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PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card review

Enjoy high-end travel perks for a low-end price.

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you’re looking for travel rewards and air travel perks with no annual fee.
  • Pick something else if you want cashback rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

50,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 4x

Points

$95

Annual fee

15.99% to 17.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$95
Annual fee conditionsWaived for Honors Advantage members
Welcome offer50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards3x points on travel or 4x points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member and 1.5x points on all other purchases
Purchase APR15.99% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR17.99%
Minimum Credit Score670
IssuerVisa
Avatar

Review by


Kliment Dukovski is a cryptocurrency and investments writer who has written over 700 articles to help readers find and compare the best financial options. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange and stock market trading.

Expert review

The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a rare gem among travel rewards cards. With this card, you get some of the premium travel rewards that high-end travel cards offer, such as a $100 Global Entry TSA PreCheck application credit and an annual $100 airline travel credit — all with a $95 annual fee.

And if you think $95 annually is expensive for the card, PenFed will waive it for you if you are an Honors Advantage member. To get the membership, you need to be a member of the military or be an Access America account holder in PenFed. Another rewarding benefit for Honors Advantage members is the 4x points on all travel purchases, which matches the rewards rate of premium travel cards that cost north of $400. Non-members get to earn 3x points, which is decent.

The great thing about the travel purchases category is that it includes more than just airfare and accommodations. Commuter transportation, taxi, Uber, Lyft, bus lines and tolls all count toward travel purchases, helping you to earn even more points on everyday expenses. You can then redeem your points for flight tickets, gift cards and merchandise.

How to apply for the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card?

To apply for the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, you must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or permanent resident of the US and a member of the PenFed Credit Union.

Because PenFed automates conditional credit card approval online, you may get a decision on your application within minutes. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few days to a few weeks to hear back. On approval, your card should arrive by mail within 10 business days.

  1. Select Apply now.
  2. Select the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card from the list and choose Apply Now.
  3. Complete the form with the required information.
  4. Review your application and submit it.

PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card benefits

  • Welcome offer. Earn 50,000 bonus points — a value of around $250 — after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days your account is open.
  • Annual air travel credit. Get $100 in air travel credit every year. Use it to cover baggage fees, lounge access, flight changes, pet-kennel fees, phone reservations and in-flight food and beverage purchases.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. You get an $100 TSA PreCheck or $100 Global Entry application credit every five years to help you clear airport security lines faster.
  • Earn points. Get 4x points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage Member — 3x points if you’re not — on all travel purchases. Travel purchases include airfare, hotels, car rental, cruises, travel agency purchases, commuter transportation, taxi, Uber, Lyft, bus lines, tour operators, tolls, tourist attractions and more. This is way more extensive than what other cards include in travel category. You also earn 1.5x points on all other purchases, a slightly higher rate than the standard 1x points offered by competitor cards.
  • No annual fee for Honors Advantage members. You get all these cool features without paying an annual fee as long as you are an Honors Advantage member.
  • No foreign transaction fee. When you travel abroad, use your card freely without incurring any foreign transaction fees. Other cards charge fees of up to 3% for each transaction.
  • Intro APR period on balance transfers. Get a intro APR on balance transfers for when you make the transfer before a rolling deadline. After that, a fixed APR of 17.99% applies. Note that a 3% balance transfer fee applies.

PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card drawbacks

  • No intro APR for purchases. The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card doesn’t have an intro APR period on purchases. You start with a variable APR of 15.99% to 17.99%.
  • Balance transfer limitations. The intro APR on balance transfers is valid only if you make your transfers by the rolling deadline.
  • High fees and penalties for late payments. You pay fees of up to $25 for late payments. If you don’t make the minimum payment within 60 days after its due date, you could be stuck with a penalty APR of 17.99% variable. To remove the penalty APR, you must make three consecutive on-time payments.

How do I become PenFed Honors Advantage member?

To become a PenFed Honors Advantage member and earn more points on travel purchases, you need to either:

  • Open a checking account. Sign up for the PenFed Access America checking account.
  • Be part of a military family. Enjoy Honors Advantage benefits if you or a family member is active duty, reserve, honorably discharged or retired.

Compare travel credit cards

To see how the PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card stacks up to other travel cards on the market, select up to 4 card and choose Compare to see them side by side.

1 - 3 of 27
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

2x miles on every purchase, every day, 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
$95
Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months ​from account opening.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
Earn unlimited 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
3x points on Southwest® purchases, 2x points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, 2x points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
$99
Limited-time offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
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Compare up to 4 providers

PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card reviews and complaints

As of August 2021, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates Pentagon Federal Credit Union an A+, though it’s not accredited. Customers on BBB’s site have left 79 reviews at the time of writing, resulting in a composite score of 1.19 out of 5 stars. Most user complaints cite long wait times on customer support numbers. Other than that, they consider this a solid travel rewards card.

Bottom line

The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card is an exceptional travel rewards card that lets you earn points for long-distance travel and everyday commuting by taxi, Uber, bus and more. And the best thing: With the PenFed Honors Advantage membership, it costs you nothing to own the card.

Your spending may not exactly align with what this card has to offer, however. Compare your credit card options to discover different features or categories more relevant to your spending.

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Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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