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PenFed's Special January CD Rates and Other Planned Promotions


Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) has a history of starting off the new year with excellent long-term CD rates. Last year it was offering a yield of 6.25% APY for terms of 3 years and longer. I've heard that PenFed's board of directors has approved the rates for January. I wasn't told specific rates, but I was told they'll be over 5%. I have a feeling they'll be closer to 5% than 6%. In addition to today's lower rate environment, PenFed seems to be planning to keep the rates more even through the year so they don't have large spikes in demand. However, they might still have some certificate sales later in the first and second quarter depending on demand.

PenFed's Cash Back Reward Credit Card

Another change I was told about for January is in their Visa Platinum Gas Cash Reward credit card. I was told that they're adding 2% cash back for groceries on top of the 5% cash back for gas and 1.25% cash back on all other purchases.

One nice feature of this Penfed Visa Platinum card is that you are credited with cash rewards each month instead of having to wait for $50 or more to accrue in your account. The card has no annual fee.

Note, you will incur a hard credit inquiry by applying for this credit card and for joining Penfed. It has been mentioned that Penfed doesn't initiate a new hard pull for 60 days after it does a hard pull. So if you sign up for the card within 60 days of joining, you may only be hit with one hard pull.

Auto Loans

The new rate environment should be helpful for those looking for loans. Auto loan rates are planned to fall to 4.99% APR for terms up to 60 months on used cars and 72 months on new cars. These current auto loan rates are 5.29% APR.

PenFed Membership

Qualifying for PenFed membership and purchasing their CDs are easy. For these details and my experience with PenFed, please refer to my Pentagon FCU review.
Related Pages: CD rates

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
This is good news.
I have been a PenFed member for two years now, thanks to you, and am very happy with them. Also this January is time to add another rung to my CD ladder.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
Even if you apply for the card within 60 days they can still refuse the card but open your account.
Cyclone   |     |   Comment #3
Nice rates in relative terms, but I am all the more happier I took them up on the recent 6% cds as well. Wouldn't matter anyway as I have little longer term funds to tie up anyway. This will be long gone by the time the SECU cd matures.
grobe   |     |   Comment #4
Can you set up bank autopay for the Penfed credit card (a different bank, not Penfed)--so you can pay the balance in full every month automatically?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
"Can you set up bank autopay for the Penfed credit card (a different bank, not Penfed)--so you can pay the balance in full every month automatically?"

Yes. However it is somewhat complicated. See this thread at Fatwaller forums for how to do it:

See the post on the Fatwallet thread made on Feb 12.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
If you are a member now and open the credit card, later on you close your account. Do you still get to keep the credit card, or will the credit card be canceled since you close you account thus not a member again. Say if you can still keep the credit card, can you use other bank account to pay it? (not enough history on Fatwallet to see the post on 2/12/2007).
grobe   |     |   Comment #7
I though the only requirement to maintain membership in Penfed is to keep the $5 in savings account. I know you do not have to renew membership in the Military Families (or whatever) organization.

Is this correct? If so what's the problem that you feel you need to close the account, but still want to keep the credit card?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
well, PenFed is not local for me. I opened account for the CD but I do not plan to keep a lot of money in the seeding account. Keeping five dollars in the saving account if I can link another bank account to pay off the credit card. grobe, I couldn't find the article you mentioned. Is it possible for you to post it here?

by the way, a correction: there is no 2% for grocery, only 5% for gas and 1.25% for the rest, from the e-mail I received.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
That is probably because it isn't January, and hasn't been changed yet.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #10
"It's not really intuitive, but I've set up autopay in full on the monthly balance from my cross-country checking account. Per the CSR ( i called twice and another person called and verified): go to the PenFed website, click forms, go to the 6th highlighted item down "Authorization Agreement for Automated Clearing House (ACH) Debit". Print out several copies, including one for your checking ac'ct bank, fill out using your credit card # as the PFCU loan#. Check automatic transfer from another institution. In section A make a new checked box and write something like "credit card monthly bill in full each month. Add a voided check and mail a copy of the form with voided check to PenFed. "
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #11
Is PenFed in good standing?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
Bankrate gives them 3 stars.
Bauerfincancial gives them 5 stars.

That's safe enough for me.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
New: It looks like 5.25% APY on 5-year and 7-year certificates, although I don't know if that's the "big" January PenFed CD deal or not.