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PenFed Credit Cards Review

PenFed Gold
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PenFed Gold
PenFed Gold
Michael Graw
Jul. 03, 2022
4 min read
Michael Graw
PenFed Gold Summary
PenFed is a national credit union founded in 1935 that offers banking, loans, credit cards, and more. While you need to be a PenFed member to get a credit card, anyone can join by opening a savings account. PenFed has 4 credit cards, all of which come with a 0% promotional APR for balance transfers. Three of the cards offer rewards for spending. You can apply online and get approved in as little as 20 seconds.


  • Choose from 4 credit cards
  • 0% promotional APR for balance transfers
  • Apply online and get a decision instantly


  • Requires good to excellent credit score
  • Must open a savings account to become a PenFed member

PenFed Gold at a glance

Editorial score


No annual fee, has other fees


Doesn't cover bad credit


NCUA insured, offers multiple security features

Customer service

This category measures the overall quality of the product

Online experience

Excellent site and app with detailed FAQs, help center, and transparency of rates and features

PenFed Gold PenFed Gold Apply Now


PenFed is a credit union established in 1935 to serve members of the military. Today, anyone can join PenFed by opening a savings account. The credit union has more than 2 million members and manages more than $25 billion in assets. It offers banking, loans, mortgages, and 4 Visa credit cards. PenFed is Insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender.

PenFed’s credit cards stand out for their combination of low fees and generous rewards. All of the cards come with Low APR for balance transfers. Rewards can take the form of cash back or points, and the cards offer different levels of rewards for spending categories like gas, groceries, and restaurants. 

PenFed offers 0% APR promotional balance transfer rate for 12 Months on transfers made from now until September 30, 2021. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 17.99%. A 3% balance transfer fee applies to each transfer. This transaction is subject to credit approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit card unless you pay the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.

Suitable for?

PenFed is suitable for a wide variety of people. The promotional APR for balance transfers on all credit cards is a major plus for anyone looking to transfer their balance from another card. In addition, 3 PenFed credit cards offer rewards programs. Three of the cards come with bonuses if you spend at least $1,500 in your first 90 days. 

PenFed Power Cash®

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® offers a $100 bonus statement credit when you spend at least $1,500 in the first 90 days. All cardholders receive 1.5% cash back on purchases, and PenFed Honors Advantage members receive 2% cash back. To become an Honors Advantage member, you must be an active member of the military or have an active PenFed checking account.

PenFed Pathfinder®

The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® is PenFed’s most generous rewards card and is most suitable for travelers. You get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days, and the card offers 3 points on travel spending (4 points for Honors Advantage members). All other purchases earn 1.5 points. 

PenFed Platinum®

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® offers extra points on gas purchases at the pump and supermarket purchases. You get 5 points for gas purchases at the pump and electric vehicle charging stations; 3 points for supermarket purchases, restaurants/dining, and cable, satellite and other television/radio/streaming services; and 1 point for all other purchases. The card also comes with a New Acquisition Bonus: 15,000 points after $1,500 spent during the first 3 months of card open date.

PenFed Gold

The PenFed Gold Visa® is a simple credit card that doesn’t offer a rewards program. The main advantage is that the interest rate for purchases on your balance can be as low as 7.49%. You can qualify for a $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in your first 90 days.

Card Comparison

Rewords ProgramBonus OfferInterest Rate (APR)Best ForP
PenFed Power Cash®1.5% cash back (2% for Honors Advantage members)$100 when you spend $1,500 in your first 90 days14.99% - 17.99%
Cash back
PenFed Pathfinder®3x points on travel (4x Honors Advantage members) 1.5x points on all other purchases50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days14.99% - 17.99%¹
Travel rewards
PenFed Platinum®5x points on gas purchases at the pump 3x points supermarket and other purchases* 1x points on all other

$100 when you spend $1,500 in your first 3 months
Gas and groceries rewards
PenFed Gold®None$100 when you spend $1,500 in your first 90 days
7.49% - 17.99%
Low interest rate

*see full PenFed Platinum rewards details detailed in the paragraph above.

The Application Process

You can apply for a PenFed credit card online. To get your credit card, you will need to become a PenFed member by opening a savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, but you can apply and find out if you will be approved without becoming a member. Enter information about yourself, your employment, and your income. You can also add authorized users to your account, and they will receive their own credit cards. PenFed will verify your identity and run a soft credit check, which doesn’t impact your credit score.

Once your application has been submitted, you could get an approval decision and interest rate offer as quick as in 20 seconds. If you accept the offer, PenFed will send your new credit card in 7-10 business days.

Help & Support

PenFed offers customer support by phone, live chat, and through a secure online messaging system. The PenFed website also has detailed help pages that explain how to apply and manage your credit card account.

PenFed’s phone number for customer support is 1-877-856-9690.

Phone call hours: 7 am-11 pm (ET) Monday-Friday, 8 am-11 pm Saturday, and 9 am-5:30 pm Sunday.


Your PenFed credit card is secured with an EMV chip, and you can report your credit card as lost or stolen at any time. PenFed credit cards are also backed by Visa’s Zero Liability Policy*: PenFed's guarantee that you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your account or account information. You're protected if your Visa credit or debit card is lost, stolen or fraudulently used, online or offline.


Do PenFed credit cards work with Apple Pay?

Yes, PenFed Visa cards are compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.

How do I redeem points from my PenFed credit card?

You can redeem points earned with your PenFed credit card through Visa’s online points center.

How do I become a PenFed member?

Anyone can become a PenFed member by opening a savings account and depositing at least $5.

PenFed Gold PenFed Gold Apply Now


PenFed offers 4 Visa cards that suit a wide variety of needs. Three of the cards offer rewards for different spending categories, while the fourth comes with an interest rate as low as 7.49% APR. All 4 cards come with a low APR balance transfer promotional offer. You can apply for a PenFed credit card online and get a decision right away. 


This review was completed using information from the PenFed website and support documentation.

** Zero liability disclosure: 

Policy does not apply to certain commercial card and anonymous prepaid card transactions or transactions not processed by Visa. Cardholders must use care in protecting their card and notify their issuing financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. Contact your issuer for more detail.


Michael Graw
Written by
Michael Graw
Michael Graw is a Bellingham, Washington-based writer focusing on finance, tech, and science. His work has been featured in print magazines and high-impact websites. He writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎
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