Yesterday I got another piece of bad news from PenFed. They are reducing the cash back on my favorite card, PenFed VISA Platinum Gas / Cash Rewards Card, again! Make no bones about it I love this card for one thing and one thing only – GAS. I even wrote a whole post about it. Luckily, the latest reduction does not affect the gas rewards, but I have to think it's only a matter of time.
The letter that I got said that in honor of celebrating the new year, they were going to reduce my APR from 13.99% to 9.99%. Really? Anyone who reads this blog knows I don't give a crap about APR let alone celebrate it. You could make mine 999% and I wouldn't care because I pay my card off every month in full like any rational credit card holder should do. But I digress… In order to
"maximize the financial value we can deliver to you through this lower purchase APR, the earnings rate on non-gas purchases will also be adjusted from 1% to .25%, effective February 1, 2012."
That sounds like something right out of Bank of America's playbook, not something you would expect from a credit union that's supposed to be looking out for member/owner best interests.
It gets worse. They're using this reduction letter as an attempt to switch users of the Platinum Cash Rewards card over to the Platinum Rewards card which gives you points rather than cash back. Total FAIL. Ironically, these points actually match up similarly with what the Platinum Cash Rewards program used to offer (5 points on gas, 3 on groceries, and 1 on everything else). However, instead of the beautiful automatic redemption you get with the Platinum Cash Rewards card, the Rewards Card is like every other one on the market where you have to build points for gift card redemptions and you have the potential problem with point re-valuation. Again like every other card on the market, there's a sign on bonus (5,000 points) and 20,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
They seem to be doing this on an annual basis as my Open Letter to PenFed from last March can attest. I hope that next year at this time I won't be coming back to rant yet again that this time the card is killing our gas rewards. For now, I'll just relax and keep getting 5% back on gas!