These are my top recommended credit cards for this month. Some have $450-550 annual fees waived exclusively for US military personnel.
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.
Over the summer, Chase Bank sent me an offer in the mail to open a checking account with them. The sweetener? $150 cash bonus, just for opening the account. Any strings attached? Sure, but they were relatively easy to cut.
Chase is not a military friendly bank that offers no-BS fees. Their checking account comes with a lot of “gotchas” and I definitely DO NOT recommend banking with them day to day. However, a free $150 is hard to turn down. What were the stipulations?
- $100 minimum deposit
- If account closed within 6 months bonus withdrawn
- $12 per month “service charge” (this is the BS part)
The $12 per month service charge could be avoided if:
- You have monthly direct deposits of $500 of more
- OR you keep an average daily balance of $1500 or more
- OR you have an average daily balance of $5000 or more in other Chase checking or savings accounts
A good bank does not have account minimums or charge any fees for normal daily usage of the accounts to their customers. Therefore, I was not interested in keeping this account past the minimum required time.
I decided to look at opening this checking account as an investment. If I deposited $1500 into the account for 6 months, I would be rewarded with $150. I could then close the account, withdraw my $1650, and gain a 20% annual return on investment. Not bad!
I deposited my $1500 in June 2013. The $150 bonus was paid within a week of opening the account. Since then, I’ve done no transfers in the account except yesterday (3 January 2014) when I withdrew the full $1650. I sent a secure message to Chase to close the account and I’m just waiting now for their confirmation.
In total, about 15 minutes of work for a very nice return. While it’s not going to change my life, it’s still nice to put cash to work for a FDIC backed 20% return.
Getting an FDIC insured return above 1-2% is difficult these days. However, if you look for opportunities (like the SDP or account opening bonuses) to maximize your risk free return, you can realize a greater return on your emergency fund and cash assets. Increasing your return on your cash will put you that much closer to achieving your financial goals, whatever they may be.
AMEX Platinum With NO Annual Fees for US Military
Military servicemembers and spouses can get the American Express Platinum with NO annual fees. Pick up your military annual fee waived card here!
The AMEX Platinum offers:
- $550 Annual Fee WAIVED for US Military (and spouses)!
- 60,000 Membership Rewards Points welcome offer
- $200 credit for Uber rides (or Uber Eats!) annually
- $200 airline fee credit
- Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
- NO foreign transaction fees
These benefits make it my top recommend card.
If you already have an AMEX Platinum card, check out the other AMEX cards, Chase credit cards, and this month's top recommended credit card bonuses, most with no annual fees for US military personnel.