If you’re a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, you can earn up to 5 percent cash back with the purchases you make with the PenFed Platinum Cashback Rewards Credit Card. You’ll do so while paying a purchase interest rate that is lower than the rates offered by most rewards credit cards.
The only downside? You can’t just join this credit union. You have to be a member or a veteran of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, defense-related companies or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
PenFed Credit Card Rewards Program
Credit unions pride themselves on offering credit cards with low purchase interest rates and fees. The PenFed Platinum Cashback Rewards Card fits this model.
Not only is the purchase interest rate low, this card also comes with no annual fee. Even its penalty interest rate — charged on consumers who miss payments or pay their bill late — is lower than the standard interest rate that comes with many rewards cards.
The PenFed Platinum Cashback card rewards you with cash back on every purchase that you make with the card. Most purchases will earn 1 percent while gas purchases will earn 5 percent.
By making the right purchases, you will earn a significant amount of cash back during each billing cycle.
Travel and Shopping Rewards
You’ll earn 5 percent cash back with every purchase you make at the gas pump with this card. All other purchases will earn you 1 percent cash back.
Interest Rate, Fees & Other Fine Print
The PenFed Platinum Cashback Card has no annual fee. For a complete and updated list of fees, check the card issuers website before applying.
How It Compares To Other Cash Back Credit Cards
PenFed Platinum vs Chase Freedom Card
The Chase Freedom Card offers a $200 sign up bonus if at least $500 is spent within the first 3 months. Up to 10 percent cash back is offered when shopping online through Chase, 5 percent cash back is available for rotating categories (on up to $1,500 spent each quarter) and customers will receive 1 percent cash back for everything else.
When compared to the PenFed Platinum Cashback Rewards Card, the Chase Freedom Card is a better bet. The rewards are significantly better and it also has no annual fee, just like PenFed’s offer.
If you looking only for a gas card, then the PenFed Platinum Cashback Rewards Card will be a better bet, as it offers 5 percent cash back year round on gasoline. However, on an overall basis, the Chase Freedom Card has much more to offer.
PenFed Platinum vs Chase Ink Cash Card
The Chase Ink Cash Card offers $150 cash back after the first purchase and $100 cash back after $5,000 is spent within 3 months. It also offers a 0 percent APR for 6 months on purchases and no annual fee.
The only noticeable difference in the other fees is that it has a cash advance fee of $15 or 5 percent while the PenFed Platinum Cashback Rewards Card has none.
The Chase Ink Cash Card also offers 5 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on office supplies, cable services and telecom services. Additionally, it offers 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on gasoline and dining as well as 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
Basically, unless you are solely looking for a gas card, the Chase Ink Cash Card is the better of the 2 for most customers.
The Bottom Line
- No annual fee
- Low APR and no fees on balance transfers for 24 months for those who enroll by September 31, 2011
- No cash advance fees
- Have to be a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union to apply for this card
- If you want a card for anything other than gasoline, this card is not going to cut it
Credit RequiredAverage Credit
Rewards ProgramEarn 5% cash back from gas purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases.