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How to Get a Credit Card for U.S. Military Personnel?

28 January 2011 by CreditCardsCo™

Anybody serving in the United States Military does so with fierce pride, but getting a credit card while serving in the U.S. Military can be a difficult proposition. This is because of the way the credit card companies and banks accept credit card applications and the address protocols adopted by the armed forces.

One of the funniest things about the whole credit card application process is the way the whole program is structured. A regular U.S. Citizen who works in a job and has an income has no problems when applying for credit cards. A serviceman or woman who is a member of the armed forces, may find it difficult to do so on two counts — one is the pay scale and second is the address.

How Military Income Affects Credit Cards

As an enlisted member of the armed forces, every serviceman or service woman collects basic pay. A soldier also receives incentive pay — which is given as per assignment. The more dangerous the assignment, the higher the incentive pay. Other than these, there are also allowances for soldiers that cover everyday recurring needs like housing, clothing and food. All military personnel can spend their income as they see fit and while simply being in the military does not qualify people for a credit card, it certainly provides them with enough income. That is what most credit card companies look for in an application.

All in all, getting a credit card while serving in the U.S. Military ought to be easy, but it isn't because of another technicality.

The Issue Of Military Address Protocols

Most credit card companies and banks refuse to accept mailbox specific addresses on the credit card application. They require each person to have a physical address to send the billing statement to. Unfortunately, most servicemen or servicewomen are stationed at military bases which usually have a postal address that is a mailbox number. While most credit card issuers know about this technicality, they refuse to change their ways — making it very difficult for U.S. military personnel to apply for a credit card online or through mail.

Filtering The Credit Card Application Process

As an enlisted serviceman or servicewoman in the U.S. Military, it can be quite frustrating to not have choice when it comes to applying for credit cards. The obvious thing to do would be to filter out all the companies who demand adherence to practices as demanding a physical address with every credit card application. While it makes sense to do that for people who work in regular jobs, this condition simply makes things confusing for those applying for a credit card when serving in the U.S. Military.

There are however some banking institutions that have taken note of this problem are now offering credit cards specifically designed for those enlisted in the armed forces. Such people might include family members of those serving with the military, supporters of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Ladies Auxiliary and the Marines. All members in the U.S. Military can now apply for credit cards from such banks. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union also offers credit cards specifically designed for U.S. Military.

Members serving with the armed forces are easily approved for such credit cards. The financial terms and conditions on such credit cards are made keeping in mind the lifestyle and schedule of enlisted personnel. A great example of this practice is that the APR on such cards may only be applied only to balance transfers. The military personnel also have the benefits of delaying payments until a certain date after which the APR will be applied.

Many Choices Among Benefits

Today, an enlisted man or woman can choose among many credit cards depending on the type of credit they are looking for. There are military cards that offer low interest rates (below the average) that last for the lifetime of the balance. There are rewards cards that offer many benefits or perks to those who pay their balance in full every month. Such cards usually charge a high interest rate on any balance remaining in the account.

Overall, getting a credit card while serving with the U.S. Military may be difficult. But once the card is chosen, the cardholder can also enjoy many benefits that an ordinary citizen cannot.

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