Best Credit Card Offers September 2023 for Military & Spouses

12,000 grads of the Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course already know why
The Platinum Card® from American Express is my #1 recommended card

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The best credit card offers this month for US military servicemembers and military spouses are listed below.

Credit card companies and banks are excited for you to open accounts and use their cards. Some banks have card with “welcome bonus offers” where you can earn lots of points after meeting minimum spend in a certain amount of time.

Welcome bonuses can be ridiculously high, often surpassing $1,000 of value for one card.

For military servicemembers and spouses, the benefits are even greater since annual fees are waived on Chase personal cards. Check out this article for a description of American Express benefits for you and your spouse.

To be crystal clear: Chase waives annual fees all “covered borrowers” the Military Lending Act or MLA. Covered borrowers include:

  • Active duty servicemembers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Marines, Coast Guard
  • Reservists and Guardsmen on 30 day or greater active orders
  • Military spouses listed as dependents in DEERS and the MLA Database

Here's a list of credit cards that waive annual fees for military, the best credit cards for military, and the 30+ credit cards I personally carry.

A married couple with one member in the military can double dip on annual fee waived cards. Each person can get their own card and get their fee waived. Not just authorized users, but their own actual account.

You can earn free hotel stays, almost free* air travel (*just paying taxes and fees, usually under $50), business or first class upgrades, airline fee reimbursement, monthly Uber or UberEats credits, free Centurion and Priority pass airport lounge access, and the list goes on.

My wife and I have earned over 7 million points over the past 8 years without paying a dime in interest or fees.

Thanks to military annual fee waivers, the outstanding travel, hotel, and airline benefits of the best credit cards are unlocked for military personnel and their families.

Learn more about how servicemembers and their spouses can get their annual fees waived cards in my free course – the Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course.

The Platinum Card® from American Express – Best Ever Public Bonus!

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Annual fee of $695* See more details about military protections for you and your spouse 
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on up to $500,000 per calendar year
  • Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels at
  • $200 Annual Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Note that The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on Uber Eats and rides
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at 1 qualifying airline
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back each year on an Equinox+ subscription, or any Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Membership subject to auto-renewal.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, enrollment required
  • Access 40+ Centurion Lounges and 1,200+ Priority Pass airport lounge for free
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply

American Express® Gold Card – Best Ever Bonus

American Express Gold Card military AMEX Gold Card Military No annual fee SCRA $250 annual fee waived

American Express® Gold Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Reward® Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new card in the first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 4x points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US
  • Earn 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x points) – includes OCONUS Commissaries
  • Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on
  • No foreign transaction fees – great for the 4x on restaurants when travelling for fun, OCONUS TDY, or PCS!
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 annually.
  • $120 per year Dining Credit: Earn up to $10 per month in statement credits when you use your Amex Gold at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly,, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
  • Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply
  • $250 Annual Fee* See more details about American Express protections for you and your spouse 

I recommend US military servicemembers open up a Chase Sapphire Preferred first to earn the larger welcome bonus and then upgrade to a Chase Sapphire Reserve after 1 year, primarily for the $300 annual travel credit. Learn more about the best Sapphire Preferred and Reserve strategy for military servicemembers in this article.

You can upgrade the Amex Gold card to another Amex Platinum after 1 year of card membership. This gives you an additional $200/year of Uber/UberEats credits and $200/year of airline fee credits or gift cards. My wife and I have 8 Platinum cards between us.

Compare the Amex Platinum vs Amex Gold card and you'll see the Gold card is a much better daily driver card. Military servicemembers should get both as the cards are complimentary.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve No Annual Fee for Military

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • $550 annual fee waived to $0 for US military + spouses with Chase MLA policy
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
  • 3x Points on other Travel (airfare, hotels) after earning the $300 travel credit
  • 3x Dining restaurants, takeouts, delivery
  • Chase Ultimate Reward Points redeemed through the Chase travel portal are worth 1.5 cents, a 50% bonus.
  • Priority Pass lounge and restaurant access with over 1300+ airport lounges worldwide
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry every 4 years
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Primary coverage with Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Learn more in the Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Military SCRA MLA

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
  • 3x points on dining (includes takeout, delivery, and dine-in)
  • 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • Points can also be redeemed with “Pay Yourself Back” for 1.25 cents each on eligible purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R). For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • No foreign transaction fees, great for overseas OCONUS assignments, TDY, and PCS
  • Primary rental car insurance coverage & trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Upgrade to a Chase Sapphire Reserve after 1 year (compare Reserve vs Preferred)
  • $95 annual fee waived for military and spouses with Chase Military Lending Act
  • Member FDIC

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

capital one venture x military

Capital One Venture X Rewards Card
Learn how to apply at our partner's secure site

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • $300 annual travel credit for hotels, airfare, rental cars, and other travel booked through Capital One Travel portal
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (at least $100 of travel)
  • 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Up to 4 free authorized users (with Capital One Lounge access)
  • $395 annual fee, terms apply
  • No foreign transaction fees, good for OCONUS military families or TDY servicemembers
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit, daily breakfast for 2 and complimentary WiFi on every booking, plus other premium benefits like room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout when available
  • Read the full Capital One Venture X Rewards card review
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Card – learn how to apply

Compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express


Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95* See more details about American Express protections for you and your spouse 
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • 6% cash back on US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), including most OCONUS Commissaries
  • 6% cash back on select US streaming services, including Apple Music, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video (full list here)
  • 3% cash back on transit like taxis, Uber, Lyft, parking, tolls, trains, buses, etc
  • 3% cash back on US gas stations (including OCONUS NEX or AAFES)
  • 1% back on other eligible purchases
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an Equinox+ membership at with your Blue Cash Preferred(R) Card. That's $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting The Disney Bundle which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $12.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription with your Blue Cash Preferred Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

amex blue cash everyday military

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% after that.
  • 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • Get $7 back each month after using your Blue Cash Everyday Card to spend $12.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply
  • Compare to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express with an annual fee waiver for military and 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card


Capital One Spark Cash Plus
Learn how to apply at our partner's secure site

  • Earn up to a $1,000 cash bonus: $500 after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, then $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere- with no limits or category restrictions
  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile
  • Earn an annual $200 cash bonus every year you spend $200,000 or more
  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • $150 annual fee
  • Spark Cash Plus has no APR because your balance is due in full every month

Read the full Capital One Spark Cash Plus review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Preferred Veteran and Military

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Best Ever Offer: 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards welcome bonus points after $8,000 of spend in the first 3 months
  • 100,000 UR points = $1250 worth of travel when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards portal. Can be worth $1500 in travel if transferred to Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Cell Phone Protection: Up to $600 coverage against theft or damage when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your CIP
  • Earn 3X points on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and online advertising purchases up to $150,000 per year
  • NO Foreign Transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee

Compare the Chase Ink Business Preferred® vs Ink Business Cash® credit card. or see all the Chase Ink Business Cards.

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Free Diamond Status at Hilton Hotels for Military

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • $450 annual fee waived for military servicemembers and military spouses
  • Complimentary Diamond Status at all Hilton brands (suite upgrades, breakfast, check in gifts, etc)
  • 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points welcome offer after $4,000 of purchases in the first 3 months
  • 1 weekend night reward after opening your account and every year on renewal
  • $250 Hilton Resort Credit
  • $250 airline fee credit
  • 14x Hilton Honors Bonus Points at Hilton properties
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • The information and associated card details on this page for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Military Money Manual and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
  • Full review of Amex Aspire card, terms apply
  • All information about American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Military

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • $650 Annual Fee* See details about American Express protections for you and your spouse 
  • Earn two 85K Free Night Awards after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Card in your first 6 months. Each award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy. Card Members could enjoy a value of up to $1,200 when redeeming each reward. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/1/2023.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Briliant Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® program. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck(R) (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant(R) American Express(R) Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy® member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass(TM) Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • Terms Apply.

You can earn up to 250,000 Marriott points with the 3 new Marriott Bonvoy cards from Chase and American Express. All 3 cards have the annual fees waived for military. Compare the best hotel credit cards for military servicemembers here.

Citi® Premier® Card

Citi Premier Credit Card Military MLA

Citi Premier® Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou(R) Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 60,000 points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards at
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent at at restaurants and supermarkets
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Gas Stations, Air Travel, and Hotels
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee waived for military with Citi military policy

More details on the Citi MLA waiver here.

Chase IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Chase IHG One Rewards Premier Military MLA

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • $99 annual fee waived for US military according to Chase MLA policy
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck(R) or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental(R), Crowne Plaza(R), Kimpton(R), EVEN(R) Hotels, Indigo(R) Hotels & Holiday Inn(R)
  • No foreign transaction fees – essential for international travel

Read the full review to learn more about the Chase IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card.

The World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase

Chase The World of Hyatt Military MLA

The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Hyatt rooms start at just 5000 points, so you could earn 6 nights with just the welcome bonus
  • 1 free night at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel every year you keep the card open
  • Earn ANOTHER free night at category 1-4 hotel when you spend $15,000 on the card in a year
  • Cardholders get World of Hyatt Discoverist status (Level 2/4) just for having the card, as long as the account is open
  • $95 Annual fee waived for US military personnel and spouses with Chase MLA policy
  • discontinued_disclaimer

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

AMEX Delta Reserve card free for US military

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

Annual Fee: $550 per year* *see more details on American Express protections for you and spouse

Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

  • This is my top recommended Amex Delta card for military
  • Enjoy Delta Sky Club® access at no cost and bring up to two guests or immediate family at a rate of $50 per person per visit. Effective 2/1/25, Reserve Card Members will receive 10 Visits per year to the Delta Sky Club; Starting on 2/1/25, spend a total of $75,000 or more on eligible purchases on the card between 1/1/24 and 12/31/24, and each calendar year thereafter to earn an unlimited number of visits each year.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • With Status Boost®, earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card through 12/31/23, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights. Effective 1/1/24, this benefit will no longer be available, and there will be a new way to earn toward Medallion Status with the Card. Learn more at
  • Eligible Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Receive a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or domestic Main Cabin round trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Official Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees, terms apply

You can earn the coveted Amex Delta Reserve card companion pass, unlocking a buy 1 get 1 round-trip US domestic first class ticket annually with the American Express Delta Reserve card. Learn how to apply for this card here.

Normally this card as a huge annual fee, but it's waived for US military servicemembers! (Terms apply) Learn more about the Amex Delta cards for military servicemembers.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card for Veterans and Military

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn $900 cash back welcome offer (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months (effectively 15% cash back)
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, internet, cable, phone services
  • 2% cash back on on the first $25,000 spent at restaurants and gas stations
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • Member FDIC
  • No annual fee

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card for Veterans and Military

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn $900 bonus cash (90,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) after you spend $6,000 in the 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases made for your business
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Member FDIC

Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex Military

Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn $200 cash back (20,000 Ultimate Reward points) when you spend $500 in 3 months
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3% on dining at restaurants, takeout, and delivery
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • 5% on up to $1500 of purchases in specific bonus categories each quarter
  • No annual fee
  • Compare the Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Compare the Chase Freedom Flex vs the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited for Military

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Intro offer: earn an additional 1.5% on everything you buy up to $20,000 in the first year – worth $300 cash back!
  • 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 4.5% on dining at restaurants, takeout, and delivery
  • 4.5% back on drugstore purchases
  • 3% on all other purchases
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards(R), 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee
  • Compare the Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Chase Freedom Flex
  • Member FDIC

Updates to this offers page, all offers below may be expired and no longer available.

  • August 2023: lots of updates to offers
  • Added Capital One Venture X November 2021
  • Amex Platinum updated offer July 2021
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k offer updated 6 June 2021
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred 80k offer added 15 Sep 2020
  • Updated various offers March 2020
  • Added Capital One cards
  • Updated AMEX Delta offers 4 July 2019
  • Removed Chase Southwest cards offering 60k 11 June 2019
  • Removed Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Mastercard 8 June 2019
  • Removed Capital One Savor 19 May 19
  • Added Southwest cards offering 60,000 points on all cards 2 May 19
  • Added Chase Sapphire Preferred 60k Bonus 19 March 19
  • Added AMEX Delta LTOs 2 Mar 19
  • Added Marriott Bonvoy Chase and AMEX Offers 2 Mar 19
  • Removed limited time Southwest Companion pass offer 12 Feb 19
  • Added Southwest Companion Pass deal 11 Jan 19
  • Added Capital One Savor card 10 Jan 19
  • Added Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Mastercard 3 Dec 18

60 thoughts on “Best Credit Card Offers September 2023 for Military & Spouses”

  1. I have been following you for a few months now and wanted to say I love the way you break this stuff down. I bought your book and enjoyed that as well. I already have a Gold and Platinum card under my ssn with my wife being an additional user on both. My wife recently received a 90K bonus offer to open her own gold card, which we just did, because it was higher than the 70k (10k-60k) we would get for the referral. Is there a benefit to adding myself as an additional user and getting another card?

    • Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you are benefiting from my work :)

      No benefit to the additional user. She should open all her own accounts so you can get her accounts with full benefits, full welcome bonuses, and fee waived. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Spencer!

    Just started getting through the course and I’ve already have learned a ton! I was wondering what happens to the MLA and SCRA benefits once exiting from military service?

    Is your strategy to just combine downgrading/canceling to not have to take on all the annual fees?


  3. Hi! Was wondering if Amex Platinum lets you share your points with your spouse? Example he has a platinum and I’ll be applying for a platinum, but would like to pool our points together to splurge on a vacation.

    • You cannot pool points between Amex accounts. You can pool points between Chase accounts.

      However, you could use your points to book the flights and his points to book the hotel or resort. You can also use your points to book things for him and vice versa. Lots of flexibility built into the system, but you and your husband cannot transfer Amex points to each other.

      In a pinch (it’s not a very efficient use of Amex points), you could cash out the Amex points through the Charles Schwab Amex Platinum.

  4. Hey Spencer, graduated from your course a couple months back, but I aready had my platinum at the time. Currently working on a schwab platty sub, and I should still meet the chase 5/24 for 2-3 cards, but i am hesitant on jumping into the chase eco system since I already have my wife and myself in the amex ecosystem.

    Is it too late? Or should I just continue working on getting multiple platinums and then move into airlines/hotels, currently with 2 todlers so I dont really see us traveling too much.

    Thank you for your input!

  5. Hi Spencer,

    Thank you so much for all this awesome information! My husband is on active duty and we did not know that I can get the Amex fee waived as well, and he first added me as an authorized user on his card. Then I got my own Amex card after all the information we learned from your post. Do you suggest I close the authorized account under my husband or keep it open? I am currently trying to apply for another AMEX card but got in the pop window jail. I am thinking maybe it is because I never used the authorized account, and maybe closing it would help. But not sure how would it affect my credit score or the credit history with AMEX. Would love to hear your suggestion. Thanks so much!

    • I would recommend closing the authorized account under your husband’s account just to simplify things. You’re not really getting any extra benefits for an additional authorized user account that you can’t get with your own Amex Platinum account.

      There is no rhyme or reason to the Amex pop up jail. Closing your authorized user card probably won’t affect your time in jail positively or negatively.

      Closing the authorized user account will probably not affect your credit score or credit history very much, especially since you already have an established account with Amex and I assume you are making your payments on time.

      • Got it. Thanks for the response, Spenser! I will close my authorized account then. And I think I was in AMex pop-up jail because I recently changed my address as we are PCSing. Contacted customer service and sorted it out.

  6. Hello and thank you Spencer, I am new to the credit card family and financial tips building up my credit. I’m super happy to find this page thank you !

    I recently got approved for a USAA Amex card but I found your page after doing so (like a day after) still haven’t gotten my card yet. In reading your course information, I am wondering if it’s best to apply for the Platinum or the Gold or not at all? I heard getting a Platinum is harder. Just wonder what the best financial move would be ?

  7. Hey Spencer, I got a question regarding SCRA benefits. I will soon obtain the status of Dependa and was wondering if my amex cards (that were opened before my spouse’s soon to be active duty start date) will have their fees waived. These cards were opened between 2020-2022 while I was active duty. I’ve gotten letters in the mail stating I’m no longer in the system and will be charged the fees, this hasn’t happened yet even though the specified dates have passed. I suspect I will get hit with the fees this month after my 1 year ets anniversary. I know if I open a card while she’s in it’ll get waived but I am unsure about cards opened prior to her ssoon-to-beactive duty start date. I’ve done a lot of research and asked military forums and have received mixed answers. I greatly appreciate any information you can provide.

    • So you were on active duty, now you’re off active duty, but your spouse is going active duty so you will be a covered borrower under MLA.

      Tricky. I would recommend pulling a copy of your MLA database report once you are back in it. Because the credit line was established when you were active duty and you are now a covered borrower again, you should be eligible for benefits. But Amex might not understand what happened or have a process in place for this.

      I would apply for both SCRA and MLA benefits through the Amex servicemember footer link once your spouse is active duty. Maybe one of those will bite and you will continue to be a covered borrower and not have to pay the annual fees.

      Let me know what happens, this is a very interesting case!

  8. Hi Spencer. I have a question that I would like to ask. So if I already have amex gold with paying annual fees before the military, can I get a fee waiver for that after joining? Or is the fee waiver for the new cards you made up after joining the military?

  9. Hey Spencer,

    I wanted to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex as my starter card as a cadet. The application is asking type of residence, i.e. if I own or rent where I live, what should I put down since I am living in a barracks/dorm right now? (I graduate in May and will be renting during BOLC). It is also asking for annual income, should that be what I will be making as a 2LT since now as a cadet my annual income is fairly low (approx. $14,200)?


    • Great starter card! I think when I lived in the dorms or was deployed I would answer rent and put $0 per month. Yes, I’d just put your 2LT income if you’re going to be graduating soon.

      • Thanks for the response and also everything you provide. I will definitely tell my soldiers to take your course!


  10. I recently opened an AMEX gold in September (I also have a AMEX platinum) and just tried to open a Schwab AMEX platinum. In the application process I was advised that because I recently had a welcome bonus I’m not eligible for another one. I cancelled the application. Any idea how long I should wait to apply again to be eligible for the welcome bonus? Thanks

  11. Spencer, just got my Amex Platinum and working towards the bonus. Was thinking of getting Amex gold in the near future as well. Question: Would I be eligible for that bonus as well? Also, are the Amex MRs able to combine. For instance, if I only had a few thousand from my Platinum left and had 60,000 from Gold, is it all basically the same “bucket”?


  12. Spencer,

    I recently went to apply for the Amex Hilton Honors Surpass Card, mainly for the welcome bonus… Before I submitted the application I received a message from Amex which I’m sure many have seen recently ” Based on your history with American Express welcome offers, introductory APR offers, or the number of cards you have opened and closed, you are not eligible to receive this welcome offer.”

    Do you have any tips to work around this issue, as welcome bonuses are a big part of my and I’m sure many other’s CC plans.

    – Aidan

    • Aidan – check out my article on the Amex pop up. Best thing to do is spend money on all your cards and wait a few weeks. Everyone I know who was “in jail” eventually got out.

  13. Hello,

    I have been listening to your podcast for the last few weeks and hopefully should receive your book in the mail in a few days. I am grateful for the work you have put into all of this as this will help me and my family out a lot. I am taking your advice and am going to open a Chase Sapphire Preferred card first then an AMEX Platinum for the Welcome Bonus and perks. I am going to open those two within a month of one another and not open any more for some time because of the minimum spending limit required. If I wanted to open another card in the future potentially a year or two later like an AMEX Gold, Hilton Honors Aspire, or a Delta Sky Miles Reserve would I receive the welcome bonus if I already opened the AMEX Platinum and got that welcome bonus? Would those cards fall under the Amex “Once in a lifetime” rule for the welcome bonus?

    • Those are all separate products you mentioned. You can earn the welcome bonus after minimum spend on all those separate cards. The once per lifetime rule means you can only earn an Amex Platinum bonus once, even if you open another Amex Platinum. If you open an Amex Platinum and then open an Amex Gold you can earn the bonuses on both.

  14. Hi Spencer,
    Thanks for putting this site together! You have compiled such a great list of valuable resources here. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear about this site until right as I was finishing up on active duty. I am currently in the national guard but I have previously done time on active duty. Do I qualify for any of these benefits as a traditional guardsman?

    • Ryan,
      Look into requesting SCRA or MLA benefits from your credit card issuers anyway asap, because they may retroactively credit any fees you paid throughout your entire active duty service.

  15. Hi, Spencer. I recently learned something that may be of value to you, your readers, and your credit card portfolio. What I found out is that after having either a Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless or Bonvoy Bold card account open for 1 year, you can call Chase and request a product change to the Ritz Carlton card. I confirmed this by upgrading my own account. This makes the Boundless a great option right now especially considering the current sign up bonus of 125K points for $5K spend in the first 3 months.

    • You’re welcome, Terrance. No, once you get the SUB on the Gold card, you are not eligible for 7 years for another SUB on that product type. However having a Gold card around is worth it just for the $10 month on Uber and 4x points on restaurants and US supermarkets.

  16. Spenser,

    Thanks for the great info. Do you have any data points on Amex users facing issues for having multiple plat/gold cards on the same account (after re-linking them after de-linking the accounts to upgrade)? Also, is the ability to upgrade a green/gold 1 year from the inception date of the account or 1 year from when you disassociated it from your “primary” account. I am very interested in this particular scenario as your blog is the only place i have really seen it mentioned. Thanks again for the help

    • No issues, I have 6 Platinums on my main account.

      1 year from when you opened the Green or Gold due to the CARD Act law. You could delink and add the card to a new account and upgrade an hour later, as long as it was opened a year or more ago.

      • Awesome. It’s definitely a nice work around and probably exploitable because so few people qualify for waived af AND are interested in churning cards AND have ever delinked their cards. I suppose pleading ignorance if confronted would work as well since it’s literally being offered up on their own site. Is it functionally any different than just applying for another of the same card on the same account if thats even allowed? I suppose Amex wouldn’t really care if you wanted to have more than one since they’re making af and bringing in money when you use them

  17. Just finished your course–awesome, thanks! Have you used an app like award wallet or something else to track your rewards/mileage or how do you do it? Old school with an excel? Just go to each page frequently to check awards/expirations? Or do you just use them so frequently that it doesn’t really matter?

    • There is an excel file available in the course content. That is what I use to keep track of my benefits and points balances.

  18. So I just went to apply for the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, and they told me I wasn’t eligible for the sign up bonus because I already got the bonus with the Amex Marriott Bonvoy card (which is true). This is a deal breaker, so I won’t be getting that particular Chase card, for now. This is the first time I’ve seen this where Chase and Amex are talking to each other about sign up bonuses. Does this only happen with the Marriott Cards, or have you seen it in other cards too?

  19. Spencer,

    It’s a little bit unclear in your posts, but do military members’ civilian spouses get the CSR annual fee waived? I have the CSR, and my wife doesn’t. However, I’d love for her to have one if her fee is waived.

  20. Spencer,
    My wife and I started this game a few years ago and want to ask your suggestion for our next card. Currently we hold CSR, platinum and gold (me only), she has the CSP, and we both have Chase’s Marriott bonvoy. We are supposed to PCS this July and plan to use points for hotel stays, but with upcoming PCS expenses, thinking it is time to get a new card. We have four kids, so we don’t travel by plane much, but sometimes pay for family to visit. As far as new cards go, I’m leaning to sending her referals for amex since she can’t hold both CSR and CSP and Gold seems to be the better play, but not sure if I’m missing something. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • I recommend you work your way through my list of best credit cards for military servicemembers. Why not refer her for a Gold from your account for a 50K bonus for her and a 20k bonus for your referral? Spouses should always be referring each other for cards. Is her CSP fee waived? Look at upgrading that to a CSR if it is.

      I think you should look at Hilton cards, especially if you’re using points for your PCS. By the way, PCS is a great time to get a awesome roadtrip vacation in. Enjoy it! Here’s my list of best hotel credit cards that you might find interesting as well. IHG, Hyatt, Marriott, or Hilton could be a good option for you depending on what hotels you want to stay in on your PCS. Good luck!

  21. To get the added benefits for multiple AMEX cards, do you have to create new accounts? I have an AMEX platinum that I have had for a few years. Do I use that log in info if I want to apply for a Gold Card, Hilton Honors Aspire, Marriott Bonvoy, or AMEX Delta Reserve? Or do I have to create a separate account?

    Also, my wife’s AMEX platinum card is just an extra card on my account. It does not receive extra benefits. Should I have had her apply for a separate account?

    Thank you for the help,

    • For the Bonvoy Brilliant, Hilton Aspire, and Delta Reserve you can use the same login. Those are all different families of cards.

      For the Gold card, if you want to upgrade to another Platinum in a year, put it on its own login account. You can use the same email address as your primary account. If you just want a Gold card and don’t plan on upgrading, you can have it on the same account as your Platinum.

      Yes, you wife should apply for her own card. Annual fee is waived for military spouses. Authorized user cards do not get extra benefits, like you said.

  22. Spencer, what are your thoughts on the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve? My understanding is that they waive annual fees for AD military and they seem to be promoting the card as a competitor to Chase’s Sapphire Reserve and Amex’s Platinum.

    • Hi,
      Just a quick question. If an active duty military service member were to apply for a bunch of these cards and several years later were to retire, would the service member’s credit score take a huge hit if they choose not to continue the card use by paying the annual fees associated with each one?

      Thank you for your time!

      • Just close the accounts of the cards you are no longer getting value from when you retire. There is no significant impact on your credit score as long as you leave your oldest account open, never miss any payments, and any accounts you close have a zero balance.

  23. Hi, I am a Air Force reserve. Am I qualified for the same benefits as the active members? I will deploy in 2 months, will I be qualify if I apply for these credit cards now? What is the best option for me with the cards?

  24. Sir,
    I currently have no credit card with the annual fee and expected to go active duty like one year later.
    If I get CSR with paying the annual fee now and go active duty 6 months later, do they refund the annual fee I paid when I was not active duty? or they will only waive the annual fee starting the following year?
    Also since I have options for both SCRA and MLA not being active duty yet, should I get the cards before I go active? Because I worry about they change their policy (especially Chase) on 36% MLA, so even after they change, I can still be covered under 6% SCRA.

    • Chris,
      Both Chase and AmEx will generally refund the annual fee for you if it’s within the past year, but that’s not a written policy so your mileage may vary (there are some accounts on Reddit of people’s requests being denied, though those are mainly spouses before marrying military, not the service member).
      You may want to read up on Citi and some other companies (Barclay?) who’ll waive annual fees of cards opened before entering the military, but not if you open them once you’re on active duty. You have an opportunity some of us have missed.

    • I would wait to get the CSR until you go active duty, to ensure that the MLA protections kick in automatically on the account when you open it. The interest rates do not matter if you are paying your account in full every month.

  25. Hi Spencer,

    I was referred to your website to learn about the SCRA benefits for military members, and have signed up for your free course. I had a question I’m sure you get all the time, but have you heard of any national guard /reservists being able to take advantage of these benefits? If for example I’ve got title 10 orders this year for over 30 days, but next year I don’t, but I’m still on reserve status, would I end up paying the annual fee for the that year?

    • My understanding is if that you submit the Title 10 orders, you will receive the annual fee waiver for that year and retroactive for any annual fees paid in the past few years. Furthermore, I believe (but cannot confirm) AMEX checks SCRA status once a year. If they discover you are no longer showing as active duty status in the DOD database, they will probably ask you to provide orders showing you are still eligible for SCRA benefits. If you cannot produce evidence to support SCRA support, they will probably notify you of removal from SCRA protection and give you a few months to close any accounts you don’t want to pay annual fees on.

      Best thing to do is try it and let us know what happens! Worst case scenario you pay an annual fee. Best case you discover how the system works and can share the knowledge with all your fellow servicemembers.


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