MoneyGeek's Take

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Review

If you’re a credit union member or a PenFed Honors Advantage Member, the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card is an ideal travel rewards credit card for earning points. With a generous welcome bonus and lucrative rewards program, this card’s valuable travel perks easily offset the cost of its $95 annual fee.

Last Updated: 7/4/2022
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Best suited for credit union members who want to earn rewards on travel purchases, the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card offers an attractive welcome bonus and $100 in domestic travel credits each year. Cardholders can also earn points on everyday purchases. With the promotional 0% APR on balance transfers, you can consolidate your debt and pay it down with this card. The $95 annual fee, which PenFed waives for existing PenFed Honors Advantage Members, is still worth paying if you travel frequently.

>>MORE: PENFED MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS: HOW TO BECOME A PENFED MEMBER
Card Details to Know Up Front
  • Bonus, Fee or Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature at a Glance

If you travel often, the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card may be a great credit card for you. Its cardholders earn 3X points on all travel categories (4X points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage Member) and 1.5X points on all other purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, you can use this card abroad without incurring extra charges. However, with its high APR (14.99% to 17.99%) for purchases, you’ll want to avoid carrying a balance on this card.


  • PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature

    A good travel rewards card that comes with a possible annual fee waiver


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 1.5- 4 pointsRewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 3xRewards Rate at Hotels

Pros & Cons Explained

In this PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card review, MoneyGeek weighs the pros and cons to help you consider whether this card is right for you.

Pros

  • Benefits
    Description
  • Earn rewards on travel purchases
    Cardmembers earn 3X points on travel purchases and 1.5X points on all other purchases. PenFed Honors Advantage Members, however, earn even more on travel (4X points).
  • No foreign transaction fees
    Because the card runs on a Visa network, cardmembers can use this card internationally without paying a fee.
  • Travel statement credits
    As an added perk, cardmembers receive an annual $100 statement credit which they can use toward ancillary air travel fees with selected U.S. domestic airlines. You can also apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck using the card and receive statement credits worth $100 or $85.
  • Welcome bonus
    New cardmembers can earn 50,000 bonus points if they spend $3,000 during the first three months of activating their card.
  • Intro APR on balance transfers
    This card comes with a promotional 12-month 0% APR offer on balance transfers, meaning you can consolidate your outstanding debt and pay it off within a year without accruing additional interest. However, there is a 3% balance transfer fee.

Cons

  • Drawbacks
    Description
  • High annual fee
    Compared to cards that don’t charge an annual fee, $95 is high. PenFed waives this fee for its Honors Advantage Members. Nevertheless, taking advantage of this card’s valuable perks will offset this cost.
  • Requires credit union membership
    You must belong to PenFed credit union to get this card.
  • High APR
    The Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card comes with a high 14.99% to 17.99% purchase variable APR, based on your creditworthiness when you open your account.
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Bonuses & Rewards Explained

With the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card, you’ll earn 3X points per dollar spent on travel, which includes airfare, hotel stays, car rental and more. You’ll also earn 1.5X points on all other purchases. If you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage Member, your rewards increase to 4X points on travel purchases.

Want to know how to redeem points with the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card? Possibilities include:

1

Gift Cards and Certificates

Gift cards and e-certificates with affiliated merchants can be used for shopping, dining and entertainment.

2

Airline Travel Redemption

Use rewards points to go on future trips. Point value varies depending on the date and time of travel and the dollar value of your tickets.

3

Merchandise and Services

Shop for a variety of goods and services with participating merchants using your rewards points.

Other Features Explained

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card offers many other features and benefits, which include:

  • Card Feature
    Description
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring
    PenFed monitors your account and will contact you if fraudulent activity is suspected.
  • Chip-enabled cards
    Chip technology provides stronger security for your card information when used at chip-enabled terminals.
  • Secure remote commerce
    Confidently shop online with multiple layers of payment security on your Visa card.
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MONEYGEEK QUICK TIP

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature application requires a PenFed (formerly known as Pentagon Federal Credit Union) bank account. To qualify for the PenFed Honors Advantage Program, you must have either a PenFed checking account or a military background. Membership increases your travel rewards earning rate and waives the card’s annual fee.

Understanding the Fine Print

Understanding the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card’s associated fees can help you determine if it’s right for your budget and needs.

The table below lists the most important fees, interest rates and associated charges that apply to this card. We’ll also break down what goes into the APR rates you’ll receive upon applying for this card.

  • Card Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
    14.99% - 17.99%
  • Annual Fee
    $95
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Rewards Rate
    1.5- 4 points
  • Airline Benefits
  • This is an icon

    Balance Transfer APR

    The Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card comes with a promotional balance transfer offer of 0% APR for the first 12 months for transfers made until March 31, 2022. After that, a non-variable 17.99% APR applies for all unpaid balances and new balance transfers.

    This means that any outstanding credit card balances you transfer to this card before the deadline won’t accrue interest for a year. This feature could help you consolidate debt and save money while paying it off. However, you’ll have to pay a 3% fee for each balance transfer.

  • This is an icon

    Late Fees

    Making late payments on this card incurs variable charges depending on the remaining balance. ​​A late payment fee of $20 applies to balances less than $1,000, $25 to balances up to $2,000 and $28 if your balance is greater than $2,000.

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    Purchase APR

    For purchases, this card’s APR varies between 14.99% and 17.99%. APR is determined by your creditworthiness when you open your account and is subject to change based on the market prime rate.

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WHERE TO FIND THIS INFORMATION?

Having all the details is vital when comparing cards. Need to find information about this and other credit cards already in your wallet? You can check the following official resources, including:

  • The last billing statement you received for your credit card
  • The credit card issuer’s website or app
  • The credit card agreement database maintained by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature?

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Other Considerations for PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature

If you’re not already a credit union member, there are pros and cons to getting a credit union credit card. For existing PenFed members, consider whether the Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card is the card best suited for your needs and spending habits.

Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card

If this will be your first or only credit card, keep these critical factors in mind:

  • This is an icon

    Qualifying for the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card requires a good to excellent credit score, so first-time cardholders may need to build up their credit before applying for this card.

  • This is an icon

    You must be part of PenFed credit union to be eligible for this card.

  • This is an icon

    Unless you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage Member, you’ll want to ensure you take full advantage of this card’s travel benefits and statement credits to offset the $95 annual fee. With a favorable rewards rate compared to other notable travel rewards cards, the Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card could stand alone as your only credit card if travel-focused rewards and basic travel benefits suit your needs.

Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet

If you plan to add the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card to your existing credit card collection, you’ll have more flexibility in terms of maximizing rewards and paying off debt.

  • This is an icon

    The balance transfer offer allows you to transfer your debt if this card has a much lower APR than others you already have. If you manage to transfer balances before the promotional window ends, you could save a substantial amount on interest charges you’d otherwise pay while reducing your debt over time.

  • This is an icon

    Additional cards with different bonuses and rewards can complement this card’s travel-focused features. For example, using the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Card will allow users to earn cash back and reap even more rewards from PenFed’s Honors Advantage Program.

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How PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Compares to Other Cards

The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card is a credit union travel rewards card with valuable rewards rates and perks. MoneyGeek compares it with a similar travel credit card, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card.

Quick Comparison of PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature

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PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature

  • Requires: Good to excellent credit score
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 14.99% to 17.99%
  • Rewards Rate: 3X points on travel purchases; 1.5X points on other purchases
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
  • Redemption Options: Gift certificate, travel and shopping with partner merchants
  • Best For: PenFed Honors Advantage Members who want to earn points on travel purchases.
creditCard1

Chase Ink Business Preferred

  • Requires: Good to excellent credit score
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 15.99% to 20.99%
  • Rewards Rate: 1X points across all categories
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
  • Redemption Options: Gift certificate, cash back and Chase Ultimate Rewards Store.
  • Best For: Business owners who want to earn rewards on office supplies purchases.

Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As

MoneyGeek answers questions about the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card and PenFed Credit Union to help you decide if this card suits your needs.

Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.

If you’re still unsure whether this card could work well for you, compare it with other leading cards that reward your travel and everyday purchases. Considering other rewards cards or balance transfer credit cards may help.

Learn more about credit cards in general

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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
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