New Star Cards Hitting Mailboxes Now

Mailroom.

As announced in August, the Military Star Card program has changed, and new credit cards are arriving in mailboxes across the country.  These shiny new Military Star Cards are replacing the Exchange Credit Program portion of the old Chase MasterCard co-branded Military Star Cards, and replacing the old gold Military Star Cards for customers who used the card that was not co-branded with Chase.  Wow, that was a complicated sentence.  Let me break it down a little bit, based upon what card you used to carry:

Chase MasterCard Military Star Card

If you used to have a Chase MasterCard Military Star Card, the two parts of that account have been separated.  Previously, one card acted as two cards:  a Chase MasterCard, and a Military Star Card.  This was a little confusing because even though it was physically one card, it had two websites, two log-ins, two minimum payments, and two lines of credit on your credit report.  The Exchange Credit Program, who runs the Military Star Card, and Chase Bank, who runs the MasterCard account portion, have separated these into two different cards.

The card that is coming in the mail replaces the Exchange Credit Program’s Military Star Card portion of the program.  It can only be used at the military exchanges.  Customers will be receiving new, Chase MasterCard that are not affiliated with the Military Star Card at some point in the future, but exact dates are not known.

The rewards portion of the program has changed.  Customers will now automatically receive a $20 Exchange rewards gift-type card for every 2000 points earned, with points being earned at 2 points for one dollar spent.

Gold Military Star Card

If you used to have a gold-colored Military Star Card without the MasterCard logo on it, then this new card is just a new card.  The only difference (that I have found so far) is that you will now be eligible for the rewards program mentioned above.  You will earn two points for each dollar spent, and when you earn 2000 points, you will receive a $20 Exchange rewards gift-type cards.

The Star Card Program

New Military Star CardRegardless of how you got to this new Military Star Card, you’ll share the same terms:

  • Interest rate of 10.24 percent.
  • No annual, late or over-limit fees.
  • 10 percent off first-day purchases.
  • 10 percent off Exchange food court purchases.
  • 5-cents-per-gallon savings at Exchange gas stations.
  • Free standard shipping at shopyexchange.com.

As always, it is important that you understand the terms and conditions that come with all credit cards!

While I don’t recommend getting a Military Star Card just for the benefits, those benefits can be good depending on your situation.  Our family purchased gas at an AAFES outlet for the last three years straight, and that 5 cents per gallon added up.  And we all know service members who eat their lunch at the food court many times a week – saving 80 cents a day is no small change.

If you have a Military Star card, either variety, keep your eyes on your mailbox so you don’t miss your new card.

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.
  • Fred

    Why doesn’t the Navy receive the 5 cent discount at their gas stations? I have talked to our local exchange at NAS Whiting Field, Fl. and they say they are working on it???

  • 4M

    Your are better off with a PenFed 5% cash back on gas card. Or even a 3% BCP from AmEx.

    Shoot most of the time the cards regular 2% back is going to yield more than 5¢ a gallon.

    • Kate

      I agree, but (in my experience), PenFed’s algorithm doesn’t recognize AAFES gas charges as gas. For those members who don’t have good options for purchasing fuel off base, the Star Card (for all its flaws) is really the only choice for a rebate.

  • Lillian Arleque

    My experience is that ever with the five cent discount, gas can be purchased cheaper off the base.

    • Kate

      That is true for most locations in the US. However, for folks at really remote spots, and overseas, the exchange gas is often the best deal.

    • Lee

      BJ’s Club offers a Master Card which discounts 10 cents off per gallon at its gas stations. At times, with a special promotion, after you shop, THEN get gas, another 5 cents per gallon is deducted. You also accrue reward points with purchases.

  • RespectTheArmy

    Why doesn’t the exchange offer another card like the Chase Master Rewards Card again? What happened to the relationship with Chase? Is Chase a bad cmompany to deal with? We use our Banks credit card so we don’t need another.

    • 4M

      If I had to venture a guess, it would be that the exchange already has its own system for processing payments using the star card (thus saving lots on fees), Chase might have been taking a small fraction of those, and small fractions add up when you are tasked with supporting MWR.