PenFed announced that they would stop accepting applications for the PenFed Pathfinder American Express Rewards card in late 2019. It was then announced that the card would be getting a refresh and running on the Visa payment network and would open to applications in early 2020, that was then delayed.
Let’s take a look at the card basics:
- Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first 90 days
- $95 annual fee, waived for honors members
- $100 credit towards either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. This applies once every five years
- $100 airline fee credit
- Card earns at the following rates:
- 4x points on all travel purchases for PenFed Honors Advantage Members (to be eligible for this you must be a military member or holder of PenFed’s Access America checking account)
- 3x Points on on all travel purchases for regular members
- 1.5x Rewards on everything else
- Priority Pass Select Membership (you pay $32 per visit)
We know what triggered the airline fee credit in the past, but that might have changed with the switch to Visa. The card looks to be basically identical to before but with a much higher sign up bonus and the addition of the annual fee. Before the card was an easy one to keep long term, that’s no longer the case unless you have honors membership with PenFed.
Applying For Card
To apply for this card, you must be a member of PenFed. The easiest way to qualify is to be a previous or existing member of the military. You can also join National Military Family Association ($17) or Voices For Troops ($17). More information about becoming a member of PenFed can be found here. They will also sometimes request pay stubs to verify your income.
You can get an additional $50 on top of the 50,000 points by using a referral link. You can find and share links here.
How Much Are Points Worth?
Some sample redemptions:
- $50 Prepaid Visa card = 5,880 points
- $25 Southwest gift card = 2,940 points
- $100 Delta gift card = 11,760 points
- $10 Amazon gift card = 1,170 points
Basically 50,000 points = $425.
Honors Membership Requirements
To be an honors member (no annual fee and higher earning rate on travel) you either need to be member of the military or Access America account holder
Overall the card is worth getting for the sign up bonus. The card is worth keeping long term if your an honors member as you get the annual fee waived and the $100 airline credit to use, otherwise I don’t think it makes sense to keep as you need to pay the annual fee and this wipes out the airline credit. We will add this to our list of the best credit card bonuses.