Exchange Credit Card Fees Impact Entire Military Community

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Ward
MEDIA ADVISORY: 11-051
RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2011

DALLAS – Military shoppers patronizing their local Exchange probably don’t give a second thought as to which credit card to use at checkout. What they may not be aware of, however, is that the use of bank-issued cards at the Exchange ultimately costs the military community millions annually.

This year alone, bank-issued card processing expenses at Army & Air Force Exchange Service facilities are already up nearly 12 percent, sapping more than $50 million from the Exchange and, in turn, critical funds that could be used for morale, welfare and recreation programs. Last year, total fees topped the $89 million mark.

One way military families can help reduce costs and strengthen their Exchange benefit is to take advantage of the Exchange’s exclusive MILITARY STAR® Card. Unlike bank cards, profits generated from the MILITARY STAR® Card are shared with military communities through contributions to the military service’s quality-of-life funds.

“Using the MILITARY STAR® Card is one of the easiest ways for troops to directly impact their Exchange and morale, welfare and recreation benefits,” said the Exchange’s Senior Enlisted Advisor Chief Master Sgt. Jeffry Helm. “Reducing these unnecessary expenses can go a long way in maximizing the dividend the Exchange annually returns to the military community.”

The MILITARY STAR® Card is accepted at all Army and Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the Exchange Catalog and the Exchange Online store at www.shopmyexchange.com.

Authorized exchange shoppers can learn more about the MILITARY STAR® Card by visiting www.shopmyexchange.com and clicking “Credit Services.”

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 The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is a joint command and is directed by a Board of Directors which is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Exchange has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) programs. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.shopmyexchange.com.

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 Media Notes:

 For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Chris Ward, 214-312-2714 or wardchr@aafes.com.