PenFed’s new card pays 2% cash back

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The nation’s third-largest credit union has just unveiled a credit card that pays 2 percent cash back on all purchases and charges no annual fee.

If you don’t mind the legwork, Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s offer is a decent one.

CARD SEARCH: Going on vacation? Take a card that charges no foreign transaction fee.

To qualify for the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature®Card ,you’ll have to become a member of this credit union. Membership is open to military personnel and their families, but anyone can join by first joining one of two non-profit groups, Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. A one-time $17 fee applies.

Members must open a savings account with a $5 minimum deposit. That’s enough to earn you 1.5 percent cash back on purchases with your Power Cash card. Earn 2% cash back through the PenFed Honors Advantage program.

Other features include:

  • A $100 statement bonus if you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days of card ownership.
  • 0% promo APR on balance transfers for 12 months with a 3% balance transfer fee per transaction
  • After that, a variable APR of 17.99 percent will apply
  • No foreign transaction fees.

How the card stacks up

You can compare Power Cash rewards program with likes of the Citi® Double Cash Card and the Discover it® Cash Back, the only other programs offering 2-for-1 rewards on everyday spending.

The Double Cash card pays 1 percent back on purchases and then another 1 percent back as you pay your bill. Both have the same balance transfer fee of 3 percent, but the Citi Double Cash card has a longer intro APR offer for Balance Transfers- 18 months interest-free. The Citi Double Cash Card has a variable APR of 13.99% – 23.99% after the 18 month window ends, so it’s hard to beat PenFed’s variable APR of 17.99%.

The Citi Double Cash Card also comes with some great travel protections that PenFed doesn’t offer, but it also has a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent, making a card like the PenFed Power Cash possibly the more economical choice for travel abroad.

The Discover it® Cash Back offer is good for the first year of card ownership due to the cash back match offer from Discover: Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year of card membership. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter made in various categories throughout the year. After that, you’ll earn 1% on all purchases.

CARD SEARCH: Get a travel rewards credit card that pays more today.

Other PenFed reward cards

PenFed offers two other rewards credit cards. The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card  pays 5x points at the gas pump, 3x points at the supermarket and 1 point on other purchases. The Premium Travel Rewards American Express card offers 5x points on all airfare purchases and 1x point everything else.


Stay up-to-date with the industry’s top news and strategies for earning cash back. Check out Bankrate’s cash back catalog for everything you need to know to earn the most out of every swipe.

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