A Military STAR card is a credit card that military personnel use at base exchanges. To be eligible for the card, you must be an active or retired military member, reservist or family member eligible for military shopping benefits. The Military STAR card can be used at the exchanges of all branches of service and online at the exchange websites.
Military STAR Store Card
The Military STAR card is governed by the military's Exchange Credit Program. To apply, visit the ECP's website and click "apply now." The site will take you to a logon page where you can register to apply. The Military STAR card program will check your credit to see if you meet acceptable standards. You will also enter your income information. Approval of the STAR card in not a right. You can get denied for bad credit. You can also visit a local base exchange and apply in-store. To contact the Exchange Credit Program, call 1-877-891-7827.
Missed payments on a Military STAR card can have a negative affect on your credit.
Military STAR MasterCard
Until March 2015, the Exchange Credit Program offered a MasterCard sponsored by Chase Bank. The card is still in use, but the program is closed to new applicants. For current cardholders, the card can be used at military exchanges and anywhere MasterCard is accepted. This card offers rewards such as cash back on certain purchases and no annual fee. The Exchange Credit Program is exploring additional credit options to best serve the military community. Current cardholders can use the MasterCard until further notice. Per the Exchange Credit Program, current cardholders will receive letters from the Exchange and Chase Bank in reference to the future of the MasterCard.
The Exchange Credit Program also offers a line of credit for active-duty service members to purchase military clothing. This is a separate service from the Military STAR card and is also governed by the Exchange Credit Program. Once approved for the STAR store card, eligible service members will automatically qualify for a $500 credit limit under the military clothing credit line. This credit line is for purchasing military clothing and authorized accessories only.
Using the Card
The STAR card is accepted at all military exchange locations, both in the U.S. and abroad. There are no restrictions on what you can purchase on the STAR card at military exchanges. The STAR card is not a universal credit card, such as a Visa or MasterCard. Your purchasing power is limited to base exchanges. If you're deployed, you can still use the card and your monthly payment obligation is suspended until you are no longer deployed. If you wish to shop online, visit one of the following exchanges:
You can use many forms of credit at the exchange sites, but shipping is usually free if you use your STAR card. Interest rates apply and sometimes change. However, the ECP states that the interest rate is lower compared to other store cards. As of the date of this publication, your interest rate can be lowered to 6 percent if you are deployed. As of 2015, you can also use your Military STAR card to purchase vacation packages through the Morale, Welfare and Recreation department of the military.
Michelle Dwyer is a U.S. Army veteran writing fiction and nonfiction since 2003. She specializes in business, careers, leadership, military affairs and organizational change and behavior. Dwyer received an MBA from Tarleton State University/Texas A&M Central Texas and an MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, Calif.