Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

 4.0/5 (501 reviews)
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About Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is a not-for-profit organization that provides a range of financial products and services, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans and investment services. In general, it has lower fees and better interest rates than most traditional banks. Anyone can become a member of PenFed.

Pros & Cons


  • Anyone can join
  • Over 85,000 ATMs
  • Low fees
  • Competitive rates


  • Must open savings account to establish membership
  • Some minimums required to avoid fees

Bottom Line

PenFed is a not-for-profit credit union that offers a variety of financial products and services to its 2 million+ members worldwide. It’s a good option for those looking to avoid high banking fees, although it has limited brick-and-mortar locations.

Top Pentagon Federal Credit Union Reviews


Penfed Credit Union was a great decision. Jeremy ** was our loan officer and if I could give 10 stars, I would. Not only did the rate beat every other rate, but Jeremy also took t...

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I joined in 2013 because they had the best deal on an auto loan. Very smooth experience. Since then I have a credit card, checking and savings account. Also a very good experience...

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What is Pentagon Federal Credit Union?

PenFed was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. It serves more than 2 million members worldwide and has over $36 billion in assets.

PenFed’s product lineup includes checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, mortgages and home equity loans. It also offers investment services and insurance products.

PenFed customers have access to more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide as part of the CO-OP and Allpoint ATM networks.

How does Pentagon Federal Credit Union work?

Anyone can join PenFed by opening a Regular Share or Premium Online Savings account and making a minimum $5 deposit.

Once your account is open, you can take advantage of other financial products and services, including checking accounts, credit cards, loans and more.

PenFed operates as a not-for-profit organization, which means that its profits are returned to its members in the form of lower fees and better interest rates.

In general, PenFed has lower fees and better interest rates than most traditional banks. However, some accounts may require a minimum balance or direct deposit to avoid monthly fees.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union products and services

PenFed has these account options:

If you’re looking for a basic, no-frills checking account, PenFed's Free Checking may be a good option. As the name suggests, it has no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirements.

However, if you want to earn interest and take advantage of additional benefits, such as an overdraft line of credit, consider the Access America Checking. You’ll need direct deposits or a minimum daily balance of $500 to avoid the $10 monthly maintenance fee.

New customers must open a Regular Savings or Premium Online Savings account to establish PenFed membership. While Premium Online Savings earns a competitive 2.70% annual percentage yield (APY) at publishing and is PenFed’s best savings account, it doesn’t come with ATM access as the Regular Savings account does.

PenFed also has a Money Market Savings account that comes with free checks and ATM access, but it requires a $100,000 balance to earn the advertised 0.15% APY.

In addition, PenFed has Money Market Certificates, also known as CDs, that earn up to 4.70% at publishing and can be opened with as little as $1,000. Terms range from six months to seven years.

Specialized accounts include individual retirement account (IRA) certificates, IRA savings accounts and Coverdell Education certificates.

With PenFed, you’ll find credit cards that earn cash back and points, as well as one that offers a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR). Most come with bonus offers when you spend a certain amount within 90 days of opening.

All cards come with tap-to-pay, travel accident insurance and emergency card replacement.

As with most full-service institutions, PenFed has a lineup of mortgages, including conventional, Veterans Affairs (VA), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), jumbo and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Other loans include mortgage refinancing, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), personal loans, auto loans, student loans and student loan refinancing.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union fees

Overall, PenFed has fewer fees than most traditional banks. Most of its checking and savings accounts are free. Access America Checking has a $10 fee that’s waived when you set up at least $500 in monthly direct deposits or maintain a minimum $500 daily balance.

Non-network ATM fees are waived for checking customers. Other customers pay $1.50 per withdrawal for non-network ATMs.

PenFed also charges for the following:

  • $30 for non-sufficient funds or overdrafts
  • $20 for stop payments
  • $1 for balance inquiries made at a non-network ATM
  • Up to 2% for international transactions

Pentagon Federal Credit Union FAQ

Is PenFed FDIC-insured?

PenFed is insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is equivalent to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This means your deposits at PenFed are federally insured up to $250,000, just like FDIC insurance at a bank.

How do I become a member of PenFed Credit Union?

You can become a PenFed member by opening a savings account online and making a minimum $5 deposit.

Does PenFed Credit Union use Zelle?

Yes, PenFed Credit Union is part of the Zelle network, which allows its members to send and receive money easily and securely using its mobile banking app or online banking platform.

What is PenFed Credit Union's routing number?

PenFed Credit Union's routing number is 256078446.

Is Pentagon Federal Credit Union legit?

PenFed is a legitimate financial institution. Membership is open to anyone, so you don't need to be associated with the military to join.

PenFed's checking and savings accounts are free or have low minimum balance requirements, making them a good option for those who want to avoid high bank fees. However, PenFed may not be the best fit for those who prioritize brick-and-mortar locations, as its physical branches are limited.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 1, 2023

I have a been a member of this bank for 20 years but with all the updates and people on board with not experience or care has caused major problems for me. The new bill pay system has caused me to have to make payments myself that I otherwise wouldn't have to. They know it's not working properly and have not allowed the members to not speak with the bill pay department directly. This is terrible coming from the 2nd largest credit union. I mean the representative get on the phone and try to talk to you like you are a dumb and that you are the problem when it's PenFed. I am very disappointed in them..very! :-(

4 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 21, 2023

Literally PENFED is messing up my credit score! The payment method is outdated, the application is horrible and 70% of my payment get kicked back for "insufficient funds" no matter how much money I have in the account. It makes no sense and it takes a whole week for the payment to process? No more payment options? I don't have this issue with my other vehicles! They need to update the payment method and let the customer pay at the spot with their debit card AT LEAST! The late fee is extravagant and it should be like that if you have the funds. When you call, nobody knows what is going on, there is no use when they "leave a note" in the system. AND STILL WAITING for my debit card in the mail AFTER 8 MONTHS!

6 people found this review helpful

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 5, 2023

    I never write reviews, good or bad but here goes. I did an early withdrawal on 2 CDs in November knowing and paying the early withdrawal penalties - no problem. For the next month I tried to set up an external account online to transfer my money to another institution. To set up a new account you log in and go to Link External Account. Once there you are presented with 2 options: Immediate Verification and Manual Verification. Using Immediate verification I enter all my financial institution info, respond to their validation text and then get this message: "Unable to Complete Request. We had a problem gathering the account details from your other Financial Institution. To register your account, either use the Manual Verification option, or you may attempt Instant Verification again later."

    I try again the next day and then the day after that; same thing. I call and they tell me immediate verification doesn't work at all for any institution. Great- maybe you should fix this or get rid of the option? I do the manual verification. It seems to work, only now I have to wait up to 3 days to verify how much they transferred into the account. Only it doesn't happen. So I try again (another 3 days) and same thing. Turns out you can only link to 1 account (I already had one set up previously). Nowhere does it tell you that. So now I have to delete the first account. Only I can't. Had to call and have them do it - twice. Took more than a week. They also wanted a copy of my driver's license which I emailed right away

    Finally they delete the account, I set up the new external account only to find days later there's a $2500 daily limit on transfers. Again, nothing states that up front. This place is total amateur hour. Took about a month befiore I finally had to go in to a local branch and do a wire transfer, which cost me $25. This whole month of frustration cost me hundreds of dollars in lost interest. Every other financial institution I belong to (5 or 6) works as expected when transferring money online. No limits. With my remaining characters let me save you the time Pen Fed: We’re very sorry to hear of your negative experience. We can assure you our top priority is helping our members achieve their financial goals, and regret any inconvenience this situation has... bla bla bla

    13 people found this review helpful
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 4, 2023

    The level of dysfunction of the online banking website is becoming intolerable. Functions like links to external accounts for transfers, and the online payment function for loans…inc my mortgage…just “disappear”. Customer service is a joke, want to make it look like problem is with my “device” though same problems with multi devices and OS. After literally decades with PFCU and some pretty sizeable savings accounts, I am exploring alternate online services.

    9 people found this review helpful
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 31, 2022

    PFCU has been my go-to bank for many years. However, recent "updates" to the website have made it slow and cumbersome requiring multiple clicks to do anything. Getting to your credit card charges takes multiple tries and is very slow to pull up info. I've been trying to change something online to no avail. So I called them, only for them to tell me they needed a "verbal" passcode that I assume at some point provided them (?). The first person I spoke with said it would be a couple of hours for the request to delete was "processed", when I called back later the second person said 3 hours and then when I called back again a third person said 24-48 hours. (??)

    You can no longer link external accounts online -- it has to be over the phone. (??) However, the PFCU website says NOTHING about it, so you click through screens only to have an error message pop up and be booted out at the end...thinking you've done something wrong. SMDH. The only plus was the phone wait times were minimal and the reps were pleasant enough except for lying about the processing time.

    10 people found this review helpful
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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Oct. 16, 2022

    The customer service rep just told me their IT department doesn’t work weekends and can’t fix their app (won’t deposit checks) until Monday when the staff come to work. What kind of organization has a major functional issue and doesn’t have it fixed before three days have passed???? Not one that I can count on, that’s for sure.

    18 people found this review helpful
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 13, 2022

    Penfed is the worst checking account, transactions are slow, just deposited a check that will take 5 days for availability. The absolute slowest bank or credit union mobile check deposit there is, come on it's 2022.

    13 people found this review helpful
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 2, 2022

    For 40 years PenFed was my “go to” lender. After negotiating a loan & term online, drove 60 miles to pick up check & they had changed the interest rate & electronically “forged” my signature on forms.

    21 people found this review helpful
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 28, 2022

    Penfed Credit Union allows customers to initiate a Non-Fraud Card Dispute process on a credit card transaction. However, they do not take any action and the dispute is always closed in favor of the merchant. They say that they can only handle fraudulent transactions. I have never seen this behavior from a credit card company. Also, they miscalculate the statement balance and keep tacking interest charges and finance fees. I email their customer service ahead of time indicating the statement balance calculated by me based on the transactions for the previous statement cycle. I do not get any kind of confirmation. After I pay the balance, they add interest charges and finance fees.

    Also, a bot from their company calls multiple times every day asking me to call back. Why can't they have a human call, since their customer service and wait time is pathetic as I have tried to call back and after being on hold for close to an hour have hung up. If they are providing credit card services, they need to support the dispute process completely like any other institutions. Calculate statement balance accurately and improve call wait times. Since I did not pay the unauthorized charges on my credit card, they have reported this to the credit bureau as a delinquent account. How are they even allowed to be in business?

    18 people found this review helpful
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 16, 2022

    I would caution anyone from ever using PenFed Credit Union for their Mortgage. Our initial call with the Loan Officer went great and they locked us in for 45 or 60 days at a rate lower than market value which appeared phenomenal. We put an offer in on a condo and PenFed claimed they may even be able to close in 25 days but guaranteed 30 days, which was great! Then the trouble began:

    We called & emailed for updates on the Loan approximately 10 - 12 times over the course of 10 days. At the end of the those 10 days, we finally were contacted and connected to the Loan Processor and they finally began requesting documents from us to get to underwriting. Keep in mind, we were moving 8 hours away and had a short time frame for closing which they were informed of. We provided all the documentation to the Loan Processor within 48 hours and then received an out of office notification that they would be out of office for the next 4 days. We eventually got a hold of their boss and the boss's boss to get an update on our loan which took another 5 days of radio silence despite our repeated requests for an update or any additional information they might need.

    It took another 3 days after that last update for them to call us back and let us know the Loan wouldn't be approved due to the condo not being within Fannie Mae guidelines. We received a response from multiple people at this point, all claiming a different guideline that wasn't met. Needless to say we were very upset and didn't trust their judgement. We were also 3 days away from our original close date (30 days).

    Our realtor indicated the problem area and we discovered PenFed had realized this red flag over a week prior but did not inform us so we could get the required documentation needed. In the end, we switched to the Condo's preferred lender, spent an additional $15,000.00 in fees for expedited processing and Interest reduction, and closed with the new lender in a total of 13 days. PenFed will never get my business again and I caution anyone against them.

    36 people found this review helpful
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    Pentagon Federal Credit Union Company Information

    Company Name:
    Pentagon Federal Credit Union
    Year Founded:
    2930 Eisenhower Avenue
    Postal Code:
    United States