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PenFed Credit Union Review (All You Need To Know 2023)

PenFed Credit Union Review – PenFed Credit Union is a federally chartered credit union that serves more than 2.3 million members worldwide. It offers a wide range of financial products and services, such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, home equity loans, certificates of deposit, and investment services.

PenFed Credit Union is known for its competitive rates, low fees, generous rewards, and flexible eligibility requirements. It also has a strong reputation for customer service and financial stability.

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In this article, we will review PenFed Credit Union’s main features, benefits, and drawbacks, and help you decide if it’s the right fit for your financial needs.

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What Is PenFed Credit Union?

PenFed Credit Union was founded in 1935 as the War Department Federal Credit Union to serve the military and civilian employees of the War Department. Over the years, it expanded its membership to include other federal employees, military veterans, defense contractors, and their families.

Today, PenFed Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the country, with over $28 billion in assets and more than 50 branches across the U.S. and overseas. It also operates online and through a network of over 85,000 fee-free ATMs and 6,000 shared branches.

PenFed Credit Union’s mission is to empower its members to achieve financial success by providing best-in-class rates on loans, savings, and credit cards. It also supports various charitable causes and initiatives that benefit the military community and the general public.

How to Join PenFed Credit Union?

To join PenFed Credit Union, you need to meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

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  • You are an active duty or retired member of the U.S. military or uniformed services
  • You are a civilian employee or contractor of the U.S. government or defense-related companies
  • You are a family member or housemate of someone who meets the above criteria
  • You are a member of a qualifying organization or association that partners with PenFed Credit Union
  • You are willing to make a one-time donation of $17 to one of PenFed Credit Union’s affiliated nonprofit organizations

If you meet any of these criteria, you can apply for membership online or at a branch. You will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and proof of eligibility. You will also need to open a savings account with at least $5 to establish your membership.

What Are the Benefits of PenFed Credit Union?

PenFed Credit Union offers many benefits to its members, such as:

Competitive rates

PenFed Credit Union offers some of the lowest rates on mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and home equity loans in the market. It also offers high rates on savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts.

Low fees

PenFed Credit Union charges minimal fees for its products and services. For example, it does not charge monthly fees or minimum balance requirements for its checking and savings accounts. It also does not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties for its loans.

Generous rewards

PenFed Credit Union offers several credit cards that offer generous rewards on various categories of spending, such as gas, groceries, travel, and dining. It also offers cash back or points redemption options that can be used for statement credits, gift cards, or travel bookings.

Flexible eligibility

PenFed Credit Union has a broad and inclusive membership base that allows anyone to join by making a small donation to a nonprofit organization. It also has relaxed credit requirements for some of its products and services, such as its personal loans and credit cards.

Customer service

PenFed Credit Union has a dedicated team of customer service representatives who are available by phone, email, or chat 24/7. It also has an online portal and a mobile app that allow members to access their accounts, manage their finances and request assistance anytime and anywhere.

What Are the Drawbacks of PenFed Credit Union?

PenFed Credit Union also has some drawbacks that you should be aware of, such as:

Limited branch access

PenFed Credit Union has only about 50 branches across the U.S. and overseas, which may not be convenient for some members who prefer face-to-face interactions. However, it does offer online banking and mobile banking options that allow members to perform most transactions remotely.

Limited product variety

PenFed Credit Union does not offer some products and services that other financial institutions may offer, such as checking accounts with interest, business accounts or loans, health savings accounts, or IRAs. It also does not offer investment or insurance products directly, but rather through third-party partners.

High balance requirements

PenFed Credit Union requires high minimum balances to earn the highest rates on some of its products, such as its money market accounts and certificates of deposit. For example, to earn the highest rate on its money market account, you need to maintain a balance of $100,000 or more.

What Are the Products and Services of PenFed Credit Union?

PenFed Credit Union offers a wide range of financial products and services to its members, such as:

Checking and savings accounts

PenFed Credit Union offers several checking and savings accounts that have no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, and high-interest rates. Some of the accounts also offer ATM fee rebates, overdraft protection, and mobile check deposit. Members can access their accounts online, by phone, through a mobile app, or at a branch or ATM.

Credit cards

PenFed Credit Union offers several credit cards that offer generous rewards on various categories of spending, such as gas, groceries, travel, and dining. Some of the cards also offer low-interest rates, no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and balance transfer options. Members can apply for credit cards online or at a branch and manage their accounts online or through a mobile app.

Mortgages

PenFed Credit Union offers various types of mortgages, such as conventional, jumbo, VA, FHA, and USDA loans. It also offers refinancing options, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit. Members can apply for mortgages online or by phone and track their loan status online or through a mobile app.

Auto loans

PenFed Credit Union offers auto loans for new and used cars, as well as refinancing options. It also offers car-buying services, auto insurance, and extended warranties. Members can apply for auto loans online or by phone and manage their accounts online or through a mobile app.

Personal loans

PenFed Credit Union offers personal loans for various purposes, such as debt consolidation, home improvement, medical expenses, or vacation. It also offers student loans and student loan refinancing options. Members can apply for personal loans online or by phone and manage their accounts online or through a mobile app.

In addition to these products and services, PenFed Credit Union also offers investment services, insurance products, and financial education resources through its third-party partners. Members can access these services and products online or by phone.

How Does PenFed Credit Union Compare with Other Credit Unions and Banks?

PenFed Credit Union is one of the largest and most reputable credit unions in the country, but how does it compare with other credit unions and banks? Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of PenFed Credit Union compared with its competitors:

Advantages

Competitive rates

PenFed Credit Union offers some of the lowest rates on mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and home equity loans in the market. It also offers high rates on savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts.

Low fees

PenFed Credit Union charges minimal fees for its products and services. For example, it does not charge monthly fees or minimum balance requirements for its checking and savings accounts. It also does not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties for its loans.

Generous rewards

PenFed Credit Union offers several credit cards that offer generous rewards on various categories of spending, such as gas, groceries, travel, and dining. It also offers cash back or points redemption options that can be used for statement credits, gift cards, or travel bookings.

Flexible eligibility

PenFed Credit Union has a broad and inclusive membership base that allows anyone to join by making a small donation to a nonprofit organization. It also has relaxed credit requirements for some of its products and services, such as its personal loans and credit cards.

Customer service

PenFed Credit Union has a dedicated team of customer service representatives who are available by phone, email, or chat 24/7. It also has an online portal and a mobile app that allow members to access their accounts, manage their finances and request assistance anytime and anywhere.

Disadvantages

Limited branch access

PenFed Credit Union has only about 50 branches across the U.S. and overseas, which may not be convenient for some members who prefer face-to-face interactions. However, it does offer online banking and mobile banking options that allow members to perform most transactions remotely.

Limited product variety

PenFed Credit Union does not offer some products and services that other financial institutions may offer, such as checking accounts with interest, business accounts or loans, health savings accounts, or IRAs. It also does not offer investment or insurance products directly, but rather through third-party partners.

High balance requirements

PenFed Credit Union requires high minimum balances to earn the highest rates on some of its products, such as its money market accounts and certificates of deposit. For example, to earn the highest rate on its money market account, you need to maintain a balance of $100,000 or more.

In conclusion, PenFed Credit Union is a reputable and reliable credit union that offers a wide range of financial products and services to its members. It is known for its competitive rates, low fees, generous rewards, and flexible eligibility requirements. It also has a strong reputation for customer service and financial stability.

PenFed Credit Union also has some limitations, such as limited branch access, limited product variety, and high balance requirements. Therefore, you should compare PenFed Credit Union with other credit unions and banks before deciding if it’s the best option for your financial needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (F&Qs) PenFed Credit Union Review

How much do I need to open PenFed credit union?

To open a PenFed credit union account, you need to deposit a minimum of $5. This is the minimum amount required to establish membership with PenFed. Once you have established membership, you can open any of PenFed’s checking, savings, or loan accounts.

Here are the steps on how to open a PenFed credit union account:

  1. Go to the PenFed website or call their customer service number.
  2. Click on the “Open an Account” button.
  3. Select the type of account you want to open.
  4. Enter your personal information, including your name, address, and Social Security number.
  5. Deposit the minimum amount of $5 into your account.
  6. Verify your identity by providing a few pieces of documentation, such as a driver’s license or a utility bill.
  7. Sign the account opening documents.

Once you have completed these steps, your PenFed credit union account will be open. You can then start using your account to make deposits, withdrawals, and transfers.

What is the transfer limit for PenFed credit union?

Here are the transfer limits for PenFed credit union:

  • ACH transfers: The daily limit for ACH transfers is $2,500 for outgoing transfers and $2,500 for incoming transfers.
  • Wire transfers: The daily limit for wire transfers is $100,000.
  • Transfers to/from external accounts: The daily limit for transfers to/from external accounts is $25,000.
  • Transfers between PenFed accounts: There is no limit on transfers between PenFed accounts.

Is PenFed a real credit union?

Yes, PenFed is a real credit union. It is a federally insured credit union, which means that it is regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). PenFed is the second-largest credit union in the United States, with over 2.9 million members.

Can I use Zelle with PenFed?

Yes, you can use Zelle with PenFed. Zelle is a fast, safe, and easy way to send and receive money with friends, family, and other people you trust. It is available through participating banks and credit unions, including PenFed.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed Credit Union Review

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