Thrifty Tony

What is the Best Navy Federal Rewards Credit Card to Maximize Points?

Navy Federal credit card with the most points

Navy Federal Credit Union offers its members 6 different credit cards, 5 of which include some sort of cash back rewards points.

In this blog post, we’ll compare these credit cards from Navy Federal to see which one offers the best cash back rewards and ultimately help you determine which card is best for you.

Navy Federal Credit Cards without Rewards Points

Right off the bat, we can eliminate two Navy Federal credit cards from consideration:

  1. nRewards Secured Credit Card due to an inferior rewards offer of just 1 point for all purchases. Although this card has no annual fees, it’s more geared towards building or repairing your credit.
  2. Platinum Credit Card because this card does not offer any type of rewards or cash back.

Navy Federal Credit Cards with Rewards Points

The only Navy Federal credit cards to offer reasonable cash back is the cashRewards, More Rewards American Express, Flagship Rewards, and GO REWARDS.

Of these 4 credit cards, all of them except for 1 have no annual fee. The only card to have an annual fee is the Flagship Rewards card and the annual fee is $49. Keep this annual fee in mind when we talk about how this eats into your earning ability below.

Why Go Rewards is Not a Good Choice

When comparing the More Rewards and the Go Rewards cards, you’ll notice that More Rewards is more beneficial not only because you can earn 3x the points at supermarkets, but also because you earn 3x points on gas and transit while you only earn 2x points on gas with Go Rewards.

CategoryMore RewardsGo Rewards
Restaurants3x points3x points
Food delivery3x points1x points
Supermarkets3x points1x points
Gas3x points2x points
Transit3x points1x points
Everything else1x points1x points

Based on this, let’s remove the Go Rewards from our list.

Cash Rewards vs More Rewards vs Flagship Rewards

That leaves Cash Rewards, More Rewards, and Flagship Rewards. Without considering the special offers and sign up bonuses, let’s take a look at the rewards structures for these cards.

  • More Rewards is geared towards the average consumer with 3x points at restaurants, food delivery, supermarkets, gas
  • Flagship Rewards is geared towards travelers with 3x points on travel
  • Cash Rewards gives you 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Additionally, More Rewards and Flagship Rewards give you 1x and 2x cash back respectively on all other purchases.

At this point, you can probably imagine how your spending habits will greatly impact your cash back.

For example, someone who consistently dines out at restaurants and drives a lot will do much better with the More Rewards card than the other options.

Let’s actually go through an example of a hypothetical spending scenario to see which credit card will yield the most rewards points.

Assume that you spend $100 per month on dining out, $100 on gas, $300 on groceries, $250 on travel, $300 on utilities, and another $200 per month on miscellaneous expenses. This equates to $15,000 per year on your credit card and you can see here the average monthly rewards points for each card across these three Navy Federal credit cards.

Breakdown of cash back for different Navy Federal credit cards in each category including travel
Flagship Rewards yields the most cash back when spending in the travel category, even after considering the annual fee

Adding up the cash back for the entire year, you’ll earn $225 with Cash Rewards, $270 with More Rewards, and $330 with Flagship Rewards. When we consider the $49 annual fee for Flagship Rewards, the effective cash back becomes $281 which is still the highest earning reward for this particular scenario.

Now let’s assume that you don’t do any traveling.

For the average consumer who does not travel much, More Rewards will usually offer the most cash back

In this scenario, the More Rewards card yields the biggest cash back due.

Bottom Line

If you do indeed do a lot of traveling and spend money on flights and hotels, then perhaps the Flagship Rewards is best for you.

Otherwise, More Rewards might make more sense, but if you truly want to maximize your cash back, getting multiple credit cards and selectively spending in the categories with the highest cash back will be your ultimate best bet.

Thrifty Tony

Thrifty Tony

Tony approaches most things in life with a budget-conscious mindset while at the same time maximizing investments which results in an ideal balance between spending and saving. And of course he enjoys free things and bonuses every now and then.