at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Pros

Checking deposits of $20,000 to $50,000 earn 0.50% APY, and balances below that amount earn 0.20%.
Members have access to 68,000 free ATMs.

Cons

0.05% APY on basic savings account.
$1,000 minimum on share certificates is high.
Doesn't participate in shared branching.

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Overall

3.5

Like many of its not-for-profit competitors, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or PenFed, has a modest product selection. But it makes up for that with good interest rates for checking and money market certificates. PenFed offers a handy mobile app, plus it’s relatively easy to join for a credit union. Its $30 nonsufficient funds fee, however, isn’t as consumer-friendly, especially since there’s no cap on how many times PenFed can charge it in one day.

Ratings methodology | Reviewed Feb. 16, 2018

Checking

4.5

Access America, PenFed’s lone checking option, has tiered interest rates that are better than the national average, though it’s possible to get higher rates elsewhere, particularly at top online banks. With daily balances under $20,000, you can earn an annual percentage yield of 0.20% ; deposits of $20,000 to $50,000 earn 0.50%.

Regular Savings Account
APY
0.05%
Min. balance for APY
$5

at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Money Market Certificate
APY
3.30%
Min. balance for APY
$1,000
Length of term
5 years

at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

Access America Checking
APY
0.20%
Monthly fee
$10
Balance to waive monthly fee
$500

at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

How does PenFed Credit Union compare?

PenFed Credit Union

Regular Savings Account

NerdWallet Rating

at PenFed Credit Union,

Federally insured by the NCUA

APY

0.05%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Credit Union

Mobile-friendly

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Online Savings

NerdWallet Rating

at Goldman Sachs Bank USA,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.95%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

American Express National Bank

High Yield Savings Account

NerdWallet Rating

at American Express National Bank,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.90%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

Not for you? Read more bank reviews
NerdWallet reviews are the result of independent research by our editorial team while accountholder reviews are contributions from independent users not affiliated with NerdWallet. Banks, issuers and credit card companies are not responsible for any content posted on the NerdWallet site, nor do they endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.
Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Poor
Fees
High
DONT USE THEM
Absolutely worst account security I've seen in my entire life... In fact there is no account security! My account has been hacked 5 times in 6 years with this bank and each time I have changed ALL of my security info and gotten more strict about purchases to no avail. My other Banks have never has a single issue for many years. Worst part is they never catch when your account is behaving odd or notify you of any security breach. For God sake when I would never make a purchase above $50 for 3 years on the account they never noticed it might be odd that suddenly my account makes a $270 purchase in ANOTHER COUNTRY?!? For the love of God save yourself the migraine that is PenFed!
Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Good
Fees
Fair
Terrible website, user-interface, and customer service.
I recently consolidated two student loans through PenFed and I'm astonished how bad their website and user-interface is. It reminds me of a website from the 1990s. Furthermore it annoys me to no end that they put advertisements in your face while you are logged in to manage your account or pay a bill. Even their email responses through customer service contains advertisements for services. Not the level of professionalism and quality I expect from my banking institutions.
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