Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for November 2021

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.

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Credit card companies are desperate for you to use their cards. Some of the welcome bonuses they offer are ridiculously high, easily surpassing $1000 of value.

For military servicemembers and spouses, the benefits are even greater since annual fees are waived on Chase personal cards and all American Express cards.

To be crystal clear: Chase and Amex waive annual fees for civilian spouses married to an active duty servicemember AND ALSO waive annual fees for the military servicemember.

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 3 million points over the past 5 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 on Chase and Amex 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
  • Annual fee of $695 waived for US military personnel and spouses (rates and fees)
  • Best Ever Public Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Reward Points welcome bonus (valued at $2000+) when you spend $6000 in the first 6 months
  • Earn 10x points at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the US up to $25,000 in combined purchases for the first 6 months (an extra 250,000 points potentially!)
  • 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 statement credit on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or the Hotel Collection booked on Amex Travel and paid for with your Platinum Card
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credits: Up to $20 in monthly statement credits when you use your Platinum card to pay for: Peacock, Audible, Sirius, and the New York Times. 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
  • $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, can be used for gift cards, enrollment required
  • 40 Centurion Lounges and 1200+ Priority Pass airport lounge access for free
  • $179 CLEAR Credit: Get through airport security faster with CLEAR
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Heavy metal card that looks and feels really cool
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred Military SCRA MLA
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of card membership
  • 60,000 points = $750 minimum when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • New benefits include $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
  • No foreign transaction fees, great for overseas OCONUS assignments, TDY, and PCS
  • Primary rental car insurance coverage & trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Must activate by 12/31/21.
  • Get up to $60 back on eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021
  • 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

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.

American Express® Gold Card – Best Ever Bonus

American Express Gold Card military AMEX Gold Card Military No annual fee SCRA $250 annual fee waived
  • Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card
  • $250 Annual Fee waived for US military and spouses (rates and fees)
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Reward Amex points after spending $4000 in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Rose Gold is back! Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
  • 4x points on all restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) – includes OCONUS Commissaries
  • 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 annual Uber or Uber Eats cash. Earned as $10 per month.
  • $120 per year credit at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House or Shake Shack (enrollment required)
  • Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply

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 6 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.

You still pay no annual fees on the extra Platinum card if you are military or a military spouse, giving you another AMEX Platinum card for free. Sign up for my course here to see how I do it.

NEW! Capital One Venture X Card

capital one venture x military

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

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • Limited time: Earn up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases like Airbnb and VRBO
  • $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)
  • Unlimited access to Capital One Lounges and 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges worldwide
  • $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
  • Read the full Capital One Venture X Rewards card review
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Card – learn how to apply

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve No Annual Fee for Military
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • $550 annual fee waived to $0 for US military + spouses with Chase MLA policy
  • Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points after $4000 of spend in the first 3 months – $750 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
  • 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)
  • 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

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

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

amex cash back for military

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Learn how to apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then normally a $95 annual fee, but waived for military + spouses (rates and fees)
  • Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months with your new card
  • 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 all other purchases, terms apply

Chase Ink Business Preferred (Best Ever Offer for this Card)

Chase Ink Business Preferred Veteran and Military
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards welcome bonus points after $15,000 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 (not waived for military), but worth it just for the welcome bonus alone

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Free Diamond Status at Hilton Hotels for Military
  • American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card
  • $450 annual fee waived for US military servicemembers and spouses
  • Complimentary Diamond Status at all Hilton brands (suite upgrades, breakfast, check in gifts, etc)
  • 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points welcome offer after $4000 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
  • Full review of Amex Aspire card, terms apply

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Free for Military
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card – learn how to apply
  • $450 annual fee 100% waived for US military personnel (rates and fees)
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Resort fees may apply.
  • Plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants in the first 6 months of card membership
  • $300 Annual Marriott Statement Credit on all charges to your room including spa, restaurants, room service, laundry, and nightly rates
  • Earn 6 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Redemption up to 50,000 points for one night, certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Complimentary Gold Elite Status at all Marriott Bonvoy properties (Westin, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, etc)
  • No foreign transaction fees, 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
  • Learn how to apply for the Citi® Premier® Card
  • Earn 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 80,000 points are redeemable for $800 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 MLA, see details below

More details on the Citi MLA waiver here.

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier

Chase IHG Premier MLA
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier
  • $89 annual fee waived for US military according to Chase MLA policy and waived for everyone for first year
  • Earn 150,000 IHG bonus points after $3000 of spend in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn a free night each account anniversary
  • Fourth night is free each time you redeem points for a 4+ night stay
  • Earn up to 25 points per $1 spent at IHG properties
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status (2nd highest membership level)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee credit every 4 years – military members should get Global Entry, since you can get PreCheck with your DOD ID number off of your CAC
  • No foreign transaction fees – essential for international travel

Chase World of Hyatt

Chase The World of Hyatt Military MLA
  • 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.
  • Limited Time Offer: Apply by 9/30/2021 and upon approval you'll receive 2 Tier-Qualifying Night credits for each night you stay from 8/16/21 through 12/31/21
  • 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

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

AMEX Delta Reserve card free for US military

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Annual Fee: $550 per year, waived for US military servicemembers and spouses to $0

Welcome Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus Skymiles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.

  • Plus earn up to $100 in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants within the first 3 months of card membership
  • This is my TOP recommended Amex Delta card for military
  • $550 annual fee waived for US military (active duty and Title 10/32 Guard/Reserve)
  • Annual Companion Certificate – earn a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate every year on your account anniversary. Government taxes and fees of no more than $75 may need to be paid, see terms and conditions
  • 3x miles on Delta purchases, 1x on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club (airport lounge) access when travelling on a Delta flight in any class
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck (military should get Global Entry)
  • Priority boarding (main cabin 1)
  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM) with Status boost every year. After you spend $30,000 on your card, you can earn 15,000 MQMs four times per year. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different from the miles you earn towards flights.
  • No foreign transaction fees, terms apply (rates and fees)

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, see rates and fees) Learn more about the Amex Delta cards for military servicemembers.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

Chase Ink Business Cash

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card for Veterans and Military
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Ink Business Cash card
  • New offer: $750 cash back welcome offer (75,000 UR points) when you spend $7500 in the first 3 months (10% 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
  • No ($0) annual fee

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card for Veterans and Military
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited
  • $750 bonus cash (75,000 UR Points) after you spend $3000 in 3 months
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • No Annual Fee (for everyone, not just military)

Chase Freedom Flex

  • 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 – activation required each quarter
  • 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

Compare the Chase Freedom Flex vs the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited for Military
  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Earn $200 cash back after $500 spend in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 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
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase after that
  • No annual fee

Southwest Credit Cards for American Military

Southwest often does limited time offers that, added together, can be worth a Southwest companion pass. Go to my Southwest Companion Pass for Military page for more details. For example, you could earn 40k with a personal credit card and up to 100k with a business credit card.

My advice to earn a Southwest Companion Pass for almost 2 years:

  1. Open a personal and business Southwest card in Jan or Feb of 2021.
  2. Earn the welcome bonus in January 2021.
  3. 40k on the personal and 100k on the business = 140,000 Southwest points
  4. You only need 125,000 points earned in one calendar year to earn the Southwest companion pass for the rest of the year and the following year.
  5. Since you earned the Companion Pass in Jan/Feb 2021, you will have the companion pass until Dec 2022, almost 2 full years!
  6. More details on how the Southwest Companion Pass for military works here.

Capital One Travel Cards for Military

Currently the Capital One SCRA military policy is to only waive annual fees if you get the card before going on active duty orders. Reserves and National Guard can sign up for a Capital One credit card, go on 30+ active duty orders, and get the annual fees waived.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards card for military is one of the best Capital One cards available.

capital one venture card for us military with scra
  • Learn how to apply for this card here
  • 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening (at least $600 of value)
  • 2x miles on all purchases
  • $95 after that
  • $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit (military SMs get automatic TSA PreCheck with their DOD ID number, so get Global Entry)
  • No foreign transaction fees


  • 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

30 thoughts on “Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for November 2021”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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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