Using Gift Cards to Save On AAFES Food

I’ve moved back into the world of the Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES), and they have an interesting deal going on in their food courts.  If you pay for your purchase with your Star Card, an AAFES gift card, or an AAFES food court gift card, they will give you 10% off your purchase.  Now, I am seriously against using a Star Card to buy food, but a gift card?  Sure, if it will save me 10%.

The process is simple.  Go into the Exchange and purchase a gift card.  You can purchase a card for any amount, but I went ahead a put $50 on it.  Hey, we are still mid-PCS.  There will be some bad AAFES food consumed.  Then, I went to the food court to purchase our food.  Four kids, plus me, times pizza at Pizza Hut, $2.50 saved.  By the time I use all of the money on that gift card, I will have saved $5.  Not a lot, but well worth the 5 minutes it took me to purchase the gift card.

If you ever make food purchases at an AAFES run vendor, consider purchasing a gift card to buy your food.  10% off is not to shabby for basically no work.

Find more great deals and discounts at the Discounts Center.

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.
  • Lars

    would be nice if it were true, I’ve tried paying with my Star Card and have told over and over by AAFES employees I can’t use it

    • KateKashman

      Gosh, Lars, I wonder why. I’ve used my Star card at AAFES food establishments a few times. I have more trouble getting the discount, but if I ask they usually remember. Any other readers having trouble?

    • T.W.

      Me too…I’ve tried using my card at a local commissary for groceries in order to save and was told I couldn’t use it….

      • KateKashman

        T.W., the regular Star card is not valid for purchases at the commissary. The commissary is run by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). The regular Star card is only good for purchases at AAFES or NEX exchange stores or their associated shops.

        If you have the MasterCard branded Star card, you may use it on purchases anywhere, just like a regular MasterCard.

        Hope that helps!

  • Bandrews

    Does that apply in the commissary?

    • Mark


  • sharon d mcmillian

    I dont have card to shop all i know my family are and have army and other my dad as well i would be useing what card you all send me sharon d mcmillian thank you

  • sharon mcmillian

    where my car

  • Duane

    how do I apply for this card?

  • MEK

    At some of the vendors such as Subway and KFC on Ft. Bragg N.C. I have been denied the 10% discount when using my Star card or a Gift Card. I was told on several different occasions / actually last week at Subway that they where not part of AAFES and no discount would be given and some of them even charge tax on the food purchase. Popeyes, BK,Charley’s and other’s do honor the discount.

  • Janeen

    All food facilities should give you the 10%…all are managed by AAFES.
    You can apply for a Star card at

  • John

    today is October 3 and this is the first time I have been denied the discount using the star card at Kentucky fried chickenon Fort Bragg. I have also used the star card for the 10% discount at the otherFort Bragg food venues like Taco Bell, Charlie’s cheesesteaks,subway, Popeyes chicken,Domino’s pizza Anthony’s pizza,Burgger King,Starbucks coffee and some other food places on post. What has happened? These food venues have a very large targeted military and dependent,audience that use their establishments.these establishments were given access and approval to operate their establishments on Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base within AAF ES food courtsas well as at some stand-alone buildings on post.such as the KFC located on the corner of Riley Road and Gruber Road.does anyone know what ofagreements these establishments have with Fort Bragg, the Army, Pope Air Force Base and the Air Force to operate with in the confines of a military base and why some offer the discount while now, some do not.
    I do not see it as such a hardship for these businesses to offer a discount of $.10 cents on the dollar, but then again, I must mention most of those establishments that I mentioned still offer the discount and I only know in my case of KFC not offering the discount now. do we know in the case of Kentucky fried chicken on Fort Bragg do they rent the building therein from the Army do they pay all of their own utilities or are they provided by the military. I presume that this KFC is franchise owned and I will be trying to find out the answers to my questions. Maybe we should ask KFC to move off post and send for itself against other competitors who do not have a capture audience. Thank you., John