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PenFed's New Cash Back Credit Card Feature


It's official. Pentagon Federal Credit Union is now listing the 2% (it's now 1%) cash back at supermarkets for its Visa Platinum Rewards Credit Card. I had first reported on this in December.

This new feature makes this reward credit card one of the best cash back cards available, and it helps a little to make up for the disappointing CD rates.

The cash back features now includes:

  • 5% cash back from gas purchases at the pump
  • 2% cash back on all supermarket purchases (It's now 1% as of 2011)
  • 1.25% cash back from all other purchases (scheduled to fall to 1% starting 2/1/2010)

And unlike other cash back credit cards like from Citi, you don't have to wait until you have accumulated enough cash back to get reimbursed. The cash rewards are credited to you each month.

Also as expected, PenFed lowered its auto loan rates. The new rate is 4.99% APR. For new cars this applies to terms of 12 to 72 months. For used cars it applies to terms of 12 to 60 months.

Anyone can qualify for membership into PenFed. For these details and my experience with PenFed, please refer to my Pentagon FCU review.

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Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
It sounds great but what're the requirements to get the credit card?
I'm a penfed's member with have 20k in their CDs but I am currently unemployed, can I still qualify for the card?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
They run hard credit pull on you.
Any small dings in it, is a big reason for them to turn you down.
I applied and was turned down for a very small thing that happen 6 years ago on a missed utility bill.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
Received an email today from PENFED - talked about the new 2% deal on the credit card and (if I read it correctly it made it sound that members of MOAA would get Exclusive Rates on the High Yield Money Market Savings Account.

Did anyone read it like that? If so, has anyone found out the new rate for MOAA members?
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #4
I know this is a dumb question but, can you get the credit card without being a member of PenFed?
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #5
I'm afraid PenFed membership is required to apply for the credit cards.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
PenFed increased the maximum credit line for credit cards from $40K to $50K, in line with other major financial institutions.
JOE MAGNITUDE   |     |   Comment #7
The Pentagon FCU and the Police FCU have something of an "allied" relationship around here, in the DC area, and they will occasionally offer some of the very same products.

I recently noticed that the Police FCU is offering a clone of this particular card, and even though I find no explicit mention of the added feature (meaning, the 2% cash back at supermarkets), it's still a great card to have on hand.

This is a good option for those out there who are already members of the Police FCU, and who, for whatever reason, may not be all that interested in joining the Pentagon FCU.

Ragnar   |     |   Comment #8
I have a complaint. I joined PFCU paying the one time fee and received the card within about a week. That's all great. My issue is with payment. If you want to autopay on your card, you have to download, print, and mail in a paper form which is lame. Secondly, you can't control the date of payment. Instead of pulling your funds on the due date, they pull them 5 days after the close of the billing period. This directly impacts the interest I get on the float. Has anyone done any calculations on the implications of this on the overall value of the card.
Ragnar   |     |   Comment #9
I'd like to retract my complaint. This card is fabulous. The 5 day after the cycle pull I mentioned before is actually 5 days after the full billing cycle (including your bill due date) so what you're actually getting is an extra 5 days of interest beyond your due date with no repurcussions. I learned this by calling them to clarify a couple of things. I also learned that they might be considering a return of the high CD rate sometime in March or April so I'll keep a lookout for that.
Slug   |     |   Comment #10
One major issue with this card. If you live in NJ like I do, this card does not pick up your gas transactions correctly. Thus, you will only get 1.25% back on gas in NJ. I've spoken with them several times regarding this. They do not have a list of gas stations where the card will work (ridiculous!) and will only offer a trial and error approach. Needless to say, I'll be making my gas purchases with my Perfectcard instead. However, other than that, I'me very satisfied. Their call center is in Nebraska and all the people have been super nice and as helpful as they could be.
Banking Guy
Banking Guy   |     |   Comment #11
I've heard that in NJ you can't do self service at the pump? I wonder if that has something to do with it since PenFed states that the debit card has to be used at the pump. I don't know how they can tell the difference between pump and cashier.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #12
They can tell based off a code (the merchant category code) that is sent with with other info account information for the transaction. If it doesn't have the "paid at the pump" code then you don't get the reward. The reason they won't give you the list of gas stations and supermarkets is because they do not choose them and have no control over them. Visa does and the list is always changing.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #13
$75 per gas transaction cap for the 5%