Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union Reviews

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Overall Rating2.8 out of 5
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About Pentagon Federal Credit Union Reviews

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.

Featured Reviews

Mechanicsburg, PA

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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Rochester, NY

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

ConsumerAffairs has collected 219 reviews and 696 ratings.

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10

Reviewed Sept. 8, 2023

I’ve been with them over a year. My initial credit limit was $5k. Over a year later I called for a credit line increase and I’m declined. I have perfect payment history with them and a high credit score. I have Amex accounts with $25k plus credit lines. I paid my account off and closed it same day. Plus their app/web performance is horrible! Sluggish and constant error messages. I’d bank at a place that doesn’t seem like it’s still stuck in the 90’s.

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Reviewed Aug. 17, 2023

Being with PenFed a little over a year and I have had fake overdraft fees that required me calling to correct. They have rude customer service that talk over you and never get to your issues without wanting to transfer you. Upon changing my direct deposit all of the sudden overdraft fees coming in, I would consider this as the worst credit union ever.

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    Reviewed July 22, 2023

    Don't trust this bank, they do not protect your money. I lost my iPhone and Wallet and within hours notified them, provided police report and proof of new iPhone purchase and they still denied my claim with no reason as to why. I am shocked every other financial institution assisted me and was able to credit me back my stolen unauthorized fraudulent activity except PenFed. I would think twice before opening account with PenFed as they do not protect your money.

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    Reviewed July 14, 2023

    PenFed now requires 2-factor ID to login to your accounts. PHONE is the only option for verification. No phone access, no account access. We were given NO OPTION to select an email verification. If using desktop, IPAD or tablet, you need 2 devices just to log on to your account. Obviously these arrogant IT nerds do not travel often to areas with no or limited or costly phone access. Plus I am concerned there must be a significant security issue with this institution because none of my other online banks have this mandatory phone requirement to get a login code. After many years and with sizeable deposits, I will be diversifying.

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    Reviewed July 7, 2023

    I have the Penfed Platinum Visa for over 12 years. At the beginning, I was getting True 5% on Gas and 3% on grocery. Then things changed. While they continue to give the same cashback, when you try to claim your rewards they will deduct 5880 points for a $50 Visa. Which is 880 points or $8.80 extra. It's is way less than 5% or 3% redemption. This is deceiving business practice. You can still get some store gift card on sale, $50 card for around 5000. Buyer be aware.

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    Reviewed June 8, 2023

    Transferred money out of my local credit union to PenFed. Money came right out of my credit union but PenFed decided they want to hold the money for several days bouncing the check. Do not recommend using them, poor customer service.

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    Reviewed May 30, 2023

    I highly recommend NOT using this CU. I recently used PenFed CU for CDs and found that they are by far the worst (member unfriendly, staff incompetent, slow, and have the most exorbitant fees/penalties) credit union with which I've done business. And I have done business with several local and online financial institutions over many years. To close my CDs it took a ridiculous number of contacts (phone and email). I was given the wrong information more than once, my requests were not completed or not completed timely and several of the customer service people I communicated with were short and not at all helpful. It took close to a month to get my money! Again, I highly recommend NOT using this CU.

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    Reviewed 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! :-(

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    Reviewed 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!

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    Reviewed 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

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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