How to Apply for the PenFed Defender American Express Card

The exclusive PenFed Defender American Express Card is available only to those who serve in the US Military, the Reserves, the National Guard, or to those who have been honorably discharged. All cards offered by the PenFed Credit Union have very reasonable interest rates and this one is no exception. You can expect your APR to be somewhere between 10.24%-17.99% (depending on your credit worthiness) for all purchases and cash advances (APR is subject to change). One of the most enticing reasons to get this card is that it has absolutely no fees. This means that there’s no annual fee, no cash advance fee, no foreign transaction fee, and even no late payment fee. On top of all that, you can receive $100 in bonus credit when you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days. The cash back rewards program sweetens the deal by providing cardholders with 1.5% cash back on all purchases made. Really, this card has it all and it therefore comes highly recommended by us here at Card Reviews. To learn how to apply, scroll down to our tutorial below.

Be sure to read over the PenFed privacy policy before submitting any sensitive information into their online portal.


In order to be eligible for this card, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You have a valid SSN
  • You are an active member of the military, the Reserves, the National Guard, or an honorably discharged US military veteran

How to Apply

Step 1- Click here to navigate to the online application page. There you will need to select the Apply Now tab to proceed.


Step 2- Choose either Yes or No to let PenFed know if you’re applying for this credit card with a joint applicant. Once an answer has been chosen, click Join Now to proceed.


Step 3- Here you will need to select one of the options to indicate your type of eligibility. After specifying which organization you serve(ed), click Continue to proceed.


Step 4- Some basic information will be required on this page. In the blank fields, enter your First Name, Last Name, Birth Date, Email Address, and Phone Number. Click Continue once everything has been entered correctly.


Step 5- Next, you will need to provide some information regarding your home address and mortgage/rent payment. The exact data that’s requires is as follows:

  • Street address
  • Apt/Unit/Suite
  • Zip
  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Residence status
  • Monthly mortgage or rent payment
  • Years at your home address
  • Months at your home address


Step 6- Continue by supplying your employer/business details. The following information must be supplied:

  • Employment status
  • Years employed
  • Months employed
  • Employer/business name
  • Employer/business address (street, zip, city, state, country)
  • Gross monthly income
  • SSN


Step 7- Now you will need to provide your additional income information. If you have any additional income, select Yes and provide your Other Monthly Income, your Source of Other Income, and the Total Monthly Accessible Income.


Step 8- Take a moment to review the terms and conditions for this credit card as well as the information provided in the Credit Report Authorization and Credit Card Account Authorization windows. If you are in compliance with PenFed’s terms, check each of the I Agree boxes before proceeding.


Step 9- Click Continue to officially submit you application in for reviewal by the PenFed Credit Union. The application process is complete once you successfully navigated through each of the above steps.



Thank you for choosing Card Reviews as you guide through the application process. We hope you made it through in one piece. Good luck and happy banking!