Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) Review
Pentagon Federal Credit Union has been called and named as an abbreviation – PenFed. It appears to be the paradigm of financial stability that delivers inclusivity. It comprises a highly appreciable credit union approach.
At the time of Establishment, it is only bound to serve, military and government personnel. But over time, the boundaries have been finished and now it can serve and facilitate a broad spectrum of Americans in terms of its financial services.
Here is a justified and comprehensive overview stated next for the Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) Review. It will prove helpful for the reader if one is thinking of having its facilities.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union was established in 1935. As stated above, initially it only caters to the needs and preferences of military personnel, civilian government members, and their families. However, over time it adopted the expansion of its membership and started facilitating the broader audience horizon.
In terms of its banking services, it covers;
- Savings account
- Checking accounts
- Credit cards
- Other lending products
For all the categories, PenFed offers competitive rates and a unique reputation that makes the bank easy to join for customers.
To become a PenFed member, an individual needs to be;
- An American citizen or permanent resident.
- Open a savings account with a minimum deposit of $5.
Additionally, the PenFed is NCUA insured. It has ensured the safety of deposited funds even in the case of failure of a credit union.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Locations
Pentagon Federal Credit Union is known to operate multiple branches and locations across the United States. The locations can easily be tracked with the help of the official sites.
As we know it first originated with a central demand of serving military personnel, and government employees, PenFed has now expanded its services and locations in areas other than the military approach for the convenience of a national audience.
In the working boundaries of PenFed, it rolls down the two checking account options;
- Access America Checking – It carries a monthly service fee which is $10. The fees can be waived under specified conditions. This account also provides dividend authenticity on balances between $20,000 and $50,000. Furthermore, it includes a free contactless debit card that is compatible with Google Pay & Apple Pay, as well as Samsung Pay
- Free Checking – These are the accounts that do not require any monthly maintenance and fees. It can easily be opened with a minimum deposit of $25. Moreover, it provides an overdraft line specifically for the credit at a 17.99% APR as well as a Visa Debit card with no ATM fees applicable.
|Access America Checking
|Monthly Maintenance Fees
|Minimum Deposit to Open
|Overdraft Line of Credit APR
|No ATM fees
|No PenFed ATM fees; other fees may apply
Sam as the checking accounts, PenFed provides two types of savings accounts;
- Regular, $5 initial deposit –
- Premium, $5 initial deposit – This account has the account boasting with the specified yield of 3.00% APY. Its interest is compounded and credited every month.
There are no minimum balance requirements for both categories of accounts. Additionally, no maintenance fees are applied for either or both accounts. The regular & premium accounts offer free bill-pay services.
Whereas, the ATM card facility is only bound with the Regular Savings account. Its fees are applied for both in-network & non-network ATMs
|Premium Online Savings
|Initial Deposit Requirement
|APY (Annual Percentage Yield)
|Lower than Premium
|Minimum Balance Requirement
|Bill Pay Services
CD Rates and Money Market Accounts
PenFed’s Money Market Certificates of deposits are known to provide tiered rates. These rates depend upon the term credibility. The terms range mostly from 6 to around 84 months. It requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 which is the same for all terms.
The APY ranges of CDs with the Term authentication is as follows;
- 6-month: 3.00% APY
- 12-month: 5.25% APY
- 15-month: 4.90% APY
- 18-month: 4.65% APY
- 2-year: 4.60% APY
- 3-year: 4.30% APY
- 4-year: 4.00% APY
- 5-year: 4.00% APY
- 7-year: 3.90% APY
However, like most of the other CD options, early withdrawal penalties are available. These penalties vary based on certificate terms.
Mortgage Loans and Other Loan Products
PenFed’s mortgage category specifically offers lender credits. The range of these credits is $500 to $2,500 which is based on the amount of the loan. It applies no lender fees on the loans.
The feature options for mortgage consist of;
- VA loans
- Jumbo mortgages.
Another noteworthy thing is that the PenFed does not offer USDA or FHA loans. Whereas, mortgage refinancing, has a broad range of options specifically on the horizon of conventional, VA, and jumbo loans. It has some closing costs that can be waived for VA streamline refinance loans.
Additional Products and Services
Attractively, PenFed has four types of credit cards; that are applicable to meet different needs.
|PenFed Gold Visa
|– 0% APR introductory rate for the first 15 months- Low ongoing APR for purchases.- No annual fee.
|PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa
|– 1.5% cash back on all purchases- $100 statement credit as a welcome offer- No annual fee.
|PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature
|– Points on everyday spending- No annual fee- Tailored for regular spenders seeking reward points.
|PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature
|– Points on travel categories- Complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge membership- Ideal for frequent travelers- No annual fee for PenFed Honors Advantage Members.
PenFed’s lending products include a wide range of loans ranging from auto loans to home equity loans. It further has services for personal loans, student loans, and mortgages. All of them comprise competitive rates, and their applications can easily be initiated online.
PenFed’s mortgage options are exceptional. It includes the lender credits that come with the waived closing costs. These mortgages further include the conventional fixed-rate loans along with the jumbo loans. HELOCs are also the point of attraction.
Other than these, Special considerations are only available for homebuyers. It can be availed with the low cash closing costs option.
Comparison Overview with Other Institutes
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)
|Navy Federal Credit Union
|Open to all U.S. citizens or permanent residents
|Primarily for military personnel, veterans, and their families
|Military members, veterans, and their families
|Savings Account APY
|Up to 3.00% on Premium Online Savings
|Up to 0.25% on regular savings
|Up to 0.15% on regular savings
|Checking Account APY
|0.15% – 0.35% on Access America Checking
|Up to 0.05%
|2.00% – 4.35% (Money Market Certificates)
|0.40% – 3.00%
|0.03% – 0.94%
|Mortgage and Loan Products
|Conventional, Jumbo, VA loans, HELOCs
|Conventional, Jumbo, VA loans, Military Choice
|VA loans, conventional mortgages
|Minimal to no fees on most accounts
|Varies, generally low
|Low fees, no monthly service fees
Pros and Cons Analysis
- PenFed offers attractive rates for its savings and checking accounts, CDs, and lending products.
- There are no maintenance and monthly fees on savings and checking
- It offers an Inclusive Membership opportunity.
- It comprises a diverse Product Range
- PenFed does not provide USDA or FHA loans, which might be a limitation for some borrowers.
- For certain products like credit cards and loans, good to excellent credit is necessary, potentially excluding those with lower credit scores.
PenFed is known to contain a broad and excellent reputation, that is easy and highly convenient to notice by its high Trustpilot score. Overall reviews of customers are based on competitive rates of credit unions, no & minimal fee options, and most importantly ease of joining.
Praises are also directed towards other varieties of products and the quality assurance of customer services.
However, limitations on reviews are also there. The lack of certain loan types like USDA, and FHA and the need to contact loan officers for complete mortgage applications are the biggest concerns. Overall, customer feedback for PenFed represents the strengths that they offer for their financial services with customer-friendly policies.
Final Personal Review – Services, Customers Centric Approach
We count PenFed to be a solid choice for all those who are looking for a reliable and comprehensive credit union. Its strengths in terms of;
- Customer service
Align it to be a competitive player in the financial services sector.
Still, there are some areas for improvement, particularly in the area of loan variety and accessibility of these loans.
PenFed Credit Union delivers a wide variety of financial products along services. It is mainly characterized due to its competitive rates and minimal fees. It provides inclusive membership policies.
Overall, all the robust offerings without any discrimination of savings and checking accounts, CDs & credit cards, and most importantly the lending products are highly appreciated.
These aspects are combined to make it an ideal pick for the wide range of investors, who are looking for something extraordinary for their investment
PenFed credit options are easily available to all U.S. and other permanent residents. No doubt, initially, it had restrictions to be bound only for military personnel, but now it has expanded its membership eligibility to a greater extent.
A big Yes. It is credible to provide highly competitive interest rates. Their Premium Online Savings account has an APY of up to 3.00%, and their Money Market Certificates offer rates ranging from 2.00% to 4.35%.
PenFed’s checking and savings accounts come with minimal to no fees. The Regular and Premium savings accounts have no maintenance fees, and their Free Checking account also has no monthly maintenance fees.
PenFed provides a variety of loan products, i.e. conventional and jumbo mortgages, VA loans, and home equity lines of credit. They also offer auto loans, personal loans, and student loans, all with competitive rates.
PenFed is popular for providing extensive customer service with phone support. The support is available during extended hours on weekdays and weekends. They also provide 24/7 online messaging and support through their mobile app.