Chase Sapphire Reserve Military 2022: $550 Annual Fee Waived MLA

Get a $695 credit card annual fee waived in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course
The Platinum Card® from American Express card is annual fee waived for military. Terms apply.

Military Money Manual has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Military Money Manual and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Thank you for supporting my independent, veteran owned site.

The best Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card military benefit is the $550 annual fee waiver. American military servicemembers and their spouses are eligible for the MLA fee waiver on any Chase card.

My civilian wife and I have both have the Chase Sapphire Reserve with the annual fee waived. It's awesome for both of us to get the $300 travel credits every year AND pay no annual fee!

Chase Sapphire Reserve No Annual Fee for Military
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
  • $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 value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • 10x points on hotels and rental cars & 5x points on air travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards after the first $300 spent on travel 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
  • Primary car rental auto insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Learn more in the Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: No Annual Fee for Active Duty Military

Chase waives annual fees on all of their personal credit cards for active duty military servicemembers and their spouses. This policy started with any card opened after 20 September 2017.

This includes National Guard, Air National Guard, and Reservists in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard Reserves on Title 10 or Title 32 orders greater than 30 days.

For Chase military credit card customers, the Military Lending Act (MLA) applies. You can check your MLA status on the MLA database website.

Here's my MLA letter from Chase waiving my annual fees:

Chase MLA Credit Card Letter

Every credit card company has a different interpretation of the MLA. The Chase MLA policy is to charge no annual fees on their personal credit cards for military servicemembers.

You can learn more about the Chase MLA policy and why they waive annual fees.

Please note that Chase DOES charge annual fees on their business credit cards for military servicemembers. That being said, Chase business cards often have no annual fees regardless of MLA and offer $500+ welcome bonuses.

Chase's MLA program is similar to American Express's SCRA military annual fee waiver. However, American Express is even more generous, extending their fee waiver to any personal or business account opened after beginning active duty service.

Amex has extended this military benefit for over a decade. Every US military servicemember should have The Platinum Card® from American Express and a Chase Sapphire Reserve in their wallet.

How to use 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve 60,000 point welcome offer, you can earn at a minimum $900 in travel. Combined with the $300 annual travel credit, you're looking at $1000+ minimum in first year travel value.

Here's a screen shot of my Chase Ultimate travel portal. I've already maxed out my annual $300 credit for the year, but I get another one soon!

Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal - $300 annual travel credit and 50,000 points for US military

The real value from Ultimate Reward points comes from transferring them to travel partners. For instance, I recently booked my wife a one way United ticket from Honolulu to Washington, D.C.

The ticket would have cost $1300 in economy. It was only 22,500 points with United miles.

I transferred 23,000 UR points to United and booked the ticket. My 23,000 points bought me a $1300 ticket for just $5.60 in taxes and fees.

That's 5 cents per point or 333% better return than booking the ticket through the Chase travel portal! If you booked 2 of those tickets with your 60,000 UR point welcome, you could get $2600 of value for 45,000 UR points.

At 5 cent per UR point redemption, that would make your welcome bonus worth $2500! Learn how to maximize your points and SCRA/MLA benefits in my 100% free course.

CSR Global Entry for US Military

Thanks to some actual commonsense, all DOD servicemembers with a CAC ID are eligible for TSA Pre-Check.

To register, just add your DOD ID number from the back of the CAC to your airline reservation online or over the phone in the “Known Traveler” or “Trusted Traveler” section. Airlines can even usually add it for you at the airport if you forget before arriving.

Global Entry is an additional program on top of TSA Pre-Check that grants you expedited Customs and Immigration processing when you re-enter the US through a commercial airport. It's really handy when you get back to the States and you don't want to wait in line with the 400 other people on your flight.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a easy to use $100 Global Entry credit as a benefit. Simply purchase Global Entry membership through the CBP website and the credit will post to your account. You'll be sailing through those lines in no time!

CSR Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access

priority pass lounge for military

When Uncle Sam sends you TDY and books you on the worst airline, in the middle seat, and has you wait for hours in the worst airports for your connection, it pays to have Priority Pass lounge access. Trust me, it's even better than the USO!

Priority Pass is a separate card (or app on your phone) that grants you access to over 1000 airport lounges around the world. The CSR comes with free Priority Pass membership. When you receive your CSR, you just need to go to Chase Ultimate Rewards and then the “Card Benefits” section.

I've personally used Priority Pass lounges in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, the US, Canada, South America, New Zealand, and Australia. It's truly a global program that has a wide range of VIP lounges available to members.

With the free food and drink available in most Priority Pass lounges, you can save hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars per year. Many airports have restaurants that also participate in Priority Pass.

These Priority Pass restaurants usually take $25-35 off your bill on almost anything you order. It's a great way to get some good free food when you travel.

Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Insurance

Since the CSR has primary rental car insurance coverage, you can decline the super expensive collision and damage waiver when you rent a car.

This can save you hundreds or thousands, depending on how often you rent cars when you travel. This Chase credit card will cover up to $75,000 in damages to the car.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred®

this image is a meme of a us military servicemember holding hands with a chase sapphire preferred. he is checking out a chase sapphire reserve card and is thinking of upgrading

The welcome offer on the Chase Sapphire Reserve is 60,000 Ultimate Reward points. This is the same welcome offer as the 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 Chase Ultimate after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • 60,000 points = $750 minimum value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • 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
  • 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

Somtimes the CSP has a larger welcome bonus than the CSR. If it does, I recommend:

  1. You apply for the CSP
  2. Earn the welcome bonus
  3. Then upgrade to the CSR after 1 year

You can compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs the Chase Sapphire Preferred in this article.

The choice between the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve usually comes down to one question:

Is the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth it over the lower annual fee Chase Sapphire Preferred?

However, for US military troops and their spouses, the question of annual fees is moot. You don't have to pay an annual fee on either card!

So the question for military folks is:

For the first year of the card, do I want a $300 travel credit or extra Ultimate Rewards points?

You can always upgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Chase Sapphire Reserve after 1 year and still maintain the annual fee waiver. Just call the number on your card to upgrade.

Another card benefit to consider is the Preferred pays 2x points on travel and dining while the Reserve pays 3x. If you spend $1000 per month on travel and dining, you would have 36,000 points after a year with the Reserve vs. 24,000 with the Preferred, a 12,000 point difference.

Best Chase Credit Card for Military

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is arguably the best Chase credit card for military servicemembers and their spouses. But when the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus offer is substantially larger, get the CSP and upgrade to the CSR after 1 year.

The Reserve is one of the few cards I carry daily in my wallet.

The annual fee is waived by Chase's MLA policy. This unlocks all of the amazing travel benefits of this card for military servicemembers.

The $300 travel credit, the airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees, 3x points on dining and travel – all your's for $0 per year.

With the huge, current welcome bonus it makes sense to add this card into your wallet alongside your American Express military cards (starting with the Amex Platinum).

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve on our partner's secure site.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Military Frequently Asked Questions

Does Chase Sapphire Reserve waive fee for military?

Yes, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has no annual fee for military servicemembers and spouses. the $550 annual fee is completely waived down to $0!

How do I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve fee waiver for military?

If you open the card while your are on active duty, the fee waiver will be automatically applied when Chase checks your Social Security number against the Military Lending Act database. This is true for military spouses as well.

Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve waive annual fees for military spouse?

Yes, the CSR waives annual fees for active duty military spouses! Instead of paying $550 per year and $75 per authorized user, you pay $0 for both.

7 thoughts on “Chase Sapphire Reserve Military 2022: $550 Annual Fee Waived MLA”

  1. I am a 100% disabled Marine Veteran currently receiving benefits from the VA. Do I qualify for any of these great cards. Thanks.

  2. I am currently a reservist but on active duty orders for technical school. I was wondering if I would be able to get the annual fee waived?

    • Yes, it’s possible. All accounts would have to be opened after Sep 2017. You can upgrade Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited cards to Chase Sapphire Reserve and get multiple $300 travel credits per year with no annual fees for military. You have to wait one year before upgrading per the CARD ACT law.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.