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Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card Review

Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Mar 10, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you need to establish or rebuild your credit, the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card can help, while also earning rewards on every purchase you make.

The Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card lets you earn 1 point for every $1 of net purchase — which can be redeemed for cash back, merchandise or gift cards. Points are valued at 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back, meaning that 5,000 points could be worth $50 cash back.

We break down the pros and cons of the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card, and how it compares to the Discover it® Secured card.

Before going any further, it is important to note that you must be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to be eligible for the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card (more on the eligibility requirements below).

Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card pros

Rewards on every purchase. The Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card lets cardholders earn 1 point for every $1 of net purchase. Although this is a modest amount, it is rare for a secured credit card to offer a rewards program at all.

Eligible to upgrade to an unsecured card. After six months of having the card, Navy Federal Credit Union will begin reviewing your account every month to determine if you’re eligible to receive your deposit back and upgrade to a cashRewards unsecured credit card.

Annual fee. The Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card comes the following annual fee: None.

Additional Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card benefits:

  • Ability to freeze and unfreeze your card
  • Free access to your FICO® credit score
  • Fraud notifications
  • Foreign transaction fees: none

Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card cons

Points expiration. While there is no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn, your points will expire four years from the month in which they were earned.

Deposit required. You will be required to deposit at least $200 into your qualifying Navy Federal savings account prior to applying for the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card. Once you are approved for the card, you will be granted a credit limit equal to your deposit. Your deposit will be held, but it will earn interest.

Eligibility requirements. To be eligible for the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card, you must be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union. You may qualify if you or one of your family or household members has ties to the armed forces, National Guard or Department of Defense. Learn more about Navy Federal’s qualification requirements.

Read: Best credit cards for military members

Compare it to the Discover it® Secured card

  • 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

  • Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*

  • No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*

Highlights
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Secured

More Info

If you’re looking for a secured credit card, but aren’t eligible to apply for a Navy Federal Credit Union credit card, you may want to take a look at the Discover it® Secured.

Like the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card, the Discover it® Secured comes with a $0 annual fee and offers a rewards program. Cardholders earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Plus, for new cardmembers, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

If you max out the spending limit at gas stations and restaurants each quarter, you’ll earn $80 back in one year. Once you factor in the cashback match bonus, that amount will jump to $160 at the end of the first year of card membership.

Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured

 Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit CardDiscover it® Secured
Annual feeNone$0
Sign-up bonusN/AFor new cardmembers, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
Rewards rateEarn 1 point for every $1 of net purchase2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
Intro APR on purchasesN/AN/A
Regular purchase APR18.00% (variable)22.99% variable
Intro APR on balance transfersN/A10.99% for 6 months
Regular balance transfer APR18.00% (variable)22.99% variable
Foreign transaction feenonenone

Similar to the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card, the Discover it® Secured provides the opportunity to convert to an unsecured credit card when you demonstrate responsible card usage. Starting at eight months, Discover will automatically review your account to see if you qualify to receive your security deposit back (which can range from $200 to $2,500, depending on your income and ability to pay) and convert to an unsecured credit card.

While neither card offers an introductory APR on purchases, the Discover it® Secured does offer an intro APR on balance transfers of 10.99% for 6 months for transfers that post to your account by June 10, 2020. After that, the regular APR will be 22.99% variable.

Which secured credit card is best for you?

If you have less than perfect credit, both the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card and the Discover it® Secured could provide great opportunities to build your credit through responsible card usage.

But if you can’t qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership, or just want to earn a higher rewards rate on every purchase and a sign-up bonus, the Discover it® Secured will likely be your best bet. Just keep in mind that your main focus with a secured credit card should be paying your balance in full and on time each month — and not necessarily earning rewards.


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