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PenFed Eliminating Bonus Cash Back on Groceries

Written by Nickel - 13 Comments

Editor’s Note:  This offer expired and is no longer available.

Hmmm… I just ran across some bad news related to the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card. Here’s the scoop:

Effective March 1, 2011, PenFed will no long offer 2% cash back for supermarket purchases. You will continue to earn 5% cash back on gas purchases made at the pump and 0.25% on all other purchases, including your supermarket purchases. If you have any questions, please contact us at 800-247-5626 seven days a week or PenFed.org.

PenFed Eliminating Bonus Cash Back on Groceries

Bummer. The 5% cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump** is still a good deal but this will otherwise end up being a very pedestrian reward card. Be sure to review the issuers page for additional information and terms and restrictions that apply.

If you have this card, will you be changing your reward card strategy?

Published on January 21st, 2011
Modified on January 7th, 2014 - 13 Comments
Filed under: Credit Cards

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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13 Responses to “PenFed Eliminating Bonus Cash Back on Groceries”

  1. 1
    almost there Says:

    My primary cc. I remember not long ago when it was 1.5% cashback on everything else. With the cost of groceries going up they must have been taking a beating.

  2. 2
    SaladSnail Says:

    This was one of my two primary credit cards. Then I found out about the PenFed Promise Visa that has no foreign transaction fees — and as I’m currently residing longterm outside the US, I switched to the Promise Visa earlier this month.
    Stateside I use Discover for the Cash Back Bonus.

  3. 3
    Steve Says:

    Still a great card—not many cards offer a 5% rebate on a commonly used product/service. If you have 2 cars and fill each up once a month (assume a 15 gallon tank), and spend $3.00 per gallon on gas, you end up getting back 15*2*12*3*.05 = $54.00 back per year for doing nothing. Pretty easy decision to keep the card.

  4. 4
    Mike Says:

    Hmm, I wonder how long until they get rid of the 5% cash back on gas. With gas prices rising, I bet it won’t be too long.

  5. 5
    Sanjay K. Says:

    I don’t get gas back credit cards. The stations here in NJ charge an extra 10 cents per gallon for using a credit card.

    The cash back savings for roughly $50 fill-it-up with using this card would be 2.50. Why not just give 50 bucks cash and save 10 cents per gallon anyway?

    The savings would still be greater with the card probably, but I guess my point is, 5% cash back using a CC isn’t really 5% because you can use cash.

  6. 6
    Nickel Says:

    Sanjay: We don’t all live in NJ. ;-)

    We don’t get cash discounts around here, so it really is 5% off the price at the pump. Not a huge amounts, but most people would welcome the chance to pay $0.10-$0.15 less per gallon.

  7. 7
    Philip Says:

    Bummer… I have been using this card exclusively for about the last year. I like to find a single card that is good enough all around. May have to go looking for another card, but I have been overall happy with this card and dealing with changing cards is a pain.

  8. 8
    RS Says:

    I just started using the card a few months ago. While I thought the 2% grocery thing would be nice, I noticed a bulk of my grocery bills didn’t qualify, as they weren’t from big chain grocery stores. Most of my groceries come from Asian supermarkets, which didn’t seem to qualify.
    As a result, I’ve been using this card for gas only, so hopefully that 5% benefit doesn’t go away! Flipped the groceries back to my Fidelity VISA, which if redeemed into a retirement account returns 1.5%.

    Somewhat unrelated: Anyone else get a notice about PenFed account security breach? I haven’t had a chance to read through the details, but they issued me a new card number, and some info about signing up for an identity theft monitoring thing…

  9. 9
    Des Says:

    The discount grocery store in my town doesn’t accept credit cards (one way they can offer cheaper prices), so we buy our groceries in cash anyway.

    Some gas stations in our area charge 10 cents a gallon extra for credit card purchases, but gas is over $3 a gallon here, so it is still worth it to take the 5% – and will only be more so as gas prices rise. Also, I find it helpful to have one card just for gas and get a bill at the end of the month. It helps me track our fuel expense.

  10. 10
    Eric Says:

    I was gonna sign up for this after the 5% gas reward on my Amex expires in March but now I’m wondering if they’ll cut any more rewards soon….sigh.

  11. 11
    Debbie Says:

    I have had the PenFed card for over 2 years. I charge absolutely everything I can (utilities, doctor, groceries, gas, etc. I get cash back each month of $50 – $75. We have a Wal-Mart Supercenter here and I usually get groceries there. One thing I found is that absolutely everything that I get at Wal-Mart has been eligible for the 2%. PenFed does not differentiate between groceries and other items.

    I am now looking for a replacement card. I’m looking at one that offers 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else. I saw a blog on the internet that said this card counts Wal-Mart supercenters as groceries – same as PenFed. I don’t know if that is true yet. I’m thinking of applying for this card and use it on everything but gas.

    I’m still looking though.

  12. 12
    Kirk Says:

    Just got approved for the card Thursday. Came across this blog because I was trying to get an understanding of the Feburary 28, 2011 discontinuance of the 2% grocery rewards. The 5% on gas was the reason that I wanted it so badly. Tired of points that I have to spend so much before I benefit. $.03-.05 per gallon is fine when that is the only choice but the percentage of purchase is so much better especially when they give it back to you monthly. Been using AMEX Simply Cash because that is what they do but the pumps are slowly blocking them out. Heard a partial statement on CNBC Fast Money when they were talking about AMEX and merchant fees but didn’t put the work in to get it clarified. That same week I had to use a different card twice at the pumps that took the AMEX before. That was all the clarification I needed. I’m just happy PenFed gave it to me no matter how long the rewards last.

  13. 13
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