Posted by William Charles on February 13, 2017
Credit Card Review

Published on February 13th, 2017 | by William Charles


PenFed Entering 2% Cash Back Card Game With ‘Penfed Power Cash Rewards Visa’

PenFed have just launched a new credit card called ‘PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa‘. The card is somewhat interesting due to the fact that it earns at the following rates:

penfed power cash rewards visaPenFed Honors Advantage Program

Official website

Under this program you’d earn 2% cash back on all purchases. There is currently two ways to qualify:

  • Primary or joint applicant must be in the military service, the National Guard, the Reserves, an honorably discharged veteran or retired from the United States Military
  • Have and maintain a PenFed Access America Checking Account

Our Verdict

Card also has no annual or foreign transaction fees and comes with a $100 bonus when you spend $1,500 or more within the first 90 days. This isn’t as good as the 2.5% card USAA offers and there are quite a few cards earning more than 2% on all purchases now. The benefit to this card over other 2% card is the fact it has no foreign transaction fees & comes with a sign up bonus.

Let me know your thoughts on this new card in the comments below.

Hat tip to reader Mark

17 Responses to PenFed Entering 2% Cash Back Card Game With ‘Penfed Power Cash Rewards Visa’

  1. Calvin says:

    Isn’t a penfed access America account easy to get and obtain?

  2. barschools says:

    The post says that it isn’t available to everyone but it seems as though anyone can open the checking account to get the 2%. Am I missing something?

  3. alopecoid says:

    I wonder how this compares with Capital One Spark Cash?


    – 2% cash back on all purchases.
    – No foreign transaction fee.
    – Visa Signature card.


    – Business card (can be sole proprietorship).
    – No need for checking account to get 2% cash back.
    – $59 annual fee with $500 sign up bonus after $4500 spend in first 3 months OR $0 annual fee with no sign up bonus (in-branch, according to

    Can anyone else confirm that last part ($0 annual fee in-branch)?

  4. DrGForce says:

    Anyone else notice that the Cash Rewards credit card that gives 5% back on gas seems to be no longer available?

    • AndyK says:

      Neither is the military only Defender card which was a pretty good deal when it first came out what was it… two years ago? Looks like this new card is supposed to take the place of the Defender with the difference for military being 2% vs 1.5% and instead of automatically deducting the 1.5% cashback from your bill each month you have to go to their rewards website to redeem the new 2% but haven’t been able to ascertain yet what the minimum amount is to redeem cash. Anyone know?

    • Wyle says:

      Interesting DP. Cash Rewards is my primary gas card @ 5% since they watered down the points on the Signature Rewards. Wondering if the CR days are numbered.

    • V says:

      Yes, they no longer list this card. But what was 5% cash back at the pump (doesn’t seem to work inside of a gas station!) got also watered down with more requirements such as having a mortgage with them and some other requirements. In the end it was only around ~3.5% or so if you didn’t meet the requirements for the 5%.

  5. Gadget says:

    – Seems like an alright deal, but not liking having to sign up for yet another deposit account. (Looks to me like even military still have to join the CU, meaning they have to keep a savings account open)

    – This is the first CC I noticed charging a fee for paper statements. The machines are taking over!

    – Looking at the Credit Pulls DB, EQ pull most popular for this CU – YMMV.

    – Weighing the options: USAA 2.5% trial that may never see the light of day in my state, 2% Fidelity with $100 bonus with lower 1K spend, but having a cash management account to get the 2% and has high $50 rewards balance to be able to redeem, or this one.

    • AndyK says:

      Not too mention the Fidelity 1% foreign transaction fee which only then makes the cashback 1%. Ya so far this new PenFed card seems to be the best for me (and other overseas mil expats) not counting the mostly unavailable USAA one

  6. V says:

    Getting tortured by their mortgage department (don’t get one from them, not worth the pain!) isn’t enough to qualify you for the “Honors Advantage” Club. Now you need a checking account… wow.

    They also tied the 5% at the pump card to new requirements in the past before the card entirely disappeared recently for the general public.

    The risk with Penfed CC’s is that they _usually_ requires a higher Credit Score (YMMV!) and you will only find out if you get approved after you paid a “donation” to be eligible to join them.

  7. AndyK says:

    Okay, more info for ya’ll. Minimum amount of redeemable cashback is $5 which means you have to charge $250 or more to be eligible to redeem any cashback. Other info in their e-mail to me:

    Members have three options to redeem rewards:

    Option 1: Statement credit to their PenFed credit card account. Upon
    redemption, the credit will appear on the cardholder’s next statement, which may
    take up to 30 days.

    Option 2: Deposit to their PenFed share or checking account. Upon redemption,
    the deposit will appear in the member’s account within 2-3 business days.

    Option 3: ACH deposit into an account at another financial institution. Upon
    redemption, the deposit will appear in the member’s account within 2-3 business

    The minimum amount of cashback needed in order to redeem your rewards is $5.00.
    There is not a way to set up automatic redemptions they must be processed

    As of February 11, 2017 the PenFed Defender Visa Signature Card will no longer
    be available for new account applications. However, existing account holders
    will continue to be serviced according to their cardholder agreements.

  8. Sam says:

    Thanks for the info, Andy!

  9. Billy says:


    2/28 – Joined PenFed / opened account (approved $15k) Single EQ pull only.
    3/10 – Received card
    3/10 – Insurance payment $500
    3/11 – Gift of College $1000
    3/14 – Paid in full
    3/18 – Received $100 statement credit

    Why did I do it? PenFed occasionally has good CD deals so I wanted to open an account. They accept non-military folks if you are a member of the Navy League which I had previously joined to get into NavyFed. I wanted to join PenFed before my Navy League was up and since they are a hard pull to open an account anyway I went ahead and got the card so that I could get the $100 bonus. I wouldn’t have gotten the card just for the bonus. I plan on keeping the account even if I don’t use it much.

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