PenFed Platinum Rewards Card Review: What's The Catch?

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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Gamma
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PenFed Platinum Rewards Card Review: What's The Catch?

Postby Gamma » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:32 am

Hi I'm new here and have some several different questions about this particular card.

1. How does this card issuer make any money if there are several people here that ONLY use it for gas purchases?

2. For those people who do have this card and use it for gas only, have you gotten any phone calls from PenFed about your card usage or even had your card canceled?

3. For those who use it for gas purchases ONLY, how long have you had the card? About how much points do you get monthly? How much cash back (or points) have you gotten year to date? Do you PIF monthly? Again, this question is only for those who use it for gas purchases ONLY.

4. How is costumer service? :)

Planning on getting this later on only for gas and to PIF monthly and curious if any action is taken by the issuer for gas purchases only. Any answers would be appreciated!


Money card
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Postby Money card » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:29 am

I don't have this card but I will try and help you out.
1. they make money the same way as the other cash back card companys do for the people who don't pay there bill in full , they pay intrest
plus the merchant fee they take out of the purchases.
2 they can't cancel your card unless you don't pay the minimum amount.
3 5% cash back on gas I'm going to say 1% back on everything else.

jeffysdad
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Postby jeffysdad » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:51 am

Gamma, I don't have the PenFed card because my gasoline spending is minimal. However, I have wondered about the broader question you pose: Will CC companies do anything about customers who only use their cards for the maximum reward categories (in my case, for instance, groceries and gas on Amex BCP and nothing else)?

For a while now I've been using my category reward cards in such a way and I've never been contacted by any of the issuers. I have to think that my business is at best a break-even proposition for them. However, interchange fees vary widely, so I don't really know.

Citi seems to address this issue with their Universal Rewards Card, which offers a rebate on AT&T purchases. In order to get the rebate, you must charge an amount equivalent to your monthly AT&T spend in other categories. It's been a while since I had this card, so that might have changed.

It seems like it would be easy enough for card issuers to "fire" rewards-greedy customers like myself. However, there are probably far more people out there who aren't as OCD about this stuff as myself and others on this forum are, so the card issuers are making money in the end, lots of it.

Finally, dropping customers for taking full advantage of the enticement you gave them to use your product in the first place would be an extremely poor PR move. Can you imagine the comments you'd see on this forum if that were happening?
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.


agp
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Postby agp » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:38 pm

Customer service is great, as are most credit unions.

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:45 pm

There isn't a catch. I have both of their visas and use them primarily for gas. I will admit that I use the card for groceries sometimes. I haven't been contacted by them for using the card in the manner that nets me the most cash back. Their customer service is superb and they have raised my CL without me asking.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape

Gamma
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Postby Gamma » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:34 am

Money card wrote:I don't have this card but I will try and help you out.
1. they make money the same way as the other cash back card companys do for the people who don't pay there bill in full , they pay intrest
plus the merchant fee they take out of the purchases.
2 they can't cancel your card unless you don't pay the minimum amount.
3 5% cash back on gas I'm going to say 1% back on everything else.


1. yea that's true they make money off interest rate, but what about those that just use it for gas purchases and pay balance full monthly?
2. I thought any credit card issuer can cancel credit cards from anyone for any reason?

jeffysdad wrote:I have wondered about the broader question you pose: Will CC companies do anything about customers who only use their cards for the maximum reward categories (in my case, for instance, groceries and gas on Amex BCP and nothing else)?


That's exactly what I was wondering. From reviews/post that I have read, I have seen a lot of people having their BCP canceled because of their high usage in supermarkets. I figured if Amex does this to their costumers, maybe other card issuers do the same? The card issuers would be losing money from people who only use those credit cards (Discover/Chase) when the 5% comes around and they PIF. The BCP is my favorite card and earn the most cash back out of it and don't want to risk having them close it down so I use this as my everyday card. I use my other 5% cards too and when I do, I also add other few purchases that would give me 1% back so the issuers don't see me as a losing profit and close my accounts.

Also, thanks for all your replies! I applied for the Penfed Rewards and ended up getting instant denied due to length of time accounts established, insufficient installment payment history, and many inquries (8) within the past 12 months :( Oh well, will just use BCP for their 3% when the Discover 5% gas quarter ends.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:18 pm

I hadn't heard that about BCP. I will be sure to spread my grocery spending across a couple of cards to throw them off of my scent.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape


Money card
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Postby Money card » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:52 pm

well Gamma for the people who pay there bill in full and just use it for gas they get the 5% back, I guess other than the merchant fees
they don't make that much money. what about the people who have the US Bank card and get 2 categories of the 5% if they pay there bill in full how does US bank make any money?

nvtech
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Postby nvtech » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:07 am

I am an user of Penfed Visa Platinum Rewards...So far in the last 9 months..I have reaped over $650 in rewards....

Primary usage is @ gas stations with 5x points and grocery stores 3X points.

Visa recognizes a Super Walmart, Super Target as grocery stores...I shop a lot at these stores to get the 3x points...
None of the other cards looks to recognize a Super Walmart as a grocery store. Most of them see it as a discount wholesale retailers just giving flat 1%.

And last..no foreign transaction fee..This has been the best so far when calculating the Foreign Transaction exchange fees.

Here are the exchange rates I found

With my trip in Europe, I compared the exchange rates to XE.com


1 Euro = $1.19 and the card exchange rate is 1 Euro = $1.12....

In my last months Safari and Kruger National Park, SA..

XE rate $1= ZAR 8.59 and the card exchange rate I got is $1= ZAR 8.52...

I cannot ask for more..and this is the best I found.

FutureBillionaire
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Postby FutureBillionaire » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:39 pm

I always thought that Super Walmart and Super Target counted as discount stores and thus weren't allowed to be viewed as grocery stores. Maybe you have to purchase groceries during the transaction.
Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape



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