PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card Review
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- This card offers top-of-the-line rebates when you pay at the pump for your gas – five points per dollar or the equivalent of 5 percent. Purchases at grocery stores also earn bonus returns – three points per dollar.
- Our 2019 Editor's Choice pick for Best Gas Rewards.
- Earn a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 on the card in the first 90 days.
- This card really benefits people who spend a lot at gas stations and grocery stores, in particular. If you don't spend a lot on in those categories, there are likely better card options for you.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union has grown into one of the country's largest credit unions by offering solid financial products to military families and their supporters. Their PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers outstanding value for families that spend a lot of money every year at gas stations and grocery stores, all with no annual fee. For this reason, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card was named a 2019 CardRating's Editor's Choice Award winner for Best Gas Rewards card.
Best card for gas and grocery rewards
This card is best for anyone with large grocery bills and heavy personal mileage. PenFed designs its credit cards around the needs of military families, explaining some of the extraordinary rebates you can rack up with this account. Gas purchases earn five points per dollar – the equivalent of a 5 percent rebate – when you pay at the pump. Supermarket purchases score three points per dollar, and all your other purchases earn one point per dollar. (For the benefit of military families, PenFed considers military commissaries the same as supermarkets.)
Plus, you can earn a $100 statement credit after you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days.
Redeeming your points requires a quick trip to PenFed's online rewards center, which will look familiar if you've ever used similar tools from the Chase Ultimate Rewards® or Citi ThankYou® programs. Although the site offers a handful of electronics and household goods, you'll generally get the best value by trading points for Visa prepaid reward cards or instant e-certificates to retailers like Amazon and Gap.
Bonus perks for overseas travelers
Like other PenFed credit cards, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card charges no foreign transaction fees. That can make a big budgetary difference to military personnel deployed overseas, saving between 3 and 5 percent on every transaction compared to most credit cards. PenFed also includes comprehensive travel accident insurance for members and their families traveling on itineraries purchased with this card.
How the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card compares to other gas credit cards
The big banks' best gas credit cards can't stand up to the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Although cards from Chase, American Express (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser) and Discover offer occasional 5 percent rebates on U.S gas purchases, their offers usually expire after a few months or come with spending caps. Most co-branded gas cards top off their rebates at about 3 percent, while requiring you to track down a participating gas station. PenFed doesn't restrict members' earning potential on their 5 point gas rewards. In fact, the promotional materials for this account advise cardholders to use their cards as much as possible to earn extra rewards.
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.