certificates of deposit (CDs). There are four CD options to choose from at Navy Federal.
Terms range from three months to seven years; the minimum deposit is as low as $5. You can earn an APY as high as 5.30% with some certificates.
Standard Certificate: Standard Certificates require a minimum deposit of $1,000 and provide an APY of 4.95%. This option is suitable for those who want higher returns but don’t need flexible access to savings.
EasyStart Certificate: With a minimum deposit as low as $50, EasyStart Certificates are ideal for those who want to start building good savings habits. You’ll be able to add money anytime after the initial deposit.
Special EasyStart Certificate: If you have a checking account and direct deposit, you can take advantage of a higher APY of 5.30%.
SaveFirst Account: The SaveFirst Account allows you to earn more than a traditional savings account. With only $5 minimum deposit requirements and the flexibility to add money at any time, it’s a good option for those who want to save for a specific goal.
The key qualification requirement for all banking products listed above is Navy Federal Credit Union membership. Once you’re a member, you’ll be able to apply for any of the accounts listed below. There may be additional qualification requirements for some products, such as:
- Be between 14 and 24 years old for the Free Campus Checking account.
- Qualifying direct deposit for some accounts.
- Minimum balance requirements.
Navy Federal exclusively serves those associated with the military and their family members. To qualify for membership, you must fall into one of these categories:
- Active Duty members of the Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Navy, National Guard, Coast Guard, and Space Force
- Retirees, veterans, and annuitants
- DoD Officer Candidate/ROTC
- Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
- DoD Reservists
- DoD civilian employees
- DoD civilian annuitants and retirees
- DoD contractors and government employees assigned to government installations
- Immediate family members of any of the above
Navy Federal Credit Union has more than 350 branches throughout the world. It also has 30,000 ATMs in the U.S. You can use the branch locator tool to find a branch near you.
You can also open an account online if you don’t live near a Navy Federal branch. Another option is to use the mobile app or online banking to manage your accounts anytime, anywhere. Phone support is available 24/7 at the following numbers:
Navy Federal Credit Union is a full-service credit union that rivals the best banks. If you’re eligible for membership, it offers a good range of accounts and services to meet most of your banking needs.