Advertiser Disclosure

Pros

0.20% APY available on checking account is higher than most.
Members have free access to over 56,000 ATMs.

Cons

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

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 strong interest rates for checking and money market certificates. PenFed offers a handy mobile app and digital tools, plus it’s relatively easy to join. The credit union’s $30 overdraft fee, however, isn’t customer-friendly, especially when you consider there’s no cap on how many times PenFed can charge it in one day.

Ratings methodology | Reviewed May 10, 2017

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 0.20% APY; $20,000 to $50,000 earns 0.50%.

Regular Savings Account
0.05%
APY
$5
Min. balance for APY
Learn moreat PenFed Credit Union
Money Market Certificate
1.36%
APY
$1,000
Min. balance for APY
1 year
Length of term
Learn moreat PenFed Credit Union
Access America Checking
0.20%
APY
$10
Monthly fee
$500
Balance to waive monthly fee
Learn moreat PenFed Credit Union
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
Fair
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Good
Fees
Fair
Average is right
PenFed has decent options for credit cards and loans but only has one savings account and checking account option. They are notorious for denying members credit and do nothing to give back to customers who are trying to keep all their banking needs in one institution. Customer loyalty should be encouraged not discouraged.
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