Best Credit Cards For Military Members: Active Duty and Veteran Cards You Should Check Out
Searching for military credit cards should be on the top of your list, especially if you’re on active duty, a veteran, or even a family member of someone who is one. That’s because these types of credit cards offer perks and rewards specifically for this demographic. Plus, they’re some of the best credit cards on offer out there.
Military members can also take advantage of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) — this includes fewer fees and lower rates on credit card balances if you’re on active duty. Through our research, the following cards already offer even better perks than SCRA benefits.
The Best Credit Cards For Military Members
1. Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
This credit card is a great choice for those who don’t have a high credit score. As long as you have average credit you may be able to qualify and receive 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
There is a $39 annual fee but it may be worth it, especially if you decide to use this card for your everyday purchases — the savings will add up. While you’re on active duty, that fee will be waived and your interest rate is only a maximum of 4%.
What’s more, if you use this card abroad, you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees which can be as high as 3% of your purchase amount for other cards. Once you have the card for six months, you may be eligible for an automatic increase on your existing credit line. If you’re a member of the National Guard, Capital One will also provide the same benefits if you’re an active duty member.
2. Chase Freedom Flex
This card is Chase’s latest offering and offers many rewards — it’s worth checking out if you have good to excellent credit. That’s because both the sign up bonus and cash back rewards are among the highest out there for this type of card.
First, you can receive a $200 bonus once you spend at least $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. For ongoing rewards, earn 5% cash back on purchase at qualifying grocery stores (up to $12,000 each year), on travel purchased through Chase and in quarterly bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases). You can also earn 3% back on purchases at drugstores and restaurants and 1% for all other purchases.
What’s more, there’s no annual fee and for the first 15 months, receive a 0% introductory APR for purchases. Afterward, you’ll have a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74%.
The Navy Federal Visa cashRewards is a credit card that offers simple rewards earnings with no annual fee. Cardholders earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on purchases — there are no required minimum amounts to redeem your rewards. There are also no annual or foreign transaction fees.
If you intend on conducting a balance transfer, there are no fees to do so and the card offers a 0% intro APR for the first six months, perfect if you’re looking to pay off a credit card balance faster. Afterward, it’ll be a variable APR of 9.65% to 18.00%. If you happen to be late with a payment, you’ll have 60 days (longer than other cards) before the penalty APR kicks in.
The sign up bonus isn’t as great as the Chase Freedom Flex but it’s still pretty decent — earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending at least $2,000 within 90 days of opening your account.
What we like about this credit is that it already offers a low starting APR and those with average credit scores may be able to qualify. Depending on your credit, your APR can be as low as 9.65% all the way to 18%.
There are no annual fees with the Navy Federal More Rewards card and others including balance transfer, cash advance and foreign transaction fee. The lack of fee for cash advances tends to be rare, so if you intend on withdrawing cash on more than one occasion, this card may be a good fit. Keep in mind you may be charged interest on the amount withdrawn.
As for rewards, you can earn three points for every dollar spent at gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets and transportation. For all other purchases, it’s one point per dollar. You can redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, merchandise or travel.
When applying online, Navy Federal makes it easy to apply for SCRA benefits. If you’re a member of their Senior Enlisted Reward Program, you may qualify for a lower APR. Right now, cardholders can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending at least $3,000 within 90 days of account opening.
5. PenFed Gold Visa Card
The PenFed Gold Visa Card is a great choice for those who want a credit card to use occasionally since you don’t have to pay an annual fee — so there’s no cost to keep the card on hand. The APR starts at 7.49% all the way to 17.99% APR depending on your credit. Even on the higher end of the APR range, 17.99% is still lower than what many other cards offer.
Although you can’t earn ongoing rewards, you can earn a sign-up bonus. Once you spend a minimum of $1,500 within the first 90 days of account opening, you’re eligible for a $100 statement credit.
Military credit cards can be a useful tool to help you pay lower interest rates and fees. The ones on our list for the best credit cards for military members also have the added benefit of earning cash back rewards or points towards merchandise and travel.
Whatever your reason for opening a new credit card, make sure you take time to read the fine print so you know what you’re getting into. That way you can maximize each perk such as earnings in bonus categories or picking one with a lower interest rate if you intend on carrying a credit card balance.