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Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card Review

Platinum Cc

Our rating



  • thumbs-upLong 0% APR promotion for balance transfers
  • thumbs-upLow regular APR
  • thumbs-upMore relaxed underwriting standards


  • thumbs-downNo 0% APR promotion for purchases
  • thumbs-downNo rewards or sign-up bonus
  • thumbs-downNot available to the general public

The Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card is a low APR credit card with few frills and even fewer fees. Though it’s not explicitly designed for building or rebuilding credit, it’s comparable to (and costs less than) “starter” credit cards such as Capital One Platinum. Thanks to its favorable rates and introductory balance transfer promotion, it’s also a nice alternative to better-known balance transfer cards such as Chase Slate Edge.

However, unlike these cards, Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum MasterCard comes with one important caveat: it’s designed exclusively for current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense, and immediate family members (including spouses and children) of either group. If you don’t fall into any of those categories, you can’t join NFCU nor apply for this card. So, if you don’t plan to join the military anytime soon and don’t have a close relative with a service record, you may need to go with another option.

If you do meet NFCU’s eligibility criteria, this card lets you transfer balances at a very low introductory rate and finance large purchases at a reasonable ongoing rate. Plus, you’ll enjoy more than your fair share (at least, for a no-frills credit card) of fringe benefits, including travel emergency assistance and complimentary rental car coverage.

Here’s what to expect from your NFCU Platinum Visa card.

What Sets the NFCU Platinum Visa Card Apart

The NFCU Platinum Card is one of the better low APR credit cards on the market for three reasons:

  • Low Regular APR. NFCU Platinum has a low regular APR. It’s several ticks below popular competitors and makes this card a great choice for people who expect to (or know they may have to) carry balances.
  • Great 0% APR Intro Promotion for Balance Transfers. NFCU Platinum also has a 12-month 0% intro APR promotion on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening. While not unique, it’s generous enough to take note of.
  • Doesn’t Require Perfect Credit. Unlike some low APR credit cards, NFCU Platinum doesn’t require excellent credit to qualify for. You can apply even if you have a few blemishes on your credit report.

Key Features of the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

Here’s what you need to know about the core features of the NFCU Platinum Card.

Introductory APR

For 12 months following your sign-up date, the balance transfer APR is 0%.

Regular APR

Once the balance transfer promotion period ends, the balance transfer rises to between 8.99% to 18.00%. This rate is variable, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The purchase APR falls within the same range from the day you open your account.

The cash advance APR is 2.00% higher than the regular purchase and balance transfer APR. However, it can’t rise higher than 18.00%. The penalty APR is 18.00% but is subject to change with prevailing interest rates.

Important Fees

This card has no annual fee, balance transfer fee, or foreign transaction fee. Cash advances are free unless they occur at domestic non-NFCU ATMs ($0.50 per advance) or international non-NFCU ATMs ($1 per advance). Late and returned payments cost $20.

Visa or Mastercard Benefits

This card has a nice lineup of Visa- or Mastercard-backed benefits, including:

  • Complimentary loss and damage coverage for rental cars charged in full to the card
  • Extended warranties (up to 12 months) on items with original warranties up to 12 months
  • Emergency services for ill or stranded travelers

Credit Required

This card is for people with good credit. Your application won’t necessarily be disqualified by a credit issue or two, but serious problems could prove troublesome.

Advantages of the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

These are the most important advantages of the NFCU Platinum Card. Note the lack of an annual fee, relatively low APR, and long 0% APR promotion on balance transfers for new cardholders.

  • No Annual Fee. The NFCU Platinum card has no annual fee, so there’s no downside to keeping it in your wallet as you pay down a balance transfer or finance a large purchase over the course of several months.
  • Few Additional Fees. This card has very few add-on fees: no balance transfer fee, foreign transaction fee, or cash advance fee (in most instances). If you avoid taking cash advances from non-NFCU ATMs and pay your bills on time, you can use this card for years without incurring any charges.
  • Low APR Range. This card’s APR ranges from 8.99% to 18.00%. If you qualify for a rate at the bottom end of that range, you’re in rare company. Most competing cards’ APRs start in the 13% to 14% range and go up from there.
  • Nice Introductory Balance Transfer APR. The NFCU Platinum card’s introductory APR promotion is ideal for new cardholders looking to transfer high-interest balances from existing credit card accounts. Transfers made shortly after account opening accrue interest at 0% APR for the first 12 months – a hefty discount from the regular rate.
  • Excellent Fringe Benefits. This card’s fringe benefits are substantial for a no-frills card. They include complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with the card, extended warranties on products purchased with the card, and travel emergency assistance services. Many low APR cards, especially those issued by credit unions, are much stingier with such perks.
  • Doesn’t Require Excellent Credit. This card doesn’t require perfect credit. That’s great news for applicants whose credit histories include some ups and downs, and a big advantage over gold (or diamond) plated low APR cards such as Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred.

Disadvantages of the Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

Consider these downsides before applying for the NFCU Platinum card. Only you can decide whether they’re significant enough to push you towards an alternative.

  • No Rewards. The NFCU Platinum card doesn’t reward cardholders for spending. If you’re looking for a low APR card with a cash back or general rewards program, look to NFCU cashRewards Credit Card or NFCU GO Rewards Credit Card.
  • No 0% APR Promotion on Purchases. This card’s balance transfer promotion is nice, but it doesn’t have anything similar for purchases. That’s a problem if you’re looking to make a big purchase that you can’t afford to pay off in full right away.
  • No Sign-up Bonus. This card also lacks a sign-up bonus for new cardholders. When you sign up for this card, the only welcome perk you get is the introductory balance transfer APR deal. That’s great if you’re looking to save on the cost of a balance transfer, but not helpful if you just want to earn a quick $100 (or more) for your first 3 months’ spending. Many popular cash back credit cards, including Chase Freedom Unlimited, can help on this front.
  • Not Available to the General Public. The NFCU Platinum card’s most glaring drawback is the fact that it’s only available to current or former members of the Armed Forces, civilian Department of Defense employees, and immediate family members of people who fall into either category. If you’re just a regular old civilian, you’re out of luck – and you’ll need to find yourself a general-purpose credit card that doesn’t restrict membership to those who’ve served.

How the NFCU Platinum Card Stacks Up 

Not sure the NFCU Platinum Card is the best choice for your needs? See how it stacks up against another popular low APR credit card with a long 0% APR intro promotion: the Citi Simplicity Card.

NFCU PlatinumCiti Simplicity
0% Intro APR Promo12 months on balance transfers only21 months on balance transfers; 12 months on purchases
Regular APR8.99% to 18.00%18.99% to 29.74%
Annual Fee$0$0
Credit RequiredGoodExcellent

Final Word

There are roughly 10 million Americans who either currently or previously serve(d) in the U.S. military, currently work for the Department of Defense, or have spousal or immediate blood relations with people who fall into either category. That means that there are over 320 million Americans who don’t make NFCU’s cut – a problem for the vast majority of Americans with no direct ties to the military.

The good news is that some ostensibly service-oriented credit unions are far less selective than NFCU. State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) is a case in point: though it was initially intended for State Department employees and their families, it’s now open to nearly everyone. Even if you don’t work for the U.S. government in any capacity, you can qualify for SDFCU membership for life simply by making a one-time donation of $15 to a reputable consumer advocacy organization. That’s lower than most credit cards’ annual fees – and some premium checking accounts’ monthly maintenance fees.

Platinum Cc

Our rating



  • thumbs-upLong 0% APR promotion for balance transfers
  • thumbs-upLow regular APR
  • thumbs-upMore relaxed underwriting standards


  • thumbs-downNo 0% APR promotion for purchases
  • thumbs-downNo rewards or sign-up bonus
  • thumbs-downNot available to the general public
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.
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