A Secured Card with Rewards: Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card

By Kris Majaski. Last updated 22 March 2019. 0 comments

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Navy Federal Credit Union provides a number of financial products such as bank accounts, car loans, mortgages, and both unsecured and secured credit cards, primarily for service members and Department of Defense employees and their families. The nRewards® Secured Credit Card provides its members with the opportunity to carry a credit card and build or rebuild a positive credit history. It includes the features commonly found in secured cards, but provides many more benefits and advantages than others, and is rated as one of the best secured cards on the market. 

If you are a Navy Federal Credit Union member, or interested in becoming one, and looking for a chance to repair or establish your credit, the Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card should be at the top of your list.

Navy FCU Membership

In order to qualify for the card you must be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union. Some of the ways to qualify include being active duty or retired Department of Defense personnel through the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, or Air Force, or United States Coast Guard personnel, DOD reservist, U.S. government employees assigned to DOD installations, DOD civilian employees (including retirees), and family member such as grandparent, parent, spouse, or child of DOD contractors assigned to U.S. government installations. 

How This Card Works

You are required to make a security deposit payment of at least $500 in a qualifying Navy Federal savings account before submitting your application. This deposit is held for the duration of your nRewards account and is returned to you when you close the account as long as you have a zero balance. When you are approved for the card, you are issued a credit card with a limit in the amount of your security deposit. You are then able to use your card just as you would any credit card. Your account activity and payments to the card are reported to the credit bureaus and, if you manage your account responsibly, can result in establishing or reestablishing a positive credit rating. 

nRewards Program

You can earn one point for each dollar spent with the card. These points can be redeemed starting at 1,000 points for gift cards or merchandise. You can earn an unlimited number of points, but they expire in four years.

Other Benefits

The card comes with Collision Damage Waiver coverage for renting cars 15 days or less, which includes coverage for physical damage and theft of the rental. It also includes reasonable towing charges and valid loss-of-use charges and expenses not covered by other insurance.

Because membership is required in order to qualify for the card, you also receive Navy FCU benefits such as military exclusives that include lower auto rates and loan discounts. You can also qualify for discounts with MetLife and on mortgages you obtain through the credit union.


  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 18.00% Variable APR
  • $0 Foreign Transaction Fee


No annual fee. Many secured cards include extra fees or monthly fees to use the card, and at the very least, charge an annual fee ranging from $25 to $50 per year. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards with No Annual Fee)

Low APR. This card has a low APR compared to most secured credit cards, which can get as high as 30%. It is recommended that you pay your balances in full each month in order to avoid paying high interest rates, but if you have to carry a balance from month to month, the lower the APR the better. (See also: Secured Credit Cards with the Lowest APR)

Rewards. There are very few secured cards with rewards programs, especially ones that allow earning on everyday purchases and redeeming for a variety of options. 

No foreign transaction fee. This would be especially helpful for military members who need to use a credit card abroad. Not all cards offer zero foreign fees.


Membership required. Although this card is one of the best on the market, not everyone is able to qualify for it simply because of the requirement to become a Navy FCU member. If you have no connections to any service members or DOD employees, and are not one yourself, you aren't eligible to apply for the credit card. If this is the case, there are a number of other recommended secured credit cards that you can apply for that will similarly help you to establish or reestablish a positive credit rating.

Who This Card Is Best For

Because there are essentially no fees with the Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards® Secured Card, and because you have an opportunity to qualify for an APR lower than the APR offered with other secured cards, it is among the best (if not the best) secured cards available. The most significant downside being that you have to be a Navy FCU member and my not qualify for membership. Otherwise, the card is best for those who are building or rebuilding credit, and won't be using the card often for foreign purchases.

Note: The requirements listed are not the only ways to qualify for membership with Navy FCU. It is best to consult the credit union if you are not sure.

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