Credit Cards

New Card on the Block: PenFed Platinum Rewards Card

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One thing I’ve always liked about PenFed credit cards is that the benefits usually far outweigh the costs. This latest addition to their lineup is no exception.

This card is the replacement for the PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card, which was my pick for first runner-up for the Best Cash Back Credit Card in America last spring.

If you have the PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card, you can keep that card or switch over to the new version. But the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card is a better deal, especially since the old card has decreased cash rewards from 1 percent to 0.25 percent on purchases other than gas.

Now, the cash rewards have been changed to points on the new card. So you can no longer get a statement credit, but you can redeem your points for gift cards, travel, merchandise and experiences.

You can also redeem points for a Visa prepaid card. A spokesperson for PenFed confirmed that there are no fees associated with the Visa prepaid card.

You get a sign-up bonus. You can earn 5,000 points the first time you use your card and another 20,000 points if you spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Here are a few more highlights of the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card:

  • Five points per $1 spent on gas
  • Three points per $1 spent on supermarket purchases
  • One point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • You get a fixed 9.99 percent purchase APR through June 30, 2014; after that, your APR will vary with the prime rate
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

There’s also a promotional 1.99 percent APR on balance transfers through March 31, 2012. You do have to pay a 3 percent transfer fee.

Some credit cards issued by credit unions are notoriously hard to get unless you have a family member in the military. But you can join PenFed by giving a $20 donation to the National Military Association or $15 to Voices for America’s Troops.

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