If the main thing you need to pay off your debt is a little space, a NASA Federal Credit Union credit card could be a star in your wallet.
These aren’t the most rewarding cards on the planet, but they can provide a bit of a break to reduce higher interest balances if you qualify for their best rates. Here’s what to know before take off.
1. There are several cards in this universe
The NASA Federal Credit Union offers a handful of credit cards, each with different features:
the NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card is a rewards credit card that earns 1 point for every dollar spent. Points are redeemable for things like travel and merchandise. The card’s website notes that there are no travel blackout dates, which is ideal for those who travel frequently. With this card, you can also benefit from a relatively low interest rate, depending on your creditworthiness. The current APR is 9.40% to 17.99% variable APR. The annual fee for this version of the card is $ 0.
the NASA Federal Classic Credit Card earns no cash back or rewards and is designed for those just getting started with credit cards. The card offers the following APR: 17.99% for 3 months on balance transfers, then the current APR of 12.40% – 17.99% variable APR. The annual membership fee is $ 0.
A secure version of the NASA Federal Classic Credit Card. A secure credit card, designed for people building or replenishing credit, requires a cash deposit equal to the credit limit of the card. The minimum deposit is $ 500; the maximum, $ 2,000.
A “Star Trek” branded rewards card. This card gives you 3 points per dollar spent on startrek.com, 2 points per dollar at gas stations and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points are redeemable for cash back, travel and more. The annual membership fee is $ 39.
2. You don’t need a rocket scientist to apply
You don’t have to be an astronaut to qualify for any of these cards, but you must be a member of the NASA Federal Credit Union. You will be eligible for membership if:
You are employed (or retired) from NASA Headquarters, any NASA center or facility, or the National Academy of Sciences.
You work for or are a member of one of the partner companies of the credit union or associations.
You are related or live in the same household as a member of the credit union.
You are a member of the National Space Society. This is the route that applies to most people. You can get one year of free membership in the company through the credit union.
3. You won’t encounter a lot of charges in your orbit
As Michael Bay’s space comedy drama “Armageddon” reminded us, you don’t want to miss out on anything – except credit card charges, which you should totally ignore if you can. Fortunately, the three major NASA Federal Credit Union cards incur several charges directly into the airlock. The cards have:
No foreign transaction fees.
As mentioned, the “Star Trek” card has an annual fee, but it does not have a balance transfer or foreign transaction fee.
4. You can reduce your debt (but not with lightning speed)
the no balance transfer fees on these cards is a rare advantage. You may also be entitled to a relatively low APR on balances you transfer in the first 90 days.
Of course you may be able to find balance transfer cards which offer an even more attractive offer: no annual fees, no balance transfer fees and an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers. But some of these offers may require excellent credit; the NASA Federal Credit Union has options that don’t.
In addition, do not overlook the advantages inherent in joining a checkout: That is, lower fees overall, higher interest rates on deposits, and exceptional customer service.
5. There’s a spatial quirk in California
If you live in California, any NASA Federal Credit Union credit card you obtain will be considered an secure credit card, under the terms of the credit union.
The Credit Union notes that “the credit extended under this credit card account is secured by various personal property and money,” which may include property you purchased with the card or stocks you owned. with the credit union. In other words, you might not need to make a cash deposit, but the credit union will have some leeway if you don’t pay what you owe.
Depending on your needs and your financial situation, a secured credit card can be, in Mr. Spock’s words, illogical.