How to Get Your Annual Fees Waived on Chase Credit Cards

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:

 Chase SCRA

-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.

 amex SCRA

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.


  1. What’s the process for this? Just call the regular customer service number or secure message?

    What do I ask for in particular? Do they waive fees for business cards as well?

  2. @Nick – sorry, I should’ve mentioned it in the article. Just call customer service, say that you would like your fees waived as per the SCRA. Within a month or so, you should get a similar letter in the mail. It also works for business cards, as I received a similar letter for my MileagePlus Explorer business card.

    1. thanks a lot, Andy! I would love to know if you have any luck with the United Club Card as well as Barclays, Citi, US Bank, etc.

  3. I suggest either updating the title of the article or actually including info on exactly what you did to get them waived. As it’s written, it should be titled “I got my Chase fees waived, but I won’t explain how.”

  4. @Benji – you’re right. What I did at the time (I was writing this at 11pm after a long ER shift) what include the link to the Amex article, because the process is the same, but I should’ve made it clear again how to do it. I’ll post an addendum.

  5. I looked at your letter you posted from chase and I can’t seem to find where they state “my accounts are exempt from all fees, including foreign transaction fees, late fees, and annual fees”. Did I miss this in the letter, or is that information from another source?

    1. @Benji – it says these things on the letter they’ve sent me, but I didn’t include it because it had my personal details on there. I could’ve just blacked it out, but got lazy.

  6. I thought I followed all the steps; however, I just got a letter back from Chase saying:

    “Since this account was opened during your active duty, the account is not eligible for these benefits. The SCRA applies only to debt servicemembers incur before being called to active duty.

    If you have documents showing other military service timeframes that we should consider, please send them to the address above and we will be glad to re-evaluate the account.”

    Where I may have gone wrong was that because I had them handy, I sent in a set of PCS orders from my my first move right after commissioning which was a few years ago before this particular account was opened. Do you think it would help if I send in my most recent PCS orders?

    What have other people used? Is anyone else having a similar issue?


    1. I got the same negative response. Anyone call and get them to reconsider? I am thinking of calling and threatening to go to the Delta Amex vice my United Club and Chase Ink Cards.

      1. I received a rejection of my SCRA benefits request for every card I have with Chase. I think you should really rewrite this article as it is not a guarantee. The way it is written does not suggest YMMV. If this is Chase policy, Chase is not doing nearly as good a job as Amex in standardizing.

  7. So I called into Chase to get the scoop on why you are reporting this benefit. They told me you have to have a Chase account before you enter active duty in order to qualify for these benefits.


    1. @Benji – I received the same reply. I’ll modify this post to reflect that. While I think that their policy is suboptimal, they are not REQUIRED by the SCRA to waive annual fees, they and Amex and Capital One are going above and beyond the requirements of the SCRA in waiving them. You could always call back, and ask to talk to the supervisor, and see if they’ll still waive them, but YMMV.

      1. Thanks for researching this topic and thanks for updating the article.

        I hope my tone did not reflect an expectation that Chase refund my fees based on SCRA. Any expectations were the result of reading your post/experience… hence the danger of the content/tone of the original post. The updated version should convey the YMMV of this situation better.

  8. Another no-go…

    Just called and tried to get them to waive the annual fee. They would not waive it. They said I would have to have joined active duty AFTER opening the card account.

    So, account closed. That card (MileagePlus explorer) isn’t worth $95 / year.

  9. I applied for the Chase Sapphire Pref and United Mileage Plus Club cards, thought it would be a great deal to have United Club access with no annual fee. However, I did get the letter from Chase that I wasn’t eligible because I was already on active duty when opening the cards. Tried to bargain on the phone using AMEX policy but no luck, canceled the United card and will cancel the Sapphire after the first year with no annual fee. 19Aug2014

  10. Just spoke with Chase and confirmed that my Marriott Rewards card fee was waived again due to SCRA.
    Got the Citi Advantage 100k card recently and will ask them to waive once I pay my $10k requirement off this month. If they decline, I will ask them to switch to a no fee one. Don’t really want to close the account so soon and impact my credit score.

  11. @Mike – unfortunately Chase is pickier about that.
    @Jake – leave a comment or email me and let me know how that conversation goes…I know many of our readers are wondering about that.

  12. So, here’s the deal. I just talked to them and had them explain it to me.

    Let’s use this example: If you are currently active duty and apply for your card today and get approved.

    You will need to provide them a copy of PCS or deployment orders dated AFTER when you opened the card.

    This will then qualify you for the SMRA.

    They told me they will give you a warning of when your SMRA benefits are about to expire and you will need to provide new orders to them.

  13. When does Chase assess the fee for the United Club card? I applied for the card under the expectation I could get me fees waived. I went through the process and was denied because I submitted my current orders. Is it worth keeping the card open for 7 more months when I PCS again and then re-apply for my SCRA benefits?

    1. Cody, I went through the same thing with the United Club card, they assessed the fee within a couple months of having the card. I called and explained that I understood the fee would be waived, they didn’t waive it but did remove the annual fee and closed my card.

  14. Okay, slightly interestingly/weird experience. My husband is in the military and he got the United Mileageplus card because we thought fees were waived for military members. When he was charged the fee we called, submitted the documents, etc. On that phone call they also said they extended these benefits to military spouses, so I also submitted paperwork for my Chase credit card. Chase said that my husband does not qualify because he opened the account after he joined HOWEVER they said that I qualify. so the benefits have been extended to me but not my husband. I opened my account after he joined the military but before we got married.

    1. @ Marie – Wow, great tip! Amazing that they ruled it that way, but I can see a certain logic in it since it was a pre-existing obligation for you when you became married. Worth others trying too.

  15. I just requested the fee be waived for my Citi Prestige card and was denied because I obtained the card after I was already in the military (and shortly after back from a deployment). Buyer beware.

    It is a great card — I’m tempted to keep it anyways. Probably will get rid of my Chase Ritz Carlton card though if they do the same thing.

  16. First off, thanks for this tip! I did some digging and called the regular retail credit card people for another chase card I had with an annual fee. I did the SCRA line and then they refunded me a late fee and any APR fee. They did not however refund or waive the annual fee.

    I then called back to the military direct number listed in the article. The woman was very helpful and explained that they WOULD waive the fee if I presented PCS orders. I asked her if I opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred before an upcoming PCS if they would waive that as well, she said they would as long I as presented PCS orders AFTER opening the account. She called it their “loophole” for people who open accounts after coming on active duty. Effectively, you can have their cards with all annual fees waived.

    No guarantees because I haven’t attempted it. Still waiting on my PCS orders in a few months. For anyone attempting this, I would suggest calling the military direct number for Chase because the retail side told me flat out no when I asked about the SCRA and annual fees.

    Best of luck!

    1. @ Sean – Hey, great tip! I know a bunch of guys have been denied, but they can try again after a PCS? Nice!

      1. I was just approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and have an upcoming PCS. Once I have the orders in hand with a date AFTER my CSR approval date, I will attempt to get my annual fees waived. Will follow up here in about a month or so.

      1. Update: I found out about the DMDC (Department of Defense Manpower Data Center) website where credit card companies (or anyone, civilians included) can look up a service member’s active duty date with only a couple pieces of info (name and birth date).

  17. Just thought I’d chime in. I was denied the SCRA benefits as well due to obtaining the card after joining the military. I got denied thru the Private Messaging system thru the website. Once I saw thought I called them to explain I was only requesting to have the annual fee waived, and they told me they couldn’t do that. So for what it’s worth, that’s my experience. I’m pretty sure I dialed the military line as well. Times they are a changin.

  18. I am a spouse of AD Service member since 2002 my husband been active . After reading this blog I thought I would give my SCRA requests a shot. I have put in request for DISCOVER, CHASE, CITI, CAPITAL ONE, NAVIENT, NAVY FEDERAL, BARCLAY BANK, SYNCHRONY AND MY STAR CARD ACCOUNT. SO FAR I HAVE I HAVE HAD IMMEDIATE ATTENTION FROM BARCLAY ( 2 ACCOUNTS) THEY ASK NO QUESTIONS AND IMMEDIATELY CHANGE MY APR RATE TO 0% ALL OVER THE PHONE. I HAVE A FEW ACCOUNTS WITH SYNCHRONY BANK FORMLY GE BANK AND SO FAR MY INTEREST RATE ON MY WALMART CARD HAS BEEN CHANGE JUST THROUGH SENDING A SECURE MESSAGE. I am crossing my fingers I have success with the rest of these banks and they will follow suit. I tried with Chase last year and they denied me because I was not the one Active duty. I have been married to my spouse as long as he’s been in. I will update the status of the rest of the banks once I receive notifications through the mail.

    1. Any luck with Chase, I tried twice and nothing. I was able to get a reduce interest rate with Capital One. I’ll be faxing the letter to Synchrony and Kohl’s.

  19. I have now tried 3 times to have the fees waived from United Club and Marriot rewards cards. Everytime is the same story… need to have had the card since before AD start time. I called and asked to cancel them both if they did not match what is given by Barclay and AMEX.
    I havent been flying United as much lately and I surely will not mind not going in to their clubs again.
    It is Chase’s loss, I have been a member since 2010 and spend a ton of money with them, however if they dont extend the same benefits as other prestigious companies do to our AD troops, then they do not deserve my business.

    Goodbye Chase!

  20. I have a question. I am joining the military later this year and am not yet active duty. I just got approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and paid the annual fee. Once I am active duty, will that annual fee get reimbursed? If I was to apply for the Citi Prestige card and United Card and get approved and pay those fees, would those fees be reimbursed also?

    1. @ Tim – Congratulations, you are one of the smartest guys here. Getting credit cards before joining the Services is one of the best things to do as there will be no ambiguity for how this applies to you. That’s a long way to say, yes you should get all your fees reimbursed once you go on active duty.

    2. @Tim- Keep in mind, though, that the military does a credit check during the application process. Depending on your situation (age of credit, especially) applying for multiple cards in a short amount of time can be detrimental to your credit.

  21. My wife’s SCRA request for the Chase Sapphire Reserve was just denied. We’ve had the card several months but waited till a PCS hoping for the best. She submitted her PCS orders as someone mentioned above, about 3 weeks later we got the letter denying the request.

    My first ever churned credit card will soon be leaving our wallets.

  22. Chase approved /extended my SCRA benefit, and some of my accounts were from before joining military and some after. Good luck!

    1. Good for you, I’m happy they approved you. I suspect they did all your accounts because you had at least one prior to joining. Again, congrats, I’m a tad jealous!

  23. You can have the $450 sapphire reserve annual fee refunded by transferring your credit line to a chase freedom and leave your credit line on the reserve below $1600 a lot of my friends have done it and it worked!

    )You don’t need to be active duty for this trick its for everyone.)

    1. Sounds like you basically downgraded your card to the Freedom?

      The one thing to be aware of using this strategy is that your UR points will no longer redeem at 1.5 CPM, instead they’ll revert to 1.25 CPM as though they were earned with the Freedom card, in case that matters to you. Those considering this may want to look at using the points before doing the downgrade.

  24. Anybody think or know if being an authorized user with my own card and everything for Chase would count as having an account prior to joining? (I still have and use the card)

  25. The most recent update on annual fees for military can be found at the following from Doctor of Credit (DOC). I can’t attest to how authoritative this information is, but bottom line, if you’re currently paying an annual fee it might be worthwhile reaching out to the company and ask if they’ve recently changed their policy. The worst they’ll say is no.

    I’ve already done this with Chase and will report back once we get a response. If true, it also makes the Citi AA card look a lot more attractive, at least to me, regardless of how little I fly AA.

  26. FYSA the SCRA only applies if you have the credit card before you are called to active duty. Chase follows the law exactly how it is written. Other credit cards AMEX etc… sometimes honors the spirit of the SCRA and waives the fees anyway. This just comes down the each individual company but the law requires you to have the card before being called to active duty

  27. The latest update on Chase. I talked with someone at their military support desk yesterday, the policy is that they’ll waive the fees if you meet all the requirements of the military lending act (MLA), which basically means that you have to be on AD, Natl Guard recalled for a certain period of time, yada yada. You also, of course, have to have the appropriate credit score, fall under the 5/24 rule, and meet all the other requirements to actually qualify for the card. There’s no restriction that you have to have opened the card before entering AD. According to the guy I spoke with yesterday.

    It does, however, apparently only apply to new cards, so if you have one now you’d probably need to close that account and open another one, and you’re probably not going to get the sign up bonus, depending on those rules. They do allow spouses to open their own accounts, so you may be able to tap the fee-free card and signup bonus that way.


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