First, I want to sincerely say thank you for your service to all active duty military service members and veterans out there. 

Here I am attempting to put together a complete list of banks and best credit cards that waive the annual fees for the military. Active duty military members can get credit card late payments, annual fees waived, and interest rates capped. These military credit card benefits are available because of the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that was put in place in 2003 and Military Lending Act (MLA) protections. 

I'll try to update the list frequently with new information available, so feel free to bookmark this page or subscribe to our blog posts below.

How to Waive Credit Card Annual Fees For Military?
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    Acquiring A Credit Card Before Vs. During Active Duty Military Service

    When you acquire a credit card, it plays an important role with banks regarding your qualification for the waived fees and capped interest rates on military benefits. Generally speaking, the credit cards must have been acquired before active duty service to qualify for the benefits. 

    However, from what I gather, it also depends on the banks. Some banks stick to the rules, while some are willing to make exceptions by allowing you to enjoy the military credit card benefits even when you get a credit card during your active duty military service. So, let's take a look at those banks.

    American Express

    American Express is one of the generous card issuers that offer fees waived benefits to active duty military members, regardless of whether the Amex cards were acquired before or during active duty service. 

    Amex Military Card Benefits

    • Waived card's annual fees
    • Waived other fees such as late payments, returned payments, and over-limit fees
    • Capped 6% interest rates for cards acquired before the active duty service. This does not apply to cards acquired during active duty service. 
    • The benefits apply to both Amex Charge and Credit cards
    • Personal Amex cards only

    How to Waive Amex Fees For Military

    Once you are approved for an Amex card during your active duty or have had an Amex card before your active duty, you can request Amex to waive fees for you with the following methods:
    • Amex Website:
      • Log into your Amex account online and select the Amex card
      • Click on the Account Services menu on the top
      • Click on the Payment & Credit Options menu on the left
      • Click on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Benefits and follow the screen to complete your request. 
    • Contact Amex:
      • Call Amex at 1-800-253-1720
      • Fax active duty documents and Amex account(s) to 1-623-444-3000.
      • Mail active duty documents and Amex account(s) information to
        • American Express
          Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
          P.O. Box 981535
          El Paso, TX 79998-1535

    Best Amex Cards For Military

    Having annual fees waived is huge with American Express because Amex has a few premium reward cards with high annual fees and offers valuable perks. The perks range from luxury travel, complimentary elite status, and free airport lounge access to statement credits that you can benefit from each year for a $0 annual fee. 

    Remember that Amex military credit card benefits are available only for personal Amex cards. The good news is that the benefits apply to both American Express Charge Cards and American Express Credit Cards. Here are my top picks:



    Chase

    Chase offers waived annual fees on their credit cards for active duty members, as long as the cards were acquired after September 20, 2017

    Chase Military Credit Card Benefits

    • Waived credit card annual fees
    • Late payments and insufficient fund fees are NOT waived
    • Capped 36% APR (Annual Percentage Rate)
    • Personal credit cards only

    How to Waive Chase Fees For Military

    Once you applied and are approved for a Chase card before or during your active duty service after September 20, 2017, you can request Chase to waive fees for you using the following methods:
    • Chase Website:
      • Go to your Chase account online
      • Find the Secured message from the Hamburger menu (3 lines menu) on the upper left, and click on it. 
      • Click on New message on the upper right. 
      • Under the options, what is this about? Select Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and read the information provided by Chase. 
      • Click on the send us a secure message link. 
      • Select Send a document from the drop-down list. 
      • Write out your request message, and attach supporting documents.
    • Contact Chase
      • Call Chase at 1-877-469-0110
      • Mail supporting active duty documents with your written request to 
        • Attn: SCRA Request
          P.O. Box 183240
          Columbus, OH 43218-3240

    Best Chase Credit Cards For Military

    Chase has a few annual fee cards that offer valuable benefits, from a great welcome bonus to premium travel perks such as travel statement credit, hotel's elite status, complimentary airport lounge access, and more. 

    Remember that Chase military credit card benefits are available only for personal Chase credit cards, and business credit cards are not included. Here are my top picks:





    Citi

    Citi has inconsistent data points that some were unable to request the credit card fees waived, and some were able to request the fees waived based on the Military Lending Act (MLA) protection for credit cards opened during active duty.

    Citi Military Credit Card Benefits

    • Citi waives all credit card fees, including annual fees and 0% interest rates for military members that acquired the card before active duty.
    • Some Citi cardholders successfully request annual fees waived based on the MLA during active duty. This is a YMMV scenario, but worth trying. 
    • Personal Citi credit cards only.

    How to Waive Citi Fees For Military

    While data points are all over the place regarding Citi waiving credit card annual fees for the military before vs. during active duty, it's worth trying to request it, no matter what. Here's how:

    If your request is successful, please let us know how you did it in the comment. 

    Best Citi Credit Cards For Military

    Citi is one of the credit card issuing banks that offer great personal card sign-up bonuses and valuable travel benefits, especially if you can enjoy those benefits with a $0 annual fee each year. Please remember that the Citi military credit card benefits apply only to personal Citi credit cards

    Here are my top picks for military Citi credit cards:



    Discover

    All Discover credit cards do not have annual fees; however, Discover waives other fees and lowers interest rates for active duty military service members, regardless of whether the Discover cards were acquired before or during active duty service

    Discover Military Credit Card Benefits

    • Waived fees such as late payments and over-limit fees
    • Capped 5.9% interest rate
    • All Discover credit cards do not have annual fees

    How to Waive Discover Fees For Military

    Once you applied and are approved for a Discover card before or during your active duty service, you can request Discover to waive fees for you using the following methods:
    • Discover Website:
      • Go to the Discover website and sign in to your account online. 
      • Find the SCRA Benefits link under the Manage tab menu. 
      • Follow the page to request the benefits. 
    • Contact Discover:
      • Call 1-844-337-4645
      • Fax your active duty documents and account information to 1-224-813-5767
      • Mail your request with your supporting active duty documents and account information to:
        • Discover
          SCRA Department
          P.O. Box 30907
          Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0907

    Banks That Waive Credit Card Annual Fee For Military Before Active Duty Service

    As this section's title suggests, the following credit card issuing banks cap credit card interest rates and/or waive annual fees for credit cards opened before active duty military service only.

    Bank of America

    Bank of America waives credit card fees, such as the annual fees, and caps interest rates at 6% for cards acquired before active duty only. 

    Barclays

    Barclays waives credit card fees, including annual fees, and caps interest rates at 6% for credit cards acquired before active duty only. 

    Capital One

    Capital One waives all credit card fees, including annual fees, and caps interest rates at 4% for credit cards acquired before active duty. 

    U.S. Bank

    U.S. Bank waives all credit card fees, including annual fees, and caps interest rates at 6% for cards acquired before active duty only. 

    Are Credit Card Fees Waived For Veterans?

    Unfortunately, no. 

    Credit card fees are typically waived for military members that acquire the card(s) before or during active duty, not after active duty. The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Military Lending Act (MLA) benefits are only valid for a certain period. Those benefits can expire once you have left active duty.