Stunningly great credit card deal for Active Duty Military!

First of all, I’d like to apologize for not posting in a while – I’ve been on deployment with predictably slow internet. Thankfully, BG Goddard has been knocking out the posts. Since I’m home for a while, it’s time I get back into the saddle!


I’ve got a ton of reviews upcoming over the next month or so, but before I get to any of those, I thought I’d come at you with a huge credit card deal, one that you should jump on before it no longer works.


I’d like to preface this post with some discussion about how credit card companies implement their SCRA (Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act) policies. Almost all credit card companies will waive annual fees on credit cards when you’re active duty, if you had the card before you became active duty, US Bank being the conspicuous exception to that. Chase, Citi, American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Discover and Bank of America will waive those fees for all previously held cards. Two companies that I know of, American Express and Barclaycard, will waive those annual fees even if you didn’t get the card until after you were already Active Duty. The latter company is the one I’m writing to you about today.


Barclaycard has for a long time had available the Black Card, a pathetic excuse for a high-end card, given that it’s benefits were clearly not as good as either the Amex Plat or the Citi Prestige, among others, with a similar annual fee, $495. However, within the past year, they’ve come out with two other pretentiously named “luxury cards”, the Titanium card and the Gold card.

Luxury Card I Made of Stainless Steel - http___www.luxurycard.com_

To broaden interest, they’ve positioned the Titanium card below the Black card, with a 10k point bonus and $195 annual fee, and the Gold card above it, with a 50k point bonus but an astounding $995 annual fee! What, might you ask, is the valuation of the points? Well, each point is worth two cents when redeemed for airfare. So, 50k could be redeemed for a $1000 plane ticket. Or, as Doctor of Credit reminded me, “You don’t need to apply the credit towards airfare, points are worth 2c when redeeming for statement credit with the gold card”. That totally makes up for the annual fee right?


Well, my news to you today is that Barclaycard waives this enormous annual fee as long as you’re active duty, and you didn’t have to have the card previously! I’ve confirmed this myself, by applying for and getting accepted, then asking to be transferred to the military benefits department. Also, Doctor of Credit, Derp Report, and Reddit churning have all confirmed it as well (hat-tip to all of them for inspiring me to apply).


This is huge! Up to $1k in airfare reimbursed! In addition, you get $200 towards airline purchases separately, and $100 towards global entry application, in addition to other benefits. Also, Derp Report has confirmed that the $200 airline credit can be used directly for airfare, and not on gift cards or registry or anything else.


It’s a $3k minimum spend within 3 months, which is doable, although tougher now that there is essentially no easy manufactured spend.


I say go for it if you can meet the minimum spend, as it’s up to $1200 in reimbursed airfare!


  1. Nice write up, you don’t have to use the 50k points for airfare, it can be used for a statement credit, haven’t done it yet but I will be the first to let you know once my minimum is reached!

  2. Glenn,

    Thanks for motivating me to add a couple of new credit cards to my wallet. By chance did they adjust the interest rate, or did they stick you with the prime rate of 15.24%?

    1. @Curtez – Great question, I actually am not sure. I never check the interest rate because I always pay off my bills. @Derp above already has the card; he might be able to answer your question. My assumption is that it is lower, but I never asked.

    2. Barclay’s deal is that they lower APR to 0% for active duty.

      Interesting that Andy hasn’t really done much research on this card. 0% APR, $1k in airfare or cashback, $200 annual airline credit, Global Entry fee credit.

      BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!! Have your spouse sign up for her own card, add yourself as an authorized user, link your military benefits to her account – Boom! Thats up to $2600 in value right off the bat for a measly $6k minimum spend..

      1. Do you mean, if you are Active Suty, that you and your spouse should sign up. Then add yourself as a authorized user and she get the benefits too?

      2. Can anyone confirm if the below comment by Paul is accurate. Will the Active Duty military member need to submit his paperwork again/

        Paul says:
        April 1, 2016 at 1:02 am
        “BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!! Have your spouse sign up for her own card, add yourself as an authorized user, link your military benefits to her account – Boom! Thats up to $2600 in value right off the bat for a measly $6k minimum spend..”

    1. here’s what they sent me in a secure message when I asked:

      *We appreciate your service to our country! At this time, service members who are called to active duty may be eligible for the following from Barclays:

      1.An Annual Percentage Rate of 0% will apply to the existing balance incurred prior to military active duty deployment and to new transactions made on the account while the service member is on active duty. 2. Fees, such as late fees, returned payment fees, annual fees and balance transfer fees will be waived while you are on active duty. 3. No collection efforts will be imposed on the account during active duty.

      Upon return from active duty, a notification letter will be sent 45 days in advance of removing SCRA protection regarding fees. To apply for Service Members Civil Relief Act, please send a copy of your Official Activation Papers or a copy of a letter from your commanding officer written on military letterhead to:

      Cardmember Services
      P.O. Box 8833
      Wilmington, DE 19899
      Fax 1-877-523-0482

      On the cover sheet please put your account number, name and social security number. Once we receive the documentation by mail or fax, we will review your account for eligibility. Provided your account is eligible, we will apply the new terms and send a letter to the address on file confirming the changes to your account.

      If you have any additional questions regarding SCRA, you can contact our Customer Support department that strictly handles SCRA enrollment directly at 1-866-918-5212. They are available from 8am to 9pm ET, Monday through Thursday; 8am to 5pm, Friday and Saturday; and 5pm to 9pm ET on Sundays. We hope you find this information helpful and thank you for serving our country!*

      1. Unless you had good enough credit to get Barclays gold card before you joined the military, the annual fee has been reinstated. I’m on active duty overseas and I have a written agreement from them to waive my fees while on active duty, yet they are trying to welch.

        Someone should file a class action suit on behalf of military member who have a letter of enrollment waiving the fee from Barclays.

  3. Even better: Barclaycard’s SCRA benefits include 0% APR interest and zero cash advance/balance transfer fees (they even refunded a balance transfer fee that I did while active duty but before I mailed them my orders).

  4. Has anyone done this yet. Is it better to do it by phone or can I do it online then call the military benefits office. Don’t want to get stuck with a $1k fee

  5. In order to apply scra benefits to military spouse gold card, must the active duty member be an authorized user? If the active duty member already has a gold card account, well this preclude them from being a authorized user on the spouse account? Thanks!

  6. Applied for the Gold card and received it with no issues. Once I received it, I sent my orders off to take advantage of the SCRA benefits…No annual fee and 0%APR/Balance transfer fee…simply awesome!

  7. So I just called and was told that before discussing SCRA benefits I needed to apply and become a card holder then call the number on the back of the card – has everyone else had the same experience? Seems like a bit of a gamble not to be assured the $1000 a year fee won’t be waived until AFTER signing up. Also, is the requirement $3,000 every three months, or just within the first three months?

  8. I am aware of the difficulties and inconsistencies with Chase approving SCRA benefits for accounts created after joining. However, I’m curious if anyone has had any success with the following scenario:

    I have been AD for about a year and a half and recently PCS’d to an AFB where I am projected to be stationed for the foreseeable future (at least 6 years). I am very interested in the 100k sign-on bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If I apply, get accepted, get the card, then get deployed (complete with new orders)… will they know my [ineligible] active duty joining date (through possibly contacting the DoD) or do they only know the date on the newly issued deployment orders I’ll be sending them as proof of AD status (which would appear to make me eligible for SCRA benefits)?

    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).

  9. When you talk about active duty, is that the day you raise your right hand and become a full-time military member of whatever branch? When you talk about deployment are some of you in guard or reserve status and that’s why you need orders putting you on active duty status so you can apply for SCRA benefits. Please clarify for me. Thanks

    1. @Mark – Yes, correct on both counts. The SCRA is meant for those who already have debt and join Active Duty or those Reservists who get activated.

  10. Thanks, Glen. Couple questions. Is this worth having if you don’t fly much and how long do you have to keep the initial three months $3000 dollar balance? Not sure if this is worth it for me. Thanks

    1. @ Mark – Sure it is still worth it even if you have to pay the fee. As Andy points out in the article, the 50,000 points are worth $1000 and you get the $200 airfare credit. Most cards with airfare credit do it by calendar year, meaning you could take advantage of it once in 2016 and again in 2017 before having to pay the annual fee again. I would not pay the annual fee a second time!

  11. Just a note of caution. When I signed up, there was a 50k point signup bonus, but I’m not seeing that bonus now, so no $1000 statement credit. You might want to wait to see if another signup bonus surfaces.

  12. I’m trying to reach leadership at Chase with a proposal to reconsider their strict compliance with SCRA. I have asked that they extend limited SCRA benefits to AD service members who sign up for accounts after being active duty. I will post updates as to the status.

    I ask for those that are AD Chase customers, to reach out to them via writing in their concerns and feedback page. The more we provide them feedback regarding extension of SCRA benefits, the more likely they are to listen to us.

  13. I can confirm that they’ve changed their policy on SCRA and military. I got mine in the mail yesterday and when I called to activate it today they told me that as of 28 November, 4 days after I applied for it, that they are no longer waiving the annual fee. His words were that it only applies to accounts opened prior to entering military service. I asked if this was going to affect any current members or if they are grandfathered in and will continue to have their annual fee waived and his answer was “We would make sure they are made aware of any fee changes well before they are due so they’ll have time to cancel if they want.” You can read that one either way so just a heads up to all.

  14. I just confirmed this as well. I received my card in October and sent in orders to get the fees waived, and got a confirmation letter shortly after. After seeing this post I called and they said from now on the benefits would only apply if you received the card prior to going active duty. As for grandfathering in I got the same answer that any changes would be sent in writing if applicable.

  15. Can anyone else confirm that Luxury Card is no longer waiving the annual fee for active duty military who are interested in applying?? I was just about to apply for one

  16. Do not apply for this card. As of 11/28/2016 they do not offer SCRA for already active duty mil. I sent in my orders on 12/1/2016 and they denied it. Had to cancel my card.

  17. I can also confirm they will no longer waive the annual fee. I was able to get an exception since we signed up before the new policy but they initially denied us when I sent in my paperwork. I guess too many people are taking advantage of this card now.

    1. I already had my fee waived (enrolled in SCRA Jun 2016), but they are now trying to welch on the fee waiver. NO Grandfathering of the fee waiver if you were already on active duty when you got the card.
      I’m being offered 0% interest, but at a cost of $995/yr? NOT!

  18. I am currently Active Duty and I saw all the hype with the barclaycard “Gold Card”. All this information peaked my interest and I signed on for the “amazing” deal that was offered to Active Duty military. Low and behold, the barclaycard policy has changed as of 28NOV2016, and they only honor the waived annual fee for military members if you had an account prior to your active duty start date. If you are Active Duty, like myself, and are planning on opening up an account, expect to pay the nearly $1,000 annual fee.

  19. Barclay no longer honors the SCRA benefit. I just received my card DEC 2017 called to waive the fee and was denied because I did not have the card before I entered the military. Stay away from this card benfits suck. Go with AMEX platinum it has twice the benfits and they honor SCRA benfit.

    1. You can cancel. Tell them you were under the impression that the fee would be waived for AD. They won’t change you the $995.

  20. Do not apply for this card, Barclay and/or MasterCard Gold Card Luxury Card NO LONGER waives the 995.00 annual fee and SCRA benefits only apply to those who had it prior to joining the Armed Force.


  21. Just got my letter in the mail today. They are no longer waiving the annual fee for the gold card. Going to call and talk to them in the morning to se what can be done. We love this card.

  22. So, we’ve had the card for over a year and it was awesome. This week we received a letter saying since he was “already on active duty” when we applied we are not eligible for the SCRA (????) And they were going to start charging us the annual fee at our next annual anniversary of having the card.

  23. I received the same letter two weeks ago. MasterCard will no longer waive the fee if you applied for the card after you came on active duty. However, before I shut the account down I made sure to redeem all my points for cash back and I also used the $200 airline credit on a trip that I am taking later this year. The airline credit runs on a a calendar basis not annually from when you last used it. I first used the airline credit last May 2016 when I first opened the account. I checked with the GoldCard team to see if I could use it this year again since it is a new calendar year and sure enough they said I could. Make sure to use these benefits before shutting it down.

    1. John,

      I am not sure if you can use that route. It depends how the airlines charge hits your credit card. If it registers on your statement as being from American Airlines or another airline then the credit should apply.

      That is a great route to go if you do not have an upcoming flight in the near future.

  24. Barclays just welched on a written agreement to waive my annual fee while I’m on active duty. My card was enrolled in their SCRA program in June of 2016. Just got the ‘letter of welching’ that only offered to maintain the 0% rate, but at a cost of $995!Ridiculous.
    I messaged them to dispute their ‘additional review’ of my SCRA status to no avail. What we need now is a class action law suit for those who have letters of enrollment that includes a fee waiver.

    Looks like I’ll be ditching Barclay and keeping the
    AMEX Platinum (they aren’t welching).

  25. Hi

    I just got off the phone with Barclay Luxury Cards customer service, and they informed me that Barclay will no longer be waiving annual fees for any credit card accounts opened after your Active Duty Start Date.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  26. Barclay recently updated their SCRA benefits and no longer waive fees to new applicants. Amex still does, however, and so does Capital One.

  27. Not to knock sites like this, but there are many people who like to ‘really use’ their SCRA benefits after reading about how they can get a bunch of cards with huge bennies for free. Once the info goes viral, the program shuts down. If a couple thousand troops got the $995 fee waived that is understandable. When tens of thousands (of people already on active duty) request the card, the company can’t maintain the costs.

    Remember what the act was for, starting way back in 1940, “To ease the economic and legal burdens on military personnel during their active service”, not get $995 Gold Card fees waived.

    1. Pretty sure this is a nice tax deduction for them. Though the benefits don’t cost them the $995, for every military that takes it, they get to claim some kind of $995 donation to the military… not sure how, but companies generally don’t give anything for free… unless they are simply looking for goodwill. I can say, after opening 6 AMEX cards, that I now LOVE AMEX. I wouldn’t have known it had I not taken their free cards. I will keep some of them for life…

  28. Its been two years since you wrote this. Do you know if the black, gold, and titanium card still are free to military who haven’t had them before?

  29. So if I am in the National Guard I am are not eligible unless I am activated? What happens when activation ends? Do I still get the fee waived for future years?

    1. Enrique – The card company will either prorate your fee for the portion of the year you were activated or just skip it until the next time it is due.

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