Best PenFed Credit Union Credit Cards

Melissa LambarenaAugust 24, 2020
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PenFed Credit Union, headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, specializes in serving military-affiliated members and their families, although everyone is eligible to join.

You'll have to submit an application and open a PenFed savings account with a $5 deposit to become a member. If you don’t mind fulfilling these extra steps, you could potentially qualify for credit cards with money-saving features.

The right pick for your wallet depends on your spending habits. Take a look at our favorite PenFed credit cards.

Best for travel

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5 points per dollar

Points

Intro offer

25,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

720-850
(Excellent)

CARD DETAILS:

Rewards:

  • 3 points back per dollar spent on travel purchases (4 points back on travel for PenFed Honors Advantage members).

  • 1.5 points back per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: 25,000 bonus points by spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% promotional rate for 12 months on transfers made now through March 31, 2020, and then the ongoing APR of 12.74% - 17.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT:

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card offers a hard-to-find combo: premium perks with a $0 annual fee. Benefits include a $100 annual air travel credit and a reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees. The card also earns rich rewards on travel purchases and a rock-solid rate on everything else.

DRAWBACKS:

The card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, but you might experience some hiccups if you use it abroad. American Express isn't as widely accepted globally as Visa and Mastercard.

Best for gas

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

100

Points

Recommended Credit Score

720-850
(Excellent)

CARD DETAILS:

Rewards:

  • 5 points per dollar spent on gas at the pump.

  • 3 points per dollar spent on supermarket purchases.

  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers made between now and March 31, 2021, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49% - 17.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT:

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns generous rewards on everyday categories you're likely to use; 5X back on gas is among the best rates you can find in that category, earning this card a spot in NerdWallet's best gas credit cards. There's no spending cap in those bonus categories either.

DRAWBACKS:

You can redeem rewards only for merchandise, gift cards and travel — cash back is not an option. With the exception of travel redemptions, point values are a little lower than the industry standard of a penny a point, and you'll need a minimum balance of 1,000 points to start redeeming. Note, too, that the 5X back is only on "at the pump" purchases, meaning what you buy inside an attached convenience store may not qualify.

Best for flat-rate rewards

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

NerdWallet rating 

4.3

/5
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$100

Recommended Credit Score

720-850
(Excellent)

CARD DETAILS:

Rewards:

  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases (2% cash back for PenFed Honors Advantage members).

Welcome offer: $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within the first 90 days of account opening

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers made between now and March 31, 2021, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 17.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT:

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a decent 1.5% cash-back rate on all purchases. You can redeem cash back for statement credit or a deposit into a qualifying PenFed bank account. With no foreign transaction fees, this credit card is well-equipped for travel. As part of the Visa network, it also offers broad international merchant acceptance.

DRAWBACKS:

Other cash-back credit cards offer shinier introductory incentives such as a higher sign-up bonus and a 0% introductory annual percentage rate for purchases.

Best for low interest

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

NerdWallet rating 

3.0

/5
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Promise Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

N/A

Cashback

Intro offer

$100

Recommended Credit Score

720-850
(Excellent)

CARD DETAILS:

Rewards:

  • None.

Welcome offer: $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 4.99% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers made now through September 30, 2020, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 17.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT:

The PenFed Promise Visa® Card is a straightforward balance transfer option that doesn't charge many fees. In fact, its lack of a balance transfer fee earns it a spot among NerdWallet's best no balance transfer fee credit cards. Its low ongoing APR can also save you money if you tend to carry a balance. And there's no penalty APR or late fee, although paying late can still affect your credit scores.

DRAWBACKS:

You won't earn rewards. And while this card is a decent get-out-of-debt option, there's no 0% intro APR period. You might be able to save more money and pay off debt more quickly with a balance transfer card that features all three zeroes: a $0 annual fee, a $0 balance transfer fee and a 0% introductory APR window.

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