Those who serve in the military sacrifice so much for our country. There are many aspects of being an active duty service member that can make life stressful for those serving. It’s always great to see companies do things to help those serving in the military. Chase has waived the annual fees on ALL of their personal credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for active duty service members.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card charges an annual fee of $550 because of the excellent benefits that come with having the card. With the waiver, you can enjoy all of the fantastic benefits the card offers for free! Right now the card is offering a 80,000 point welcome bonus to new card members after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account.
Receiving the benefits of the card, including the welcome bonus, without having to pay the annual fee is a phenomenal deal. If that’s not enough, I’m going to show you why I think the Sapphire Reserve is the best card for those who are active duty in the military.
How To Qualify
To comply with the Military Lending Act (MLA) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Chase has waived the annual fees on all of their personal credit cards. To qualify for these benefits, you have to be on active duty for at least 30 days. If you qualify, these benefits are easily applied to your account. Keep in mind that business cards are not eligible for these benefits.
When applying for a Chase card, it’s been reported that Chase will automatically match your social security number with the Department of Defense’s database. To confirm this, or if you have any other questions, you can call the Chase military department at 1-877-469-0110. If you’re overseas you can call them collect at 1-318-340-3308. Once they verify your eligibility, they will issue you a statement credit for the annual fee.
The waiver is only good on credit card accounts that were opened after September 20, 2017. If your card was opened before this date, you can simply open another account and have the benefits applied to that account.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Benefits
Travel Credit – The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $300 annual travel credit. This credit is automatically applied to your account when you make purchases that are classified as travel. This can include things from airfare to parking garages. And since you didn’t pay the annual fee, Chase is literally giving you $300 for free!
Increased Value With Chase Travel Portal – With this card your points are worth 1.5 cents per point when redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal. You can easily book flights, hotel rooms, rental cars, tours and more with your points through the portal. For example, you could buy a $300 plane ticket with just 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
PreCheck or Global Entry Fee Credit – The Sapphire Reserve card also comes with a fee credit worth up to $100 on your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application. Simply pay for the application fee with this card and Chase will credit your account. That’s right, more free money! If you already PreCheck, you can also use the credit to pay for someone else’s application. I’ve done this for two of my children.
Priority Pass Membership – When you have the Sapphire Reserve card you also get a free membership to Priority Pass lounges. There are over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide you can access for free. Plus, you are able to bring up to 2 guests traveling with you into the lounges for free as well. There are also several airport restaurants that give you a food credit as part of your membership.
There are several other great benefits that are included just for having this card. You can read about those in my full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card here.
Other Things To Consider
Chase has several cards to choose from but I would definitely start with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I think the card has the best benefits of any card on the market. However, the AMEX Platinum is another excellent card that active duty military members should consider. I would review the benefits of both cards and choose the one that fits your personal circumstances best.
If you like both cards, there’s nothing that says you can’t have both. Just be sure to space them out to make sure you can earn both welcome bonuses. You’ll also want to keep Chase’s 5/24 rule in mind and prioritize those cards first as you add more cards to your wallet.
Other Chase Cards To Consider
Chase World Of Hyatt Card – Hyatt is my favorite hotel loyalty program because it offers great value. Hyatt is one of Chase’s transfer partners so it’s easy to redeem your points and take advantage of the benefits that come with having the card. Right now, new card holders can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account. Plus, up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2 bonus points total per dollar spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn one point, on up to $15,000 spent
Chase Freedom Unlimited® – This card doesn’t charge an annual fee but it’s one you should definitely consider having. You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases. This card is a perfect compliment to the Sapphire Reserve and can help you maximize the number of points you can earn. This card is also currently offering 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points to new card members after spending just $500 within the first 3 months. Plus earn an additional 1.5% cash back on on the first $20,000 you spend in the first year. This can be worth up to an additional $300 or 30k Ultimate Rewards points.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card – The Boundless card gives you free Silver status as well as a free award night after each anniversary year valued up to 35,000 points. This card is also giving new card members 3 free nights (valued up to 50k points per night) after qualifying purchases.
I have always loved the Chase Sapphire Reserve card because it comes with it’s several amazing benefits. With the annual fee being waived for active duty service members, this card is a slam dunk. When you consider the $300 annual travel credit, it’s like they’re paying you to have the card. If you are on active duty in the military, the Sapphire Reserve is the best card, in my opinion, to have in your wallet.