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.

At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

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
3.00%
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

1.80%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

Barclays

Online Savings Account

NerdWallet Rating

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

APY

1.75%

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
Low
Basically the website and customer service should be zero stars
Between Barclays bank and PenFed its the worst customer service in banking without question. PenFed also has the worst website of any bank I've seen since 1998. Because their website screwed up my address information. What should have been a simple online credit card application turned into 8 emails, 5 phone calls and a PenFed manager saying I would need notarized copies of my birth certificate, social security card, and utility bill simply to open a credit card. I literally started laughing at him over the phone and told him he was out of his mind I could call someone else and get a nearly identical credit card with a 2 min application. Suffice to say... I don't think I will ever be doing business with them.
Overall
Customer service
Excellent
Website / app
Excellent
Rates
Excellent
Fees
Low
Two thumbs way up
I've received a personal loan and two credit cards from Penfed. Process with painless, polite and professional service, and received more funds/credit with Penfed than any of the others. The most highly regarded Corvette dealer in the US highly recommended them to me and he's been dealing ONLY with them for over 20 years. That said, your next car loan should be with Penfed. I don't make anything on this and I'm not related or affiliated with Penfed. I just read the reviews and had an entirely positive experience. Two thumbs way up.
Some of the reviews on the NerdWallet site were purchased through a third party provider. Users who post a review directly on the NerdWallet site will not be compensated in any way. Please see our Terms of Use and Posting Guidelines for more information.