I will show you how to get your 1st $550 annual fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards course
The Amex Gold card is annual fee waived for military. It's even better than the Amex Platinum for everyday spending on dining and groceries.
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Chase waives all annual fees on their personal credit cards for active duty military servicemembers and spouses. This includes the ultra-lux Chase Sapphire Reserve, with $300 of annual travel credit and a huge welcome bonus worth thousands.
- Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- $550 annual fee waived to $0 for US military + spouses with Chase MLA policy
- Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points after $4000 of spend in the first 3 months – $900 minimum value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- $300 annual travel credit – through Dec 31, 2021 gas station and grocery store purchases also count towards your travel credit
- 3x Points on Travel (airfare, hotels) and Dining (restaurants) after earning the $300 travel credit
- 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
- Primary car rental auto insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
- Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve
This is a fantastic benefit available to all servicemembers on active duty orders (30 days or more) and their military spouses or dependents. This benefit is similar to the American Express military fee waiver program.
Every servicemember should now have a no annual fee Chase Sapphire Reserve card in their wallet alongside the Amex Platinum!
Best Chase Credit Cards for Military With No Annual Fees
|Chase Card||Welcome Offer||Annual Fee Waived||Other Benefits||Value|
|Sapphire Reserve||60,000||$300 travel credit||$1500|
|Sapphire Preferred||80,000||2x points travel/dining||$1200|
|IHG Premier||140,000||1 free night annually||$700|
|Southwest Priority||Up to 80,000||Companion Pass||$500|
|World of Hyatt||30,000||1 free night annually||$6000|
Chase Military Lending Act
Chase updated their military policy on September 20, 2017 to comply with the Military Lending Act. Any account opened AFTER Sep 20, 2017 is eligible for the Chase military fee waiver.
I recently opened a Chase IHG Premier card and received my MLA fee waiver letter from Chase before I even received the card. When my wife opened up her Sapphire Reserve card, she also received the Chase MLA letter the same day she got her cards.
Here's a scan copied the MLA letter I received. You can click on the image to see a PDF copy:
The text of the letter says:
Update: We Applied MLA benefits to your account
Your account is eligible for benefits under the Military Lending Act (MLA) and Chase policy (collectively referred to as “MLA”).
We applied these benefits to your account:
- Your Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR) won't be more than 36%
- If you have a promotional or introductory rate, you'll keep it for the existing balances until it expires
- Your contract rate won't be impacted and will remain as outlined in your Cardmember Agreement
- We won't charge you fees, other than late fees an non-sufficient fund fees, if applicable
If you have any questions, please call our Military Specialists anytime at 1-800-235-9978. If you're overseas, call us collect at 1-318-340-3308.
Thank you for your business and your service to our country,
Chase Military Specialists are available to discuss MLA benefits on the Chase Military Hotline at 1-800-235-9978 or from overseas 1-318-340-3308.
Unfortunately, if your account was opened before 20 Sep 2017, you are out of luck with MLA benefits. You could always open a new card though and receive the fee waiver benefit.
The MLA caps interest the banks can charge at 36% Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR). This MAPR includes annual fees, so Chase decided it was easier to waive the annual fees for military members rather than calculate the 36% MAPR for each military servicemember.
The only fees Chase now charges military personnel are late fees and insufficient fund fees. This is a very generous interpretation of the MLA, as “bona fide fees” on premium cards are allowed under the MLA. That said, take advantage of Chase’s military fee waiver while you can!
My second oldest credit card on my credit history is a Chase Freedom card I opened in 2011 (now known as the Chase Freedom Flex). This is a great card with 5% quarterly rotating categories up to $1500 per quarter (usually gas for half the year) and 1% back on every other purchase.
I am a happy Chase customer for over 10 years and plan to increase my business with them now that they waive annual fees for military personnel.
Chase Sapphire Reserve MLA SCRA Fee Waiver
Chase Bank is very restrictive with the amount of credit cards you can have opened in the last 2 years. Known as the 5/24 rule, Chase will deny most but not all credit card applications if you have opened 5 credit cards in the past 24 months.
If you are interested in earning lots of credit card reward points, you cannot go wrong starting with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Read my full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve for military here. You can also compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs the AMEX Platinum card.
The welcome bonus is 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months after opening the card. In addition, you will receive annually:
- Ultimate Reward Points can be redeemed at 1.5 cents per point (cash out value 1 cent per point)
- UR Points can also be transferred to over a dozen airline and hotel partners, giving you access to free 5 star hotel stays and first/business class flights (like my trip to New Zealand, Australia, and Dubai)
- 3x points on travel and restaurants, after earning the $300 travel credit – great for TDYs
- Priority Pass complimentary airport lounge access. VERY nice to get free food, drink, and a place to rest when on the road.
- NO foreign transaction fees, essential for TDYs, deployments, and OCONUS assignments
- $300 travel credit on your statement
- Military: $550 annual fee waived AND additional cardholder $75 fee waived
This is how the $300 travel credit is applied instantly to any travel related purchases:
Other benefits include every 4 years you can get your Global Entry $100 fee waived. Don’t bother with TSA Pre-check, as all military personnel and dependents get automatic TSA Pre-check with your DOD ID (CAC) number.
- Learn how to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex
- $200 welcome bonus after $500 of purchases in the first 3 months after opening card
- 5% cash back on rotating categories up to $1500
- 5% cash back on travel (hotels, rental cars, airfare) purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, takeout, and delivery
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 1% cash back on every other purchase
- Points never expire as long as account is open
- Up to $1000 per year of cell phone insurance if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card
- No annual fee
How to Get the Chase SCRA Active Military Fee Waiver
The easiest way to have the Chase active duty military annual fee waiver applied to your account is apply for any Chase card and select “Military” as your income source.
Chase will compare the Social Security number on your application to the DoD database. If you’re a dependent spouse, they will check the DEERS database to confirm your eligibility for the MLA waiver.
Note that like American Express, Chase does not waive the annual fee for military business card holders.
- Learn how to apply for the Chase World of Hyatt card
- Earn 30,000 welcome bonus points – spend $3000 in the first 3 months to earn 30,000 points.
- 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 (Tier 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
Chase Military Credit Cards Fine Print
If you’re interested, here’s the fine print on all Chase cards now describing the Military Lending Act:
MILITARY LENDING ACT NOTICE: Federal law provides important protections to members of the Armed Forces and their dependents relating to extensions of consumer credit. In general, the cost of consumer credit to a member of the Armed Forces and his or her dependent may not exceed an annual percentage rate of 36 percent. This rate must include, as applicable to the credit transaction or account: the costs associated with credit insurance premiums; fees for ancillary products sold in connection with the credit transaction; any application fee charged (other than certain application fees for specified credit transactions or accounts); and any participation fee charged (other than certain participation fees for a credit card account). To receive this information and a description of your payment obligation verbally, please call 1-800-235-9978.
Let me know in the comments if you successfully had your Chase annual fee waived. My wife just opened her Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the annual fee was waived! That's $550 annual fee waived for her and $75 authorized user fee waived for me!
- Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Best Ever Offer: Earn 80,000 (!) Chase Ultimate after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of card membership
- Plus, earn up to a $50 credit towards grocery store purchases
- 2x points on travel and dining (includes takeout, delivery, and dine-in)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Primary rental car insurance coverage
- 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
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Chase Military Credit Cards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Yes, Chase waives all annual fees on their personal credit cards for US military and their spouses. Chase Bank waives the annual fees to comply with the Military Lending Act. This includes the $550 annual fee Chase Sapphire Reserve!
The best Chase credit cards for military servicemember and their spouses is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Chase World of Hyatt, Southwest, IHG Premier, and Chase Freedom Flex are also cards that deserve a slot in your wallet.
When it comes to credit cards, Chase is extremely military friendly. The bank waives all annual fees on all of their personal credit card for active duty US military and their spouses!
The best credit card for military servicemembers and their spouses depends on whether you want cash back or travel points. If you want cash back, have a look at the American Express Blue Cash Preferred with up to 6% cash back on US grocery stores. If you want a luxury travel credit card, check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the AMEX Platinum.
Yup! Chase Bank waives all annual fees on all of their personal credit cards for military spouses. It's part of their Chase Military Lending Act program.