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The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card is a card that offers a great bonus on travel purchases and offers premium travel perks for military members and qualifying PenFed accountholders. It currently has a welcome bonus of 25,000 Bonus Points if you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.
With no annual fee, cardholders earn 4X points on travel purchases through the PenFed Honors Advantage program, 3X points on travel purchases for all other card holders, and 1.5X points on all other purchases unrelated to travel. It also offers $100 annual air travel credit to cover incidental expenses on many major airlines when traveling.
Find out if this is the right card for you with the benefits discussed down below.
Table of Contents
- 1 PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express Card Summary
- 2 Editor’s Alternate Pick
- 3 PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card 25,000 Bonus Points Offer
- 4 What Are Pathfinder Rewards Points Worth?
- 5 PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card Eligibility
- 6 Why You Should Apply for This Card
- 7 PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card Top Features
- 8 Bottom Line
- 9 Who’s the Competition?
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express Card Summary
|Bonus Available||Get 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,500 within 90 days of opening an account.|
|Travel Credit||Enjoy $100 annual air travel credit.|
|Ongoing Rewards/Benefits||Earn 3 points (4 points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member) for every $1 spent on all travel purchases.
1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Receive credit for the Global Entry ($100) or TSA Precheck ($85) application fee.
|Foreign Transaction Fees||No|
|Airport Lounge Access||No|
- No annual fee
- Welcome bonus
- High earning potential
- Air travel credit
- TSA Precheck/Global Entry credit
- No foreign transaction fees
- Good-Excellent credit needed to qualify
- Membership required
- Limited redemption options
Editor’s Alternate Pick
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening (equal to $500 in travel). Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018.
You're able to earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, however, there is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®.
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card
25,000 Bonus Points Offer
You should take advantage of PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card’s 25,000 bonus offer, this is valued around $250. All you have to do is charge at least $2,500 to your card within the first 90 days of opening your account.
|• Plastiq - Using Plastiq allows you to pay for your personal expenses such as rent, tuition, mortgage, auto lease etc. Although they charge a 2.5% processing fee for using your credit card, this will contribute to the card bonus that you will receive. There is also a referral program that allows you to earn "Free-Free Dollars" that goes towards processing fees as well.|
|• Funding Checking Accounts - When it comes to funding a checking account, opening your initial deposit with a credit card is the usual way to go about it. However, if you want to have more opportunities, you should open a checking account that offers a sign-up bonus. This allows you to work towards bonuses from not one but two different sources instead. Banks like Chase, Huntington Bank, TD Bank and BBVA offers credit card funding, and for your opening deposit, you can often fund anywhere from $50-$1000 with a credit card, depending on the bank.|
|• Gift Card Purchases With Using a Credit Card - Another way to acquire the bonus is using your credit card to purchase gift cards. Buying a a gift card or an individual merchant card typically do not require a purchase fee and are used towards leisure, so gift cards are ideal. However, gift cards such as a Visa or American Express do incur purchase fees because they can be spent anywhere, but gift cards that are specifically for a certain online shopping site such as Amazon or eBay don't.|
|As for a Citi Credit Card, you should call customer service and ask them to lower your Cash Advance limit to $0 before making any purchases because Citi tends to read gift card purchases as a Cash Advance.
Ideally, you should do this with any card just to be safe. Lastly, there is such thing as a discounted gift card which can be purchased on Raise or eBay. If you use a credit card often for everyday purchases, it can build your credit score that will contribute towards paying for things such as bills and taxes.
What Are Pathfinder Rewards Points Worth?
The value of your rewards depends on how you use them, each Pathfinder Rewards point is worth $0.01. When redeeming your Pathfinder Rewards points, you have a few options that includes:
- Travel reservations via PenFed’s travel site
- Airfare ($0.0085 – $0.009/point)
- Hotel ($0.018 – $0.0127/point)
- Gift cards ($0.0085/point)
- Merchandise ($0.0085/point)
In order to get the best value for your Pathfinder Rewards points, use them for PenFed travel reservations; particularly for hotel stays.
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card Eligibility
You’re required to join the PenFed credit union, before you can apply for the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card. In order to qualify, you must meet one of the following:
- You are retired, honorably discharged or currently serving the U.S. military.
- You are an employee of a qualifying organization.
- You belong to a qualifying association or organization.
- You are an employee of the U.S. government.
- You live or work in an eligible location.
- You are a family member or housemate of someone who is eligible.
If you don’t meet any of the requirements listed above, you can join either National Military Family Association or Voices for America’s Troops to qualify. Please do not that minimal fees do apply.
Why You Should Apply for This Card
- Earn 25,000 Bonus Points by spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.
- Earn 4X points on travel purchases through the PenFed Honors Advantage program, 3X points on travel purchases for all other card holders, and 1.5X points on all other purchases unrelated to travel.
- Get all the neat perks without having to pay an annual fee.
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card Top Features
Use this card when traveling abroad without paying a foreign transaction fee to keep earning your rewards.
You’ll automatically receive statement credits when you charge airline fees from select domestic carriers. Eligible fees include baggage and ticket change fees as well as in-flight food, beverage, and entertainment.
This discount only applies to select domestic airlines, including:
- American Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Air
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- JetBlue Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
Earn rewards on travel purchases at the higher 4x rate if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member. That requires military service or a PenFed Access America checking account.
The $100 statement credit toward the application fee for Global Entry or $85 statement credit toward the application fee for TSA PreCheck is automatically credited to your account soon after the charge is made. You can receive this application fee credit once every five years.
Along with this card, you’ll receive roadside assistance and travel and emergency assistance, baggage loss and delay insurance and travel accident insurance, auto loss and damage insurance, trip cancellation and interruption protection. With your purchases, you’ll benefit from extended warranty and purchase protection.
The PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card is one of the top travel cards available for military members, especially for those who are in the PenFed Honors Advantage program. If you’re looking for a credit card to fund your travels but don’t want to pay a high annual fee, this card may be the right option for your wallet.
It offers great opportunities to earn points on travel and everyday purchases, the freedom to redeem your points how you want, $100 Annual Air Travel Credit and $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck benefits, which are benefits that are commonly found among travel rewards cards with an annual fee, and an exceptionally low APR.
If you’re more focused on collecting your points through grocery or gas, or you’d like the option to transfer your points, this may not be the right card for you. Feel free to browse our other featured credit card bonus promotions to find the one that best suits your needs.
(Visit PenFed.org to learn more about this card.)
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Who’s the Competition?
No Annual Fee Travel Cards
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points & a free weekend night reward after spending $4,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 4 months of Card membership. On top of that, you can earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
You can also earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year once you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
Take advantage of earning 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio, 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, & U.S. gas stations, and 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
This card does carry a $95 annual fee.
The American Express® Gold Card offers 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
You'll have the opportunity to earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide & at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X); 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees. Some benefits including earning up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. In addition, a $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
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