Happy Veteran’s Day everyone! I know a bunch of you have been waiting on big news from Andy and here it is:
Bam! It finally happened! I received a letter from Chase, saying that my accounts are eligible for benefits under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA); these benefits include:
-maximum APR of 4% for entire account balance, including new purchases (although we should not be carrying CC balances, especially on rewards cards)
-low promotional APR matching
-my accounts are exempt from all fees, including foreign transaction fees, late fees, and annual fees
-All previous fees will be credited to my account
This is almost exactly the same as my previous post on getting your Amex fees waived, and means that the two credit card companies with arguably the best selection of rewards and travel cards waives all fees associated with them.
I’m not sure that posting about what credit cards to apply for from each bank is really a good use of my or your time – CC promotions change all the time. For instance, Chase is currently offering their British Airways card (non-affiliate link) with a sign-up promo of 100k avios. That’s a fantastic deal, but it could go away at any time, and you might not be in a position to apply right now, for instance if you (like me) just did your latest app-o-rama a little while ago. Again, it’s best to wait at least 90 days between same bank applications. With this all being said, I’m going to go over my favorite cards with consistent benefits independent of signup promos: (as always, these are non-affiliate links)
–Amex Platinum (personal, business, or Mercedes-Benz) – Free lounge access, $200 per calendar year credited for applicable airline expenses, Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, various car rental status, etc.
–Chase Sapphire Preferred – 2% back on travel (not just airfare), and dining, and 7% back annually on all Ultimate Rewards points. (so really 2.14% on those two categories).
–Amex Blue Cash Preferred – 6% back on groceries, 3% on gas, up to $6000 per year.
–Chase Freedom – 5% back on rotating quarterly categories (currently Amazon and select department stores), up to $1500 (or 7500 UR points) per quarter. Also, 10% annual bonus if you have a Chase checking account.
One I don’t have, but am intrigued about is the Chase United Club Card, which is the only card that includes free visits to United clubs – the Priority Pass provided by Amex Platinum does not include United clubs.
These cards have been blogged about ad nauseum, so I won’t go into them any further, other than to say that they all have great benefits independent of signup bonus, all have no foreign transaction, annual, or late charge fees per the SCRA, and are all in my wallet.
The benefits provided by these companies provided because of the SCRA are amazing! I wonder when the other companies (I’m looking at you Barclays, Citi, BoA, US Bank, Capital One) are going to follow suit.
How do you get your fees waived on Chase cards?
That is easy , call 1-877-469-0110. Or, finally, you can send a secure email through the website – the email tab is located in the upper right hand side of the webpage. Just tell them that you’re in the military and wanted to qualify for benefits under the SCRA.
It takes about a month to hear back from the credit card companies regarding your benefits, both from Amex and from Chase, but the nice thing is they will credit your accounts for any past fees since the SCRA was passed, which is really cool. I’m not quite sure how they verify that you’re in the military (both phone reps did not know), but I have a friend in the reserves that was able to get this benefit, so I’d try it no matter whether you’re active duty or not.
I’ve received some feedback that Chase won’t waive the annual fee unless you were a cardholder before you joined the military. I didn’t get a Chase card until after I joined, and I qualified, so I’m not sure what their criteria is. I asked them on the phone, and they told me only if you had the card previously, so I’m not sure how they’re accessing the military information. I’ll keep trying to dig and find out.