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PenFed AA Checking Account

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SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account


@Absolution16 wrote:

@SouthJamaica 

 

Do you remember roughly how long ago it was that you stopped pushing ACH from your other FI to PenFed and started opting for Direct Deposit instead?

 

Also, I seem to recall that you were unhappy with PenFed's services on the phone, as well as the fact that they limit you to only ONE transfer per day, is that correct?  How is your general assessment on PenFed?  I had a feeling you were leaning heavily towards only their PowerCash VISA being worthwhile.


1. I made the switch probably a little less than a year ago.

2. PenFed has its plusses and minuses. My general assessment is that it is a great credit union.  Its customer service isn't as lovely as NFCU's, and it has numerous unnecessary limits on transactions. But it does some things very very well. Both of my credit cards are excellent, but one -- the Promise card -- is no longer offered.


Total revolving limits 650200 (530700 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 708 TU 714 EX 715

Message 11 of 19
Absolution16
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account

@SouthJamaica 

 

That is pretty recent then when you were still pushing bank transfer to PenFed and still got the Honors Advantage status.  Maybe the AA Checking and the Free Checking work differently in terms of treating pushed ACH as Direct Deposit?  Hopefully not.

 

IF ONLY PenFed can approve me for Free Checking, I'd like to apply for PCR Card and do a little test of "pushing $500 transfer from my Ally bank account into PenFed Free Checking and then pushing it back to Ally once PenFed makes the initial transfer balance available."  The thing is... they keep denying me for being unable to verify my SSN or something, and the agents on the phone have no idea what is wrong.  I am supposedly to be contacted after their supervisors take a look at my failed applications to see what the real issue is so that they can tell me what I need to provide them with.

 

I appreciate your feedback on PenFed.  Every FIs have their own quirks here and there, but I would be lying if I were to say that their 6-month hold policy and other limits they pose don't have me paused for concerns.  Still, I would like to give them a try if I could..... ONLY if they could just tell me what is wrong with the Free Checking application.

Message 12 of 19
Absolution16
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account

@SouthJamaica 

 

Just to clarify... since we are talking "Access America" checking and NOT "Free" checking account...

 

Would it be possible that you were able to keep your Honors Advantage status even without any "real" direct deposit, BECAUSE maybe you met the requirement of having the $10 monthly fee waived due to having minimum of $500 average daily balance?

 

It is my understanding that "Access America" checking automatically puts you into Honors Advantage as long as the checking account is open.  The minimum balance or direct deposit requirement only applies to the $10 monthly fee for the checking account.  So if one does not fulfill either of those requirements and keeps paying $10 per month, he/she would still be enrolled in Honors Advantage.

 

But for "Free" checking, in exchange for having no monthly fee at all, the minimum balance or direct deposit requirement is mandatory in order to be a Honors Advantage member. 

 

So I am thinking that perhaps the pushed ACH from another institution may have worked for you because you may have already met the requirement of being in Honors Advantage simply by having an "Access America" checking with $500 daily average balance?

 

Unless.... you managed to avoid the $10 monthly fee even if you failed to keep BOTH requirements to waive that fee?  That would be a different story.

 

I just had the feeling that you very likely weren't paying PenFed $10 every month all these years.

Message 13 of 19
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account


@Absolution16 wrote:

@SouthJamaica 

 

Just to clarify... since we are talking "Access America" checking and NOT "Free" checking account...

 

Would it be possible that you were able to keep your Honors Advantage status even without any "real" direct deposit, BECAUSE maybe you met the requirement of having the $10 monthly fee waived due to having minimum of $500 average daily balance?

 

Nope.

 

It is my understanding that "Access America" checking automatically puts you into Honors Advantage as long as the checking account is open.  The minimum balance or direct deposit requirement only applies to the $10 monthly fee for the checking account.  So if one does not fulfill either of those requirements and keeps paying $10 per month, he/she would still be enrolled in Honors Advantage.

 

If so, I think that's a new development.

 

But for "Free" checking, in exchange for having no monthly fee at all, the minimum balance or direct deposit requirement is mandatory in order to be a Honors Advantage member. 

 

So I am thinking that perhaps the pushed ACH from another institution may have worked for you because you may have already met the requirement of being in Honors Advantage simply by having an "Access America" checking with $500 daily average balance?

 

No my balance was rarely above $30 for more than a day or two.

 

Unless.... you managed to avoid the $10 monthly fee even if you failed to keep BOTH requirements to waive that fee?  That would be a different story.

 

I just had the feeling that you very likely weren't paying PenFed $10 every month all these years.

 

Yes but I did pay them $10 more times than I would like to admit.


 


Total revolving limits 650200 (530700 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 708 TU 714 EX 715

Message 14 of 19
Absolution16
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account

@SouthJamaica 

 

Hmm.  So some months they charged you $10, some months they didn't.  You almost always had $30 or less in the account, but you never had any months where your cashback bonus reverted down to 1.5%..... interesting.

 

I'd like to test PenFed out, but they keep rejecting my application.  I am told their "SentiLink" verification cannot identify me.  Never heard of them until this.  I googled around, and it seems like some CUs use this company for KYC purposes.  PenFed isn't telling me what I need to do to rectify this situation.  I may just have to give up and maybe give Alliant a try since I have a share savings there that I opened in 2016 in the interest of opening up a $500 shared secured loan.  I just don't like their $1K minimum balance requirement and $50 minimum redemption.

Message 15 of 19
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account


@Absolution16 wrote:

@SouthJamaica 

 

Hmm.  So some months they charged you $10, some months they didn't. 

 

Yes but I don't think it happened in months where I made $500 in ACH transfers.

 

You almost always had $30 or less in the account, but you never had any months where your cashback bonus reverted down to 1.5%..... interesting.

 

I'd like to test PenFed out, but they keep rejecting my application.  I am told their "SentiLink" verification cannot identify me.  Never heard of them until this.  I googled around, and it seems like some CUs use this company for KYC purposes.  PenFed isn't telling me what I need to do to rectify this situation.  I may just have to give up and maybe give Alliant a try since I have a share savings there that I opened in 2016 in the interest of opening up a $500 shared secured loan.  I just don't like their $1K minimum balance requirement and $50 minimum redemption.


 


Total revolving limits 650200 (530700 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 708 TU 714 EX 715

Message 16 of 19
Absolution16
Frequent Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account

@SouthJamaica 

 

Yes but I don't think it happened in months where I made $500 in ACH transfers

 

Got it.  Thank you for clearing this up.

Message 17 of 19
sportsguy83
Regular Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account

@Rogue46 I loved DCU for years and still have my savings account open there but just wasn't a fan of the new system they pushed out last year. It took a lot longer to push payments to financial institutions than it did previously and external transfers only worked with certain FI now.  For example, I can't transfer money between my PenFed and DCU accounts (ridiculous).  I was also was looking to establish a relationship with PenFed. Admitedly, PenFed wasn't much better so I now just pull payments from the FI I am paying directly.  May go back to DCU when I get my new car - assuming I get my loan through DCU. Also, I get my direct deposit about a day earlier with PenFed (not a huge deal).  

Beginning Rebuilding - February 2022

Current Scores - June 2023

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Message 18 of 19
coldfusion
Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: PenFed AA Checking Account

There's one thing to flesh out with PenFed:

 

Historically they used to put a number of restrictions and guardrails in place with new checking/savings accounts like holds on deposited checks that would gradually be relaxed over the 1st 6 months or so but which they didn't fully disclose before opening the account.   I remember it being annoying enough that it would have been problematic if I had planned to just cut over to using them as my primary until my account was open for about 3 months.

 

Perhaps someone with more recent experience can chime in if they're still doing this.

(5/2024)
FICO 8 (EX) 846 (TU) 850 (EQ) 850
FICO 9 (EX) 850 (TU) 850 (EQ) 850

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Artist formerly known as the_old_curmudgeon who was formerly known as coldfusion
Message 19 of 19
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