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PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card review

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A no-annual-fee credit card that lets you earn more points on gas and groceries.

  • Get this card if you spend a lot on gas and groceries.
  • Pick something else if you want a low intro APR on purchases.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

$100

Welcome offer

Up to 5x

Points

$0

Annual fee

11.74% to 17.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Product NamePenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR11.74% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 11.74% to 17.99% variable)
Balance transfer fee3%
Cash advance rate11.74% to 17.99% variable
Cash advance feeNone
Penalty APR17.99% fixed
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 25 days
Late payment fee$25
Returned payment fee$25
Additional cardholder fee$0

The basics

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a strong rewards card for earning points on gas and groceries. You can earn more points in multiple categories, and depending on what you redeem your points for — either travel, shopping or gift cards — you can get up to 5% back in value.

Rewards aren’t the only benefit, however: The card also comes with a low intro APR for balance transfers.

How much are PenFed points worth?

According to the PenFed website as of February 2019, one PenFed point is worth:

  • 0.85 cents in gift cards.
  • 0.85 to 0.90 cents toward air tickets.
  • Up to 1.27 cents toward hotel bookings.

Based on point values at the time of writing.

The perks

  • Signup bonus.
    Earn $100 in statement credit after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership. It’s not the most generous bonus, but it’s relatively easy to get.
  • Earn points.
    Earn 5x points on gas when you pay at the pump, 3x points at supermarkets and 1x points on all other purchases. Redeem points for gift cards, shopping or travel bookings.
  • Intro APR period on balance transfers.
    Enjoy a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for the first 12 months when you make the transfer before September 30, 2019. Keep in mind that you’ll still pay a 3% fee for transfers. You’ll also start being charged interest on purchases and balance transfers for any account balance that is unpaid each month. After the intro period, your APR reverts to a variable 11.74% to 17.99%.

Am I eligible for PenFed membership?

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union welcomes military-affiliated individuals as members. Previously, anyone could join the union by becoming a member of the Voices for America’s Troops or National Military Family Association with a one-time $17 donation.

This requirement is no longer active, meaning you can become a PenFed member without joining the associations and making a donation.

You’ll also like …

  • $0 annual fee.
    Pay no annual fee to earn rewards with the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
    Use your card while traveling abroad without paying transaction fees on top of your purchase. Other cards charge a fee equal to 3% of your transaction or more.
  • No cash advance fee.
    This is a rare rewards card that doesn’t charge a fee on cash advances. You might pay up to 5% on each cash advance with other cards.
  • Visa Signature® benefits.
    Get complimentary breakfast, room upgrades and VIP status at properties within the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. Also enjoy complimentary Visa concierge service for tickets, booking or dining reservations and more.
  • Travel insurance and roadside assistance.
    Use your card to pay for a car rental, and you’re protected against theft, damage and accidental death and dismemberment when traveling. Also get access to medical, legal and other emergency services way from home, including 24/7 access to roadside dispatch for emergency towing, battery changes or locksmith services.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for purchases.
    The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card doesn’t offer an intro APR period on purchases. From the start, you’ll get an 11.74% to 17.99% variable APR, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance transfer limitations.
    The 0% intro APR on balance transfers is valid only for transfers you make until September 30, 2019. The intro period ends after 12 months, and then you’ll pay a variable APR of 11.74% to 17.99% on any unpaid balances or new transfers. Balance transfers also come with a fee equal to 3% of each transaction.
  • Avoid late payments.
    You’ll pay a fee of up to $25 on late payments. And if you don’t pay at least your monthly statement’s minimum, you may be stuck with a 17.99% variable penalty APR. Other cards apply penalty APRs of 30% for 12 months or more after a single late payment.

Compare similar rewards cards

Updated September 17th, 2019
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
3% cash back bonus on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5%
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
$0
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
$150 after spending $500 in the first 90 days
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A US citizen or permanent resident of the US.
  • A member of the PenFed Credit Union.

Information you’ll need

To complete the 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.

What credit score do I need?

Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher for a better chance of approval.

Keep in mind that PenFed usually pulls your credit report from Equifax when determining approval.

What do customers say about the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card?

Reviewers through the Better Business Bureau’s site complain of long wait times for customer support. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union earns an A+ from the BBB. At the time of writing, this BBB rating and 21 customer reviews result in 3.81 out of 5 stars for PenFed.

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

  1. Go to the provider site and click Apply now.
  2. Select the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card from the list and click Apply Now.
  3. Complete the form with the required information.
  4. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to get my PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card?

Because PenFed automates conditional approval online, you may hear a decision on your application within minutes. If there are issues with your application, it could take a few days to a few weeks to hear back.

On approval, you’ll get your card within 10 business days by mail.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download the PenFed mobile app.
    The free app allows you to pay your statements, set up autopay, request balance transfers and more from your phone or tablet.
  • Avoid interest.
    After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Enroll in Visa Purchase Alerts.
    Get real-time notification by email or text each time your card is used to make a purchase, helping you to stay on top of spending and potential fraud.
  • Get support.
    Call PenFed’s customer service at 800-732-8268 or email info@hq.penfed.org.

Bottom line

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a decent rewards card that can help you earn points toward travel, shopping or gift card — especially for those who spend a lot on gas and groceries. You can also take advantage of a low intro APR on debt you transfer from other cards.

Before applying for a credit card, compare other rewards cards to find features and benefits that better line up with your spending habits.

Frequently asked questions

Images: PenFed.org

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