The second guest post from Albert:

Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures (TTP): OCONUS Commissary purchases

Greetings, Fellow Travelers!

Bottom-line Up Front (BLUF): Purchasing items at an OCONUS Commissary qualifies as a US-based purchase. Because of this, you can earn credit card bonus points based on what card you use.

Today’s TTP is on credit card category bonuses from US grocery store purchases.

Being stationed overseas definitely has its challenges: new languages, new road signs, and odd flavored potato chips. Your post Commissary provides products you usually can’t find at the local, foreign supermarkets. These reminders of home can be a real comfort especially when you’re looking for your favorite breakfast cereal or individually-wrapped slices of American cheese!

Did you know when you buy something at an OCONUS Commissary you not only pay in US dollars but also in the US? That’s right, shopping at the Commissary is just like shopping at a Publix or Whole Foods. This TTP is essential for overseas living.

In the travel world—and more importantly in the points and miles games—using the right credit card for the right purchase can help you earn valuable “currency” to get you to your next travel destination. Plus, many credit cards offer bonus points for US-based purchases like at grocery stores.

My personal strategy is to maximize every purchase for maximum travel points. Being stationed in Germany, I exclusively use my American Express Gold Card (really a charge card—a subject for another TTP!) for all my Commissary purchases.

For all US-based grocery stores, the Gold Card earns 4 Membership Reward (MR) points for every $1 spent (up to $25K per year, then 1 MR). So, if you use this card at an OCONUS Commissary and your bill is $60, you will earn 240 MR points. While this is small amount, it’s all about maximizing every swipe of your credit card. They will, trust me, add up!

In sum, when stationed overseas, you shouldn’t have to forgo US-based shopping bonuses when you shop at the Commissary, or in my case, for that tasty French’s yellow mustard no one seems to like on German brats but me!

Happy travels!

Vr,

Albert

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