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Compare the top PenFed credit cards

PenFed credit cards have no annual fees, and a few offer excellent rewards.

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Pentagon Federal Credit Union
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.

Best of 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.

Best for flat cash back

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
$100
Welcome offer
The standout feature of the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is its cashback potential. At a minimum, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. If you sign up for PenFed’s Access America checking account, or are a member of military services, you’ll earn 2% cash back through the Honors Advantage program. That’s a superb rate for flat rewards.
  • Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases. A simple, and solid, rewards rate that doesn't require keeping track of categories. PenFed Honors Advantage members get 2% cash back on purchases. To qualify, just open an Access America Checking account. You can also qualify as a military services member.
  • Promo APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months. This is a solid promo APR on balance transfers. After the promo expires, your APR reverts to a variable to 17.99%. You must transfer balances before September 30, 2020, to qualify.
  • Signup bonus: $100 statement credit after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days. It is not as strong as the bonuses you will find with other cards, but it is a nice sweetener for a card with no annual fee.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 14.99% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 17.99% variable)
Welcome offer $100 after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
Rewards 2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Best for gas and grocery rewards

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5x
Points
$100
Welcome offer
Look into the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card if you spend big on gas and groceries. The stellar 5x points on gas makes this product a top choice for fuel rewards. Best of all, there’s no cap on the rewards you can earn.
  • Rewards: Best for gas and groceries. Earn an unlimited 5x points on gas and 3x on groceries, surprisingly good rewards that make the card a contender with some of the top players on the market. On all other purchases, you will earn 1x points.
  • Signup bonus: $100 statement credit after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days. It is not as high a bonus as other cards offer, but it is a nice sweetener for a card with no annual fee.
  • Promo APR: Enjoy a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months. This is a solid promo APR on balance transfers. After the promo period expires, your APR reverts to to 17.99% variable. Transfer your balances before September 30, 2020, to qualify.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.49% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 17.99% variable)
Welcome offer $100 after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
Rewards 5x points on gas at the pump, 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases

Best for low APR

PenFed Gold Visa® Card

PenFed Gold Visa® Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
$100
Welcome offer
If you have strong credit and tend to carry monthly balances, the PenFed Gold Visa® Card might be for you. You may qualify for an APR as low as 7.49% variable, a good rate that’s significantly lower than the average credit card APR.
  • Potentially low variable APR. Depending on your credit, your normal purchase, balance transfer and cash advance APR will be between 7.49% to 17.99% variable. This is a relatively low rate, considering the average credit card APR is around 16%.
  • Signup bonus: $100 statement credit after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days. It is not as strong as the bonuses you will find with other cards, but it is a nice sweetener for a card with no annual fee.
  • Promo APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months. This is a solid promo APR on balance transfers, reverting to to 17.99% variable after the promo expires. You must transfer balances before September 30, 2020, to qualify.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 7.49% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR
Welcome offer $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
Rewards N/A

How we selected our best cards

We examined all of PenFed’s cards, identifying their flagship features and classifying them as best for certain categories. Each card offers specialized perks in their respective spaces, and these benefits hold up very well against those you’ll find from other card providers.

Compare PenFed credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases
14.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
5x points on gas at the pump, 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases
13.49% to 17.99% variable
$0
Earn 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
PenFed Gold Visa® Card
N/A
7.49% to 17.99% variable
$0
Low APR on all purchases including cash advances.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
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See issuer's website
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Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
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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.

Eligibility criteria

  • 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 a 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 apply

To complete PenFed’s application, provide this information:

  • 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 many PenFed credit cards can I have?

Many cardholders claim they own four PenFed credit cards, which could be the maximum number.

However, some cardholders claim that PenFed limits your credit limit across all cards to $50,000. This means if you have two PenFed credit cards with a $25,000 credit limit each, you may not be able to get a third PenFed credit card.

Types of PenFed credit cards

PenFed cashback credit cards

PenFed only offers one cashback credit card, but it’s one of the best cards for earning flat cash back on all purchases. And if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member, you get to earn an even higher cashback rate.

Typical benefits
  • Cash back. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This is in line with most similar credit cards. But if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member, you get to earn 2% cash back, which is the highest cashback rate you can get on all purchases without paying an annual fee.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a decent signup bonus once you meet the spend requirements. It’s often rare to earn a signup bonus on a card with a 2% cashback rate on all purchases.
  • Intro APR period. Get a long 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. This is a common feature of this type of card.
PenFed cashback credit cards
  • PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed travel rewards credit cards

You’ll find two credit cards aimed at those who are often on the move — one card with a high rewards rate on gas purchases and one card with a high rewards rate on travel purchases.

Typical benefits
  • Rewards points. The two cards let you earn points on your purchases, which you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise or travel bookings.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a decent signup bonus when you meet the spend requirements.
  • No annual fee. The two cards don’t have an annual fee. Considering you get a decent signup bonus and a solid rewards rate on select categories, paying no annual fee makes these cards an excellent deal.
  • Intro APR period. You get a long 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. This is a rare perk among travel credit cards.
PenFed travel rewards credit cards
  • PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

Low-rate PenFed credit cards

All PenFed credit cards come with slightly lower interest rates than their more popular competitor cards. However, there are two credit cards specifically designed to help you save money on interest if you often carry a balance.

Typical benefits
  • Low-interest rates. The rates you get largely depend on your creditworthiness. But if your creditworthiness is one to envy, expect an APR as low as 8.99%.
  • Intro APR period. In addition to the low-interest rates, you get a long intro APR period on balance transfers with either of the two cards.
  • Signup bonus. This is an incredibly rare feature with this type of card. Once you meet the spend requirements, expect to earn a decent cash bonus as a statement credit.
  • No annual fee. Whichever card you choose, you won’t pay an annual fee.
Low-rate PenFed credit cards
  • PenFed Gold Visa® Card
  • PenFed Promise Visa® Card

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 APR. PenFed may offer you an APR as low as 7.49% variable on all balances with the PenFed Gold Visa® Card.
  • Promo APR on balance transfers. Most PenFed cards come with an intro 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.

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:

  • Merchandise.
  • 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, which generally equals 1 cent. That’s great news especially since the credit union’s products offer strong rewards compared to the competition.

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.

Full list of PenFed credit cards

Bottom line

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.

But if you don’t find any of PenFed’s cards attractive, compare other no-annual-fee cards until you fight the right one for your needs.

Frequently asked questions

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