I’d like to introduce Andy to all my readers. Andy is a Navy Officer who is interested in contributing to the blog. Expect to see him regularly around here. He already cowrites a financial blog for military personnel named militarymoneymanual.com His first post is very cool and I know that I want to take advantage of it ASAP.
I’m sure there are many of you out there who would like to apply for some big-gun credit cards from American Express, like the Amex Platinum Card, where you can get free airport lounge access and $200 off yearly airline fees, or the Business Rewards Gold Card, where you can get 50,000 membership rewards points after $5,000 spent in 3 months. However, most, if not all of you are turned off by the steep annual fee, $450 per year and $175 per year respectively. I am here to tell you how to get these amazing cards annual-fee free. And if you’re reading this particular website, you’ve probably already done it. You just need to join the military!
In 2003, congress passed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which was mainly aimed at alleviating high interest rates on active duty military members, especially while they were deployed. In accordance with this act, they will waive your annual fee on any of their cards (and will credit you for retroactive annual fees you might’ve payed in the past). In addition, they waive the following: overlimit fees, late payment fees, returned payment fees, and statement copy request fees. I’m not quite sure when they started offering this benefit; the earliest I could find a reference to it on google was from a flyertalk post in 2011. And I have not heard of any other credit card companies doing this.
To ask for this benefit for future applications, you can call 1-800-253-1720. If you’re outside the United States, call collect at 1-336-393-1111. Some of their customer service reps might not have heard of this benefit, so please be patient and explain it to them, so they can clear it with their supervisors. Read here for one servicemembers experience obtaining this benefit.