CardHub.com has named two of Pentagon Federal Credit Union's credit cards to its list of Best Travel Cards of 2013.
The site, which bills itself as a consumer education website about credit cards, listed the credit union’s Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card as one of three best cards for airline rewards and its Platinum Rewards Credit Card as the best card for road trip rewards.
The 1.3 million-member, $16.5 billion PenFed is based in Alexandria, Va., and advertises six cards on its website. As of the end of September, 2013, the credit union had a card portfolio of more than 571,000 card accounts worth more than $1.5 billion.
“In addition to a $200 initial bonus for spending at least $2,500 during the first three months, this card also provides you with 5 points per $1 spent on airfare and 1 point per $1 on everything else,” CardHub wrote about the credit union's airline rewards card. It wrote the road trip card offers “5 points per $1 spent on gas, 3 points/$1 on groceries, and 1 point/$1 on everything else through Dec. 31. Points can be redeemed for a statement credit at a 1% rate (i.e. 5,000 points = $50).”
The site added that both cards do not carry annual fees, but said “you might have to pay a one-time $10 membership charge if you don’t initially meet PenFed’s eligibility requirements.”
According to the credit union's website, PenFed's field of membership includes numerous employers and associations whose members are eligible to join Pentagon Federal, but for those who do not belong to any of those, there two other associations the general public can join and become eligible for membership.
The site also advised consumers not bother with obtaining cards which carry embedded EMV chips.
“The international community is moving increasingly toward a chip-based credit card infrastructure complete with automated machines at places like train kiosks and parking garages that may not accept U.S. magnetic stripe cards, the site wrote.
“You might take that as a reason to get one of the chip-based cards now being marketed to U.S. consumers, but most of them are chip-and-signature cards while automated machines only accept chip-and-PIN. There are a few chip-and-PIN cards available to U.S. consumers, but they’re mostly from a handful of credit unions and don’t offer the most competitive terms. Most international merchants still accept magnetic stripe cards anyway,” CardHub added.