Every bank account and credit union we have reviewed has been from personal experience. We sign up for accounts with the banks and make our reviews based on what we experience. That is why our bank account and credit union reviews rarely mention lending services because we are not silly enough to take out loans just to review them. In a rare turn of events, we couldn’t conduct our Navy Federal Credit Union review from personal experience because none of our team is in the Military or related to somebody who is. Unless you have a family member who is in the military, you cannot be nominated for an account. Our Navy Federal Credit Union review is based on what we learned online and what our friends with Navy Federal Credit Union accounts have told us.

Navy Federal Credit Union Review – Benefits And Features

  •  Several of their checking accounts do not have monthly fees
  • Interest is paid on their checking account balances
  • Their online security is rather good
  • They have an app you can use that is fairly highly rated
  • You may photograph or scan your check deposits
  • They occasionally have promotions where you can earn up to 2.0% on your CDs
  • Some overseas ATM fees are as low as $1 per withdrawal
  • The credit union is likely to offer lending services to active military personnel
  • Some of their accounts offer ATM fee refunds
  • They have a savings calculator
  • Get your pay a day earlier than you would with another bank
  • Enjoy their exclusive lending facilities that only military personnel and their families may access
  • The credit union has bank branches all around the country
  • You can opt out of overdraft protection so you never overdraw
  • Have them manage your estate savings for if you pass away

Perks And Downsides

[+] ATM rebates run as high as $20 per month
[+] Compounded daily interest on their FirstSave accounts
[+] They have a CD that allows you to continue depositing
[+] There is an overseas-friendly account for active personnel
[+] They may extend your loan if you call and tell them you are struggling

[-] There are online banks with better savings rates
[-] They have a poor record relating to debt collection practices
[-] Their services are only available to people related to the military
[-] Payment protection insurance is unreliable
[-] They don’t run soft credit searches when you apply for an account

Checking Accounts

There are thousands of free ATMs in their network, and you get free checks and free bill pay. You may bank online and get online statements. Order checks online, your checks have check protections, and all of your checking accounts will earn interest from dividends.

Free Active Duty Checking

Created especially for people having to endure military life. Your ATM fees are rebated up to $20, you get free checks, and your direct-deposited military pay is available one day earlier than with other banks.

Free Active Duty Checking

Free Everyday Checking

This is a basic checking account that suits military personnel’s family members. There are no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees.

Free Everyday Checking

Campus Checking

If you are aged between 14 and 24, and you are a full-time student, you may hold a Campus Checking account. There is no minimum balance requirement and some of your ATM fees are rebated.

Campus Checking

Flagship Checking

Earn interest on your account. They have tiered dividend payments/interest based on how much you maintain in your account. They will also rebate some of your ATM fees.

Flagship Checking


This is an account for people who want to do most of their checking online. It has ATM fee rebates of up to $10 per month, and you earn interest on your balance. You can avoid the $5 per month fee if your wages are direct deposited into it each month.


Savings Accounts

There is a basic savings account, an education savings account, a SaveFirst account, an estate management account and a few others. If you are a member, go to their website and click the “Open Now” button on their basic savings account and you are given options for a basic savings account that doesn’t have a monthly charge. The rates are not very good. Their interest rates are about average for an online/offline hybrid bank.


A SaveFirst account asks you to pick a term between three months and six years. They ask you to set a saving goal that you reach by the end of the term. Choose a maturity date and your money is released. Dividend interest is compounded daily, which is great news for savers. You may earn an interest rate of up to 0.60%, which is compounded and credited daily.

Shares Account

With a minimum deposit of $5, you may open a share savings account that earns you 0.25% on a monthly basis. They also have IRA shares accounts for you to try.

Money Market Savings Account

Your interest is compounded and credited on a monthly basis with an MMSA account. Deposit between $0 to $9,999 for a rate of 0.40%. Deposit $10,000 to 24,999 for a rate of 0.45%. Open with a deposit of $25,000 to $49,999 for a monthly rate of 0.50%. Deposit $50,000 or more for a rate of 0.55%.

Jumbo Money Market Accounts

Deposit between $0.00 to $99,999 gets you a rate of 0.25%. Deposit $100,000 or over for a rate of 0.60%. Get a jumbo IRA MMSA $0.00 to $99,999 for a rate of 0.25%, and deposit $100,000 & over for a rate of 0.60%.

Okay people, if you have less than $99,999 to deposit, then put it into a regular MMSA for a rate of 0.55% instead of the Jumbo’s 0.25%. If you if you have $100,000 or more, then whack it in a Jumbo MMSA or IRA MMSA for a rate of 0.60%.

Estate Management

The estate management options allow you to set up savings accounts that are payable on death (POD), or set up deposit trust accounts, custodial accounts or estate accounts. They are prefect for military personnel who run the risk of death on a regular basis.

Education Savings Accounts

Their ESAs are reasonable, but it is up to you as a student to check their offers against the competition. Here are a few details so that you may decide if you should have an ESA with Navy Federal Credit Union.

Education Savings Account with Navy Credit Union


Certificates Of Deposit

Their CDs have interest rates that go as high as 3.0%, but you need to save for a long time and deposit a handsome sum to earn it. Typically, you will receive a 2.0% interest rate, which is usually part of a promotion. For example, they had a promotion where you received a 2.0% APY for a 17-month CD. It had a $50 minimum deposit, it allowed further deposits, and it had a $50,000 maximum. CDs that allow you to deposit extra and earn interest on it before it matures are very valuable for dedicated savers.

Navy Federal Credit Union Review – Biggest Selling Point

It may not seem so great when compared to online banks, but their SaveFirst account is worth having. Typically, a hybrid bank that offers online services and has branches, will give you lower interest rates than online banks. Our Navy Federal Credit Union review found that Navy Federal Credit Union is a hybrid credit union, and therefore cannot compete with online-online banks and their savings rates.

However, the SaveFirst account is very juicy considering this is a hybrid credit union. Firstly, it is great because you get to pick the maturity date, and if you also choose your own personal savings goal, then the maturity date gives you a ticking clock to motivate you.

The savings rate for a SaveFirst account goes up to 0.60%. If you invest in a jumbo MMSA, they ask you to deposit $100,000 for a rate of 0.60%. Common sense suggests that you have to deposit $100,000 with a SaveFirst account to earn their 0.60% interest rate. Sadly, as you read in the introduction, I have no way of finding this out. If they do not for a balance of $100,000 to earn their 0.60% rate, then that is all the more reason why the SaveFirst account is their biggest selling point.

Daily compounded interest is the best type of interest for savers because you earn money on every penny in your account. Compounding it daily means that over the long term you get more for your money. They credit your account once per month, which is not a bad thing.

Navy Federal Credit Union Review – Fees And Charges

As mentioned in the introduction, we couldn’t get an account with Navy Federal Credit Union to conduct our Navy Federal Credit Union review, so we couldn’t trawl through the terms and conditions given to us when we signed up. However, I was able to pull a few fees from their website for their free checking account.

$0 opening deposit
$0 CO-OP Network® ATM fee
$0 navy Federal ATM fees
$1 PLUS® System ATM Fee (including overseas)
$0 maintenance fees
$29 NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) fee per item
$0 check service charge
$15 returned check fee for cashed items
$15 returned check fee for deposited items
$0 Bill Pay service
$3 dormant checking fee
$20 one stopped payment
$25 to stop a series of checks

Whom Should Take Note Of This Navy Federal Credit Union Review?

If you are in the military, if you were in the military, or you are the family member of a person in the military, then you should consider an account with Navy Federal Credit Union. If you are looking for a savings account that helps you achieve a saving goal other than buying a house, such as buying a car or saving for a holiday, then consider a FirstSave account.

User Comments And Reviews

[+] Foreign ATM fees are significantly lower than what other banks offer, especially if you find the right network in your foreign country.

[+] If you receive a military wage, then they are very likely to offer you lending services even if your credit score is average or slightly below average.

[+] The customer service can be very efficient and very effective when they want to be.

[+] The Navy Federal Credit Union is good and very handy when it is not undergoing maintenance. If the app doesn’t load because of maintenance, then log on via a web browser and try the app again another day.

[+] Getting your pay a day early doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you live paycheck-to-paycheck, then it is the difference between noodles tonight or a fancy lasagna and wine.

[-] Their payment protection insurance is a joke. They will find any cheap excuse not to pay you. People have been known to become unemployed and have not had their payments protected.

[-] Some people have won cases in court against their PPI not paying out when they should have (not because of being mis-sold insurance).

[-] They will take your overdraft fees out without notification and without any sort of system besides taking the fee out when they please.

[-] Navy Federal Credit Union reserves the right to call their debts in full whenever they like, and they will happily do it if you miss a payment or two.

[-] They will pay your debts to them from your account and from accounts linked to yours, which means they will take money from things such as your children’s savings accounts if they wish.

Conclusion – Navy Federal Credit Union Review

The FirstSave account is a good one, and the fact you can keep adding to your CD is a good selling point. They make accounts with Navy Federal Credit Union worth considering. If you are in the military, then their checking account for active military personnel is a good one because you get your wages a day quicker. Plus, their estate management savings are good for people who have risky jobs in the military. The credit union is not perfect, especially the insurance/payment-protection side of their business. Still, you should consider them if you are active in the military and if you have a saving goal you wish to achieve.