PenFed Credit Cards Review

PenFed Credit Cards Review | Low APR & No Fee

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Last updated on December 27, 2018 Comments: 11

Even though you’ve probably seen hundreds of commercials for Discover, Citibank, Chase, Capital One, Bank of America and American Express, the best credit card issuer continues to be Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and their line of six — only six — credit cards, three of which we list below. PenFed is a credit union designed to focus on members of the military, but anyone can apply and be approved. The only requirement is that you be a member of the credit union, which can be obtained in a variety of ways, explained below. Learn more about this offer with our PenFed credit cards review.

Here is a quick review of two of the credit cards currently offered by PenFed.

PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card

PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® CardPenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card. A top-notch travel rewards credit card, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card is worth a look. Like all other PenFed credit cards, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card carries no annual fee.
Issuer details:
• 0% APR promo balance transfer rate for 12 months. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 10.24% to 17.99%. APR will vary with the market based on prime rate. (Subject to credit approval.)
• Rate and offers are subject to change.
• Earn 5 points on airfare purchases.
• Earn 1 point on all other purchases.
• 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months of opening the Card account.
• No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
• Federally insured by NCUA.

>>Learn More About This Credit Card Offer And How to Apply<<

PenFed Promise VISA Card

PenFed Promise VISA CardPenFed Promise VISA Card. For those not interested in rewards and more concerned about finding a low interest rate, the PenFed Promise VISA Card carries one of the lowest interest rates available today for those with excellent credit.
Issuer details:
• 4.99% APR promo balance transfer rate for 12 months. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 10.24% to 17.99%. APR will vary with the market based on prime rate. (Subject to credit approval.) $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within 3 months of account opening.
• Rate and offers are subject to change.
• Absolutely no fees.
• No annual fee.
• No late fee.
• No cash advance fee.
• Federally insured by NCUA.
• Rates as low as 10.24% APR.

PenFed is a credit union and, in order to be considered for approval for these cards, you must be a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed). It is important to note is a member of PenFed does not guarantee approval for a credit card, you must also meet the credit standards set forth by PenFed. Becoming a member is simple, and can be accomplished by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • Members of the United States Military or Uniformed Services.
  • Employed by the US government.
  • Members of an eligible military association.
  • Family members of someone in the United States military.
  • Employees or volunteers of the American Red Cross.
  • Employees of a qualifying organization.
  • Residents of a military base.
  • A one-time donation of $15 to Voices for America’s Troops.
  • A one-time donation of $20 to the National Military Family Association.

Although the Pentagon Federal Credit Union is designed for military members and employees of the U.S. government, it’s quite simple for anyone to join. The one-time donations are likely the easiest gateway for most people who aren’t eligible through the other requirements.

>>Learn More About This Credit Card Offer And How to Apply<<

Article comments

Anonymous says:

They switched their platinum visa signature card from cashback to points system. Ofcourse it’s not as good because 5% cashback on gas is really not 5% using points.

I’m surprised so many websites rated the card as best rewards card.
It shouldn’t be that difficult to observe that 5% cashback was simply straight up $5 per $100, now with points, you cannot buy a $100 gift card for 10,000 points, insteadd, you have to pay 11,170 points. So as simple as that is, approximately you’re paying $1.20 to get $1 in rewards cash, which is a good 20% cut down.

Hence for Gas, instead of 5%, you’re getting 4%, for Supermarket instead of 3%, you get ~1.5% and for everything else, you get 0.8% instead of the real 1%

Most of the monthly funds spent are on Groceries and “Other” categories.
So if you don’t buy $1000 of gas, you’re better off with cards that pay a flat 1.5% on EVERYTHING

Anonymous says:

Poor service when they make errors.

Anonymous says:

PenFed has significant security issues. They have cancelled my existing card and sent me new ones due to their security issues twice in less than two months. In addition, they are incompetant at the transition from one card top the next. It took more than two months to fix their double billing error in the card transition. I would suggest any other credit card company.

Anonymous says:

I have a mid-700 score and I had and instant decline for the USED auto loan. I’m not significantly leveraged – may be 30 %, but an auto loan, where your car serves as a collateral, should have been approved. I think any other bank of CU would approve me – very strange. The other thing – I have a lot of dormant credit card accounts with no balance on them, and the average age or them is ~ 3 years. Any ideas what could have caused instant decline?

Approved folks – did you have any checking accounts, or any other accounts besides regular share opened with them before applying for a credit card?

Anonymous says:

Hello everyone,

I would just like to state my recent experience with PenFed. I applied and donated $15 to one of their two charities (bought myself into it like Penhead stated), and proceeded to setup the credit union account, followed by my application and subsequent approval of my credit card. It was fast, and easily the best way I have ever applied online. Their rates are incredible (lifetime 4.99% apr on balance transfers cannot be beat). I am very excited about it.

Anonymous says:

Does a retired federal employee qualify?

Anonymous says:

i have looked into PenFed in the past and i have heard very good things about the credit union; however, i have heard it is very hard to actually get approved for their line of credit cards. i do not have any personal experience, just what i have researched online. i wonder if gaining access to the credit union would improve one’s chances of getting a card?

Anonymous says:

It’s not a matter of improving your chances, since it’s a prerequisite to be a member of the credit union, to apply for one of their credit cards. Flexo illustrated the various ways to qualify as a member, as well as essentially buying your way in by making a one time contribution to one of two qualifying charitable military organizations. Figure in an additional 5 bucks, as that is the minimum required to keep the credit union account open. Once the credit union account is established, THEN you go through the process of applying for whichever card you’re interested in. The whole thing can be done in one shot, online, although plan a free half hour to complete everything. Their computers do the credit check near the end of the credit card application process, and you get an instant decision, as well as your credit limit, assuming you qualify. I don’t know how they proceed if you don’t qualify. Presumably, they either turn you down flat, and you still have your credit union account, or they offer you a lower tiered card. Hopefully, they would give you the option to decide whether or not to accept the lesser card, rather than just say, “here’s your shiny new less-than-you-wanted Visa card”. Maybe someone who has been turned down can elaborate on their experiences??

Anonymous says:

Well, first you don’t get a chance to apply online unless you first enroll into online banking, which you can only do after you receive a PIN from them via regular mail. If something is missing – they are not going to call you – you just will never receive the PIN and will have to call them and resolve the issue.
Second, if you apply and get turned down, they will simply say so as well as some reasons why (age of credit accounts, utilization too high, etc.) They don’t offer you another product, and you just end up with the Membership Share account that you opened to join.

Anonymous says:

I didn’t see ‘spouse of deceased military’ catagory. Would this be considered as a catagory?

Luke Landes says:


If the deceased family member was a member of PenFed or was eligible to be a member when he or she passed away, you should be eligible to join.