Your primary Chase benefit as a military member is the waived fees associated with the Military Lending Act. The only fees you’ll need to worry about with your Chase card are late fees and non-sufficient fund fees.
This means you won’t have to pay an annual fee on any non-business card – even the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The best Chase cards you can grab as a military member are the cards with high annual fees and plenty of perks and features. Here’s a quick look at some of the best picks for military members:
Waived annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
3x points on travel and dining, 1x on everything else
$300 annual travel credit$100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit every four years
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Earn up to 9x points at Hyatt properties, 2x points on fitness club/gym memberships, local transit/commuting, restaurants and airline tickets purchased directly from the airline. Earn 1x points on everything else
One free night annually One free night after spending $15,000 in a year Free Elite Discoverist status
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
2x points on Southwest purchases, and hotel and car rental partners1x points on everything else
7,500 bonus points each card anniversary$75 Southwest credit each year 20% discount on in-flight purchases
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
25x points at IHG hotel stays, x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, 1x points on everything else
One free night annually Platinum Elite status$100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit every four year
Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits
Military members frequently traveling will find a lot to love with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Its primary perks and rewards are centered around travel, including a valuable $300 travel credit. This credit is usually balanced out by the card’s high annual fee. But as a military member, this is like having a free $300 in your wallet.
With the advantage of waived fees, there’s no reason to even look at the other Chase Sapphire card – the Sapphire Reserve is superior in nearly every way.
Let’s say you’re a frequent traveler, spending a combined $600 a month on flights, hotels and dining each month. At 3x points per dollar, you can expect to earn 1,800 points each month, adding up to 21,600 a year. This comes out to a $324 value if you redeem them through the Chase travel portal.
Another high-end travel card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is less lucrative than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Nonetheless, it still has a lot to offer eligible Rapid Rewards cardholders thanks to its annual statement credit and bonus points, strong signup bonus and Southwest perks.
Let’s use the same level of travel and dining spending as we did above, but broken into $400 for travel and $200 on dining. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority earns 2x on the travel portion of your spending and just 1x on dining. Your points earned come out to 1,000 total each month.
This amounts to 12,000 points each year, though you’ll also enjoy the annual 7,500 point bonus and a $75 statement credit, bringing this example total to around 27,000 points.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card benefits
You won’t see as much value from the waived annual fee with The World of Hyatt Credit Card, but the card’s signup bonus and hotel perks make it a worthy pick if you frequently stay at Hyatt properties. A free night stay each year is nothing to sneeze at, and the signup bonus can net you up to 10 nights at a Hyatt hotel. The earning categories also cover a wide variety of activities and purchases.
Let’s say you spend $400 each month on flights and dining, and $200 on stays at a Hyatt property. You can expect to earn 600 points on the flight and 1,800 points on your Hyatt purchases. This totals out to 2,400 a month, or 28,800 each year.
This is quite good for a mid-level card, especially since The World of Hyatt Credit Card points are rather valuable compared to competing hotel loyalty programs.
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card benefits
This IHG mid-level travel card has one main draw for military members: the value it adds to stays at IHG hotels. You’ll earn a free night each year on your card anniversary and you can redeem your points on four or more nights, which nets you a fifth night free. This card also comes with free Platinum Elite status in the IHG Rewards Club program and a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.
Let’s say you spend $250 on flights, $150 on dining, and $200 on IHG stays and purchases monthly. Since the IHG card doesn’t earn accelerated rewards on flights, you’ll earn just 250 points in that category. Your dining purchases will net you 300 points and your IHG stays will net you a whopping 5,000 points. Add them together and you’ve got 5,550 each month, or 66,600 each year.
What’s the Chase Military Lending Act?
The Chase military lending act is simply an update made to their military policy in 2017 to align with the Military Lending Act. So long as your Chase card is opened after that date, the account is eligible for waived fees.
How to get an MLA SCRA Fee waiver from Chase
If you’re an eligible military member, you can start your application for benefits by calling Chase’s military services line at 877-469-0110.
You can also start this process during your application by selecting Military under the income field.
You may have to submit supporting documents to Chase as part of your application. If so, you can scan and submit these documents to Chase through your account by using the Secure Messages feature. Once on the secure messages page, you can select Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) from the drop-down menu.
You can also mail these documents directly to Chase using the address: Chase Attn: SCRA Request PO Box 183240 Columbus, OH 43218-3240
What are Chase card benefits for military spouses?
Military spouses are entitled to the same benefits as eligible military members. That means they can also apply to have their fees waived using the same process above.
Compare cards with benefits for military
If you’re looking for cards with more tailored benefits for military members, have a look at the cards below. Select your credit score and click Show cards to start comparing.
While Chase doesn’t offer cards specifically tailored to military members, the SCRA benefits can prove substantially valuable depending on the credit card. If you’re going to consider any Chase card, we’d recommend picking up the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
If you’re looking for credit cards with a stronger focus on military needs, check out your full military card options for more choices.
Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
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