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PenFed Credit Union is a federal financial institution that has over 1.5 million members and roots in serving US military personnel. But don’t worry if you’re not affiliated with the military — you can still apply. PenFed cards come with the same bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from bigger providers, including rewards, promo APRs and no-annual-fee cards.
Compare PenFed credit cards
Top PenFed credit cards
PenFed offers a handful of cards, but each carves a unique niche. Chances are there’s one that fits your needs and spending.
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- PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card: Best card for travel rewards.
- PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card: Best card for cashback rewards.
- PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card: Best card for gas and grocery rewards.
- PenFed Gold Visa® Card: Best card for low APR rewards.
- PenFed Promise Visa® Card: Best card for no fees.
Best card for travel rewards: PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card
Best for flat cash back: PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Best for gas and grocery rewards: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Best for low APR: PenFed Gold Visa® Card
Best for no fees: PenFed Promise Visa® Card
PenFed rewards program
PenFed’s rewards cards offer either cash back or points, depending on the product you choose.
If your card offers cash back, you can redeem your rewards for a:
- Statement credit to your account.
- Deposit into your PenFed checking account.
- Deposit into your PenFed share account.
- Deposit via ACH into an account at another institution.
If your card offers points, redeem them for a variety of rewards that include:
- Gift cards and certificates.
- Travel redemption toward hotels, car rentals, flights, vacation tours and vacation deals.
How can you redeem points?
To redeem points, log in to the PenFed Rewards Redemption Center with your account credentials. Follow the instructions specific to your card.
How much are points worth?
PenFed points are worth the industry standard of 1 point generally equals 1 cent. That’s great news especially since the credit union’s products offer strong rewards compared to the competition.
Typical card features and benefits of a PenFed card
- PenFed Honors Advantage bonus. PenFed cards typically offer good rewards by default. But if you’re an Honors Advantage member, you’ll get a boost to your earnings. You can become a member if you’re part of military services, or by signing up for an Access America checking account.
- Potentially low normal APR. PenFed may offer you a normal APR as low as 8.99% variable on all balances with the PenFed Gold Visa® Card.
- Promo APR on balance transfers. Most PenFed cards come with a promo APR on balance transfers when you request your transfer by a certain date.
- No annual or foreign transaction fees. PenFed doesn’t charge annual or foreign transaction fees on any of its cards.
- Signup bonus. Most PenFed cards offer a relatively easy-to-earn signup bonus after you spend a certain amount on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.
How to apply for a PenFed card
Apply for a credit card through the PenFed Credit Union website. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and prepare the required information.
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- You’re a US citizen or permanent resident.
- You’re a member of the PenFed Credit Union.
Am I eligible for PenFed membership?
Though this card is geared toward those with military affiliations, anyone can become Pentagon Federal Credit Union member.
Previously, if you had no military affiliation, you could become a member by making a $17 one-time donation to Voices for America’s Troops or National Military Family Association. This is no longer a requirement.
Information you’ll need
To complete PenFed’s application, you’ll provide information that includes:
- Your name and residential address.
- Your Social Security number and date of birth.
- Your email address and phone number.
- Financial information like your annual income and income source.
How does PenFed keep my credit card information secure?
PenFed offers many of the same security features that you’ll find with big banks. For example, it encrypts sensitive information you send online, and you’re logged out automatically if your web session idles.
The credit union offers 24/7 fraud monitoring, and you’re not liable for unauthorized charges to your account. For extra security, you can sign up for Card Security Text Alerts. If PenFed spots an unusual transaction on your card account, it texts you a message. At that time, you can validate or reject the transaction.
All PenFed cards come with EMV — Europay, Mastercard and Visa — chip technology. For the most part, this makes them more secure than magnetic-stripe cards.
For solid credit cards with no annual fee, consider PenFed Credit Union. If you have strong credit, you might qualify for a low interest rate on all of your balances. And if you’re hunting for rewards, you’ll find highly attractive options.
Before applying for any card, learn more about other providers offering no-fee cards to get a full view of what’s offered.