Best Credit Card for Military of 2021

The best credit cards for military members allow you to take utilize special offers available only to service personnel. Thanks to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), you can enjoy of a number of credit-friendly perks such as $0 foreign transaction fees and lower-than-average APR for active duty members. Check out our analysis of best military credit cards below, find the card that’s right for you, and apply online in minutes.

In this article

    The Platinum Card® from American Express

    Who should get it

    Anyone in the military who does a lot of traveling will appreciate the benefits and rewards of The Platinum Card® from American Express. Cardmembers of this premium travel rewards card will gain access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes international lounge locations. You will also receive $200 statement credit toward airline fees (up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline) and 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. The latter also includes any hotels reservations booked through amextravel.com.

    How to use it

    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
    • Take advantage of up to $200 in Uber Savings annually for smaller trips.
    • Enjoy elite status at participating hotels and car rental services.

    Consider this

    If you don’t do a lot of traveling, The Platinum Card® from American Express $550 annual fee ( See Rates & Fees ) may be difficult to justify.

    Why you’ll love it

    For those in the military who like to travel in style, we can’t recommend The Platinum Card® from American Express enough. You’ll earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points when you make $5,000 worth of purchases with this card within the first 6 months. You can also enjoy hotel and air travel perks which, for frequent travelers, may more than justify the annual fee which.

    Are there credit cards for military with bad credit?

    If you need to establish or rebuild credit, it can feel like you have a lot of hurdles to jump over, but there are a number of credit cards for military with bad credit to help you out.

    If your credit score falls more into the fair or bad range, then you might want to start with one of the best secured credit cards. With secured credit cards, you’ll put down a security deposit that is equal to your credit limit (minus fees). As you use the card responsibly and build credit, you may qualify to receive a deposit refund after several months.

    What are the best credit cards for veterans?

    While a few credit cards for veterans do exist — such as the AMVETS USAA Rewards™ credit card from both American Express® and Visa Signature® — in most cases, veterans may be able to join military-specific credit unions. USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union, and PenFed may accept your membership application as a veteran. As a member, you could take advantage of their products, like military-specific credit cards with low interest and no foreign transaction fees, or veteran-specific benefits and cards.

    What’s the difference between military credit cards and low-interest credit cards?

    Military credit cards will offer military-specific perks — such as $0 foreign transaction fees and lower-than-average APR for active duty members — whereas the best low-interest credit cards offer super-low or 0% interest for a fixed period of time. While low-interest credits cards may have better interest rates, they are usually only for 12 to 18 months. Some low-interest cards also come with the opportunity to earn cash back. With one of the best military credit cards, you’ll have a low interest rate for everyday purchases and then an even lower rate during active duty. You’ll also get more military-specific perks, such as no late fees, $0 foreign transaction fees, miles that don’t expire, and cash back programs that include your base’s commissary or post exchange.

    Credit card issuers that focus on service members

    While the SCRA applies to all credit card issuers, some service members have reported difficulty working with their banks to properly apply their benefits. As a result, some prefer to use credit cards that have the same benefits built right into the card, or work with a credit union focused on military members and their families. If you’re looking for a financial organization with a military focus, then these three are the best:

    USAA

    USAA is one of the largest companies that provide banking services designed for service members, and credit cards are just one of its numerous options, which also include many insurance products, home buying services, and a travel agency. It offers a full range of credit cards that are part of either the Visa or the American Express payment networks.

    To apply for any of these cards, you must be a member of USAA. Membership is available to active, retired, and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the US military. Adult children of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy are also eligible, as are officer candidates in commissioning programs. Membership is also available to widows and widowers of USAA members.

    Navy Federal Credit Union

    With nearly 6.4 million members, Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in the United States. It also has 223 physical branches, which is far more than USAA or PenFed. It offers six different credit cards ranging from cash rewards cards to a secured card. All of its products feature no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no cash advance fee, and no foreign transaction fee. Membership is available to active and retired service members, civilian DoD employees and retirees, and household or family members of existing members.

    PenFed

    PenFed, or the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, was created to offer financial services to active-duty and retired military members and their families. It offers a range of credit cards including simple cards, reward cards, and cards specifically offered to active-duty and retired service members. Membership is open to members of the military and uniformed services, employees of many different defense-related organizations, their family members, and even members of the same household of an eligible person. One of the differences between PenFed and other military credit unions is that it’s open to people who aren’t active or retired military. Anyone can qualify for membership by joining a military support organization for a small one-time fee.

    For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here .

    Please Note: Information about The Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

    Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view our disclosures, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser’s page for terms & conditions.

    Jason Steele

    Contributing Writer

    Jason Steele is a full-time freelance writer and expert in credit cards, travel and general personal finance. His work has been featured in The Points Guy, Business Insider, Forbes and Smarter Travel.