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I haven't been using my PenFed card as much. I don't buy enough gas to warrant keeping the 5% card. Easy $250 with no hard pull. Sign me up!

jazzboyrules said:   The FAQ link on PenFed.org/MoreRewards answers most of the questions asked above.

The FAQ link didn't exist when the questions were asked.

Based on the website, it says you don't start earning points until the first day of billing cycle after 2/1. I was just confused about the spending requirements to earn the switch bonus if the 3 months starts now or in February. So I posed this question to them, and this was their response:

"The 5,000 points you earn the first time you use your PenFed Platinum Rewards
Card and the 20,000 points when you spend at least $1,000 within the first 3
months is from the effective date your card is switched. Since you have
submitted your request to switch to the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card, the switch
will take place on January 28, 2012, when the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card is
launched."

I'm not really concerned about when I switch to points, I just want to ensure I know when my 3 months start so I can ensure I get $250 bonus.

NET1 said:   I haven't been using my PenFed card as much. I don't buy enough gas to warrant keeping the 5% card. Easy $250 with no hard pull. Sign me up!
I only buy about a tank a week for about $40 so thats an easy $2. On top of that I use GasBuddy app on phone to get the cheapest gas without wasting time. Anytime need gas and going for a short trip out of town I run the app local and to the location I am going to see which will yield me the best price. Easily flucuates $0.10 another $1+ savings there.

Something is missing here, if you 25,000 points will get you a $250 Visa prepaid card, why would anyone take a $250 gift card good only at one store instead.

thomasleflore said:   Something is missing here, if you 25,000 points will get you a $250 Visa prepaid card, why would anyone take a $250 gift card good only at one store instead.

It isn't that outlandish, considering the AMEX Blue Cash even offers straight cash at the same price level as store gift cards. But I agree, why would anyone...

I just pulled this depressing letter out of my mailbox after the holidays. All rebate discussion aside, it seems like everyone is missing a glaring issue:

If you convert the CashBack Rewards card to the points card, will you be closing your old account?

If this is the case, the result of converting the card would be detrimental to your credit score as you would be closing a long standing account for a new account.

illtech said:   I just pulled this depressing letter out of my mailbox after the holidays. All rebate discussion aside, it seems like everyone is missing a glaring issue:

If you convert the CashBack Rewards card to the points card, will you be closing your old account?

Also, will you be losing your grandfathered cell phone protection, and will your credit line be the same? This may have been asked earlier, but I didn't see an answer yet. PenFed has raised my credit line to ludicrous amounts over the past 2-3 years.

illtech said:   I just pulled this depressing letter out of my mailbox after the holidays. All rebate discussion aside, it seems like everyone is missing a glaring issue:

If you convert the CashBack Rewards card to the points card, will you be closing your old account?

If this is the case, the result of converting the card would be detrimental to your credit score as you would be closing a long standing account for a new account.


I wouldn't think you would lose the Age of Account on your credit file. I've converted cards from several carriers previously that offered supposed "new and improved" versions of an older card and my credit file continues to reflect the original "Date Open" dates, not the converted dates.

edit: spelling

illtech said:   I just pulled this depressing letter out of my mailbox after the holidays. All rebate discussion aside, it seems like everyone is missing a glaring issue:

If you convert the CashBack Rewards card to the points card, will you be closing your old account?

If this is the case, the result of converting the card would be detrimental to your credit score as you would be closing a long standing account for a new account.


What's depressing about a free $250 and the added perk of 3% on groceries?

To answer your question, you won't be closing the old account. Same age, same history.

Just switch the mine and the wifes card. Do you get a confirmation email?

Edit: I just tried inputing fake info for the switch and it took it. How do we know if it went through?

HEPennypacker said:   Miniwallet said:   I also have cell phone insurance from paying my wireless bill with the Cash Rewards card. That might be enough for me not to switch.

Hmm I forgot about that (I was also grandfathered in). I imagine that would change with a conversion... That benefit is handy; I used it just a few months ago.


grandfathered when?

If it was a benefit when you first signed up, and you continued to pay your monthly cell phone bill on the card, then you were grandfathered in. A CSR confirmed this, and that's how I was able to take advantage of it a few months ago, even though the benefit went away a year or two ago for new cardholders.

.

Will there be a fee for ordering the prepaid visa cards? Some organizations do charge for that particular reward.

illtech said:   I just pulled this depressing letter out of my mailbox after the holidays. All rebate discussion aside, it seems like everyone is missing a glaring issue:

If you convert the CashBack Rewards card to the points card, will you be closing your old account?

If this is the case, the result of converting the card would be detrimental to your credit score as you would be closing a long standing account for a new account.


Per the letter, you have the option of keeping BOTH cards.

+ free $250
+ no hard pull
+ 3% at supermarkets (and by extension, many many other retailers)
+ do not have to add another card to an already fat wallet
- minor hassle in using rewards.

switching is a no brainer for me.

therivler1 said:   + free $250
+ no hard pull
+ 3% at supermarkets (and by extension, many many other retailers)
+ do not have to add another card to an already fat wallet
- minor hassle in using rewards.

switching is a no brainer for me.


+1

Sums it up for me, also.

cheezedawg said:   Getting visa gift cards is inferior compared to a statement credit or direct Cash Back because then you need to use the gift cards for purchases that you otherwise could charge on your rewards card to earn more rewards. I think I'll go with both cards.

this guy gets it...if you add the other card though i assume that would be a hard pull on your credit report


for those that think this is such a slam dunk consider this...

Penfed has already dropped 2% cash on groceries 1.25% and now 1% cash on all other purchases...what will stop them from changing the rewards plan 6 months from now or adjusting the gas reward on the cash card?

with the rewards, Penfed has still not said what the threshold is for redeeming points....if it's $25 thats a minimum of $500 spent on gas, over $800 on groceries, or $2500 on everything else....if it's higher you have to have spent more

on top of that, is there a fee for delivery of the gift card? and as cheezdawg said, with a gift card you're not earning more points on those purchases=more lost rewards

having to manage all of that instead of just having cash deposited into your account isn't exactly a minor inconvenience to me

count me in the camp that's not automatically head over heels about this change

goinbacktokali said:   cheezedawg said:   Getting visa gift cards is inferior compared to a statement credit or direct Cash Back because then you need to use the gift cards for purchases that you otherwise could charge on your rewards card to earn more rewards. I think I'll go with both cards.

this guy gets it...if you add the other card though i assume that would be a hard pull on your credit report


for those that think this is such a slam dunk consider this...

Penfed has already dropped 2% cash on groceries 1.25% and now 1% cash on all other purchases...what will stop them from changing the rewards plan 6 months from now or adjusting the gas reward on the cash card?

with the rewards, Penfed has still not said what the threshold is for redeeming points....if it's $25 thats a minimum of $500 spent on gas, over $800 on groceries, or $2500 on everything else....if it's higher you have to have spent more

on top of that, is there a fee for delivery of the reward card? and as cheezdawg said, with a reward card you're not earning more points on those purchases=more lost rewards

having to manage all of that instead of just having cash deposited into your account isn't exactly a minor inconvenience to me

count me in the camp that's not automatically head over heels about this change
I am with you. The great thing about the automatic CashBack is that you don't need to worry about it no matter the amount. I use the PenFed Visa only as backup for gas anyway. So I will also be getting a new card for the bonus.

I only spend less than 2k a year on this card(gas only). It is worthwhile to convert for me.

goinbacktokali said:   
...

having to manage all of that instead of just having cash deposited into your account isn't exactly a minor inconvenience to me

count me in the camp that's not automatically head over heels about this change


I hear you. But I'll do probably still do it for $250. I did the math a few pages back, and it's worth it IMO unless you are a big gas spender.

No, they say, in the FAQ, that you cannot combine the new points with the PenFedAMEX travel rewards points. see https://www.penfed.org/productsAndRates/creditCards/switchpoints.asp?adcode=&utm_source=Cash%20Rewards%20to%20Points%20Rewards%20Switch&utm_medium=Letter&utm_content=MoreRewards&cmpid=LetterCash%20Rewards%20to%20Points%20Rewards%20SwitchCash%20Rewards%20to%20Points%20Rewards%20Switch
and click on Frequently Asked Questions

Does anyone know with this new system, how much of a VISA gift card does 25000 points buy?

PricePerformer said:   Note that the 3% says "Supermarket" not Groceries.
Remember when Penfed offered 5% on Gas, 3% on Groceries and1.25% on everything else.
Groceries included Super-WalMart. I assume now that SWM is not included in Supermarkets.


Seen this asked a few times in this thread but havent seen an answer. This would be big for me as well. We also do about 80% of grocery shopping at WalMart.

goinbacktokali said:   Penfed has already dropped 2% cash on groceries 1.25% and now 1% cash on all other purchases...what will stop them from changing the rewards plan 6 months from now or adjusting the gas reward on the cash card?
That is a chance you take with any rewards card. Have had numerous changes over the years to Chase and Citi rewards cards.

goinbacktokali said:   ...with the rewards, Penfed has still not said what the threshold is for redeeming points....if it's $25 thats a minimum of $500 spent on gas, over $800 on groceries, or $2500 on everything else....if it's higher you have to have spent more
Which is why if the VISA cash out is $50 and store gift cards are $25, you may care who are the gift card retailers.

goinbacktokali said:   ...on top of that, is there a fee for delivery of the gift card?
Never had Chase or Citi charge me a fee for delivery of a gift card.

goinbacktokali said:   having to manage all of that instead of just having cash deposited into your account isn't exactly a minor inconvenience to me
Before this change with PenFed, all my other rewards cards from Chase and Citi have cash out levels. Even AMEX Blue Cash Preferred requires you do something for credit. So, this is just one more.

I was going to keep my cash PenFed but have decided to switch. Not going to do both. Will save the hard inquiry for some other sign up bonus. The $250 in rewards is just too good to pass up. In any case, I do transactions using different cards all the time depending on rewards or getting rewards to hit minimum payouts. This will just be one more. Way of life these days unfortunately.

as I read the letter, you will keep the account, account number, etc, but you will no longer be able to get Cash Back. On the website it is specific that once you convert, you cannot go back.
FROM THE WEBSITE:
Please enter your name as it appears on your credit card to convert from the Visa Platinum Cash Rewards card to the PenFed Platinum Rewards card.
First Name:

Last Name:

E-mail:

Last 4 Digits of your Card Account Number:

"Once you hit the submit button, you will not be able to switch back to cash rewards."

bobk1 said:   Does anyone know with this new system, how much of a VISA gift card does 25000 points buy?

Asked and answered already. $250. $.01 per point.

mathfaster said:   In any case, I do transactions using different cards all the time depending on rewards or getting rewards to hit minimum payouts. This will just be one more. Way of life these days unfortunately.
Au contraire. Very fortunately

therivler1 said:   mathfaster said:   In any case, I do transactions using different cards all the time depending on rewards or getting rewards to hit minimum payouts. This will just be one more. Way of life these days unfortunately.
Au contraire. Very fortunately


Yes. I was just referring to the need to hit minimums for payouts and manage that as that was the complaint of the poster. Definitely would prefer immediate cash out like the PenFed or even the next month like Chase used to do. Personally, it doesn't bother me but there is always the WAF to deal with.

ETA: Even though the cash out level is $20 with Chase's Ultimate Rewards, they seem to now allow you to cash out to the penny if you meet the minimum $20 cash out level. I believe that is a new feature. Much better than Citi Dividend card where you can only cash out in multiples of $50. Very rarely use any Citi card these days except for sign up bonuses.

cheezedawg said:   Getting visa gift cards is inferior compared to a statement credit or direct Cash Back because then you need to use the gift cards for purchases that you otherwise could charge on your rewards card to earn more rewards. I think I'll go with both cards.

I wonder what the math is on lost potential Cash Back earnings due to this.

I switched regardless, since I would only typically use the card for gas, and 250 is 2 years worth of gas Cash Back for me.

Anything else is gravy, although it would be interesting to know the math...

jmel said:   I wonder what the math is on lost potential Cash Back earnings due to this.

When you use the PenFed card to buy gas, you get 5% back. When you use a Visa gift card instead, you lose that 5%.

c3 said:   jmel said:   I wonder what the math is on lost potential Cash Back earnings due to this.

When you use the PenFed card to buy gas, you get 5% back. When you use a Visa gift card instead, you lose that 5%.

To be a little more clear, you lose 5% of lost opportunity. You lose what your normal purchase rate would be. But, you would be dumb to redeem for a visa gift card and use it at the pump/supermarket.

If you have a 2% card it equates to 4.9% (98%) for the initial gas purchases. Or, a normal 1% card, 4.95%.

Even if you used it at the pump, it would be still be 4.75%. You lose 5% of the initial 5%.

As you can see, it is basically nothing.

Switching Rewards - FAQ
Q. Do I have to switch to the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card?

R. No, the choice is entirely up to you. We are just providing you with the option to switch, if you are interested.

Q. The value of Cash Back is easier to understand than the value of points. What would my points be worth in the PenFed Platinum Rewards program?

R. A lot of point rewards programs are tricky but PenFed designed the PenFed Platinum Rewards card to be very simple. Each point you earn is worth $.01 (a cent) in terms of value. For example, 5,000 points would be equal to $50, which you can put on a gift card of your choice, including a pre-paid Visa® card that can be used like cash anywhere Visa is accepted, or use towards brand-named merchandise or travel rewards.

Q. How will I be able to redeem my points?

R. You will easily be able to track and redeem your points online or via phone.

Q. Is the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card better for me than my PenFed Platinum Cash Card?

R. Yes, in terms of the ability to earn rewards. The PenFed Platinum Rewards Card not only offers bonus points for gas but it also offers bonus points for supermarket purchases and a point for all other purchases. Remember, the points are worth $.01 so it is like receiving 1% "Cash Back." The biggest difference between the two programs is that the cash rewards program credits you automatically each month in the form of a statement credit while the point rewards program requires you to redeem your points when you are ready. If the automatic monthly statement credit is something that is very important to you, it may be better to keep your existing Cash Rewards card. You can always apply for the Platinum Rewards Card at a later time.

Q. What if I want to keep my existing Platinum Cash Rewards Card AND get the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card?

R. That's great – you should keep your Platinum Cash Rewards Card open and apply for the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card when it is available in February.

Q. Will I still be eligible for the special 25,000 bonus point offer, even if I apply for the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card instead of switching to it?

R. Yes, you will still be able to take advantage of the 25,000 bonus point offer.

Q. Can I switch back to cash rewards once I make the switch to point rewards?

R. Unfortunately, you cannot switch back to cash rewards. However, you can always keep your cash rewards card and apply for the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card once it is available in February.

Q. What types of merchandise and gift card items are available for point redemption?

R. There will be over 1,000 brand-named merchandise items and nearly 100 well-known gift card merchants to choose from, including the option to redeem for a generic Visa® prepaid card. Additionally, there will be a wide selection of travel and experiential rewards as well.

Q. Can I see the rewards website so I know what the selection will be before I decide to switch?

R. The rewards website will launch on February 11, 2012.

Q. Can I combine my PenFed Platinum Rewards Card points with my PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card points?

R. Unfortunately, you cannot combine your points between programs at this time.

Hope this helps!

the reduction of the non-gas reward from 1% to .25% is not a huge deal since someone is better off using a 2% card or a card with niche rewards depending on what is being purchased.

I am pleased that Penfed is not making changes to the AMEX product.

I think there is false information on here on when the "conversion" takes place. People are getting different info...even from Pen Fed reps. I switched over to the new program. When I asked when the effective date is I was told it starts the first day of your new billing period after they switch. So since my bill runs on the 24th of every month, I was told my start date on new program is Feb 24th. This is important since I want to know when I need to start using the card to meet the $1000 threshold for the bonus.

I read someone else say it starts on Jan 29th.... I spent quite a bit of time on the phone clarifying this with Pen Fed. Just want the correct information out there.

c3 said:   jmel said:   I wonder what the math is on lost potential Cash Back earnings due to this.

When you use the PenFed card to buy gas, you get 5% back. When you use a Visa gift card instead, you lose that 5%.


jmel is saying that the $250 visa card he gets for switching is worth far more than 5% on gas. At the rate he buys gas, it might take 5 years to get $250 worth of savings.

kriskos4 said:   jmel is saying that the $250 visa card he gets for switching is worth far more than 5% on gas. At the rate he buys gas, it might take 5 years to get $250 worth of savings.

That was not what cheezedawg said, in jmel's quote.

Switching Rewards - FAQ
Q. Do I have to switch to the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card?

R. No, the choice is entirely up to you. We are just providing you with the option to switch, if you are interested.

Q. The value of Cash Back is easier to understand than the value of points. What would my points be worth in the PenFed Platinum Rewards program?

R. A lot of point rewards programs are tricky but PenFed designed the PenFed Platinum Rewards card to be very simple. Each point you earn is worth $.01 (a cent) in terms of value. For example, 5,000 points would be equal to $50, which you can put on a gift card of your choice, including a pre-paid Visa® card that can be used like cash anywhere Visa is accepted, or use towards brand-named merchandise or travel rewards.

Q. How will I be able to redeem my points?

R. You will easily be able to track and redeem your points online or via phone.

Q. Is the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card better for me than my PenFed Platinum Cash Card?

R. Yes, in terms of the ability to earn rewards. The PenFed Platinum Rewards Card not only offers bonus points for gas but it also offers bonus points for supermarket purchases and a point for all other purchases. Remember, the points are worth $.01 so it is like receiving 1% "Cash Back." The biggest difference between the two programs is that the cash rewards program credits you automatically each month in the form of a statement credit while the point rewards program requires you to redeem your points when you are ready. If the automatic monthly statement credit is something that is very important to you, it may be better to keep your existing Cash Rewards card. You can always apply for the Platinum Rewards Card at a later time.

Q. What if I want to keep my existing Platinum Cash Rewards Card AND get the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card?

R. That's great – you should keep your Platinum Cash Rewards Card open and apply for the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card when it is available in February.

Q. Will I still be eligible for the special 25,000 bonus point offer, even if I apply for the PenFed Platinum Rewards Card instead of switching to it?

R. Yes, you will still be able to take advantage of the 25,000 bonus point offer.

Q. Can I switch back to cash rewards once I make the switch to point rewards?

R. Unfortunately, you cannot switch back to cash rewards. However, you can always keep your cash rewards card and apply for the new PenFed Platinum Rewards Card once it is available in February.

Q. What types of merchandise and gift card items are available for point redemption?

R. There will be over 1,000 brand-named merchandise items and nearly 100 well-known gift card merchants to choose from, including the option to redeem for a generic Visa® prepaid card. Additionally, there will be a wide selection of travel and experiential rewards as well.

Q. Can I see the rewards website so I know what the selection will be before I decide to switch?

R. The rewards website will launch on February 11, 2012.

Q. Can I combine my PenFed Platinum Rewards Card points with my PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card points?

R. Unfortunately, you cannot combine your points between programs at this time.

sargentpoints said:   I think there is false information on here on when the "conversion" takes place. People are getting different info...even from Pen Fed reps. I switched over to the new program. When I asked when the effective date is I was told it starts the first day of your new billing period after they switch. So since my bill runs on the 24th of every month, I was told my start date on new program is Feb 24th. This is important since I want to know when I need to start using the card to meet the $1000 threshold for the bonus.

I read someone else say it starts on Jan 29th.... I spent quite a bit of time on the phone clarifying this with Pen Fed. Just want the correct information out there.


I just did the conversion and got this message after I hit submit:

"Thank you for submitting your request to switch to the new PenFed Platinum Rewards card. You will begin earning point rewards with every purchase at the start of your first billing cycle after February 1. "

So I guess the start date varies based on your billing cycle date if I understand it correctly.



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