The most important thing to evaluate when shopping around for a travel rewards credit card is the quality of the rewards program, particularly when compared to other similar cards. The best travel rewards cards offer much more than the typical one cent per point conversion rate. It’s also important to look at the pricing in the form of interest rate. Paying interest should be avoided, but if you need to roll over a balance, it’s good to know you can do so with a reasonable APR. Last but not least, paying an annual fee is rarely justified, unless the rewards you receive are valued well above the fee and you make use of them every year. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union had these things in mind when they created the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card.
New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus points after making $2,500 in purchases during the first three months of opening the card. So already, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card is worth the application. You can earn rewards in the following amounts with this card.
- Five points per dollar spent on airfare purchases.
- One point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
The earning rate of five points per dollar is the best you’ll find today. Cardholders also receive one point for every other dollar spent, that is standard for other travel rewards credit cards on the market today.
The card offers a 0% APR promotional balance transfer rate for 12 months on balance transfers made between July 15, 2015 through August 31, 2015. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be 9.99 to 17.99 percent based on your creditworthiness and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. A 3 percent balance transfer fee applies to each transfer. This transaction is subject to credit approval. With the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card if you default on your payments the fixed penalty APR is 17.99 percent.
The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card includes a variety of perks including access to complimentary 24-hour concierge service, and two complimentary Lounge Club visits at airports around the world upon spending $15,000 on the Card in a calendar year. This card carries no annual fee.
To apply for this card, you must be a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, which can be accomplished by being associated with the military, directly or indirectly, or by joining Voices for America’s Troops for a $14 one-time only non-refundable dues or joining National Military Family Association for $15 one-time only, non-refundable dues. Keep in mind membership with PenFed Credit Union does not guarantee you will be approved for this card you will still need to submit a credit card application for review.
Anyone who travels frequently could benefit from owning the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card. The 20,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months of opening the Card account and excellent rewards program is perfect for those who live away from home and might even be right for the occasional vacationer.
Updated July 28, 2015 and originally published February 17, 2011.