Did you know that AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service) and NEX (Navy Exchange) both offer a price match guarantee? I sort of did, but I didn’t know the specifics. After a suggestion from my smart friend Sandy, I did a little reading and discovered all sorts of interesting things.
At AAFES, there are two classifications of price matching: regular and oral. A regular price match is when the customer brings in an ad from another store and AAFES matches that price. An oral price match is for an amount less than $10 and does not require an ad or other verification. AAFES price matches are only valid between the same sort of store: retail-to-retail, and online-to-online. What this means is that you can’t price match an Amazon.com price at an AAFES store, nor can you match a Office Depot store price at aafes.com. However, you can price match between AAFES outlets, including aafes.com, the retail stores, and the catalog. You also have up to 14 days to price match, so if you make a purchase and it goes on sale (at AAFES or elsewhere) within two weeks, you can get a refund of the difference.
I can’t tell if the NEX policy is less generous, or more vague. NEX also has two categories: advertised price, or verbal challenge (up to $5.) The NEX does not offer price matching against catalogs (even the NEX catalog) or online retailers. However, there is an unclear provision for overseas customers to price match against the catalogs and websites of JCPenney, Sears and Walmart. I wish I knew what it meant: does that mean that overseas stores will price match against those online retailers, or that the NEX website will price match against those online retailers? I have tried to price match at my local NEX, for less than $5, and they told me that I would have to produce an advertisement. I’m guessing that the cashiers don’t understand the policy very well, and I’ve got no interest in getting into an argument with a cashier over $2.
Both policies have various exclusions and restrictions, and you’ll have to read them thoroughly to understand the details. I like that the AAFES policy is more specific, but that also makes it harder to read. The NEX policy is short and clear, but leaves lots of unanswered questions. Altogether, this is useful information. I’d love to hear your experiences with price matching at the military exchanges.