Veterans Online Shopping Benefit FAQ

Q When does the Veterans online shopping benefit start?

A Beginning Nov. 11, 2017, we will once again be able to serve honorably discharged Veterans online through a lifelong exchange benefit.

Q Will Veterans be able to shop on any of the exchange websites?

A Yes, any authorized Veteran will be able to enjoy tax-free shopping across all of the exchanges’ websites.

Q Why is the department extending a Veterans online shopping benefit to America’s honorably discharged Veterans?

A Currently, only 20-year “retired” and 100% disabled Veterans (and all active-duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel) are eligible to shop military exchanges. Expanding online exchange shopping benefits is a modest recognition of honorably discharged Veterans’ service to our Nation, especially since the vast majority of Veterans who served honorably do not meet the 20-year criteria to retain lifetime exchange benefits. The Veterans online shopping benefit represents an opportunity to strengthen funding of Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs in support of service members’ and their families’ Quality of Life.

Q If Veterans will soon be able to shop online, why can’t they shop in the brick-and-mortar exchange stores?

A DoD’s policy change to extend a lifetime online shopping benefit to Veterans is specific to online shopping only and does not include access to brick-and-mortar exchanges.

Visiting brick-and-mortar stores, many of which are on limited-access bases, involves logistics and policy issues to include credentialing, base access, etc. that could strain resources at already busy locations. Offering Veterans an exchange online benefit is a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to recognize their service without increasing costs to the DoD or overburdening the current infrastructure.

Q Can Veterans’ family members participate? Why not?

A The Veterans online shopping benefit allows authorized Veterans access to the exchanges’ online offerings. DoD’s policy change to extend this benefit to honorably discharged Veterans did not extend access to their family members due to a determination that the costs associated with collecting and tracking these individuals in the database used for eligibility verification would be prohibitive.

Q What happens to the profits that are generated from this initiative? How will the extra revenue be used?

A Each exchange has a mission to support military Quality-of-Life programs through dividends generated. Consistent with each exchange’s current dividend policy, Veterans online shopping benefit earnings will support military Quality-of-Life programs.

Beyond additional support for these important services, additional authorized shoppers enables the Exchange to have improved buying power to deliver better pricing and assortment for every member of the military community.

Q How will Veterans be verified to enter the exchanges’ websites? How can Veterans check whether they have access to the benefit?

A The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) is the sole source for verification data of authorized exchange shoppers. Veterans who are qualified to shop under the newly approved Veteran’s Online Shopping Benefit should visit in order to be verified. The website is being built to enable Veterans to check their authentication status before Veterans Day 2017. will access DEERS records and inform Veterans if their records are complete and have the proper discharge status.  In cases where a Veteran’s information is incomplete, will provide guidance. As soon as the website is available, the Exchange will post information on our Facebook page and

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  1. Jose J De Luna on June 11, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    I’d like to sign up for the online exchange privileges.

    • Steve Smith on June 12, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Mr. De Luna:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post and a very special thank you for serving our country.

      To sign up, go here:

      Steve Smith
      The Exchange Post

  2. valentine hallinan on July 28, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    What is the present shopping status for overseas veterans and retired AAFES personnel with 30 years service?.

    • Steve Smith on July 30, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. Let me get your answer and I’ll get back to you.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  3. Bruce Clements on August 15, 2018 at 1:14 am

    I served for 4 years back in the late 1950-s and early 60-s; I was not issued a DOD number, but I was verified by I cannot sign up to an exchange without the DOD number. We old timers are having to work hard to get this benefit. Who do I phone now?

    • Steve Smith on August 15, 2018 at 11:43 am

      Mr. Clements:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. Let me get the information and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  4. Dawn Creech on September 27, 2018 at 4:04 am

    Do i get verified under my military maiden name, or my current married name.

  5. Harold E De Lellis on December 4, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Does this program apply to me? I am retired AAFES with 3 year honorable discharge from the Army..My wife and I live in Germany and do
    not have Postal and Base privileges> I already have an approved Star Card Application..

    • Steve Smith on December 6, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Mr. De Lellis:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. Please go to to find all of your answers.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  6. Raymond Glezman on December 10, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Please sign me up for the program. I am an Air force veteran.

    • Steve Smith on December 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Mr. Giezman:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post.

      To sign up, please go to

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

      • Laurence Harlan on December 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm

        I am a honorably discharged USMC vet from 1957 to 61. Every time I try to sign up I am shut down because my identification is under a serial number, 1802548 instead of the social security number. What does it take?

        • Steve Smith on December 12, 2018 at 2:42 pm

          Mr. Harlan:

          Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. I have forwarded your information along to the folks who can help you.

          Steve Smith
          Editor, The Exchange Post

  7. William Funk on December 11, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I am an honorably discharged Marine Corps Officer and Vietnam Veteran. I am not disabled. Am I eligible? Also, when I attempted to register I was advised that the last 4 digits of my SSN was not sufficient and requested to provide my full SSN, which makes me nervous. Is this common?

    • Steve Smith on December 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Mr. Funk:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post. Please go to where you’ll find all your answers.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

      • William Funk on December 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm

        I will take your reply as a “No,” since it says …retirees and 100% disabled Veterans.” I find this misleading. If only a special category of “Veteran” is required, then why not state that so as to avoid attempts to be encouraged t respond? I find this disturbing because the solicitation at first requested the last 4 digits of my SSN and name and email address, THEN said my full number was needed, which is when I backed off and approached you. My concern is not only that I apparently wasted my time, but I have provided information that could be sold or passed on for further unwanted solicitations. In fact, I did not seek this solicitation which leads me to believe my info was passed on to the and I have already received contact from the store site. Is my information sold or passed on?

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