PenFed Gold Visa® Card Review [2024]: Simple Benefits

CREDIT CARDS - NO ANNUAL FEE CREDIT CARDS
This PenFed credit card has an intro APR offer for new cardholders, but there are some details to be aware of. Read this PenFed Gold Visa Card review to learn what you need to know.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Whether you’re a member of the military or just a fan of credit unions, you can now become a member of the PenFed Credit Union. On top of a host of banking solutions, PenFed is known for its no-fee credit card options. One of those cards is the PenFed Gold Visa® Card. Although it’s not winning a lot of attention among credit card enthusiasts, it does offer some simple benefits that are hard to ignore — especially if you want to do a balance transfer.

In this PenFed Gold Visa Card review, we’ll walk through the perks and drawbacks of this credit card, who it’s meant for, and other credit cards you may want to consider.

Low Interest and No Annual Fee

PenFed Gold Visa® Card
4.4

PenFed Gold Visa® Card

Current Offer

Low everyday APR on purchases

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this PenFed Gold Visa Card review

Who should get the PenFed Gold Visa® Card?

The PenFed Gold Visa Card is for people who need or want to do a balance transfer, or who want to save on interest. This card is a good fit for doing a balance transfer to pay down debt during its intro APR period when the card has a 0% intro APR for 15 months, then 17.99%. The PenFed Gold Visa also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 17.99% (variable). In general, you need an excellent credit score to be approved for this card.

PenFed membership is no longer exclusive to military and related organizations. However, the PenFed Gold Visa is still a solid option for members of the military who want to consolidate debt or pay off a large purchase over time.

The PenFed Gold Visa Card is not for everybody. It’s a basic, no-frills credit card with no rewards earning potential and few benefits outside of its low rates. If you like to earn cash back, points, or miles for purchases, this isn’t the right card for you. Other PenFed credit cards offer rewards, along with a host of rewards credit cards that offer much more than the PenFed Gold Visa.

Credit card basics

Card type Low Interest
Card issuer PenFed Credit Union
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus Low everyday APR on purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent
Intro APR 0% intro APR for 15 months, then 17.99% APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 17.99% (variable) APR
Foreign transaction fee None

PenFed Gold Visa® Card benefits and perks

  • Intro purchase APR offer: New cardholders can get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 17.99% (variable) APR. 
  • Balance transfer APR offer: New cardholders can get a 0% intro APR for 15 months, then 17.99% APR.
  • No annual fee: One of the upsides of this card is that it has a $0 annual fee. 
  • No foreign transaction fees: The PenFed Gold Visa is a good card to have when traveling internationally. You’ll never pay any foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside of the U.S.
  • No cash advance fees: There are also no fees for taking out a cash advance. Card issuers often charge a flat rate of $5 or $10 and/or a percentage of the advance amount. The lack of a cash advance fee is one of the lesser-used perks of this card, but it can come in handy if you need money quickly.

Drawbacks to the PenFed Gold Visa® Card

  • Membership requirement: Qualifying for a PenFed credit card does require being a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Membership used to be restricted to military and other select groups, but now anyone can apply. Opening a checking or savings account with PenFed with a $5 minimum deposit is required when you become a member.
  • No rewards: If you’re looking for a card that rewards your spending with either cash back or points, the PenFed Gold Visa is not that card unfortunately.

PenFed Gold Visa® Card FAQ

How do I join PenFed?

Applying for membership is easy with PenFed. Simply go to the website and click “join now.” You’ll be walked through a simple application process. Have your basic personal information available to fill out and submit your application, including your name, mailing address, birthday and Social Security number. Membership is free but does require opening either a checking or savings account with a $5 deposit.

What credit score is needed for a PenFed credit card?

The PenFed Gold Visa Card requires an excellent credit score to qualify. A FICO score of 800 or more is considered excellent.

Which credit report does PenFed pull?

PenFed pulls from a variety of credit reports, but mostly relies on Equifax for credit cards.

How do I pay my PenFed credit card?

Cardholders can pay their credit card bill by logging into their online account, through the mobile app, or by mail.

The PenFed mobile app is available on iOS and Android. Along with paying your card, the app connects you to all your PenFed accounts. Customers can manage accounts, pay bills, access digital wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay), make mobile deposits, and more.

To mail payments to PenFed, use the following mailing address:

PenFed Credit Union
P.O. Box 247080
Omaha NE 68124-7080

Which PenFed credit card is best?

Which PenFed credit card is the best is a matter of preference. If you want to earn cash back rewards, the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is best. Another rewards card to consider is the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card.


Other cards to consider

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a better option within the PenFed card family if you’re interested in earning rewards — and we consider it one of the best credit cards for military members. There are two different levels of cashback earnings with this card: 2% cash back on all purchases for PenFed Honors Advantage Members; 1.5% cash back on all purchases for other cardmembers. If you are or were part of the military, you’re eligible for PenFed Honors Advantage. You can also qualify by having a PenFed checking account. With a $0 annual fee, a $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days, and 0% introductory APR for 12 months on transfers made within the first 90 days of account opening (then 17.99% (non-variable)), there’s a lot to love about this PenFed credit card.

Always a solid choice for cashback fans, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is one of the most popular credit cards around. This $0 annual fee credit card earns 5% total cash back on qualifying Lyft rides; 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. On top of earning rewards, you can also earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 

Low Interest and No Annual Fee

PenFed Gold Visa® Card
4.4

PenFed Gold Visa® Card

Why We Like It

Low everyday APR on purchases

See how these cards compare:

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • $100 bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Intro APR on balance transfers
  • Additional cash back for PenFed Honors Advantage Members
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Up to 5% cash back on spending
  • Perks from Lyft, DoorDash, and more

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.