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PenFed Online Banking Review

Earn more with high interest checking and savings accounts

Reviews 1,477
PenFed
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PenFed
PenFed
Excellent
Reviews 1,477
Michael Graw
Nov. 15, 2022
3 min read
Michael Graw
PenFed Summary
PenFed is a credit union established in 1935 that now has over 2 million members. The credit union offers online checking and savings accounts in addition to lending and mortgage services, credit cards, and more. You can earn up to 0.35% APY with a PenFed checking account and 0.45% APY with a savings account. There’s no fee for opening a savings account, and you can waive the checking account fee with a balance of just $500.

Pros

  • Full-service bank with lending and credit cards
  • 85,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
  • Can qualify for higher-than-average interest rates

Cons

  • Monthly fee for checking accounts
  • Tiered interest rates based on your account balance

PenFed at a glance

8.4
Editorial score

Fees?

Most products are fee free; foreign transaction fees
8.0

Security

FDIC insured, SSL/AES encryption and supports 2 factor and biometric authentication
10.0

Customer service

Early morning, evening and weekend service with multiple communication options and a dedicated fraud team
8.0

Online experience

User friendly site with full online banking capabilities
8.0

Mobile experience

User friendly mobile app that offers most mobile banking features, may not be available on all devices
8.0

PenFed PenFed Visit PenFed

Advantages Over Traditional Banks

One of the main advantages PenFed offers over traditional banks is higher interest rates on both its checking and savings accounts. The maximum interest rate for the PenFed checking account, 0.35% APY, is 11 times the national average. The interest rate for the PenFed savings account, 0.45% APY, is 7 times the national average.

Another benefit of PenFed is that it offers simple account management. You can bank 24/7 online or using the PenFed mobile app. The credit union also offers fee-free access to 85,000 ATMs nationwide.

Cutting-Edge Banking Services 

PenFed offers a number of modern features to make banking seamless. You can manage your accounts from your smartphone and easily transfer money between your checking and savings accounts while on the go. You can also pay bills through the PenFed app or online and deposit checks through the mobile app.

PenFed also offers an overdraft line of credit for your checking account, which you must apply for in order to access it. This provides credit of $500 or more with a fixed interest rate of 17.99% APR in the event you overdraw your account. That means you don’t have to worry about one-time overdraft fees.

The PenFed checking account also includes a Visa debit card, which enables contactless payments and is compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. 

Traditional Banking Services

PenFed has a network of more than 85,000 ATMs across the US as well as 50 physical branches in 13 states. In addition to checking and savings accounts, PenFed offers personal loans, student loans, mortgages, home equity loans, and auto loans. PenFed also has 4 Visa credit cards that provide rewards across spending categories like groceries, gas, and travel.

Interest Rates and Fees

The PenFed checking account offers interest of 0.15% APY on balances up to $19,999.99 and 0.35% APY on balances up to $50,000. To qualify, you must have a daily balance of $500 or make a monthly direct deposit of at least $500. Meeting these requirements also waives the account’s $10 monthly fee. There is no minimum deposit required to open a PenFed checking account.

The PenFed savings account does not have a monthly fee, and there are no requirements to qualify for the 0.45% APY interest rate. You must deposit at least $5 when you open an account.


Interest (APY)Monthly FeeRequirementsMinimum Deposit
PenFed Checking0.15% on balances up to $19,999.99
0.35% on balances up to $50,000
$10 (can be waived)$500 daily balance or $500 in monthly direct depositsNone
PenFed Savings0.45%NoneNone$5

Customer Service

PenFed’s customer support team is available by phone, live chat, and a secure online messaging system. You can get in touch from 7 am-11 pm (ET) Monday-Friday, 8 am-11 pm Saturday, and 9 am-5:30 pm Sunday. The PenFed website also has detailed help pages if you need support outside of these hours.

Mobile App  

The PenFed mobile app for iOS and Android enables you to manage your checking and savings accounts on the go. You can deposit checks by taking a photo of them, move money between your accounts, and set up online bill payments. The app also enables you to monitor your transactions and to find in-network ATMs in your area.

Security 

PenFed uses SSL encryption and Norton software to secure your online application and your account portal. You can also turn on two-factor authentication for your online account and require fingerprint authentication to log into your PenFed mobile account. In addition, PenFed offers SMS and email alerts to help you monitor for suspicious activity on your account.

Summary

PenFed offers online checking and savings accounts with interest rates that are much higher than the national average. You get access to a network of 85,000 nationwide ATMs and helpful features like an overdraft line of credit. PenFed also offers a mobile app to help you manage your accounts on the go and a Visa debit card that’s compatible with major digital wallets. A savings account is free, and you can waive the monthly fee for your checking account by maintaining a $500 balance or making $500 in direct deposits each month.

Methodology

This review was created using information from the PenFed website.

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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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Trustpilot reviews
See what some customers are saying about PenFed
Excellent • Reviews 1,477
on
Excellent
82%
Great
5%
Average
1%
Poor
1%
Bad
10%
We upload 100 to 400 Trustpilot reviews to our website daily, displaying them by default from "best" to "worst". You have the option to adjust the sorting criteria. If you wish to see all reviews, you can visit Trustpilot's website here.
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DL
David Lail
3 hours ago
Outstanding Performance
Very easy with the process and not a bunch of ropes to jump through!
HL
Hector R Leon
3 days ago
Amazing experience with professional…
Amazing experience with professional touch. Great service
RN
Rafael Nigaglioni
1 week ago
PenFed is without question the best
PenFed is without question the best, most professional/caring and genuinely customer oriented financial institution that I have worked with in over 29 years
MH
MICHAEL U HARDER
1 week ago
INTEREST RATE COMPETATIVE
INTEREST RATE COMPETATIVE. INTERNET CONNECTIVITY.
Lynn Osborne
1 week ago
Great customer service
Easy application process and excellent customer service!
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