PenFed launches a new travel card that rewards you for everyday purchases

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express card

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PenFed has introduced an American Express-branded credit card that rewards cardholders for travel and everyday purchases. In addition to offering up to 4 points per dollar on travel purchases, the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express card offers a 25,000-point sign-up bonus and a 0-percent intro APR on balance transfers for a limited time.

Card benefits include:

  • 25,000-point sign-up bonus – Get 25,000 points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • $100 Annual Travel Fund Benefit – Get reimbursed for up to $100 in travel incidentals each year with PenFed’s 11 participating airline partners.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Benefit – When applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, cardholders will receive a statement credit every five years of $100 for Global Entry and $85 for TSA PreCheck.
  • No annual fee – You will not pay a yearly fee to use the card.
  • No foreign transaction fees – You will not be charged additional fees to use the card outside of the U.S.

Not your typical travel rewards card

While the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards card offers a plethora of travel benefits, it also offers perks for everyday spending. For example, its travel category – which earns cardholders 3 or 4 points per dollar, depending on your status – not only covers airline tickets and hotel bookings, but also includes everyday items, such as tolls, commuter transportation and taxis, Uber and Lyft purchases. According to Eric Bahl, director of product and channel development for PenFed, the card is “not only intended for the intense road warrior, but also the everyday commuter.”

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express card


Rewards Rate
  • 4 points per dollar on travel purchases (must be an Access America Checking Account holder or member of the military)
  • 3 points per dollar on travel purchases for all other cardholders
  • 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases
Sign-up Bonus
  • 25,000 points if you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days

Why use it?

The PenFed Pathfinder card is ideal for those who want to earn a generous rewards rate on casual travel and everyday spending. Additionally, current and former military members can benefit from the increased rewards rate.

Read Review
Estimated Yearly Rewards Value ($15,900 spend)
$283
Annual Fee
$0

Earning the higher rewards rate

PenFed Pathfinder cardholders earn 3 points per dollar on travel purchases and 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. However, PenFed members have the opportunity to earn an additional point per dollar on travel purchases – for a total of 4 points per dollar – through PenFed’s Honors Advantage Program.

To qualify for the 4-point offer, a cardholder must own and maintain a PenFed Access America Checking account. A cardholder can either open a new account, or use an existing account; however, he or she must be the primary owner of the checking account and the PenFed Pathfinder card. 

PenFed also allows cardholders who are current or former military members to earn the increased rate. To qualify, the primary or joint applicant must be in military service, the National Guard or the Reserves. Or they must be an honorably discharged veteran or a U.S. Military retiree.

There is no limit to the number of rewards cardholders can earn, and there are no spending caps.

Best ways to use the PenFed Pathfinder card

To maximize your rewards earnings and to take advantage of everything this card has to offer, we recommend the following:

  • If you are not a current or former military member, open a PenFed Access America Checking account in order to earn the 4-point rewards rate on travel purchases.
  • Spend $2,500 within the first 90 days of opening your card account to earn the $250 sign-up bonus.
  • Use the PenFed card to pay for all travel purchases, including airline tickets, rental cars, tolls and commuter transportation to earn 3 or 4 points per dollar on those purchases.
  • Use the PenFed card to pay for all airline-related purchases, including checked bag fees, pet travel fees and inflight food and beverage purchases to receive reimbursement of up to $100 each year.
  • Points expire in five years, so be sure to redeem your points before that time.

See related: PenFed card offers up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase, Navy Federal removes balance transfer fees for a limited time

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy


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Updated: 10-23-2018