PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card 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.
The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.
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 FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card 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 variable APR (17.99%) for purchases, you’ll want to avoid carrying a balance on this card.
- PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
A good travel rewards card that comes with a possible annual fee waiver
- Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
- $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.
- Earn rewards on travel purchasesCardmembers 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 feesBecause the card runs on a Visa network, cardmembers can use this card internationally without paying a fee.
- Travel statement creditsAs 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 bonusNew 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 transfersThis 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.
- High annual feeCompared 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 membershipYou must belong to PenFed credit union to get this card.
- High APRThe Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card comes with a high 17.99% purchase variable APR, based on your creditworthiness when you open your account.
The MoneyGeek Team regularly checks and analyzes each credit card in our database and selects the top picks for each card category. See our selection of the best rewards credit cards of 2022.
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:
Gift Cards and Certificates
Gift cards and e-certificates with affiliated merchants can be used for shopping, dining and entertainment.
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.
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 FeatureDescription
- 24/7 fraud monitoringPenFed monitors your account and will contact you if fraudulent activity is suspected.
- Chip-enabled cardsChip technology provides stronger security for your card information when used at chip-enabled terminals.
- Secure remote commerceConfidently shop online with multiple layers of payment security on your Visa card.
The PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card 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 FeatureAmount or Rate
- APR17.99% Variable
- Annual Fee$95
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate1.5– 4 points
- Airline Benefits
Balance Transfer APR
The Pathfinder Rewards Visa Signature Card comes with a promotional balance transfer offer of 0% APR for the first 12 months. 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.
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.
For purchases, this card’s APR is 17.99%. APR is determined by your creditworthiness when you open your account and is subject to change based on the market prime rate.
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® Card?
Other Considerations for PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
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:
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.
You must be part of PenFed credit union to be eligible for this card.
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.
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.
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.
MoneyGeek collects up-to-date credit card data and information, including fees, benefits and reward structure to review and analyze competitors in the same credit card category. Our ranking methodology identifies which cards are in our “Best Cards Lists” every month to help you find the card where you can reap the highest offers and benefits.
How PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card 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 Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Quick Comparison of PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
- Requires: Good to excellent credit score
- Annual Fee: $95
- Regular APR: 17.99% variable
- 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.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
- Recommended Credit: Good to excellent credit score
- Annual Fee: $95
- Regular APR: 20.24% – 25.24% variable
- 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.
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Learn more about credit cards in general
- PenFed.org. "PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card." Accessed February 25, 2022.
- PenFed.org. "Pathfinder Rewards Visa." Accessed February 25, 2022.
- PenFed.org. "PenFed Pathfinder® Rewards Visa Signature® Card Travel Credits." Accessed February 26, 2022.
- PenFed.org. "PenFed Pathfinder Rewards and Core Benefits Program Rules Terms and Conditions." Accessed February 26, 2022.
- PenFed.org. "How a Credit Freeze Works." Accessed February 27, 2022.
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