PenFed Credit Union 2021 Review

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Benefits explained

  • High yield checking account with easy to waive monthly fees – Dividend paying chequing accounts generally have a low dividend rate. The Access America Chequing Account offers high yield and no monthly fees with a daily balance or monthly direct deposit of $ 500 or more.
  • Online savings account offering a competitive dividend rate – The Premium Online Savings Account has a competitive dividend rate with no monthly fees. Plus, it only requires a $ 5 deposit to open.
  • Low minimum deposit to open checking and savings accounts – You can open a checking, savings or money market account with PenFed for $ 25 or less. This makes it easier for people to transfer their accounts from their old bank.


Disadvantages Explained

  • Limited number of branches – PenFed has just over 50 branches across the United States. This is a problem for people who want the convenience of a nearby physical branch.
  • Does not reimburse ATM fees charged by other banks – If you use the ATM of another bank, PenFed does not charge any fees. However, PenFed will not reimburse you for this bank’s fees, as it partners with Target, CVS, and others to provide free access to over 85,000 ATMs.
  • Severe penalties for early withdrawal of money market certificates – Members who need to access their money before their money market certificate expires could pay a hefty penalty. For example, a one-year term would lose all dividends earned if they were withdrawn before maturity.


Who is PenFed Credit Union for?

PenFed Credit Union is the best solution for consumers who want high yield accounts with minimum deposit requirements and low fees. This can be a good solution if you:

  • Focus on online banking
  • You want a high return on your checking accounts, savings accounts and money market certificates
  • Looking for a low minimum opening deposit requirement
  • You want to easily waive monthly fees
  • Prefer a full-service bank that offers many products and services
  • You want a credit card with no annual fee


What does PenFed Credit Union offer?

PenFed Credit Union offers a range of deposit accounts, loans and services to meet your needs.

Although PenFed was historically limited to people with ties to the military and government, membership is now open to all citizens and permanent residents of the United States.

Check accounts

PenFed currently only offers one checking account: Access America Checking. This dividend-bearing current account has two levels of Annual Percentage Returns (APY), based on your daily balance. For balances over $ 50,000, no dividend is earned.

A minimum deposit of $ 25 is required to open your account. The monthly fee of $ 10 is waived with a daily balance of $ 500 or direct deposits totaling at least $ 500 per month.

Members can use over 85,000 ATMs free of charge. Although PenFed Credit Union has limited ATMs, the credit union partners with Allpoint, Target, CVS, Walgreens, etc., so members can use an ATM without being charged. If you use another bank’s ATM machine, PenFed Credit Union does not charge a fee. However, it will not reimburse you for the fees charged by the owner of that ATM.

CONTROL ACCOUNTS OF THE PENSIONED CREDIT FUND
ACCOUNT NAME MINIMUM DEPT AT OPENING MONTHLY FEE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE OF RETURN (APY)
Access America Verification 25 $ $ 10 0.15% $ 0 to $ 19,999

0.35% $ 20,000 to $ 50,000

0.00% $ 50,001 +

(As of August 20, 2021)

Money market savings accounts

The money market savings account pays a higher dividend rate, depending on the amount deposited. There is a minimum opening deposit of $ 25 and no monthly service charge. Free checks are available on request, so members have easy access to their funds.

MONETARY MARKET ACCOUNTS OF FINANCED CREDIT FUND
ACCOUNT NAME MINIMUM DEPT AT OPENING MONTHLY FEE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE OF RETURN (APY)
Money market savings 25 $ $ 0 0.05% $ 0 to $ 9,999

0.10% $ 10,000 to $ 99,999

0.15% $ 100,000 +

(As of August 20, 2021)

Savings accounts

PenFed Credit Union has a regular savings account and an online option only. The regular savings account can be opened with $ 5 and provides statements electronically. If you choose paper statements, you will be charged a fee of $ 1 per month.

The Premium Online Savings Account is a high yield savings account with a competitive dividend rate (although not as high as the best going rates) and no monthly fees. There is also a minimum of $ 5 to open this account.

SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
ACCOUNT NAME MINIMUM DEPT AT OPENING MONTHLY FEE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE OF RETURN (APY)
Regular savings $ 5 $ 0 0.05%
Premium online savings $ 5 $ 0 0.45%
(As of August 20, 2021)

Money market certificates

Credit unions use the term “money market certificates” instead of “certificates of deposit (CDs)”. PenFed Credit Union has money market certificates ranging from six months to seven years. A minimum deposit of $ 1,000 is required to open an account.

Money Market Certificates are also available for Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and Coverdell College Education Savings Accounts. The minimum deposit required for a Coverdell account is reduced to $ 500.

At maturity, money market certificates will be renewed automatically, unless you have selected the non-renewal option. When this happens, the funds will automatically be deposited into a regular savings account.

RATE OF REIMBURSED MONEY MARKET CERTIFICATES
TERM APY MONETARY CERTIFICATES IRA APY CERTIFICATES COVERDELL APY EDUCATION SAVINGS CERTIFICATES
Six months 0.40% N / A N / A
One year 0.60% 0.50% 0.50%
15 months 0.60% N / A N / A
18 months 0.60% N / A N / A
Two years 0.65% 0.55% 0.55%
Three years 0.85% 0.80% 0.80%
Four years 0.75% 0.65% 0.65%
Five years 1.10% 1.05% 1.05%
Seven years 1.10% 1.05% 1.05%
(As of August 20, 2021)

If you withdraw the certificate from the money market before maturity, a penalty is applied depending on the duration chosen. The penalties appear to be more severe than what other banks charge for the same length of time.

FINANCED MONEY MARKET CERTIFICATES EARLY TERMINATION PENALTIES
TERM SADNESS
Six months or less Within 90 days or less, the penalty is all dividends earned.

After 90 days, the penalty is 90 days interest.

More than six months In the first year, all dividends are lost.

After the first year, the penalty is 30% of what would have been earned if held to maturity, without exceeding dividends earned.

(As of August 20, 2021)

Credit card

PenFed offers four choices of credit cards to its members. Platinum Rewards, Power Cash Rewards, and Gold cards have no annual fee. The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card has an annual fee of $ 95. All cards offer a 0% 12-month balance transfer promotion for new accounts. Members can choose from a low annual percentage rate (APR), cash back, or rewards, depending on their needs.

  • PenFed Visa Gold Card
  • PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card
  • Visa Signature PenFed Platinum Rewards card
  • PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card


Other financial products offered by PenFed Credit Union

In addition to the deposit products listed above, PenFed Credit Union members also have access to the following products and services:



PenFed Credit Union Customer Service

Customer service is available by phone (1-800-247-5626) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST. During the weekends, live customer service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST on Saturday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

PenFed Credit Union is available via secure online messaging and through its 24-hour mobile app. Members can download its mobile app for Apple (4.2 stars, 6,700 ratings) and Android (4.5 stars, 14,841 ratings).

Because it is a credit union, its deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) instead of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).


How to bank with PenFed Credit Union

If you want to bank with PenFed Credit Union, becoming a member is easy. Now that it has opened its charter, membership is available to any U.S. resident or permanent who wishes to open an account nationwide.

You can open an account online or by visiting one of the branches of PenFed Credit Union. The online savings account can only be opened online.

Verdict

Membership in PenFed Credit Union was previously restricted to those with close ties to the military and the federal government. Since he opened his charter to allow more people to sign up, his attractive products and services are now available to all Americans across the country. PenFed Credit Union offers competitive rates and fees on its checks, online savings, and money market certificates. It offers a full range of deposit and loan products and services comparable to large banks. As long as you don’t need a physical branch nearby, you can perform all your banking needs online, through its app, or through its partner network of ATMs.


Methodology

Investopedia is committed to providing consumers with unbiased and comprehensive ratings of banks. We’ve collected over 20 data points from over 80 banks, including available products, interest rates, fees, and affordability, to ensure our content helps users make the right decision for their savings. and their banking needs.


Investopedia requires that writers use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reports, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where applicable. You can read more about the standards we follow to produce accurate and unbiased content in our editorial policy.

  1. Apple.com. “PenFed Mobile.” Accessed July 10, 2020.

  2. Google.com. “PenFed.” Accessed July 10, 2020.




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