Navy Federal Go Rewards Cards Offering Summer Sign-Up Bonus Worth $200

Jun 16, 2017

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.      

Popular amongst service members and veterans from all branches, Navy Federal Credit Union has announced a limited-time summer bonus on the Navy Federal Go Rewards credit cards, available in both Visa Signature and MasterCard flavors. Let’s take a look at the cards’ features and decide if the product is something you should consider adding to your rewards portfolio over the next few months.

Navy Federal Eligibility

Even though the credit union boasts the name of the greatest branch of service, Navy Federal Credit Union is not only open to the Navy. If you’ve ever been affiliated with any branch of the armed forces including the Coast Guard or worked for the DoD, you and your family within one generation of you are eligible for membership. Membership is free, and you simply have to fill out an online application.

Go Rewards Credit Cards

In June and July, the NavyFed Go Rewards credit cards are offering 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of cardmembership. There are Visa Signature and MasterCard versions — both offer the same features. Important to note: Your credit line upon approval must be at least $5,000 to qualify for these cards otherwise you will receive the Visa Go Rewards Card or Platinum MasterCard, which have different features than the Visa Signature and MasterCard versions.

The cards earn 3 points at restaurants, 2 points on gas and 1 point on all other spend with no limit on the number of points you can earn or the number of points you can redeem. Points are worth a flat 1 cent each when redeemed toward cash back or travel. You can begin redeeming once you have 1,000 points, and your rewards will expire four years from the date they are earned.

Perhaps best, the cards have no annual fee, no foreign transactions fees and no balance transfer fees.

Analysis

The one benefit the Go Rewards Visa Signature and MasterCard offer that make them stand out is a $200 (20,000-point) sign-up bonus for no annual fee. The 3x and 2x reward multipliers are nice, but I’d likely be using my Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve on those expenses to earn more valuable Ultimate Rewards compared to the flat 1% cash back Go Rewards currency. That said, not everyone can qualify for premium cards given the average American’s credit portfolio.

Navy Federal says only “good” credit is required to be approved for these cards, making them a great stepping stone into the points and miles world while avoiding fees. If you’re on your way to building up your credit and want essentially a no-cost mechanism to earn rewards, the Go Rewards cards can make sense for you. Ensure you pay off your balance every month.

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$200 cash bonuses go straight to cover food costs on my trips.

Other rewards cards with no annual fee include the Discover it Miles Travel Card, the Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card, the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and the Chase Freedom Unlimited. However, none of those options match the no foreign transaction, no balance transfer fee and $200 sign-up bonus of the Go Rewards cards.

Bottom Line

If you’re eligible to join Navy Federal Credit Union, this card represents an easy $200 bonus with no annual fee. This card makes sense to me as I try and build my portfolio with NavyFed to become eligible and targeted for some of its other banking services, which often come much cheaper than the products big national banks offer. I also like diversifying the banks I open credit with and not repeatedly opening credit with only the largest two or three.

I also don’t mind putting another $200 in the pockets of my wife and I. This will cover many of our incidental expenses on trips, making the vacation as close to free as possible. Navy Federal has done a lot to help many of my sailors and Marines over the years, so I’m happy to give it more business.

What are your thoughts on the Go Rewards cards?

Featured image courtesy of M. M. Sweet via Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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