How To Request Benefits
Applying to receive SCRA benefits, which includes the waiver of the annual fee on your Amex Platinum card, is simple. Just log into your Amex Platinum card account online and select Account Services at the top of the page. Then select and choose SCRA Benefits.
You can upload any requested information after answering a few questions.
Additionally, you can request benefits via the following methods:
- Phone: Call 800-253-1720 from the U.S. or call 336-393-1111 collect from outside of the U.S.
- Fax: Fax the required documents to 623-444-3000 and include your American Express account numbers
- Mail: Mail documents with your account numbers to American Express, Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, P.O. Box 981535, El Paso, TX 79998-1535
American Express will verify your information then process the benefit, which can take up to several weeks.
You can also check your eligibility before you apply for the card here.
Amex Scra And Mla For National Guard
Here’s an email I received from 8 June 2019:
Hi Spencer,Im a veteran and my spouse is currently on active duty for training orders Title 10 with the USANG.;Wanted to let you know that Amex applied SCRA benefits to our accounts, no questions asked.*** **** in Denver
This is a very encouraging data point! Please leave a comment or send me an email if you also have an Army/Air National Guard SCRA AMEX data point.
Active Duty: Military Lending Act
The Military Lending Act waives the annual fees for personal American Express cards, but not business cards.
MLA is not to be confused with Servicemembers Civil Relief Act , which no longer qualifies for waived fees.
Under MLA, you can get the Platinum , Platinum Schwab, or Platinum Morgan Stanley — or all 3 — and the fees should be waived.
Before canceling the Platinum cards, you would want a solid foundation of cards with no annual fee downgrade paths to preserve your credit history. Once you stop qualifying for MLA, your annual fees will hit upon renewal. The Platinum cards can only be product changed to the American Express Gold Card and the American Express Green Cards, which both have annual fees.
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Centurion & Priority Pass Lounge Access
The Centurion Lounges offered by;American;Express;have some of the best food and drink available in lounges in the US. You can get into all of them for free with your Platinum card.
The AMEX card also gives you complimentary membership in the Priority Pass program, giving you access to an additional 1200+ airport lounges around the world.
When you’re travelling internationally or domestically, it’s really nice to not have to worry about food, where you’re going to charge your phone, or if the bathrooms are going to be nice. Lounge access takes you far from the madding crowds and gives you a little bit of peace in your travels.
Amex Platinum For Active Duty Waived Fees
Active Duty service members and their spouses can take advantage of this fantastic offer from American Express!; The American Express Platinum card offers perks such as numerous discount offers, cash back, up to $200 in Uber savings annually, airport lounge access, and excessive rewards points with travel booked through American Express and other various everyday purchases.
Military Money Manual;~ ;The Amex Platinum military policy waives the $550 per year annual fee on the Amex Platinum card for active duty servicemembers and spouses.; Amex waives the annual fees on all of their personal credit cards to comply with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and the Military Lending Act .; If you or your spouse opens your Amex card while on active duty military service, you are eligible to have your account enrolled in Amex Military Lending Act benefits and pay no annual fees.
- Annual fee of $550 waived for US military
- 75,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $5000 in the first 6 months
- 5x points on flights booked directly with airline or on AmexTravel.com
- $200 annual Uber or Uber Eats Credit plus Uber VIP status
- $100 Saks Fifth Avenue annual credit
- Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounge access for free
- No foreign transaction fees
My military spouse wife is also growing her AMEX collection without any annual fees. So far she has the Gold Card, the Platinum card, the Hilton Honors Aspire card, and the Delta Reserve card.
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Up To $240 In Digital Subscription Credits
The Platinum Card‘s new digital subscription credits are awarded in chunks of up to $20 per month . Enrollment is required before you can use this perk.
Eligible digital subscription services include:
- Audible; Plans start at $7.95 per month
- The New York Times; $17 every four weeks for a standard subscription
- SiriusXM; Plans start at $10.99 per month
- Peacock; Plans start at $4.99 per month
Why We Like This Card For Active
The Amex Platinum card comes with tons of benefits a military traveler can utilize. Complimentary access to airport lounges worldwide, hotel elite status, and car rental privileges;all make travel more comfortable.
A generous welcome bonus, a waiver of the high annual fee, and statement credits for airline incidentals all result in extraordinary value for the active-duty military member.
Heres a review of the benefits offered by the Amex Platinum card and an estimate of the value, where possible, that you receive by having the card.
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Heres How To Request Your American Express Platinum Card Military Benefit:
- Online:Log in into your American Express account. Submit any required documents, like proof of orders for active duty, at the document center. American Express says this is the fastest method.
- Phone: Call the number on the back of your card. Once you get to an American Express representative, tell them youd like to request your active duty benefit. Theyll ask you for the necessary info.
- Fax: Send your active duty documents, along with your account number, to .
- Mail: Send a copy of your active duty documents, along with your account number, to:
Attn: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
PO Box 981535
El Paso, TX 79998-1535
Once you send in your request, its possible that American Express will ask for more documents. Otherwise, youll get an official response, approving or denying your request, within 60 days of Amex receiving it. Thank you for your service!
Blue Cash Preferred Benefits
I highly recommend taking advantage of the Platinum card first, but if you have a spouse its a good idea to add the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express to your portfolio. Its grocery rewards are unmatched, and youll get to bypass the annual fee when it kicks in.; It is normally $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 .
Here are some benefits :
- Earn a welcome offer award of $150 back in the form of statement credits when you spend $3,000 in the first six months
- Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases within the first 6 months of card membership .
- Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets
- Earn 6% back on select U.S. streaming services
- Earn 3% back at US gas stations
- Earn 3% back on transit
- Normal annual fee info:; $0 annual fee the first year then $95 annual fee
This is a great card for your everyday grocery and gas spending, which tends to be a big portion of a monthly budget.; As a military member, youre getting a great deal on this card without an annual fee.
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Up To $100 In Saks Fifth Avenue Credits Per Year
Every calendar year you can earn up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits. You can earn $50 in credits from January to June and another $50 in credits from July to December.
The credits are only valid at U.S. Saks Fifth Avenue locations or online. Also, you wont earn the credits on gift card purchases or at outlet locations such as Saks Off Fifth.
You can enroll in this benefit here.
The Service Members Civil Rights Act
The Service Members Civil Rights Act is an under the radar act you need to pay attention to as it gives you access to a number of financial saving opportunities. The SCRA provides both active duty military members and their spouses access to lower interest rate loans and help with other monetary issues. American Express works within this act and takes it a step further by waiving the annual fee.
The $550 is naturally the largest fee you can have waived, but there are other credit and charge cards offered by the company you may want to consider. So, if youre in the market for a new credit card, it is a good idea to not simply apply for the Platinum Card , but to look at the other credit cards that may give you the kind of benefits youre interested in.
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Getting Your Scra And Mla Benefits Right
It can be confusing to make sure you are eligible for and requesting the right benefits under the right law. If you are still unsure if you or your dependents are eligible, you can check out the SCRA and MLA websites to verify eligibility. Note that dependents only fall under the MLA and will not appear under SCRA searches.
These services are completely free of charge, so do not pay an online service to verify eligibility. Below is what you should see if you are eligible.
Once your dependent is verified on the MLA record search, you can refer him or her to a credit card you have and potentially end up with:
- A referral bonus
- Two waived annual fees
- Well over $1,000 saved, depending on the credit card
Some service members have stated that no action was required of them once they opened a new account in order to get the waived annual fee. Below is an example of the letter you or your dependent may receive from Chase if you are covered under the MLA. Additionally, there are links and phone numbers listed with the credit cards below that will lead you to your benefits.
If you arent eligible under the SCRA and have a Chase account, you may receive a letter like this:
Military Benefits By Credit Card Issuer
All credit card issuers must abide by the basic terms of the SCRA. But some credit card companies go above and beyond those requirements to provide even better terms to their eligible cardholders.
The following table shows the SCRA benefits that each issuer will apply to eligible accounts. In some cases youll see that the issuer only provides the basic SCRA terms, while others will go further by waiving annual fees or other fees, or providing interest rates even lower than 6%.
Take note: American Express has told us that its very likely that the annual fees of its cards will be waived, but they cant guarantee that this will occur . We recommend submitting an SCRA request to see if theyll grant this benefit, as some Amex cards would be very lucrative without the annual fees. If youre worried that you wont get a fee waiver, go with a different issuer instead.
Remember that credit card issuers will usually only apply these benefits to accounts opened and balances accrued before active duty begins.
|6% APR for eligible balances before active duty begins||
|6% APR for eligible balances before active duty begins||
But, keep in mind that in most cases these benefits only apply to credit card accounts opened;before active duty begins.
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Why The Amex Platinum Card Fee Is Waived For Active Duty Military Members
The service fee for the American Express Platinum card members is waived due to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act . Enacted in 2003, SCRA benefits include a few key issues when it comes to our brave service members and lending while actively serving abroad, which helps alleviates some pressure at home.
- Relaxation of the civil financial burdens that active military families face. In this case, American Express has waived most all annual fees, but most importantly the Platinum card annual fee.
- Interest rates and fees are capped at 6%. This includes most purchases. In addition, balance transfers that are eligible for this cap must be processed within 180 days of card receipt.
Hotel Elite Status Value Varies
Its difficult to put a value on hotel elite status because the value you receive will depend on how frequently you stay at the associated hotel-branded property.
The Amex Platinum card comes with and Hilton Honors Gold status. Having elite status instantly qualifies you for perks such as upgraded rooms, late checkout, free Wi-Fi, and bonus earnings.
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Why Do Credit Card Companies Offer These Deals To Military
My theory is its easier for them to comply with the MLA and SCRA laws by waiving all fees versus only waiving specific fees. Under the MLA, fees are calculated into your Military Annual Percentage Rate or MAPR. So, if you were charged a $450 annual fee and only spent $1000 on the card in the year, you could technically consider it a 45% MAPR.
There is an exception in the MLA for bona fide annual fees on premium cards. So credit card companies do have an out if they want to start charging servicemembers annual fees.
I suspect that since servicemembers make up such a small part of the population, we can fly under the radar for at least the next few years. While knowledge of the credit card benefits for US military personnel is growing, its still a pretty niche market.
Kates note: We have really gotten a lot of benefit from our Amex Platinum card free lounge access, rebates on Southwest early boarding fees, and I regularly use the benefits section that has things like $50 off $50 at Home Depot or $50 off $200 at Sunglass Hut
Which cards do you have? Have you taken advantage of your MLA or SCRA benefits? Redeemed any awesome trips recently? Let us know in the comments!
Scra Benefit Review Process:
We will determine eligibility and confirm active duty by reviewing any military documents provided and by checking the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center website. If we are unable to confirm active duty, we will send you a written request to obtain a copy of acceptable military documents. You will receive a response within 60 days regarding the status of your request.
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Is The American Express Platinum Card Free For Military Members
While the annual cost involved in carrying this card is high for many, plenty of Americans get to skip paying it altogether. If youre active duty, you can get all the generous benefits this card offers for an annual fee of $0.
This is true whether you choose to be a primary cardholder or an authorized user on another persons account. For example, an active duty service member could also become an authorized user on another persons account for $0 per year instead of the $175 per card thats normally charged.
Delta Skymiles Reserve American Express Card
The cards $550 annual fee is waived for active duty members. Right now, new card members receive 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
The card also gives you an annual companion pass valid on select flights in economy or first class at each renewal, 20% off in-flight purchases, gets the cardholder into the;Delta Sky Club when flying Delta and into the Amex Centurion Lounge when flying Delta.
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Military Lending Act Protections
The Military Lending Act provides protections to service members and their dependents for credit accounts opened during active service. As the name implies, the MLA focuses solely on lending for active service members. The law includes an interest rate cap as well as a ban on forced arbitration, mandatory allotments from wages and prepayment penalties.
While the SCRA caps the interest rate at 6%, MLA relief caps interest and fees at a 36% Military Annual Percentage Rate during the period of active duty. Thats obviously significantly higher. However, it still provides protection for credit accounts that wouldnt be covered by the SCRA.
American Express offers MLA relief to any regular or reserve member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard serving on active duty under a call or order that does not specify a period of 30 days or less, or such a member serving on Active Guard and Reserve duty as that term is defined in 10 U.S.C. 101.
MLA relief is also available to a spouse or child of an Active Duty member of the Armed Forces. That includes an individual for whom the member of the Armed Forces provides more than one-half of the individuals support for 180 days immediately preceding an extension of consumer credit covered by 32 C.F.R. Part 232.
American Express relies on the Department of Defense database of active-duty service members and their dependents to determine whos eligible for MLA relief.
Priority Pass Membership & Centurion Lounge Access
Even if your posting requires international travel, youre likely to be covered by the;Amex Platinums;incredibly;comprehensive lounge benefits. On top of Delta SkyClub access, Platinum cardholders will enjoy a Priority Pass Select membership with complimentary access for up to two guests, and access to Amexs incredible collection of;Centurion lounges around the world. While they can be crowded at times, Centurion lounges often offer an elevated food and drink experience and are worth checking out if you can.
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