Am I trying to sell you something? No Actually.
I also happen to be active duty military and I just found out about something I thought I’d share with you all, because it’s an awesome added perk if you travel often.
In 2003, the US Congress passed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The purpose of SCRA is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of those deployed service members.
Which is very nice, but most importantly after the SCRA was released American Express decided to go an extra step and wave the $450 annual fee to active duty military members for the American Express Platinum card.
When I first arrived in Italy and met my sponsor, within a few minutes he was telling me about this American Express card.
My initial reaction is yeah yeah, that’s great. But do I really need another credit card? I already have 2, my USAA and the Marriott rewards card and I really don’t need one more. (I’m not a big advocate of having too many of those things because honestly I think one is enough). I didn’t even get my first one till I was an Ensign in the Navy at the age of 22. BUT there happens to be one MAJOR perk with this credit card.
Once you get it, login to your account and sign up for the Airport Access lounge pass. This gives you access to over 600 airport lounges from around the world. Which also means that when you are at the airport for layovers or you need to go earlier you get to stop at the airport lounge, get free wifi, eat free food, and drink free alcohol. Hello?! That’s awesome.
Also, with any smart phone they have priority pass app you can download for free which you can search any airport for approved lounges, locations (whether you have to leave security to go to one or if its inside the gates area), opening and closing times, it’s very useful!
Which is why I also applied for the credit card my first week in Italy. It arrived within a couple of weeks (I am overseas, I’m sure it will be even faster if you’re in America) and now I’m ready for airport lounge access, especially since I’m flying pretty frequently.
Once you submit for the credit card and receive it, you must call American Express customer service to tell them that you’re active duty. From this point, they will submit a request to the DOD to test the validity of your statement. The DOD has up to 60 days to reply and once they do, the $450 service fee will be removed, but will not be until the DOD replies back to American Express.
I was slightly concerned when the fee was not removed and I started receiving late payment notifications, so I gave them a quick call to see what was up. In fact I just received notification that it was removed today. It is only free while you are still active duty and they will check every year, so make sure to prepare for that and cancel ahead of time so you don’t get charged.
As soon as you establish your account online you want to apply for the airport lounge access pass. It really only involves you clicking the “sign me up” button but you will actually receive another card giving you the access to all of the airport lounges. Apparently you need this one or a picture of it (smart phone’s are awesome) to actually get into the airport lounges. Mine is on the way as we speak.
If you are an avid/frequent traveler and active duty military member, then I really suggest you look into it.
That’s all for now, but if you have any questions post below and I’ll answer what I can.
P.S. On another note, foreign transaction fees are waived with this credit card as well, so if nothing else that is a huge perk since you always see those fees in any country other than the U.S.
This article appeared first on Dynamic Soarer