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PenFed Launches Powerhouse Travel Card, With No Annual Fee

Jan. 16, 2018
Credit Cards, Promos, Travel Credit Cards
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PenFed Credit Union has launched a new credit card that offers a multitude of premium perks, minus the annual fee.

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express Card takes over for the discontinued PenFed Premium Rewards Travel American Express card, which offered high-tier rewards only for airline purchases. With the Pathfinder card, PenFed members can now get rewarded for most travel spending. 

Cardholders can earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel purchases and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. If you’re an active or retired military member or an Access America checking account holder, you can earn 4 points per $1 spent on travel purchases and 1.5 points per $1 spent on everything else.

Qualifying travel purchases include airfare, cruises, hotels and car rentals, as well as everyday transportation such as taxis, Uber, Lyft, buses and tolls.

The Pathfinder credit card also offers:

  • An introductory sign-up bonus of 25,000 points for spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of opening an account
  • A $100 annual Travel Fund Benefit
  • A $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck benefit every five years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • A variable APR starting at 11.99%
  • No caps or limits on rewards

Travel credits are rare for a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. The Pathfinder’s $100 annual Travel Fund Benefit redeems at 11 participating U.S. airlines as a credit for checked bags, in-flight food, itinerary changes and more. The $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck benefit helps you speed through the airport security screening process. Future cardholders planning to travel with this card should consider having a backup because American Express is not as widely accepted as other networks like Visa or Mastercard.

Points redeem for travel, gift cards, merchandise and more in the PenFed Rewards Redemption Center. The value of points varies based on redemption options. Generally, travel earns the highest value.

The card offers many American Express travel and retail benefits such as roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection and others. Cardholders can also enjoy travel privileges that include special rates, up to $300 in shipboard credits on cruises, and $100 off qualifying air and hotel packages. 

The card is available to PenFed members only, but getting your foot in the door isn’t that hard. Among the ways to qualify for membership:

  • You are an active or retired member of the U.S. military
  • You are employed by the federal government or a qualifying organization
  • You live or work at an eligible location
  • You are a relative or a housemate of someone who’s eligible
  • You make a one-time donation of $17 to Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association, nonprofits that provide support for service members and their families

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