The convenience and use of bank-issued debit and credit cards at exchanges cost the military community dearly last year. In fact, Army & Air Force Exchange Service shoppers who swiped a bank-issued card this year have ended up generating more than $62 million in fees.
“A dual mission to provide quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices and generate earnings for morale, welfare and recreation programs means something as minor as a credit or debit fee can have a real effect on military quality of life,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Tony Pearson.
One way shoppers can help reduce costs and strengthen their Exchange benefit is by using the MILITARY STAR® Card. Unlike bank cards, swiping a MILITARY STAR® Card produces no fees as the card is administered by the Exchange and revenue generated is shared with military communities through contributions to quality-of-life programs.
Not only does the MILITARY STAR® Card benefit the community, it also benefits the cardholder through gas savings during the year as well as ten percent savings on food purchases at Exchange restaurants.
“Traditionally, two-thirds of earnings generated at Exchange activities are paid to morale, welfare and recreation programs, while the other third is invested in improvements that enhance the shopping experience,” said Pearson. “This structure means that decreased fees can quickly provide additional arts and crafts supplies, reduced green fees or maybe even a new aquatics center.”
The MILITARY STAR® Card is accepted at all Army and Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the Exchange Online store at www.shopmyexchange.com.
Authorized exchange shoppers can learn more about the MILITARY STAR® Card by visiting www.shopmyexchange.com and clicking “Credit Services.”