Posted by William Charles on July 17, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on July 17th, 2015 | by William Charles

5

PenFed Platinum $100 Bonus + 5%/5x On Gas Purchases/3xOn Groceries

The Offer

Direct link to offer (cash rewards/points rewards)

  • PenFed credit union has added a $100 statement credit sign up bonus on their Platinum Rewards Visa Signature and their Platinum Cash Rewards card when you spend $1,500 or more within the first three months of account opening. These cards do not usually come with a sign up bonus.

pen $100 bonus

Card Details

There are two separate cards with this $100 bonus, so let’s look at each of them individually.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • Earn 5 points on gas purchases at the pump
    • Earn 3 points on supermarket Purchases
    • Earn 1 point on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • o% APR promotional balance transfer rate for twelve months on balance transfers made before August 31st, 2015. Balance transfer fee of 3% still applies.

1 point used to be worth 1¢, but they are now only worth 0.85¢ per point. This means this card actually gives you the following rates:

  • Gas: 4.25x cash back
  • Groceries: 2.55x cash back
  • All other purchases: 0.85x cash back

To make matters slightly worse you have to redeem your points for visa gift cards (minimum of $50 or 5,900 points), rather than statement credit or cold hard cash. The redemption rates are even worse if you try to redeem for gift cards.

PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card

  • Annual fee of $25 is waived first year
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • Gas Purchases at the Pump: 3% cash back for standard cardholders and 5% for plus cardholders
    • All other purchases: 1% cash back

To receive the 5% cash back on gas this card offers you must have the Plus version of this card (otherwise you’ll only earn 3% cash back). This requires you to have one or more of the qualifying products from PenFed:

  • Active checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)
  • Money Market Certificate or IRA Certificate
  • Mortgage
  • Installment loan
  • Equity Loan or Equity Line of Credit with a balance
  • Thrifty Credit Service
  • Personal Line of Credit
  • Education Line of Credit
  • Money Market Savings Accounts

PenFed Joining Requirements

Anybody can become a member of PenFed by making a small one off donation to either to Voices for America’s Troops ($15) or the National Military Family Association ($20). You can also join for free if you’re military or work for the United States government, a full list of free options can be found here.

Our Verdict

It’s a shame that these cards no longer earn a true 5% cash back on gas stations, even worse is the fact that it’s now only at the pump and not for purchases made in store (like gift cards). Personally I think there are better credit cards for gas purchases out there, but with the $100 bonus these cards could be somewhat tempting for somebody who spends a lot on actual gas.

Hat tip to reddit.com/r/churning user shift_DAWG



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Vince
Vince

For the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card:
Cash rewards automatically awarded to your account every month.
No caps, limits or tiers on rewards.

NO cashback is given on any other purchases other than gasoline paid for at the pump. (PenFed has removed language from the card’s webpage that mentions any cash back other than gasoline paid for at the pump.)

How to qualify for the Plus card
You can earn 5.00% on gas purchases paid at the pump and avoid an annual fee by obtaining a qualifying PenFed product. (Qualifying PenFed are products mentioned in the article above.)

For both cards:
For a limited time earn a $100 bonus statement credit for spending $1,500 in 90 days.

For all PenFed credit cars:
No foreign transaction fee.
Cardholders may sign up for Free electronic statement notification to avoid paying a $1.00 fee for mailed paper statements.

Mohammad M
Mohammad M

What is it a “shame” that they don’t pay 5% for in store purchases?

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Jonathan
Jonathan

To get the 5% you just have to open a money market account with them which is really easy to do. There is a minimum to open the money market but once its opened you can transfer the money back out, leaving 1 cent in it. In this way you get 5% gas cash back with no annual fee. This is still my go to gas card because 1. The rewards automatically apply and 2. I have it autopay so but i never even look at it and essentially am getting a 5% gas discount without any hassle of redeeming rewards. What other 5% cb card is that easy?

Dan
Dan

this card no longer seems to be available. I have it myself, but was trying to help get it for someone else. Also the representative I spoke to said that a minimum of $25 has to be kept in the money market account at all times, so YMMV on that minimum balance

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