Upgrading To The Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature May Mean A Downgrade In Benefits

Ken Tumin
  |     |   6,078 posts since 2009

From CreditCardWatcher

PenFed has recently been sending out notices in the mail to many existing cardholders of the Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa card that they will soon be automatically upgraded to a Visa Signature card, touting such benefits as complimentary concierge service and other perks.

The new Visa Signature benefits do appear, however, to come at a cost

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  |     |   2,298 posts since 2010
Thanks for the heads up, Ken.  I have not received any notice of the change, but will keep an eye on the mail.

IMO there is no need to worry yet, because a lot can change between now and 10/31.  If grandfathering of the PenFed card is not an option, Chase Freedom and Discover from time to time (most recently in 1Q and 3Q 2012) have quarterly promotions offering 5% on gas purchases.   Tomorrow, 5/1, we will be able to see details of Discover's 3Q 5% promotion, although signup does not begin until June 1, but the picture on the cashback page hints strongly that the "summer fun" category will include gasoline - although of course capped at a certain level.

As another option, Fort Knox FCU offers a 5% cashback VISA (1% on all else).  I had not explored this option before because I was satisfied with PenFed's card, but may look at it again depending on how things progress. 

For those who might be considering a card affiliated with a particular gas company, see Ken's post "Few rewards with gas cards.  According to the WSJ article, they're not as lucrative as you might expect, and may charge an annual fee.   
  |     |   2,298 posts since 2010
Discover is offering 5% cashback on up to $1500 in purchases at gas stations from 7/1 through 9/30/13.  Signup begins 6/1. 

  |     |   2,298 posts since 2010
An update to the original article on Creditwatcher included good information from FW poster "pw":

It looks like it is still possible to get the 5/3/1 reward with the Signature version as long as cardholders have a qualifying product with PenFed.

Quoting PenFed:
“A qualifying PenFed product is defined as one of the following: active checking account with direct deposit ($250 minimum); any PenFed closed-end loan or Equity Line of Credit with a balance as of the date of review. Credit cards and lines of credit are not included.”

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