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With many rewards cards temporarily raising their sign-up bonuses for the holidays, it can be tempting to jump at a large offer. But cards like the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa with more modest bonuses offer better overall rewards rates and can get you more value in the first year.
It’s true that many cash back cards offer between $150-$200 cash back after spending a certain amount in the first few months. The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa will only get you $100 after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days. However, the Power Cash card also offers a competitive 2 percent cash back rate that gives it a higher overall value. Other 2 percent cash back cards – like the Citi Double Cash card – don’t offer an intro bonus at all.
What is the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa worth in the first year?
The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa has a competitive cash back program, offering 2 percent cash back for current and former military as well as PenFed Access America checking accountholders. If you don’t fall into either of these categories, you’ll still earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase. Here’s a quick look at what cardholders can earn in the first year.
|PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card|
The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature card offers a reasonable APR and a high 2 percent cash back rate.
Estimated earnings in first year ($1,325 monthly spend)
If you don’t currently qualify for the 2 percent cash back, the Access America checking account is pretty manageable and might be worth looking into for the higher rewards rate. Even if you don’t have an Access America account when you first apply, you can earn the extra 0.5 percent just one business day after opening a qualifying checking account.
Who is eligible to earn the sign-up bonus?
PenFed limits accountholders to one $100 statement credit per account, but is otherwise fairly flexible about who can receive the introductory offer. There are no stated restrictions on the number of accounts you can have open with PenFed or any other bank. As long as you meet the card’s excellent credit (above 740) requirements, you should be eligible for the offer.
The $100 sign-up bonus is only officially guaranteed to those who apply before the end of this year, but the offer has not changed throughout the card’s history. It will likely remain the same into 2019.
Redemption options with the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa
The redemption options for cash back earned on the PenFed Power Cash Rewards card are very flexible. You can opt for the traditional statement credit or choose a direct deposit into either a PenFed account or an account with another institution. Unfortunately, rewards expire five years after they are earned, so you’ll need to redeem cash back often to avoid losing it.
Should you apply for a PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa now?
The sign-up bonus for the PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa hasn’t changed in the card’s history, but their website currently mentions that the offer is only guaranteed until Dec. 31, 2018. While it is likely the offer will remain the same, you might want to apply for the card before the end of the year to ensure you can earn the $100 statement credit.
Plus, with holiday shopping around the corner, it is a good time to maximize your reward potential. If you are a current or former military member or PenFed checking accountholder, you can get a great cash back rate while you buy presents. Unlike some other 2 percent cash back cards, you’ll still get a nice chunk of change as a sign-up bonus along the way.