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
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Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Poor
Rates
Fair
Fees
Fair
Used to be good
I was a member here for quite a few years, used to be a good CU, but rates have made me move about 10 CDs elsewhere over time and now customer service is terrible. Tried to log in the other day to get statement, was locked out and sent to a page saying my browser (Opera 47) was not supported. I'm a computer geek/programmer and was surprised cause Opera is maybe the most secure browser out there. So I also still have IE (v11) on one system and tried to log in using that and got the same page locking me out. https://www.penfed.org/unsupported which doesn't mention Opera at all. So called, busy, busy busy signal and finally got thru only to be on hold for over 15 min. so hung up. Then sent an email about this, was told that Opera is supported (v39 and above) ... mine is v47. So I replied telling them this and after 4 days never got another reply. Called again this morning and it wasn't hard to tell the 2 ppl I spoke to had no idea what I was talking about, asked me to send a screen shot to another email address which I will but done dealing with this CU regardless of rates.
Overall
Customer service
Poor
Website / app
Fair
Rates
Fair
Fees
Fair
Terrible
In regards to my PenFed credit card: I have had a PenFed credit card for over 10 years. I booked a flight using rewards points, but I didn't have all the points needed so I paid the remainder of the balance. I needed to change the return flight date. To modify the flight was $235 and cancellation is non-refundable. I understood that I would lose all of my rewards points but didn't realize the actual transaction was non-refundable. Yes, that was my misunderstanding. For weeks I was waiting for my credit. I called every week and even put in a transaction dispute to get my money back. Every single person I spoke to on the phone assured me that they were backed up but that the credit was being processed and to just be patient. One person even told me the credit was going through that day. So that means every single person I spoke to every week LIED to me! Now, 3 months later, I get a message saying that because it was non-refundable I will not be getting my money back. I feel like this is thievery. That was a lot of money to lose on a flight I never took. But regardless of all of the, I was screwed either way. Whether I modified the flight or cancelled it, I was out of a lot of money. Terrible policy to have. I am highly dissatisfied and disappointed. PenFed has lost my business and I am cancelling all accounts with them.
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