Exchange Credit Program Celebrates 40 Years of Helping Military Community

DALLAS – For Army spouse Joyce Fruean, whose husband, Sgt. 1st Class Vaisigago Fruean, has served for 13 years, the MILITARY STAR® card has been a big help financially and in a more personal way. Her most memorable MILITARY STAR purchase was about 10 years ago, when she bought an iPad Mini for her then-non-verbal son with autism, Cupidaris, who was a toddler at the time.

“That iPad opened so many doors for his communication,” said Fruean, whose family currently resides at McChord Air Force Base. “He was able to touch things by himself without having to ask for help. And he liked that it was small and he could hold it himself.”

Recently, the Exchange Credit Program, which runs the MILITARY STAR card program, celebrated 40 years of helping shoppers like Fruean safely and affordably build credit.

In 1979, Congress approved the credit program designed to protect U.S. service members overseas from predatory lenders. In the four decades since, the program has expanded and developed into the MILITARY STAR card, which the military community can use at all exchanges and commissaries. Plus, shoppers can earn rewards points every time they use the card.

“MILITARY STAR continues to be a safe and responsible way for service members and their families to build their credit, especially when they’re first starting out,” said Exchange Senior Vice President of Credit Operations Tommy Ward. “The fact that the program has thrived for 40 years is a testament to its value to the military community.”

Besides helping service members and their families build credit, MILITARY STAR returned a value of $471 million to cardholders in 2018 through rewards, savings, discounts, financing offers and cardholder-friendly terms and conditions, such as no late, annual or over-limit fees and the lowest flat-rate APR (11.74%) among retail cards.

In addition to the iPad Mini, Fruean has also used her MILITARY STAR card to buy noise-canceling headphones and other electronics for her son. Most recently, she used it to replace some furniture in her home.

“There was a MILITARY STAR offer with no interest for a few months [on the furniture],” she said. “It’s a huge help to have extra time to pay it off. It’s one less thing to worry about.”

MILITARY STAR is administered by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. For more information or to apply for a card, visit

Facebook-friendly version: 40 years and counting! The Exchange Credit Program, which administers the MILITARY STAR card, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary of helping the military community safely and affordably build credit. The savings and convenience of MILITARY STAR has helped military spouse Joyce have “one less thing to worry about.” Read more:

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About MILITARY STAR: The MILITARY STAR® card is an exclusive line of credit for service members and their families to use at exchanges and commissaries—no matter where they serve. MILITARY STAR is administered by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. Other benefits of the card include:

  • Two rewards points per dollar on purchases and a $20 rewards card after every 2,000 points earned.
  • The lowest flat-rate APR (11.74%) among store cards—rate is offered to all cardholders.
  • No annual, late or over-limit fees.
  • 10% discount on first day’s purchases for new MILITARY STAR accounts.
  • Reduced interest deployment plan with no payments required for eligible customers.

About the Exchange: Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 62nd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.3 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at


Media Notes:

For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Marisa Conner at 214-312-5111 or

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