Price Matching at the Exchanges

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 price at an AAFES store, nor can you match a Office Depot store price at  However, you can price match between AAFES outlets, including, 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.

You can find the link to the specific policies at AAFES Price Match Policy or NEX Customer Service (you will have to scroll down a little bit to get to the price matching part.)

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Sandy

    AAFES gave us a $40 refund on a TV we purchased when later that day we found the exact same model at Best Buy $40 less and brought in the dated price tag info. It was painless and great customer service from the PX.

  • RYAN

    I tried to price match an dyson vaccum from Costco that retails at AAFES for 589.00 and Costco had it for 469.99. AAFES called costco to verify the price and costco doesn’t give prices over the phone, ad said they won’t price match (With the costo ad AND the price tag off the shelf from Costoc both) because they would either have to drive over to Costco to verify the price or have Costco give them the price over the phone.

    So I got kind of mad because the individuals at the Offutt BX were unwilling to actually do any work to make sure my claim was valid. Customer service was very lacking at that place.

  • Robert Pagan

    I found a TV at for 700 and it was over 1000 at the Exchange online and they refused to match it because Frys allowed for the item to be in store pickup and the excuse from the Exchange was that it did not offer in store pick up so this was more of denying the match by the process of obtaining it rather than the actual item be priced match. That is pathetic.

  • Lora smith

    We are stationed overseas in Italy. We tried to do a price match from Walmart, brought in our iPad so they could see the ad even tho it was less than $10.00. We were told that they would not match it because it was not a local store. I guess the price match is out the window when overseas seeing as we only have Italian retailers and would never be able to find an exact item in a local ad to try to match. AAFES is a joke! It is absolutely pathetic, they always want to let everyone know how much they “contribute” to the armed forces…more like armed forces contributing to the armed forces!

  • Joe

    Prices at exchanges are jokes and unrealistic just looked at TVs today and they happen to be twice the price as the ones available in the states. I understand shipping is hard overseas for these products but twice the price knowing this is the only way to get these overseas. I sometimes question the morals of these stores. I have decided to wait until returning to the states and buying one at Best Buy. Why go through the trouble of price matching if the store in your town is cheaper just buy it there. Let them do the work to get your money like any other store would.

  • Enrique Sanchez

    webt ti costco for my free membership with military id and dd 214
    no way
    that is not true
    need to pay 55 dllrs and then you will get coupons valued at 50 dllrs
    that is not the way i read it
    it say free membership to veterns,military and family
    whats up ????

    • Tiger1

      Membership is free. $55.00 for the priveldge of walking through their door.

  • S Beem

    It makes no sense to have a 14day price match policy on something that was bought in the exchange and later goes on sale for a lower price. In my case a television. The return policy for televisions is 30 days. So, why wouldn’t it be 30 days. You could just return the higher priced one and go buy it at a reduced price…as long as your within the 30 day period. Easier for all concerned to just refund the difference!

    • Kate

      I agree.