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nfcu foreign currency exchange

nfcu foreign currency exchange

nfcu foreign currency exchange

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Navy Federal Credit Union

It (or Navy Federal) is a global credit union headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, chartered and regulated under the authority of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Navy Federal is the largest natural member (or retail) credit union in the United States, both in asset size and in membership. As of December 2021, Navy Federal has $151.1 billion USD in assets -$9.25 million (due to a lawsuit) and has 11.1 million members.


Navy Federal was originally incorporated on 17 January 1933 as the Navy Department Employees’ Credit Union of the District of Columbia (NDCU). Only Navy Department employees who were members of the federal employees’ labor union and members of their families were eligible to join.

The next year, President Roosevelt signed into law the Federal Credit Union Act, which would eventually become the basis of business for the credit union. On July 17, 1947, the credit union was granted a Federal Charter as a credit union, named Navy Department Employees Federal Credit Union (NDEFCU). It also expanded membership to include all Navy personnel in the Washington, DC area, both military and civilian.

nfcu foreign currency exchange
nfcu foreign currency exchange


In 1954, the credit union changed its charter again to open membership to Navy and Marine Corp officers everywhere, regardless of geographic location, and changed its name to Navy Federal Credit Union. Eventually, membership was opened to enlisted personnel as well.

By April 1962, the credit union reached a milestone, becoming the biggest credit union in the world, a distinction which it still holds today. In 1977, the credit union moved into its current headquarters in Vienna, Virginia, eventually undergoing several major expansions of its facility there.


In 2003, the credit union opened its membership further, to include Navy contractors. There have also been several times in the credit union’s history that NCUA has asked Navy Federal to merge with or absorb other credit unions that were experiencing financial or other difficulties. Members of these prior credit unions remained members of Navy Federal after the merger (following NCUA’s policy of “once a member, always a member”). In September 2010, Navy Federal Credit Union announced plans to absorb/merge with USA Fed, stating that joint operations would begin 4 October 2010 under the Navy Federal banner.

Two years ago in May 2008, Navy Federal Credit Union widened its membership to include the entire Department of Defense, which made eligible all active duty, retired, and reserve Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force personnel, as well as contractor and civilian personnel within the Department of Defense. In March 2013, Navy Federal Credit Union further widened its membership to include all Coast Guard members and employees as well.


In 2020, Navy Federal Credit Union also expanded its membership to include Space Force members. In 2014, Navy Federal expanded its Vienna headquarters. As of December 2021 3,900 employees work at the Vienna location.

An increase in membership also led to two expansions: one at the credit union’s Pensacola location in 2015, where Navy Federal has 7,800 employees and one at the Winchester Operations location in 2019 where Navy Federal has 2,000 employees.

As of 2021, Navy Federal is by far the largest credit union in the United States, with total assets nearly three times that of the second-largest US credit union.

Where Is the Best Place to Exchange Foreign Currency?

Don’t get caught converting your dollars at unfavorable rates with high currency exchange fees. With progress against the coronavirus in many parts of the world, you may be considering traveling once again. But before you head off to the airport to catch a flight abroad, find out where to receive the best exchange rate for your money.

Some travelers prefer trading their U.S. dollars for euros or other currencies at their local bank so they have cash to tip taxi drivers or porters at the airport or buy a coffee or lunch. People who are traveling to more than one country with different currencies will find that planning ahead saves you the headache of exchanging money often.

The most expensive, yet most convenient and easily accessible, spots to exchange money include train stations, airports, hotels and tourist areas. Here are the best places to exchange your money into the local currency before and after your vacation.

nfcu foreign currency exchange
nfcu foreign currency exchange

Best Place to Exchange Currency Before and After Traveling

The fees may only be a few dollars, but they can add up quickly, especially if you are traveling for more than a few days. Head to your bank or credit union before you leave to avoid paying ATM transaction costs. You may even receive a better exchange rate.

Credit unions and banks will exchange your dollars into a foreign currency before and after your trip when you have a checking or savings account with them. You won’t face trying to spend your remaining euros before the end of your trip and can convert them back to dollars when you get home.

Some banks such as Citibank and Bank of America may not charge a fee and will provide options such as conducting the transaction online or even mailing you the currency. If you need amounts of $1,000 or more, most banks require you to pick up the currency in person at a branch.

Vaneesha Boney Dutra

You can check out the exchange rates online and see which bank is offering the best one. It’s a good idea to call your local bank first to see whether they have the currency you are seeking. Not all branches exchange currency, and exchange rates between banks can vary greatly, says Vaneesha Boney Dutra, an associate professor of finance at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver.

“Don’t expect to get the exchange rate you saw when you Googled it, as banks add a profit margin to these transactions, which will reduce the actual amount of foreign currency you will receive per U.S. dollar,” she says.

How to Exchange Currency

Start by checking with your bank online to see whether the currency you are seeking to exchange is available. If you’re traveling to a country that has restrictions on its currency for political or economic issues. Your bank may not be able to access the currency. Currency from many African and Eastern European countries can only be exchanged at those countries’ banks and ATMs.

Here is a checklist:

  • Contact a bank or credit union to make sure it has the currency or will accept foreign currency. And check what the fees are.
  • Find exchange rates through your bank, credit union or websites such as
  • Check the bank’s exchange rate to make sure it’s fair.
  • Arrange for pickup or delivery.

“The saying ‘cash is king’ certainly holds when traveling abroad,” Dutra says. “When you land in Medellin, your taxi driver is going to want Colombian pesos. You will find commerce while abroad fairly manageable. If you carry foreign currency and a credit card with favorable travel terms.”

nfcu foreign currency exchange
nfcu foreign currency exchange

NFCU executives tout the benefits for its customers

It President and CEO Cutler Dawson and Executive Vice President of Branch Operations Lee Gound visited Yokosuka Naval Base on Friday and fielded questions about the organization’s practices and plans. Why it offer foreign currency exchanges?

Dawson: The Department of Defense allows one bank and one credit union to operate on each base. The DOD subsidizes the on-base banks to provide foreign currency exchange service for the base community; credit unions are not subsidized. We would have to charge more to break even, and that wouldn’t work for anyone.

A recent Bloomberg report showed home foreclosure rates were four times the national average in 10 communities. Do you operate in those communities and what is your foreclosure rate?

One-fifteenth is the national average

Dawson: I saw the article and the communities mentioned did not match up with our areas. Our foreclosure rate is one-fifteenth of the national average. We are not seeing what they reported but 1) we do not engage in sub-prime lending 2). And we make mortgages to someone for the right house under the right circumstances and 3). We never sell mortgages to another party. It’s Navy Federal from start to finish.

Are active-duty military more of a target for sub-prime loans?


I think everyone is a target, including active-duty military. We’ve all been bombarded with the advertisements promising cheap mortgages, now people are starting to question them. And while other mortgages are falling, we’ve actually seen mortgage volumes increase. I think that’s because people are returning to trust — and they know they can trust us.

How does the recent request for the Pentagon to review the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s new Military Star credit card affect your business?


The complaint claims that the AFFES/JP Chase Morgan card violates DOD policies by marketing an off-base financial institution when on-base businesses are present. And conflicts with the rule that only allows one bank and one credit union to operate per military base.

nfcu foreign currency exchange
nfcu foreign currency exchange


We are aware of the issue and NFCU is a member of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions that pointed out the problem. And we believe it is a conflict. We also know that we offer a better credit card than they do. Also we care more about our people than this third party that AAFES will use. We are confident [the Pentagon] will reach the right conclusion.

Bank easy with the Navy Federal mobile app! With a great look and feel, we’ve made the mobile app easier to find information on your accounts and transactions. Breeze through payments, transfers, and check deposits with just a few taps. Quickly sign-in using a 4-digit passcode. Apply for a credit card, a personal loan, or membership, or find your closest ATM or branch.

To sign in to mobile banking, use your Navy Federal username and password. If you are not a member, apply now using the app or call us at 1-888-842-6328 or 1-703-255-8837.

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