PenFed Credit Union $200 Checking Bonus

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Update: This promotion appears to have ended early.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union has a $200 bonus promotion for opening their new Access America checking account. You must deposit a minimum of $1,200, and make 5 debit card purchases within 90 days of account opening. They market this as a way of “adding $200” to your $1,200 stimulus check (not a requirement). Offer expires 6/14/20.

In order to avoid a $10 monthly fee with this account, you must maintain a $500 daily balance OR a monthly direct deposit of $500 or more. I would just keep at least $500 in the account until the bonus posts. With interest rates quickly heading back to 1% APY or lower, these bank bonuses are starting to look more appealing. For example, it would take $20,000 earning 1% APY for an entire year to make $200 in interest.

PenFed offers a variety of other financial services. With this account, you also become eligible for their 2% cash back credit card and their $250 bonus on car loan refinances. They’ve also been competitive on mortgages in the past. Unfortunately, their bank CD rates haven’t been great recently.

PenFed’s membership eligibility includes affiliated military and Federal employees, but anyone can join if they are a member of a partner organization. I have been a member for years after joining the National Military Family Association for $17. The website also states that being a previous Red Cross blood donor or volunteer makes you eligible. I recommend going through the PenFed application process and letting them guide you.

Offer valid from 5/4/2020 – 6/14/2020. Must receive at least $1200 in deposits in your checking account within 90 days of account opening and make 5 debit card purchases in the first 90 days. Only available to new personal checking members who do not have an existing checking account and qualify for an Access America Account. Once the criteria is met, the bonus will be credited to the new personal checking account no later than 120 days from account opening. Account must remain open, active and in good standing (no negative balance) at time bonus is distributed. PenFed will issue an IRS form 1099 reporting the value of the bonus. One bonus per member.

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  1. No affiliation with military is needed for PenFed (although they do keep $5 inaccessible in Share account until you close it, not sure if that’s available for military members). Applied on Sunday. The quickest and smoothest account opening process ever. Can fund $500 checking and $100 savings with CC. I used BBVA CC, other dps state Citi, BofA and numerous chase cards coding as purchase as well.

    Curious, does NMFA membership work for joining other Military CUs such as Navy Federal?

  2. Jared L Ross says

    You can only fund up to $500 on the application, so you have to transfer another $700. PenFed does NOT support instant verification on their platform, however other platforms (Ally) will provide instant verification for PenFed accounts.

    • I was able to schedule an ACH transfer without any usual account verification right on the website (on the right side). Put in my external account and routing number, deposit into checking, click, boom!

      Also, I haven’t seen any dps if partial funding would count towards $1200 deposit so better to deposit full $1200.

  3. Arnold S says

    Lots of data points on other websites state this credit union does a hard credit pull to open the account, in case that matters to you

  4. Looks like they ended the offer. Page comes up 404 now. Meant to sign up earlier this week but didn’t get to in time. 🙁

  5. so we just need to deposit $1200, but don’t have to keep the $1200 there, correct?

  6. Any idea if the required 5 debit card purchases need to be debit transactions with a PIN? Or can any purchase work?

  7. Subhra P Bhattacharjee says

    Does online debit card purchases and paying my phone bill using debit card count or these debit card transactions should be POS only at stores ?

  8. Jason Brownlee says

    I deposited $1200 and made 5 debit purchases for $1 Amazon gift cards, and didn’t get the $200 bonus yet.

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