Military Folks Save $450 Fee With AMEX Business Platinum & Other Cards

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Did you there’s a way some folks can enjoy the awesome travel benefits of The Business Platinum® Card from American Express without paying the expensive annual fee?

If you are an active member of the military, American Express (and other banks, too!) will waive credit card fees for your credit cards.  Including annual fees!

Military Members Get Well-Deserved Special Treatment from AMEX!

I’ll show you how military personnel can avoid these high annual fees.  And still enjoy awesome travel perks!

American Express Serves You Because You Serve Us

Link:   The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Link:   Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)American Express (and other banks) will waive credit card fees.  This federal law helps financially protect active duty military.

According to AMEX, you are eligible for the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) if you are:
  • An active-duty member of the US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard)
  • A member of National Guard under a call or order to active duty for more than 30 consecutive days (as a response to a national emergency declared by the President and supported by federal funds)
  • A Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer
  • A US citizen serving with a US ally in the prosecution of a war or military action
  • A spouse of an active-duty Servicemember where credit is extended to a Servicemember and spouse jointly

If you meet any of these requirements, (or know someone who does), American Express will waive:

  • Annual fees
  • Overlimit fees
  • Late payment fees
  • Returned payment fees
  • Statement copy request fees

And depending on the credit cards you have, you can save a LOT of money!

AMEX Business Platinum

Until January 25, 2017, the sign-up bonus on the AMEX Business Platinum has increased to up to 100,000 bonus AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.  That’s worth ~$2,000 in travel, and definitely worth paying the $450 annual fee the first year.

The Sign-Up Bonus of the AMEX Business Platinum Is More Than Enough to Take You on a Parisian Getaway

The AMEX Business Platinum also comes with:

  • Earn 1.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+
  • Get 50% of your points back for ALL First Class or Business Class flights booked through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
  • Get 50% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
  • $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.)
  • Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, and American Express Centurion Lounges)
  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Terms & limitations apply

These travel benefits are among the best available from ANY credit card!  But some folks might not think they’re worth paying the annual fee year after year.  Fortunately, members of the military can get this $450 annual fee waived!

Credit card sign-up bonuses go up and down all the time, making annual fees harder or easier to swallow the first year.  But if you can enjoy perks like airport lounge access and $200 statement credits for airline incidentals for free, that’s a good deal!

You’ll Get Free Access to AMEX Centurion Lounges When You Show Your AMEX Business Platinum Card

How to Request Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Benefits

Call the number on the back of your American Express card and ask them to waive annual fees under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.  You’ll probably be asked several questions regarding your active duty service.  AMEX will also verify the information with the Department of Defense.

You can also submit an online request.  You can upload any documents that support your request, like active duty orders or change of station orders.

Note:   Some reserve duty and military spouses have reported they’ve enjoyed waived fees, too!

Other Banks Waive Fees, Too

American Express is not the only bank that waives fees under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  But they’re known for going above and beyond the rest.  For example, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) doesn’t require banks to waive annual fees.

Here is an overview of other banks’ policies for waiving annual fees:

1.   Barclaycard

Not long ago, Barclaycard was the MOST accommodating credit card issuer for members of the military by waiving annual fees and late fees.  Million Mile Secrets reader Matt reported that Barclaycard would even eliminate your previous and current interest charges!  But they’ve recently made lots of negative changes.

Barclaycard is only giving folks in the military the minimum required benefits, like capping interest charges at 6% and reduced monthly minimum payments.

Note:   Doctor of Credit reports that these changes only affect folks who aren’t already taking advantage of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefits with Barclaycard.

If you’ve never applied for the benefits with Barclaycard, you’ll only receive the minimum benefits Barclaycard is required to provide.

2.   Chase

For the most part, Chase is hit-or-miss.  Some folks have had luck getting Chase to waive annual fees.  But Chase isn’t as consistent as American Express.

Million Mile Secrets reader Mary reports that Chase waived the $95 annual fee on her Chase Sapphire Preferred, which she applied for BEFORE she became active duty.  Chase typically likes to see active duty orders AFTER you’ve opened your account before they’ll waive your annual fee.

3.   Citi

Similar to Chase, Citi is willing to waive your annual fee if you opened your account BEFORE entering active duty.  Several data points show you’ll have a hard time convincing Citi to waive that $450 annual fee on your Citi Prestige card if you opened it after you became active duty.

Folks Like the Citi Prestige Because of Its Great Perks, Such as the 4th Night Free Benefit at Hotels Around the World, Like Gili Lankanfushi!

4.   Other

Million Mile Secrets reader Jenny reports that Synchrony bank follows the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), though I can’t find data points of waived annual fees.  This will be handy for many folks, because Synchrony issues cards from stores like Amazon, Dillard’s, and Walmart.

Capital One is also known to waive annual fees.  And this forum says Bank of America and Wells Fargo are willing to eliminate fees, too!

Note:   Even if one of these banks declines your request, try hanging up and calling back to speak with a different agent.  Sometimes agents don’t completely understand certain benefits and procedures, so it’s worth trying a few times before you give up.

Bottom Line

If you are a member of the military, you can take advantage of incredible travel benefits for free!

American Express abides by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to reduce costs for folks in the military.  But they go above and beyond by waiving annual fees on cards like the AMEX Business Platinum card, allowing you to enjoy annual travel credits, airport access, and more.  That’s a $450 discount!

Other banks, like Chase, Citi, and Capital One, also waive fees for members of the military.  But they aren’t as generous as American Express.

Do you have any experience with getting annual fees waived with the  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)?  Let me know in the comments!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.