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November 6, 2015

Rewards Credit Cards

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa® Card Review

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa®Card is a points-based credit card with particularly high rewards for gas purchases. Additional benefits may be relatively limited, but high bonus point rates and diverse redemption options may make it worth it.

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The Good

Diverse reward redemption options

Because the PenFed Platinum Rewards card is a points-based credit card, available ways to redeem your rewards are much more diverse. Points earned on the PenFed Platinum card can be redeemed for airline travel, hotels, car rentals, gift cards, and other merchandise. Getting cash back is always nice, but if you prefer applying points to other things, the PenFed Platinum card is a good choice.

Strong bonuses for gas and other purchases

The PenFed Platinum Rewards card offers five points for every dollar spent on gas purchases. For those with long commutes or who travel often, these points can add up very quickly. In addition to the bonuses associated with gas purchases, cardholders will also receive three points for every dollar spent at grocery stores, and one point for all other purchases.

Unlimited rewards

Many rewards cards will place limits on the number of rewards you can earn, especially when it comes to gas purchases, but the PenFed Platinum card allows you to earn an unlimited number of points. Having the ability to earn unlimited points is obviously a superior option, especially if you plan on using your rewards card on a regular basis.

No foreign transaction fees

When you travel internationally with the PenFed Platinum Rewards card, you won't have to worry about pesky transaction fees on foreign currency. Some of the top rewards credit cards will charge a fee for every foreign transaction. Although these fees may appear to be fairly minimal, they can definitely add up and result in an unexpectedly high charge on your account.

The Bad

Limited additional benefits

Although the PenFed Platinum Rewards card does come with benefits like car rental insurance, travel insurance, and fraud liability, compared to some of the other top rewards credit cards, the benefits are lacking. If benefits like roadside assistance, lost luggage insurance, and emergency support are particularly important to your circumstances, you will likely be able to find a rewards credit card that is a better fit.

Points expire

Although the PenFed Platinum Rewards card does offer unlimited points, it is important to be aware that these points expire. Points will expire five years from the end of the month in which you earned them. In addition, if you close your account, or if you default on the credit card agreement, you will lose access to your points.

The Details

Rate and Fees

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Rate (APR): 9.99% until June 2014, varies thereafter
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory Rate (APR): 9.99% for 16 months
  • Standard Rate (APR): Varies

Penalty Fees

  • Default Penalty Rate (APR): 17.99%
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $10 - $25 (depending on balance)
  • Minimum Interest Charge: None
  • Over-Limit Fee: None
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $25

Balance Transfers

  • Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR): 0% for 18 months
  • Standard Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3% per transfer ($250 maximum)
  • Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR): 9.99%


  • Additional Rewards for Dining: None
  • Additional Rewards for Gas: 5 points per $1
  • Additional Rewards for Groceries: 3 points per $1
  • Additional Rewards for Shopping: None
  • Additional Rewards for Travel: None
  • Bonus Points Offered: None
  • Rewards Earnings for All Purchases: 1 point per $1
  • Sign-Up Bonus: None
  • Type of Rewards: Points

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