The MILITARY STAR Card Earns Retirees, Military Community $27.5 Million in 2017

Retired Soldiers and family members who shop with their MILITARY STAR® card don’t just save money, they earn it—all while supporting the entire military community.

The MILITARY STAR card includes a free loyalty program enrollment. For every $1 spent with MILITARY STAR at exchanges—including online at, and—commissaries and Armed Forces Recreation Centers, cardholders earn two loyalty points; with every 2,000 points earned, they receive a $20 rewards card. Those cards, mailed directly to cardholders once earned, can then be redeemed anywhere an Exchange gift card is accepted. Last year, MILITARY STAR cardholders received $27.5 million in personal dividends through rewards cards.

And it’s not just MILITARY STAR cardholders who reap the rewards. Every time the card is used, the Exchange saves money by avoiding costly merchant fees charged by bank-issued credit cards. Because military exchange earnings support the military community, the money saved in merchant fees—$28.7 million in 2017—is re-invested into needed installation programs and services like Army Child Development, fitness centers and more. These programs are critical to improving Quality-of-Life support for our Warfighters and their families. Using MILITARY STAR directly benefits these programs by increasing the funds the Exchange is able to give back to the installation.

The MILITARY STAR card helps set the Exchange apart from other retailers while offering unique value for cardholders. Originally designed to combat predatory lenders taking advantage of service members, the card gave an alternative credit option with fair and flexible terms to help build credit safely and responsibly. Beyond that, the card offers everyday discounts on food and fuel as well as exclusive savings and offers.

In October 2017, the MILITARY STAR card was further strengthened as commissaries began accepting the card. Being able to use the card at the commissary was one of the top requests we heard from shoppers.

In total, MILITARY STAR generated $445 million in value in 2017 for the military community. In addition to the rewards cards earned and money saved on merchant fees, other savings include:

  • $309 million from one low APR for all cardholders, regardless of credit score (comparison of 11.99% vs. the average store credit card APR of 25.24 percent).
  • $32.9 million due to MILITARY STAR never charging late fees (average credit card late fee is $35). 
  • $17.2 million from MILITARY STAR’s 0-percent-interest financing offers and never charging “back interest” after a promotion ends.
  • $9.1 million for new cardholders taking advantage of the card’s first-day discount.
  • $8 million through MILITARY STAR’s interest-free military clothing plan.
  • $4.8 million at Exchange restaurants with the everyday 10 percent food discount.
  • $4.3 million at the pump, where MILITARY STAR users save 5 cents per gallon of gas at Army & Air Force Exchange locations
  • $2.2 million with MILITARY STAR’s reduced-interest deployment policy.
  • $1.1 million on shipping, where every purchase made with MILITARY STAR receives standard shipping for free.  

As part of a continuing effort to offer the best service and support to retired Soldiers, military members and families, we are working to expand MILITARY STAR acceptance across each military installation.

Thank you for allowing to the Exchange to be a part of your life. We are deeply honored to serve those who have given so much to our Nation and are truly grateful for your sacrifice and service.

By Army & Air Force Exchange Service Director/CEO Tom Shull