I've had both checking and savings accounts with Penfed Credit Union for about 10 years, although currently I only have a savings account. I do not live in the area where Penfed has branches, so all my interactions with them have been through the mail or online. I can therefore speak best to the online experience. Penfed's website is easy to use and intuitive, and you can handle everything you need in one place. Tabs are easy to find and the services work well. The reason why I don't have a checking account with them anymore is because it required a minimum $500 daily balance or direct deposit to avoid fees. Other credit unions, like USAA, do not have this requirement so I ended up closing the checking account to avoid these fees.
I really can't say enough positive things about PenFed. I've banked with several credit unions and savings and loan type institutions in the past and have had mixed experiences. PenFed is consistently excellent in my interactions with them. The most important aspect of a banking relationship is customer service, and PenFed excels at that. Anytime I have questions about my account, whether it be just general questions about product offerings or my specific account activity, their reps are available and knowledgeable and I experience very short wait times. I currently maintain a savings account with PenFed but have considered transitioning my checking account as well since I am so happy with their service. I would say the one drawback at this time is mobile banking, as their app isn't as full service as some of the other banking apps I've seen. But bells and whistles sometime are outweighed by great customer service and rates, and I think Penfed deserves attention based on that alone.
I would like to start off that I can't stand traditional banks and have had no fewer then 5 different credit union relationships over the past 20 years. Even though I do not live anywhere near a physical Pen Fed branch, I have been a loyal customer and user of their services for years. To date I have a savings account with them as well as a credit card and mortgage. The yield on the savings account, like nearly every other institution out there in this current interest rate environment, is virtually non-existent. However, their website has been ultra-reliable, linking you savings (or checking) account to any other products you have with them (credit card, mortgage, auto loan, etc) is seamless and easy. And their website is very intuitive and easy to navigate. Through my employer, I can have all or part of my paycheck direct deposited into the account and instantly link where I want the money to be disbursed. I have had to call their toll free customer service on a few occasions and have always gotten through to a real human being within seconds. They also appear to have a high degree of security both online on their website and when conducting conversations on the phone. Pen Fed is not my only financial institution. I do have an account with a credit union that has a branch onsite with my employer. However I will continue to be a loyal Pen Fed customer even if I move or change jobs for the foreseeable future.
Before I joined the Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed), I was pleased to hear that PenFed had the highest CD rates in the country. We're always looking for the best rates. We frequently review the best CD rates online. At the time, PenFed was offering a 3% annual rate on a 60 month CD. There was nothing else like it at the time, so we opened an account there and never looked back. Their service is the best, and we've had no hassles at all. I have been very impressed with PenFed and would definitely recommend them. Some credit unions restrict membership, but with PenFed anyone can join. So, it is easy to get good service and higher rates. It was very easy to set up our account and transfer funds from another bank. We were able to do most of the setup online and were very happy with the very high interest rate which is still one of the highest rates around.
Penfed Credit Union is great for those looking for a change from your big banks. They offer a personal experience where you really feel that you are a part of the bank. I opened up new accounts at a branch and even transferred my savings account over from one of these other big banks. I am extremely happy with the rates they provide and the services offer. I no longer have to worry about phantom fees with their no hassle checking accounts. Do yourself a favor and check out Penfed. You will see the difference as it is night and day from typical big banks. I especially recommend their no hassle checking accounts which will save you time and money as you no longer have to constantly worry about whats coming in or going out.
I had a CD mature this morning, and the wire transfer procedure was the best I've used, all done by telephone with an efficient (Jessica) CSR. The only thing is that they carefully verify my identity with 3 questions that only I would know. Other banks have tedious (faxing, telephone back, photo ID) procedures that are so onerous and time-consuming. This morning's procedure took about 6 minutes. I usually like to write a check when a CD matures, but had forgotten that I had canceled the account due to minimum monthly requirements.
When re-ordering personal checks always call the credit union and place the order through a customer service representative. That way there will be no cost. If one re-orders online through the PenFed web site the cost is $5.75. If one re-orders through the web site on the re-order form supplied with the checks the cost would be in excess of $20.00.
I became a member and they check my credit. Shortly after, I opened a checking account and they add two inquiry. I apply for a debit, another inquiry hid. 4 inquiries just for opening a checking account. My credit score dropped around 40 points.
After 3 phone calls and being put on hold for each one, I still have not had my account opened. All I have gotten from three different CSR's and one supervisor is promises and excuses. The account was opened over the phone on 1/30/14 and has not been posted online!! What a slow and sloppy operation!!
PendFed now demands that one keeps at least $25 in a money market account to keep their no annual fee 5% gas credit card. Originally they said they would charge a fee (I would have pulled a Donald Trump and 'fired' the card if they did that). But then their marketing department got semi-smart by, at least, coming up with a way to let the consumer keep their 'fee', if you will, by requiring a money market acct with just $25. Fine, I'm ok with 'lending' them that small amount to continue the same 5% gas rebate. It's a partnership in a way. If they start messing around again I'll fire them and get another card. But as of today all good with them.
I only have the minimum deposit and the Platinum Cash Rewards Card, which I pay off in full twice a month. Their CD rates look very attractive and some of their mortgage rates are also interesting, but I have not yet participated.
As far as the credit card - my family is used to having a gas-only card. The cards often just stay in the car and they are only used at the pump. It makes it easy to see how much you (or your family) is spending on gas and it separates this somewhat-sporadic expense from the checking account budget.
After years of seeing Discover and Chase cut their cash-back rates for gasoline, we finally came across this gem - 5% cash back for pump purchases! The rebate is automatically applied to the balance monthly - I just had my balance reduced by $11.51 yesterday for example.
Attempt to login is met with: Our site is experiencing technical difficulties. We are actively working to resolve the issue.
A helpful CSR explained it is due to a power outage in Alexandria VA where all servers are located, not a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack, such as University Federal CU and Patelco CU have experienced recently.
Website is expected to be back up by 1730 PT.
Today I decided to visit the local PenFed branch and inquire about joining. I had previously read thru their online information and knew that I qualified for membership being a military retiree. I sent them an email about the $5.00 reqirement for membership asking where did it go, how maintained etc. Having not heard back by the time I visited I asked the rep about the requirements and again about the $5.00 etc. I was informed that the membership fee money goes to open a reg share account establishing membership. Then I could in this case place the am't. I wanted to spend in the CD that I wanted. Okay great. I then asked for the disclosure pamphlet outlining the way the CU does business in regards to the individual accounts. In this case a reg. share acct. In the literature I was given (effective Mar 2012) under Reg Share Acct disclosure it says that my account may be subject to fees and charges. Asking about that I'm given a insert I can only assume to the disclosure pamphlet. Okay, yes I see that if I get paper statements i will be charged $.50 or free if online. I read further that if I conduct no activity in the account (as I only opened it to acquire a CD) there would be a $15.00 charge per quarter. At this point I walked out with info in hand. Called the main office and talked with a rep discussing membership, fees, requirements etc. I indicated that the material given me showed a $15 per quarter in-activity fee for a share acct. opened to meet membership rquirements to ultimately buy a CD. She said that was wrong and that if the acct. remains dormant after 5 years then a per quarter fee would be charged. I told her that the material being given to potential customers or members is deceiving thus making me question if I really wanted to do business with Pen Fed. She assured me my concerns would be turned over to R&D and gave me her name and ext. in the event the local rep needed educating ( they do) I thanked her for her time and hung up. Now, what's the deal? I want to do business with Pen Fed but would like one of the folks in the know on this site to set matters straight. Thanks (sorry about the length, but it's an issue)
Okay, well I just found and read Ken Tumins article dtd 6 Dec 12 reference this issue. Seems as though PenFeds acct. disclosures still remain a puzzle. However I will follow the advice of keeping the acct. active and join for a CD.
The PenFed credit card is currently the best card for gas rebate one can get. At the 5% discount I'll keep using the card. If they ever reduce that rate I go back to a competitor's gas card that I have. No B.S. here...I'M LOYAL TO THE CARD THAT PAYS ME. Their credit card marketing folks are very smart in that they don't B.S. me since they kick the rebate right back to my account at billing time. That is, unlike other cards, no waiting until the rebate amount reaches a certain level. They simply get 'it'.
Keep up the good work (& the 5% gas rebate) PendFed credit card department and I'll keep using it to get you your transaction fees from the vendors who I buy from.
I have been a member of Pentagon for over 6 years and I think they are above average. Their banking products are great with some of the best deposit rates in the nation. I love the Platinum Credit card I have with them because the rebate rewards are outstanding. They are always offering excellent loan promotions and I have found their customer service to be excellent.
This credit union and its VISA paltinum rewards credit card is a nightmare. The customer reps do NOT know what they are doing giving conflicting info from one call to the next. Bank policies are thoroughly lame.
Example: Now, I am a physician established 30 years at the same address, with excellent credit, own my home, have NO debts and a credit score of over 800. I was "graciously" extended a $5000 credit limit! This card was obtained only because it charges no foreign transaction fees. This was to be useful for multiple trips abroad. But not with a $5000 limit.
Another example ACH transfers from the savings account to another non Penfed account are limited to $50!!! So don't expect to move any money around.
Another example. My credit card was severely LIMITED to less than $500 after I OVERPAID my monthly balance. Yes, that is overpaid!! In effect I duplicated the monthly payment having forgotten that autopay had been previously set up on this new account. So despite a $4500 NEGATIVE balance and very few small charges against my monthly credit limit of $5000, Penfed decided to limit my balance to less than $500. No amount of reasoning with the customer rep would unblock the account. Further they would NOT reverse the payment back to my local bank and even blocked the credit for 10 days even within Penfed so I could not move the money to the Penfed savings account.
So I can't use the card to bring down the overpayment credit and I can't get them to reverse the payment to my local bank. Basically they are holding my money hostage.
I'm moving on and will close the account once the above is resolved. I've found an excellent no FT fee card with Bank of America which actually has in addition the new European chip (smartcard).
The lack of professionalism I experienced with Penfed in this small matter makes me shutter to think what someone else might experience with a mortgage or car loan.
I recommed everyone stay away from Penfed.
My 20 plus yrs in the Air Force mean nothing to Pentagon Federal Credit Union. I am a retired MSgt and PFCU refuses to help me with a small, easily repayable loan for a used Ford Ranger that I desperately need. And they didn't provide an explanation as to why. My credit score is fine. There is no reason for them to deny my loan but they did it and I say "Shame on PFCU!" I will find a new place to do all my banking. And I guess I have to find a loan shark who will charge too much interest so I can have a vehicle. Here's the thing PFCU, if I cannot get a vehicle to drive than I cannot go to work. So thanks to you I will stay unemployed. Thanks for nothing. Being a Veteran if Foreign War is irrelevant to PFCU. They do not care.
I am broken up over PFCU turning down a small loan that I can easily pay back. I am a retired Air Force master sergeant. I have been with PFCU since 1992. They never help a veteran in need. I need a vehicle so badly. Cannot work because I have no transportation. So I guess I have to find a shady loan shark who will charge outrageous interest. Why does PFCU exist? Not to serve veterans. I am finding a better place to bank.
I just realized today that Penfed does not have Shared Branches in other cities like a lot of credit unions do. I have an account with them and so far no problems. I was concerned about how to open a new CD with them and didn't want to do a mail-in. I was told today that their way is very quick if I allow them to withdraw the funds out of my bank account giving them the routing number etc. and the CD can be opened the same day over the phone. Is this the same as what is called an ACH withdrawal? Has anyone done this with them and can share if all went smoothly?. Thanks!
Nearly from the time I came in the military, back in the 1980s, I had PFCU as a bank. They were great and on up through the 1990s. Once I retired, I had two checks coming in: Retirement and regular pay. I did just have the retirement check going into PENFED, and I had checking, savings and a credit card with them. I decided to change my regular pay check to go into PENFED as well, so I had triple the money going through PENFED that I previously had.
The problem came when I remarried and requested my wife be on the checking account with me. They refused, citing credit issues. Still I kept my money flowing through PENFED. Not a year later, after being a dedicated client and paying my card on time, as well as running thousands of dollars through the bank a month, PENFED suddenly shut down my credit card, saying I was a bad risk.
Doesn't matter. I have USAA which is a bank which values the Service Member, and, in fact, is one of the biggest benefits to ever serving in the military anyway. It just rankles that I ran 20+ years of paychecks through PENFED only to be shut down, even though I could still qualify for two car loans and a motorcycle loan with 6% interest each and make all payments and even make more than minimum payments on my credit cards.
Bottom line is that PENFED cannot be trusted, because if you use only them, you may find yourself in a lurch one day. They used to be good. Now, they're not. I just hope USAA doesn't turn rogue.
Two stars is because, as far as I know, nobody has ever committed suicide due to their banking shinanegans like has happened recently because of either Wells Fargo or BoA. Those two....oh boy.
PenFed was one of the first credit unions I joined. I joined because they had excellent auto loan rates. In fact, three other family members joined after I did and got auto loans through them.
The on-line banking system is great. I do all my banking over the Internet.
I also have a Visa rewards credit card through them and I use it extensively.
Any time I have had to call the phone support has been excellent.
I highly recommend PenFed.
Penfed years ago sold me insurance for accidental death with charges being taken automatically out of my account. I told them to stop. They say its out of their hands. They are not supporting their members just bilking them.
Terrible! STAY AWAY from the most expensive credit union in the market place today! In addition to charging for checks, PFCU now charges $10 a month for your checking account. Don't be fooled by their advertisements. You only get "free" if you have direct deposit with them. I was with them for 7 years until yesterday when I found out they had recently started charging me this $10 monthly fee. Imagine paying $120 annually for a no frills checking account! For those of us in the military that move around frequently and keep multiple checking accounts for convenience...don't use PFCU. Go to USAA or Navy Fed, for other military banking options. I used to be a big fan after my first mortgage with them, but they have changed their culture and attitude towards their customers. Spend a few minutes on the phone with them, and you will quickly notice the poor attitude. Take it from someone that shops around a lot for the best rates and plans...AVOID Pentagon Federal Credit Union!
Okay I opened an account with PenFed several weeks ago, everything with them take so long to process from forms to deposits. Unfortunately I do not have a PenFed branch near me so all my transactions have to be over the phone or by email. I have a share account with them and opened checking account with them and because I have less than perfect credit I was only offered Limited Checking. Which the representative told me the only difference was there was a 9 day hold on checks, and later found out also would not be offered a Debit card. I am closing both accounts and opening a new account with the local credit union in my area.
So, if you're a fed employee and think just because this is a fed/military credit union this has to be the best option, you're sadly mistaken.
I called them to find out about the transfer of my IRA account to another bank. They received the paperwork from my bank, but, told me that they were "running a little behind" and that it would take 4-7 BUSINESS days to get the check IN THE MAIL to my new bank. I asked if I could have the funds wired. They said no. I am very unhappy with their procedures on this matter. I am collecting almost no interest in their IRA money market account as I wait because they are "running a little behind".
I opened up a three year CD ladder several years ago and found them very cooperative and competitive in thier rates. In addition, they assisted me in changing the title of the CDs to my family trust which increased my NCUA insurance to over a million dollars.
I am also using their low cost VISA Card which is easily paid by using my online brokerage checking account where I am credited with a monthly refund each month!
Having recently extended my CD ladder to 7 yrs, the ladder is providing me with a return of 3.45%. During the last several years I have found nothing that would prevent me recommending this institution to my family and friends.
I am AGAIN having issues with PenFed concerning deposits that I mailed to them. They have been really very slow to post my deposits in the past and this time it is 13 days from when I mailed to a branch 200 miles away and still not posted to my account. I could have driven there in 3 hours. Does not seem to concern them too much --I emailed to report a possible security issue and no responxe to that. Mail sent 1500 miles away the same day has been received several days ago.
Pen Fed will not confirm after 3 requests that the address I mailed to listed on their website is valid for mail deposits.
Very bad customer service on this matter.
anyone else have this problem ?
Chances that it is a postal issue is highly unlikely --- I have NEVER not had any mail not get to where I sent it.
I really like PenFed, and their customer service is really great. But if you have a PenFed credit card that is set up for automatic pay from, say, an external bank's checking account, beware of a certain computer glitch that can really bite you. Lets say your end-of-month PenFed Visa bill is $500.00, and you have selected Statement Balance as your choice of payment. For some reason, prior to the end of the month, you elected to pay your $500.00 bill early. When the end of the month arrives, your checking account will be debited another $500.00 even though you have already paid that bill. This will also happen if you change your date to make the automatic payment. Lets say the present pay date is the 15th of the month. On the 15th the $500.00 payment was taken from your checking account. On the 16th you change your pay date to the 18th. Two days later on the 18th, your checking account will be hit with the $500.00 debit again. In either case, if there is not enough in your checking account to cover the second payment, PenFed will hit you with an Insufficient Funds fee, and so will your external bank. PenFed's customer service will erase the PenFed fee, but will your bank?
My three year old CD matured in October 2010, so I rolled it over to a ten year CD at 5%, with the special offer they had. Can't beat that rate. The bank is very friendly and helpful, and it was easy to join it even though I'm not in the military, nor in Washington D.C.
I do believe that I found their great rates back in 2007, right here at Deposits Accounts, because Bank Rates doesn't offer the great rates available from Credit Unions.
PENFED IS RUNNING A 10-YEAR, 5% APR CD & IRA CD SPECIAL FOR THOSE MEMBERS HAVING MATURING CDS IN OCTOBER. I RESERVED FUNDS FOR THIS OFFER AFTER HAVING ASKED SEVERAL QUESTIONS AND GETTING SATISFACTORY ANSWERS. THAT WAS A MONTH AGO; ALL IS NOT WELL IN RIVER CITY.
TODAY I RECEIVED A NEW MONEY MARKET AND IRA SHARE CERTIFICATE DISCLOSURE (FORM 687) FROM PENFED. UNDER THE SECTION TITLED EARLY REDEMPTION PENALTIES, KEY LANGUAGE HAS BEEN STRUCK FROM THEIR PREVIOUS DISCLOSURE (FORM 686). UNDER SECTION h.4c, THE WORDS :"IF THE OWNER HAS REACHED THE AGE OF 59 1/2" IS STRUCK FROM THE NEW DISCLOSURE. THIS MEANS THAT ALL EARLY WITHDRAWALS FROM PENFED IRA CDS WILL BE FULLY PENALIZED UNLESS THE CERTIFICATE OWNER IS FULLY DISABLED.
WOW! THE ANSWERS I GOT A MONTH AGO ARE INVALID. THE ONE YEAR'S INTEREST PENALTY FOR EARLY WITHDRAWAL SEEMS EXCESSIVE. I PLAN TO STOP THE PURCHASE OF THIS CD IN ITS TRACKS UNLESS I GET SOME BETTER ANSWERS.
PenFed's Platinum CashBack Reward credit card is the primary credit card I've been using after Citibank changed their term on their cashback reward credit card. The cashback is credited to you each month with no hassle, unlike Citibank's $50 minimum requirement.
I turned to PenFed after a careful search and based on positive reviews. The application process was short and simple. The only drawback to me was I only eligible to the membership through National Military Family Association, which meant extra fee. If you are eligible through one of the other 6 methods, you should be able to give PenFed a 5 star.
Additionally, if you have reasonable credit score and need a load, PenFed offers many low interest options. It is a one-stop shopping place, I would say.
I opened a CD with PenFed a while ago which gave me good returns. I am happy with their customer service too. Unfortunately the rate has come down a lot, and it's not that attractive except the 7 year CD which is 3.51%APY. However, you do need to consider whether or not the CD rate will shoot up later.
I like their visa credit card very much. Frist of all, VISA is accept almost everywhere except the places that doesn't accept any credit card. It rolled back to 1% on all purchases (planned roll back), but it still has 2% on grocery and 5% on gas. The cash return is credited to your credit card every month, instead of waiting for it to accumulate to $50 or $25.