The Pentagon Federal Credit Union or PenFed is a credit union designed to offer traditional banking services to members of the United States military (although anyone can join for a small contribution/membership fee). PenFed offers a variety of banking solutions, including checking and savings accounts, installment loans and even credit cards at a lower rate than most traditional banks offer. What’s nice about PenFed is that it is one of the few credit unions that have locations in multiple states and abroad.
In the past, PenFed cards were offering lifetime balance transfers at a highly desirable rate. Well, with recent changes in the card industry, a lot of these offers have been readjusted to reflect the current credit and consumer climate, and we're no longer seeing evidence of those lifetime balance transfers. Still, the PenFed cards continue to be a reasonable alternative to the big bank cards that we're already familiar with.
While the eligibility requirements of this credit union state that anyone connected to the government, military or defense-related companies can be a member, the fact is that anyone can actually become a PenFed member. Here's how you can join them:
Once you're a member, you can begin enjoying their benefits, get access to their bank products and can apply for their low interest rate cards, including rewards cards for travel and cash back.
What are the benefits of using a Pentagon Federal Credit Card? The Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of credit cards that address the needs of its large and diverse member population. All of the PenFed credit cards offer low interest rates along with great rewards or other perks. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from these cards:
While there are many benefits to carrying a Pentagon Federal Credit Union credit card, there are a few drawbacks as well. As with most other credit union credit cards, your credit card account is tied to all of your other credit union accounts. This means that if you have a secured loan with Pentagon Federal, your collateral is also used to secure your credit card account. The balances in your savings and or checking account can be used by Pentagon Federal to pay off the balance of a delinquent credit card without your direct consent. Note, however, that in most cases, you must have pretty healthy credit in order to obtain a credit card from Pentagon Federal Credit Union; also, as in the case with most credit unions, you can appeal a decline and submit documents that support your case to the loan committee for a secondary review.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a strong financial institution that has over $14 billion in assets. Carrying a credit card issued by PenFed means that you are a member of one of the largest and most prestigious credit unions in the nation. While other credit unions have struggled and succumbed to the pressures of the current economy, PenFed remains strong and financially solvent. So, if you're looking for a top-notch Visa or American Express credit card, think about the alternatives presented here.