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Pentagon Federal Credit Union Review 2024

Updated January 2, 2024
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At a glance

4.1
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down

CDs

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Checking

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

Savings

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

MMA

Rating: 2.7 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Overview

PenFed is good for savers who are interested in getting above average rates and the option to choose from a wide variety of banking products. Consumers who prefer in-person banking may want to consider an institution with a larger branch network.

Highlights

  • Free Checking
Compare offers
Info
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
4.30
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 4/21/2024
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
$1
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer:
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
5.00
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 4/21/2024
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
$0
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer: Plus, no monthly fees and unlimited free external transfers
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
5.05
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 4/21/2024
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
$5,000
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer: CIT Bank, a division of First Citizens, 125+ years of experience.

Overall

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is one of the largest federal credit unions, based on assets and membership. It has a rich history in serving members of the armed forces, those affiliated with the military and employees of the federal government. PenFed has members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories. It is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The Premium Online Savings account offers an annual percentage yield (APY) that’s well above the national average.

  • Checkmark

    Checking or savings accounts can be opened with a low minimum deposit.

  • Checkmark

    Tens of thousands of free ATMs are available.

Cons

  • The yield on the basic savings account is low.

  • The credit union’s network of around 50 branches extends across just 13 states.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) banking products

4.4
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) savings overview

The Premium Online Savings account earns a dividend rate that’s above the national average APY, and it requires only a $5 minimum deposit with no monthly fee.

PenFed’s Regular Savings account offers a very low APY, but it can be opened at a branch and provides easy ATM access.

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The Premium Online Savings account offers an above average APY.

  • Checkmark

    There are no monthly service fees to worry about.

  • Checkmark

    Customers can set up free online recurring transfers with the Premium Online Savings account.

Cons

  • The Regular Savings account pays an APY that’s lower than the national average.

  • The Premium Online Savings account doesn’t provide ATM access.

  • See how rates for this account have changed over time. Interact with the trend lines to view APY by date.

    Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)
    APY
    APY
    Info
    National average APY
    How do we get this data?
    Info
Compare Offer
Info
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
4.30
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 4/21/2024
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
Info
$1
Min balance for APY
Promoted offer:

Bank fees

Fee Charged
Overdraft fee $15
Non-sufficient funds fee $30
Monthly maintenance fee None
Out-of-network ATM fee $1.50
Excessive transaction fee None

About Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)

Pentagon Federal Credit Union was established in 1935 in Washington, D.C., as the War Department Federal Credit Union. Today, PenFed is based in McLean, Virginia, and serves around 2.8 million members worldwide.

PenFed offers a variety of banking products, including checking, savings and money market accounts as well as several types of share certificates.

Current and retired members of the armed forces and employees of the federal government are eligible to join the credit union, but membership is open to just about anyone.

Bank experience

Consumers who choose PenFed will have access to about 50 branches, but those who aren’t in proximity to a branch can take advantage of robust digital features and do their banking online.

The mobile app is highly rated in both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store. It can be used to set travel notifications on debit/credit cards, deposit checks, pay bills and more.

Members also have ample access to free ATMs with tens of thousands of free ATMs available, including those in the Allpoint and Co-op networks.

PenFed has phone hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern on every day except Sunday.

How does Pentagon Federal compare to other banks?

Pentagon Federal Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

As some of the largest credit unions in the country, both PenFed and Navy Federal offer a wide array of financial products and services, including deposit accounts like checking and savings in addition to loans and credit cards. 

Membership at PenFed is open to everyone, but Navy Federal requires you or a family/household member to have ties to the armed forces, the Department of Defense or the National Guard. 

While both credit unions offer similar yields on their CDs, PenFed offers higher yields on its Premium Online Savings account.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union FAQs

Review methodology

With so many financial institutions to choose from, it can be hard to know who to trust. Bankrate’s ever-growing list of bank and credit union reviews is updated regularly. Our editorial team analyzes and reviews each institution across deposit products such as savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts (MMAs). Banks are rated by important factors such as offered interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, access to funds and more.

We assign a score to each type of account and its features, weigh them carefully based on importance to account holders and determine an overall score. Read our full review methodology.