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.

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
2.74%
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

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Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Poor
Fees
High
STAY AWAY FROM THIS BANK
Wish I could rate them a 0, I wish I had read these comments before I applied for a loan using Penfed, I WOULD HAVE NEVER done any business with these guy. I have had the same problem that looks like many people have with Penfed. I set my loan up with a automatic payment, and even month the say they try to charge my account and it gets returned EVERY MONTH and I also get charged a rejected payment and late fee EVERY MONTH. When I call (and I have to EVERY MONTH and talk with multiple people to get it fixed) the say its my bank and tell me maybe there is a hold on my account, or insufficient fund, and there is not!!!!! this went on 3 months before I eventually took my account info off my loan. and paid a one time payment. Sure enough that month they took a payment out of my account only 4 days after I had just made a payment!!!! I called asked to speak to someone in charge, and some one who claimed to be a supervisor listen to me tell her about my experience with them over the last three months and all she said was I can remove you automatic payment off your account!!!! THE WORST most UNPROFESSIONAL bank I have ever worked with. Every time you call who ever answers the phone tells you completely different thing, with the exception that it is always the other bank you are using fault!!!!! Stay away, I am either going to just pay this loan off early, or get another loan from another bank to avoid anymore of this tom foolery!!!!
Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Poor
Fees
High
Horrible Experience
I am self-employed, have a 750+ credit score and show $200K+ as my earning the last couple of years on my federal returns. I have some debt, but minimal and after being "approved" for a used car loan and going back and forth sending in requested documents, I was told I was declined. Decilined for a $12K used car loan. Two days before I am supposed to pick up. When I asked the customer service rep on the phone why specifically I was declined, he could not answer and told me the letter they send out will have all the details. I'm not an idiot and know my credit scores, my debt-to-income and watch it like a hawk. To be honest, I don't really need to finance this vehicle purchase, but since I am self-employed, cash is king, so I decided to see what the market rates were. In doing some research online, PenFed seem to have the most competitive rates, so I decided to give it a try. Problem is, I never read the reviews, which I obviouls should have. Besides the old bait-n-switch tactics they use, I had to pay $25 to join PenFed. Then they tell me I am declined. I feel robbed and cheated.Complete waste of time. Decided to check out Light Stream, and they approved me in less than 24 hrs. Amazing.
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