Navy Federal revamps its credit card member rewards program

Shopping through the credit union can earn up to 15 percent cash back on purchases

In the intense competition for credit card customers, Navy Federal Credit Union has revamped its member rewards program by significantly increasing the rewards it offers members.

The credit union has changed the name of its Member Mall to Navy Federal Member Deals. Members who go to the new online portal will be able to shop online at over 900 major retailers using a Navy Federal card. By doing so, they can earn up to 15 times the points or choose to receive 15 percent cash back on their purchases.

Members using the portal for Valentine’s gifts can get increased rewards through the program from FTD and Godiva, experiential gifts with offers from outlets like LivingSocial, or even book a  winter vacation getaway through Expedia or The move ups the ante in the credit card sweepstakes.

"At Navy Federal, we want our cardholders to take full advantage of the opportunities to earn even more rewards - and our recently revamped Member Deals is a perfect example,” Justin Zeidman, head of credit card products at Navy Federal, told ConsumerAffairs. “Credit card points and cash back can translate into hundreds of dollars back in our members' pockets.”

The retailers in the program include Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Macy’s, and the Home Depot. If you went to one of these stores or accessed it online without going through the members portal, you’d still save money, just not as much.

More cash back

For example, spending $400 using the Navy Federal cashRewards card by going directly to a  participating retailer would yield $6 cash back, nothing to sneeze at. However, spending that same $400 at one of these retailers by accessing it through the Member Deals portal would get you $26 cash back.

If you have a Navy Federal card that rewards you with points, the difference is just as striking. The Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card would give you 800 points on a normal $400 purchase. But spending that same money through the Member Deals portal lets you rack up 2,800 points.

Participating retailers offer attractive deals since Navy Federal is funneling customers their way. Some even offer extra rewards, such as Verizon--  which has increased the points for adding a new line -- and Barneys New York, which has tripled its points per dollar.

Choosing a rewards card

Rewards credit cards have become increasingly popular in recent years as lenders have become more generous with the rewards they offer. Before applying, however, consider how you will use the card and what kind of rewards best suit your lifestyle.

Travel cards with the most generous rewards usually charge an annual fee. Carefully consider whether the rewards you stand to earn will more than pay for the fee. There are plenty of rewards cards that don’t charge an annual fee.

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