PenFed Promise Visa® Card review | finder.com

PenFed Promise Visa® Card review

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

PenFed Promise Visa® Card Learn more Apply now

Don't worry, clicking "Apply now" won't leave a mark on your credit report. It may only appear on your report after you submit an application.

What happens when I click Apply now?
  • Clicking Apply now will take you to your online application on the bank's website. You do not need to be an existing customer of this bank to apply.
  • Your application will typically take you no more than 10-15 minutes to complete
  • Once approved, you will typically receive your credit card within 1-2 weeks
Click here to start your application >>

Pay no fees across the board with this low-APR card.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you don’t want to pay any fees.
  • Pick something else if you want rewards or a 0% intro APR.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Product NamePenFed Promise Visa® Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases11.99% to 17.99% variable
Introductory Purchase APR

N/A

Balance Transfer APR11.99% to 17.99% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 4.99% for the first 12 months (then 11.99% to 17.99% variable)
Cash Advance Rate11.99% to 17.99% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome OfferEarn a $100 bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.

The basics

Plenty of cards waive annual and foreign transaction fees, but few eliminate fees across the board.

The PenFed Promise Visa® Card does. You won’t pay fees for balance transfers, cash advances, over limit transactions, returned payments and even late payments. This is uncommon, and it’s the standout feature for the PenFed Promise Visa® Card.

The card is also a good pick for a no-fee balance transfer that accumulates interest relatively slowly. While it doesn’t offer a 0% promo APR, it does have a low 4.99% promo APR on balance transfers for 12 months — but the transfers must be made before March 31, 2019. After that rate expires, your ongoing balance transfer APR will be 11.99% to 17.99% variable.

The perks

  • Annual fee: None.

    No annual fee makes it easier to keep this card long term. It’s an especially good perk when combined with the promo APR on balance transfers and potentially low purchase APR offered by PenFed.

  • No fees.
    PenFed Promise Visa® Card is the rare product that charges no fees across the board. You’ll pay no fees for balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions. And you won’t be assessed penalty fees for late payments, over limit transactions or returned payments.

    This makes the PenFed Promise Visa® Card one of relatively few cards that charge no balance transfer fees. And if you tend to miss payments, you’ll like saving on pesky penalty fees.

  • Signup bonus: $100 statement credit.

    When you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership, you’ll earn a $100 statement credit.

  • Promo APR: 4.99% on balance transfers for 12 months.

    Receive a 4.99% promo APR on balance transfers for 12 months — after that, an ongoing balance transfer APR of 11.99% to 17.99% variable applies. You’ll receive this promo APR on transfers you make up until March 31, 2019. Just keep in mind that you will begin accruing interest on your account balance if you don’t pay in full each month.

    This is a solid promotional APR period, though you’ll find longer ones with products like the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.

You’ll also like …

  • Normal APR for cash advances, and no cash advance fees.

    With most cards, your cash advance APR will be higher than your purchase and balance transfer APR. With the PenFed Promise Visa® Card, you may have the same ongoing APR for all balances — including cash advances.

    Note that unlike with purchases, cash advances for the PenFed Promise Visa® Card don’t come with grace periods on interest. PenFed will begin charging interest from each cash advance transaction date.

  • No penalty APR.

    Not only does the PenFed Promise Visa® Card not have fees, but it also doesn’t have a penalty APR. This means your interest rates won’t increase just because you make a late or returned payment.

What to watch out for

  • No 0% promo APR.

    Many cards offer a 0% promo APR on balance transfers. With the PenFed Promise Visa® Card, you’ll receive a 4.99% promo APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months on transfers made before March 31, 2019. It’s a low rate, but you might want an even lower one.

Compare no-annual-fee credit cards

Name Product Annual Fee Intro APR for Balance Transfer Introductory Purchase APR
$0
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$0
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$0
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
$0
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$0
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 14.24% variable)

N/A

A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

1. Apply for the card.

You can transfer a balance when you open your credit card, or request one later.

To make a balance transfer, you’ll need the account number of your existing balance. Also, be ready to provide personal information like your income, employment details and Social Security number.

You’ll pay no fees for your balance transfers.

2. Check for balance transfer time limits.

For this card, PenFed offers a 4.99% promo APR for 12 months on balance transfers. Only balances you transfer up until March 31, 2019 will qualify for that rate.

Call a PenFed representative if you have questions about balance transfers.

3. Keep track of your balance transfer details.

If your balance transfers qualify, you’ll enjoy a 4.99% APR on the balances for 12 months. This is a promotional APR. For 12 months, your balance transfers will accrue interest at this rate.

If you still have a balance after that time, however, it’ll accrue interest at an APR between 11.99% to 17.99% variable.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the PenFed Promise Visa® Card, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

Am I eligible for PenFed membership?

    You may join the Pentagon Federal Credit Union if you’re:

  • An active or retired member of the United States military.
  • An employee or member of a PenFed-affiliated organization.
  • An employee of the United States government.
  • A relative or housemate of someone who is eligible for membership.
  • Living or working at an eligible location.

If none of the above apply, you may qualify by joining Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. Just make a one-time $17 donation to one of the organizations.

Information you’ll need

To complete the application, you’ll need to provide information that includes:

  • Your name and residential address.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your email address, phone number and date of birth.
  • Financial information like your annual income and income source.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the PenFed Promise Visa® Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

If you have a high income and excellent credit, your likelihood of approval is strong.

Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:

  • Hard pulls on your credit report.
    If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your report, it could imply you’re having trouble managing your debt. PenFed might think you’re desperate for credit and may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score. Your credit utilization is a major factor PenFed considers. The bank prefers a customer with low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag too, as it could indicate you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s just hunting for welcome offers.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

What do customers say about the PenFed Promise Visa® Card?

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but it earns an overall A+ rating from the agency. Some customers complain of difficulty reversing penalty fees, obtaining statement credit and having loan amounts honored.

The credit union does not currently have a profile on Trustpilot.

How to apply for the PenFed Promise Visa® Card

  1. On the PenFed website, click Apply Now.
  2. If you’re a PenFed member, log in with your credentials. If you’re not, click Apply Now.
  3. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
  4. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my PenFed Promise Visa® Card?

Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you may get a decision on your application within a few minutes. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few days to a few weeks to hear back.

After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card within 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make payments on time. Register an account on the PenFed website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • 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.
  • Avoid hits to your credit score. The PenFed Promise Visa® Card doesn’t have fees, but it’s still a good idea to make payments on time. In some cases, late payments may lower your credit score.
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, call the number on the back of your card. You can also call the main support line at 1-800-247-5626.

Bottom line

The PenFed Promise Visa® Card stands out by charging no fees across the board. It also comes with a low promo APR on balance transfers and a potentially low ongoing APR.

Compare your options to find the credit card that best suits your needs before you apply. You may also want to explore the other credit cards PenFed has to offer.

Frequently asked questions

Images: penfed.org

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site