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Pentagon Federal AMEX travel card?
Old 11-09-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
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Pentagon Federal AMEX travel card?

Got an offer from Penfed the other day - an AMEX card that gives a $100 AMEX gift card and 30,000 airline miles if I use it for $650 in purchases in the first 3 months. Has a $50/year fee, waived for the first year. Offer expires 12/31/2010. Mighty tempting, as it looks like it would only cost a bit of aggravation (worth $100?) and earn a free airfare.

Anyone else feeling the urge? Got my freebie Ipod Touch from Key Bank, which had more hoops to leap through than this sounds to have, and I like cash incentives...
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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airline-of-your-choice miles, or points that might not be useful to you?
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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Looks like airline of your choosing, which is better than the Alaska air card that charged $75/year. I really like the Penfed Visa that gives cash reward monthly, but forgoing $7.81 in cash rewards for a free air ticket seems doable....
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Got an offer from Penfed the other day - an AMEX card that gives a $100 AMEX gift card and 30,000 airline miles if I use it for $650 in purchases in the first 3 months. Has a $50/year fee, waived for the first year. Offer expires 12/31/2010. Mighty tempting, as it looks like it would only cost a bit of aggravation (worth $100?) and earn a free airfare.
Anyone else feeling the urge?
They're hoping that next year you'd be happy to pay $50 for the airline miles and keep on paying every year. How little they know the typical E-R.org poster.

Which is unfortunate for them, because you're probably starting a stampede of E-R.org posters to PenFed's Amex website right now.

I have a Fidelity Amex paying 2% rebates, and my only complaint is that Taco Bell won't take Amex. What really leveraged the Amex for us is that we can use it at Costco, which jacked up our spending by an entire $2000/year and raised our rebate income by a whoppin' $40...

I wonder if I can sneak in a PenFed Amex application without screwing up my Fidelity Amex. I guess I'd better wait until after our PenFed refinance closes.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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AMEX isn't accepted as many places as the other cards - beware. Here In Europe, have not had any luck with anything AMEX....
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:57 AM   #6
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Stateside here. I'm a bad person. As mentioned above the normal Penfed VISA card with it's monthly cash return makes me all warm and happy - but to get a free air ticket for $650 in spending I can be seduced. for about the length of time it takes to spend $650. As it happens, various of our insurance policies on the places take credit cards as payment. We pay annually, so one payment would fulfill the obligation nicely.

Several utility companies accept plastic as well - used those payments to get the free Touch, as requirements insisted on an automatic payment for a certain period.

Still think an autopay from our checking account should earn us a discount equal to the amount of merchant fee companies pay for accepting credit cards - their refusal to do so has driven us to greater use of plastic, which use is a huge parasitic drain on the economy, IMHO.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:00 AM   #7
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JetBlue has an AMEX offer, spend $500 within a certain period and get a free ticket to anywhere jetblue flies (could be roundtrip ticket even).

JetBlue | Airline Tickets, Flights, and Airfare

Do both and get 2 free tickets
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:25 AM   #8
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thanks for the Jetblue offer - Whoa! A few pairs of socks and underwear in left cargo pants pockets, toothbrush and a sandwich in the right (avoiding bag fees and meal fees), flipflops on, and my special "I got a free fondle from the TSA" T-shirt and I could become a happy wanderer.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:33 PM   #9
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Sound good. I rec'd the offer last month and I applied and just got the card today. How exactly do these 30,000 airline miles work, that you get after spending $650? Can I redeem for a 30,000 mile roundtrip ticket? I put $650 on my VISA in 7-10 days. I love my Penfed VISA rewards card and get $70-90 off my bill monthly; but I have never had a travel rewards card. Thanks
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:25 AM   #10
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Yes, the original mailing on the offer indicated that 30,000 air miles would be yours when you spend $650 in 90 days.
The welcome kit that was mailed to me after I got the card said I earn only 20,000 air miles.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:03 AM   #11
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Being as i save paperwork that counts: My offer reads

"With this exclusive offer, you can earn up to 30,000 points within the first three months - here's how it works:
*Earn 10,000 bonus points after your very first purchase with this card offer".
*Earn 20,000 bonus points and receive a $100 AMEX gift card when you spend $650 within your first 3 months of cardmembership".

I don't even have my card yet, but I'm counting on 30,000 points and $100.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:57 AM   #12
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Thanks Calmloki, I'll watch for this. Unfortunately I discarded the original offer that was sent to me.
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Old 11-23-2010, 12:01 PM   #13
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Also noticed in the welcome pack that they give you 2X's points on all purchases, 3X's on dining and hotels and 5X's on airline purchases, all have to be prior to 12/31/10 .
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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I am a long-time customer and big fan of Penfed. Being very happy with their cash-back VISA, I got the AMEX. I have just been through a 12-hr Orwellian nightmarish experience attempting to redeem my points for an airline ticket, and I can NOT recommend the AMEX card any longer.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:21 PM   #15
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Sorry to hear that Rusty. I got my card last month a now have 33,000 points. Have not tried to redeem any yet. Did you end up with airline tickets after all you went thru? Curious, why the big hassle? Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:49 PM   #16
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Did you end up with airline tickets after all you went thru?
I'm FAIRLY sure I did, thanks. Got a confirmation note from the Penfed Premium Rewards folk, but when I plug the airline confirmation code into their website it says it's not been ticketed and the reservation will expire at midnite. Normally I'd assume it's ok, but after the stone wall I've gotten from these folks, nothing would surprise me ...

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Curious, why the big hassle? Thanks.
Simply put, the rewards website only works if you are running Internet Explorer under Windows. It's a cross Mac folks have to bear when we run into retarded websites. But normally there's a backup: you can phone in and deal with whatever that way. But with Penfed Premium Rewards, the website is THE only way to make a reservation. So I drove into town and found a PC.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:29 PM   #17
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I got a lower level charge card from PenFed - not the AmEx one the OP mentioned. Mine has no fees but doesn't have the bells and whistles either. All I was looking for was one that didn't have 1% (or whatever) fee when you use it in a foreign country and convert the bill back into US$. The one I have promises that but I have not been to Canada (or anywhere else) since I got it to make sure it works.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:05 AM   #18
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As I mentioned over on Bogleheads, I've encountered this problem a number of times, but solved it by simply switching over to the virtual Windows environment I run on my Mac with VMWare Fusion (Parallels would be just as good).
This little dodge has worked for me every time, and is certainly cheaper and easier than trying to find a physical PC.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:58 PM   #19
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I have to say though, they gave me my 20K points VERY promptly after I'd spent $650 (within 3 months). I also recall something about a $100 gift certificate; anyone know how that works ?
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #20
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Magnets - how do they work?
Insane Clown Posse

Think you should have 30,000 + $100 gift card according to the terms of the letter i quoted above.

Still don't have my card in hand - they waited for me to call after 3 weeks to tell me they were only interested in me splitting my total card chargability, keeping my total potential balance the same. OK, haven't used a 1/4 of my potential yet. Then they snail mailed me a signature card after a week or two had elapsed. So much for my cunning $100 Christmas gift card idea.
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