Changes to Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards

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I was told one must maintain a certificate to keep the no-AF/5% status, and a money market deposit account does not qualify. Don't like the answer?  Just call again!

According to the letter another member posted in the Quick Summary...

Accounts earning 3% on gas purchases will be evaluated monthly to determine if you have obtained a qualifying product. You will begin earning 5% back on gas purchases when you obtain a qualifying product.


The emphasis above is mine. Now, the way it is written is confusing, but I would imagine that each month they look to see if you have a qualifying product and if so, give you 5% instead of 3% on gas purchases. And once a year at your anniversary, they will check to see if you have a qualifying product and if not, will charge you the annual fee.

ahecht said:   
cobryan said:   
luiset83 said:   =13pxI talked with a rep just now and she mentioned the certificate needed to be active to be eligible for the annual fee waiver. 
  
I also called and got similar information:
The 6 month certificate qualifies for waiving the yearly fee, but you must always have a certificate as long as you want the annual fee waived.
To use direct deposit it must be from payroll. No scheduling ACH transfers from another bank.

  
I was told 6-month $1000 certificate would qualify you for life for no fee and 5% even if you don't renew it. They really need to get their story straight.

  I hope this is true.  When I called a couple of days ago, the rep on the phone told me something similar but she sounded like she wasn't sure.  I have an email in with them too...waiting for a response.

Got a response. I hope this is true:

Thank you for contacting Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

That is correct, if you establish a qualifying product with PenFed, you will
continue to receive a 5% CashBack reward for fuel purchases, as well as avoid
the annual fee. For Money Market Certificates, there is no minimum principal
amount or term required in order to qualify. Once you have qualified, your
account upgrade will not expire upon your Certificate's maturity date.

If you need further assistance, please contact us.

Wright5Mets said:   Once you have qualified, your account upgrade will not expire upon your Certificate's maturity date.

To me at least, this means the same as my "expectation" here : 
CycloneFW said:   According to the letter another member posted in the Quick Summary...

Accounts earning 3% on gas purchases will be evaluated monthly to determine if you have obtained a qualifying product. You will begin earning 5% back on gas purchases when you obtain a qualifying product.
 


The emphasis above is mine. Now, the way it is written is confusing, but I would imagine that each month they look to see if you have a qualifying product and if so, give you 5% instead of 3% on gas purchases. And once a year at your anniversary, they will check to see if you have a qualifying product and if not, will charge you the annual fee.

  

Wright5Mets said:   Got a response. I hope this is true:

Thank you for contacting Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

That is correct, if you establish a qualifying product with PenFed, you will
continue to receive a 5% CashBack reward for fuel purchases, as well as avoid
the annual fee. For Money Market Certificates, there is no minimum principal
amount or term required in order to qualify. Once you have qualified, your
account upgrade will not expire upon your Certificate's maturity date.


If you need further assistance, please contact us.

Regarding the highlighted line above, I'm extremely skeptical that qualifying now for a 6 month CD will will keep the 5% (and no AF) status active in perpetuity, w/o renewing said CD.

 

TheDiggler said:   
Wright5Mets said:   Got a response. I hope this is true:

Thank you for contacting Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

That is correct, if you establish a qualifying product with PenFed, you will
continue to receive a 5% CashBack reward for fuel purchases, as well as avoid
the annual fee. For Money Market Certificates, there is no minimum principal
amount or term required in order to qualify. Once you have qualified, your
account upgrade will not expire upon your Certificate's maturity date.


If you need further assistance, please contact us.

Regarding the highlighted line above, I'm extremely skeptical that qualifying now for a 6 month CD will will keep the 5% (and no AF) status active in perpetuity, w/o renewing said CD.

 

  I agree, not sure how much financial sense this makes for Penfed.

 I guess I'm going to do the 6 month CD and keep the email in case they try to sneak in the AF and/or lower the 5% at a future date.

I don't know, maybe older Penfed cardholders are given different qualifications?  I've been with them since 2007.  Just throwing that out there.  I have no idea.

It boils down to this: 1. Will locking $1000 up for a year create a hardship for you? 2. Do you plan on still being around in a year? 3. Will the $4.97 you lose by not having this $1000 in a ~.7% bearing account instead of this one be less then what you would get enjoying 5% off on gas?

If you just keep a checking account with 250.00 and make a 1.00 monthly ACH deposit, would that work too?

Greatness said:   If you just keep a checking account with 250.00 and make a 1.00 monthly ACH deposit, would that work too?
The letter PenFed sent doesn't make that 100% clear:
Active checking account with direct deposit ($250 min.)

One interpretation of that statment could mean keeping a $250 min. balance on the checking account, along w/ a  (presumably monthly) direct deposit. Another interpretation could mean a direct deposit of at least $250. Given that the "($250 min.)" phrase appears after the words "direct deposit," I would venture to guess that PenFed intends to require a $250+ DD.  Don't know if anyone's verified yet whether standard ACH's count as DD's w/ PenFed.

Anyway, excellent job on PenFed's part clariyfing the DD requirement. /sarcasm



 

FWIW I just called to confirm a 6mo CD that I just added qualifies for the 5% and that was confirmed. I asked if I had to renew it after expiry and he said that it would be necessary otherwise it would drop to 3% and I would get charged the AF. I told him someone else had said renewal was not required and he sounded confident in saying that I was told wrong information.

KaErF said:   FWIW I just called to confirm a 6mo CD that I just added qualifies for the 5% and that was confirmed. I asked if I had to renew it after expiry and he said that it would be necessary otherwise it would drop to 3% and I would get charged the AF. I told him someone else had said renewal was not required and he sounded confident in saying that I was told wrong information.
  Best thing to do, apparently, is to e-mail them and get it in writing.  I don't want a perpetual cd for an annual fee free 5% gas card, but I'd do it for 6 month CD. Of course, they can always say, "Sorry, you were given wrong information" but at least they'd waive the annual fee if they charged it.

Has anyone else NOT received any notifications about the change?

tjguitar85 said:   Has anyone else NOT received any notifications about the change?
  
I only got the snail mail letter...never got an email from Penfed like other people did.

KaErF said:   FWIW I just called to confirm a 6mo CD that I just added qualifies for the 5% and that was confirmed. I asked if I had to renew it after expiry and he said that it would be necessary otherwise it would drop to 3% and I would get charged the AF. I told him someone else had said renewal was not required and he sounded confident in saying that I was told wrong information.
  
This is really getting comical.  Wish someone from Penfed would post on here.

Wright5Mets said:   tjguitar85 said:   Has anyone else NOT received any notifications about the change?
  
I only got the snail mail letter...never got an email from Penfed like other people did.
  

I didn't get either. This is silly, there's no reason to add a fee to that card. They got rid of the fee on the Amex before most people would have been charged a fee.

I haven't received any such notice, but I have the Platinum Rewards card. I think that I remember seeing that the Rewards card isn't due to convert until next year. I definitely will cancel when they change to a fee. No way I buying another financial product (short of a membership share or a token checking account)just for a credit card.

Looks like they are introducing a new version of the Platinum Cash Reward card with no annual fee, 3% gas, and 1% everything else, branded with Motley Fool. Perhaps it was hard to sell the new affinity card if they didn't water down the existing card for loyal cardholders first, or have a carrot and stick to the 5%/ no AF.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1298492/

Well I think that we're feeling the stick, and they're trying to shove it someplace inappropriate.

Prob. just going to convert to the Montly Fool Card and sock draw it.

This is the response I got from two different reps at PenFed.

Thank you for contacting Pentagon Federal Credit Union.

Once a cardholder has achieved the Plus account it will not be down-graded to a
Standard account. You will not be required to renew that certificate to retain
the Plus type VISA Cash Rewards account.

You will not be required to renew that certificate to retain
the Plus type VISA Cash Rewards account.



What is a "Plus" account? I have the recent letter in front of me and this term is not mentioned, just how to avoid an annual fee and gas cash downgrade. I'm curious how we can retain something they've never mentioned before...

If they are making up new terms in email responses, I wonder what else they are making up as they go...

Plus tier account status is obtained by having a qualifying PenFed product. It's not mentioned in the letter, but apparently your account is upgraded to "Plus" tier once you open one of their mentioned qualifying products.

I wonder what else isn't written in their terms? I would ask what the reference in writing is for this new term "Plus account."

Does anyone who has a cash card AND a qualifying products have anything online that mentions this "Plus" status?

I have a points rewards card and, in the early confusing shuffle (not that that's changed) I opened a CD thinking that would help. I don't see anything different on my share savings or credit card online.

I confirmed with the rep that I have both, and no, there is nothing that says "Plus" on my accounts online.

After four years with PenFed, I cancelled my card and membership. The one trait I'll always remember is that each year the card's rewards program was downgraded to effectively nothing. Sad.

I am now "down" to three cards, (Chase Freedom Mastercard, Fidelity Retirement First 2% back AE, and AE Blue Cash). I doubt any of those titles will be weakening their rewards program structures anytime soon. Thank goodness military bases accept AE!

Solomon960 said:   After four years with PenFed, I cancelled my card and membership. The one trait I'll always remember is that each year the card's rewards program was downgraded to effectively nothing. Sad. <snip>
 


Why did you cancel your membership? PenFed has been so valuable to me, and I can't ever see myself willingly giving up my membership.

CycloneFW said:   Yeah, if BoA is you primary cash savings or non-employer investment house, this could be a potential deal. But if not, then it's just as bad as opening a CD or whathaveyou with PenFed to avoid the fee. LOL
  yup, that's what I was talking about. I had rolled over an IRA to merrill edge to meet teh 50k requirement (well i did it mostly for the 30 free trades a month on all accounts)

People, why cause confusion. In surfing the CC offers, I found some interesting info on gas purchases. If you do not have any qualifying accts with Penfed to avoid the 25. AF and instead of tying up funds, try this. BOA has 3 CC offers now that give 3% back on gas + 10% bonus if you have the CB deposited into a BOA checking or savings acct. This becomes 3.3%, but... there is 100. CB signup bonus making it better then the 5% with all the strings. I'm just saying.. this is an alternative. Believe me I am no shill for BOA and you have to fight for your CB, but print a copy of all the offers so you can show it to them if they reneg. The cards are the BOA MLB/Susan Komen/ and the WWF(not the wrestling) But limited to $500/month in all cat, but you would only be using it for gas. So $1500 per Q = 49.50+10%=$5=54.50. Plus the 100CB. Just saying..

why would you get a card with $100 bonus when there are cards with $400 bonus? That seems silly. Might as well just use your 2% card on gas after you hit the bonus.

Same logic, right?

I assumed maybe that the CSP and Amex were not an option, or already had those cards. Anyway, just a thought-- BTW 3.3% beats 2% I agree not worth the app but the 100 bonus could help.

tjguitar85 said:   why would you get a card with $100 bonus when there are cards with $400 bonus? That seems silly. Might as well just use your 2% card on gas after you hit the bonus.

Same logic, right?

  Please let me know which card has a $400 bonus -- is this from Chase?

I've had the Penfed card since 2008 and received a snail mail notification but no email. At the bottom of this month's statement it mentions the change but it's mixed in with the other fine print that's easily overlooked. I spend ~$500 per month on gas so I will probably open the 6 month certificate.

Received an updated e-mail from PenFed:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: CLARIFICATION TO
CHANGES TO YOUR PENFED PLATINUM CASH
VISAŽ CARD ENDING IN XXXX


September 18, 2013

Dear FORGIVING CUSTOMER,

You recently received a change in terms notification from PenFed informing you about an annual fee, which would be assessed to you as well as a change to your rewards earning structure.

After further evaluation of the qualifying criteria, we have decided to expand the qualifying products to include:

  • Thrifty Credit Service
  • Personal Line of Credit
  • Education Line of Credit
  • Money Market Savings Accounts


As a result, your card features are as follows:

    Gas Purchases at the Pump 5% cash back
    All other purchases 0% cash back
    Annual Fee None
    Foreign Transaction Fee None


Thank you for your membership and we apologize for any inconvenience.


The highlighted bullet point above was done by me for emphasis.

*EDIT QuickSummary updated w/ info above (and details from very next post below).

If money market savings account qualifies that would be the best choice

the opening balance is $25 and there is no service fee.

https://www.penfed.org/money-market-savings/

When funding a new account with a credit card, is it treated with a purchase, assuming a non-Citibank card? The max amount allowed is $100 so I'm thinking yes.

jfwl said:   
tjguitar85 said:   why would you get a card with $100 bonus when there are cards with $400 bonus? That seems silly. Might as well just use your 2% card on gas after you hit the bonus.

Same logic, right?
 

  Please let me know which card has a $400 bonus -- is this from Chase?

I've had the Penfed card since 2008 and received a snail mail notification but no email. At the bottom of this month's statement it mentions the change but it's mixed in with the other fine print that's easily overlooked. I spend ~$500 per month on gas so I will probably open the 6 month certificate.
 

  
chase sapphire preferred. Barclays also has $400 bonus cards occasionally.

NEDeals said:   When funding a new account with a credit card, is it treated with a purchase, assuming a non-Citibank card? The max amount allowed is $100 so I'm thinking yes.
  If you use your PenFed card for this it won't really matter, because they don't have a cash advance fee anyway. 

treasurebeacon said:   If money market savings account qualifies that would be the best choice

the opening balance is $25 and there is no service fee.

https://www.penfed.org/money-market-savings/

 
Damn. Already bought the CD.

Don't worry.  The way PenFed seems to be going, they'll probably raise the minimum required balance on the Money Market Savings to $1K early next year anyway.



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