November 29, 2022

The best credit cards for active-duty military service members in 2021

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not…

The best credit cards for active-duty military service members in 2021

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

This page includes information about the Discover it® Miles and Discover it® Cash Back products, which are currently not available on Business Insider and may be out of date.

As a newly minted Airman, I was floored when I first found out about all the credit card perks active duty military members receive. After picking my jaw back up, I started immediately applying to some of the dozens of credit cards that offer benefits for active-duty service members, which include things like waived annual fees, lowered interest rates, and even military-specific credit cards. 

Many of these benefits are offered in order to comply with the Servicemembers Credit Relief Act (SCRA) and the Military Lending Act (MLA), which offer financial protections that civilians don’t receive. Even better, many card issuers have gone above the legal requirements and offer additional benefits to all eligible servicemembers, even when it’s not mandatory. 

Though my days in the service are gone (along with those sweet perks), these offers are still available. With waived annual fees for active-duty servicemembers, some cards can get you hundreds of dollars in benefits and credits each year — not to mention the rewards you’ll earn from charging your everyday purchases.

Here are some of the best credit cards for active-duty military — and some of the valuable perks you can receive.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

American Express offers some of the most generous policies for active servicemembers. Unlike other banks, Amex will waive annual fees for all of its credit cards, whether they’re business or personal.

With a huge suite of premium credit cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express, military members can receive hundreds (or thousands) of dollars per year in free perks. Depending on the card, these include benefits such as monthly or yearly travel and shopping credits, free hotel stays, top-tier elite status, and airport lounge access — all for absolutely nothing out of pocket. 

Even if you’re not a traveler, you can still take advantage of perks, like up to $200 per calendar year in credit at Dell, up to $100 per calendar year credit at Saks Fifth Avenue, and monthly credits for free food delivery. Coupled with the ability to earn a substantial amount of American Express Membership Rewards, airline miles, or hotel points via welcome bonuses and bonus category spending, applying for one of these Amex cards is almost a no-brainer if you’re active duty.

Here are our top picks for American Express’ best credit cards for the military:

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Featured Reward

75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
    • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
    • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards

    Read Our Review
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    American Express Platinum 

    The Platinum Card® from American Express is the original “status” card, and has some of the broadest benefits of any card, from any bank. Amex Platinum cardholders receive a slew of valuable credits and perks, including up to $200 per calendar year in Uber credits (good for Uber rides or UberEats), up to $200 per calendar year in airline incidental fee credits on your selected airline and up to $100 per calendar year in Saks Fifth Avenue credits. 

    Cardholders also get complimentary Hilton and Marriott gold elite status and airport lounge access including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs when you’re flying Delta, and Priority Pass lounges. As part of thelimited-time COVID benefits Amex has introduced, cardholders also get to $30 per month in PayPal credits from January through June 31, 2021

    The Platinum Card currently offers an excellent welcome bonus of 75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening, plus new cardholders can earn 10x points at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations on up to $15,000 in combined spending (then 1x) in the first six months. The card has a $550 annual fee (See Rates), but that’s waived for active-duty military.

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.
    • Earn 85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card plus earn 5x points on eligible purchases in 5 select business categories, up to 80,000 bonus points per category, all within the first 3 months of Card Membership.† Terms Apply.
    • Get 50{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
    • 35{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
    • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
    • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
    • Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • More travel benefits than you’ll find on any other business credit card
    • Generous airport lounge access options, from American Express Centurion Lounges to Priority Pass
    • Complimentary hotel elite status
    • Access to Amex concierge services
    Cons
    • Very high annual fee
    • Limited opportunities to earn bonus points
    • Annual statement credits won’t be useful for everyone

    Read Our Review
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    American Express Business Platinum

    The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is the small-business version of its popular charge card. It offers similar benefits while also targeting small-business owners’ needs, such as up to $200 per calendar year in Dell credit (this isn’t offered on the personal Platinum card). It also comes with up to $200 per calendar year in airline incidental fee credits on your selected airline, Hilton and Marriott gold elite status, and airport lounge access.

    With the Amex Business Platinum Card card, you’ll earn a bonus of 85,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within your first 3 months of account opening. Plus, new cardholders can earn 5x points on eligible U.S. purchases on shipping, wireless telephone services, advertising in select media, office supplies, and gas stations in the first three months of account opening, up to 80,000 bonus points per category.

    The annual fee is $595 (See Review), but again, it’s waived if you’re active-duty military.

    Regular APR

    15.74{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} to 24.74{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} variable APR on purchases

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    150,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 3 months of account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.
    • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership
    • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio
    • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants
    • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card
    Pros
    • Complimentary top-tier Hilton elite status
    • Get a weekend night reward each year after you renew your card
    • High welcome bonus
    • Valuable annual statement credit for eligible Hilton purchases
    Cons

    Read Our Review
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    American Express Hilton Aspire

    The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the only hotel credit card that comes with automatic top-tier elite status. It’s an excellent choice for travelers who like Hilton hotels, and because the $450 annual fee is waived for active-duty service members, you can get a ton of value from its perks.

    These include Hilton Diamond elite status, which gets you extras like upgrades, hotel lounge access, and free breakfast, and a free annual night each account anniversary valid for use at nearly any Hilton hotel worldwide. You’ll also receive up to $250 per calendar year in Hilton resort credits and up to $250 per year in airline incidental fee credits on your selected airline.

    The Hilton Honors Aspire Card offers a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 3 months of account opening, and cardholders receive a Hilton free weekend night reward 8-14 weeks after opening the account (and again after each card anniversary).

    Regular APR

    15.74{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} to 24.74{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
    • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
    • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
    • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • $450 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Annual statement credits can save you money on Marriott stays
    • You get a free reward night each year after your account anniversary
    Cons
    • High annual fee
    • Other cards are more rewarding for earning points on your spending

    Read Our Review
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    Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express

    Marriott Bonvoy loyalists can get huge value from the high-end Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which offers cardholders hundreds of dollars in credits and benefits each year. You’ll get perks like up to $300 per year in Marriott property credit (valid on room rates, food and beverage, spa treatments, and other incidentals) and an annual free night every card anniversary, valid at hotels that cost up to 50,000 points.

    Cardholders also enjoy Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access, and a $100 property credit when booking eligible paid stays of two nights or more at Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis hotels.

    The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers a substantial welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. There’s a $450 (See Rates) annual fee, but it’s also waived for active-duty service members.

    Regular APR

    15.74{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} to 24.74{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} variable APR

    Featured Reward

    Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
    • With Status Boost(TM), earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
    • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
    • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
    • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
    • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
    • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
    • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Annual companion certificate benefit, which is valid for domestic first class and Comfort+ as well as the main cabin
    • Access to Delta Sky Clubs and American Express Centurion Lounges when you’re flying Delta
    • Earns 3x miles on Delta purchases
    Cons
    • Very high annual fee
    • Doesn’t offer bonus miles on non-Delta purchases

    Read Our Review
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    Delta Reserve American Express 

    Even if you only fly Delta occasionally, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card offers perks that make it well worth keeping in your wallet. There’s a $550 annual fee (See Rates), waived for active-duty military.

    The card’s benefits include an annual Delta companion ticket (good on domestic flights and including first class), free Delta Sky Club lounge membership, a free checked bag on Delta flights, and priority boarding.

    The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card comes with a solid welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

    While Chase doesn’t waive annual fees for its small-business credit cards, it will waive them for all its personal cards. With a host of co-branded airline and hotel credit cards and Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, military members can take advantage of tons of great perks.

    Depending on the card, these include benefits such as travel credits, free hotel stays, food delivery credits, and airport lounge access. And even if you’re not interested in the reward travel game, Chase offers huge potential with its Ultimate Rewards program, which offers tons of redemption options including statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise. 

    Here are some of the best Chase credit cards for the military:

    Regular APR

    16.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}-23.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} Variable

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. From 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
    • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Get 50{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
    • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
    • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
    • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
    • Earn 3x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services
    Pros
    • Annual travel credit can effectively shave $300 off the annual fee if you use it
    • Strong travel insurance
    • Strong bonus rewards on travel and dining
    Cons
    • Very high annual fee
    • The new DoorDash statement credits may not be useful for everyone, which can make the recently increased annual fee harder to justify

    Read Our Review
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    Chase Sapphire Reserve

    Considered a premium travel card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides cardholders with hundreds of dollars in benefits each year, including up to $300 per year in travel credits, which you can use toward just about anything travel-related. 

    Cardholders also get up to $60 in DoorDash credit for 2021, one year of free Lyft Pink and DoorDash DashPass membership, and Priority Pass airport lounge access.

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. There’s a $550 annual fee but Chase waives it for active-duty military members.

    Annual Fee

    $0 for the first year, then $525

    Regular APR

    16.49{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} – 23.49{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} Variable

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 4 miles per $1 spent on United purchases including tickets, Economy Plus, inflight food, beverages and Wi-Fi, and other United charges.
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all other travel
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining
    • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ Fee Credit
    • Free first and second checked bags – a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip
    • 25{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flight when you pay with your Club Card
    Pros
    • Great sign-up bonus
    • If you want United Club membership, this card gets you it for less than buying it outright
    • Get two free checked bags on United
    • Earns 4x miles on United purchases
    Cons
    • Steep annual fee, especially for an airline credit card
    • The non-United bonus categories (travel and dining) only earn 2x miles

    Read Our Review
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    Chase United Club Infinite

    Fans of the United MileagePlus loyalty program can potentially save thousands of dollars a year in travel with Chase’s most-expensive United Airlines credit card. The United Club℠ Infinite Card comes with valuable travel benefits that include United Club airport lounge membership, including entry for two companions, and two free checked bags on United flights. 

    You’ll also get Premier access, which includes priority check-in, security screening, and boarding, and Hertz Gold Plus President’s Circle elite status which can get you rental car upgrades.

    The United Club℠ Infinite Card currently doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, but it has in the past. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $525, but it’s waived entirely for active-duty military.

    Regular APR

    15.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} – 22.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months)

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn up to 80,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months.
    • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month.
    • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
    • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
    • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
    • 20{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} back on in-flight drinks and WiFi.
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest® purchases.
    • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    Pros
    • Generous annual benefits, including a Southwest travel credit and 7,500 points, plus upgraded boardings and in-flight discounts
    • If you fly Southwest several times a year, the benefits easily outweigh the annual fee
    • Annual fee is low compared to other premium airline credit cards
    Cons
    • Highest annual fee among Southwest consumer cards
    • Doesn’t offer bonus points on non-Southwest purchases

    Read Our Review
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    Chase Southwest Priority

    If you’re a deal hunter, you probably fly Southwest. Owning the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card will drastically improve your experience while also handing you free credits each year. You’ll also get valuable day-of-travel perks and other benefits like up to $75 in annual Southwest credit, 7,500 anniversary points each year when you renew the card, four upgraded boardings per year (A1-A15) when available, and 20{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} off inflight purchases.

    It’s a good time to consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, because it’s currently offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months). That’s nearly enough to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows a designated companion to fly with you for nearly free (just pay taxes and fees) on paid and award tickets. There’s a $149 annual fee, also waived for active-duty military.

    Regular APR

    15.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} – 22.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
    • Free nights start at 5,000 points
    • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
    • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
    • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
    • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
    • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
    • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
    Pros
    • Valuable annual reward night
    • Hyatt points are valuable, and this card earns 2x points on several bonus categories
    • If you spend a lot on this card, you can earn a second free night
    Cons
    • Not too many extra benefits

    Read Our Review
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    Chase World of Hyatt

    Although it doesn’t have as many features as some higher-end credit cards, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card offers plenty of perks and still costs you nothing out of pocket if you’re active-duty military (otherwise, the annual fee is $95).

    Cardholders receive an annual award night valid at any Hyatt Category 1-4 hotel, which can easily be worth hundreds of dollars. If you spend $15,000 on the card in an account year, you’ll earn another free night (valid at the same categories).

    The World Of Hyatt Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and another 25,000 points when you spend $6,000 total within six months of account opening. You’ll also get automatic Hyatt Discoverist elite status, which comes with perks like bonus points and early check-in/late checkout when available.

    Regular APR

    15.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} – 22.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
    • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
    • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
    • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
    • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
    Pros
    • Anniversary reward night can be worth more than the annual fee
    Cons
    • Could offer better rewards on non-IHG purchases

    Read Our Review
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    Chase IHG Rewards Premier

    One of the more generous hotel credit cards, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a large sign-up bonus of 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. In addition, you’ll get valuable perks like an anniversary award night each year worth up to 40,000 points and IHG Platinum elite status.

    You can also save points with the fourth award night free on all standard award redemptions of four nights or more, which translates to a 25{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} discount just for being a cardholder. The card also offers up to a $100 statement credit for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

    There’s an $89 annual fee, again waived for active-duty military. 

    While Discover cards don’t actually charge any annual fees — it’s one of their hallmarks — they’ve outdone much of the competition by eliminating all over-limit and late fees for active-duty military credit cards. They’ve also lowered their interest rates to a staggering 5.9{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}, which is incredibly low for any credit card. 

    Here are our top picks for Discover’s best credit cards for the military:

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to the Discover it® Cash Back has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} back on all other purchases.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.
    Pros
    • Generous cash back for quarterly bonus categories
    • Discover will match your cash back at the end of your first account year
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter
    • If the quarterly categories aren’t convenient for you, you can earn more cash back with a different card

    Discover it Cash Back

    With a rotating selection of 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back categories every quarter, it’s easy to maximize your earnings with the Discover it® Cash Back. Discover’s 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back calendar often includes categories and merchants that fit everyday spending habits. You’ll earn 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases (then 1{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} back) in these categories each quarter when you activate the bonus.  

    In addition, Discover will match all cash back earned at the end of your first year.

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • The information related to the Discover it® Miles has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
    • Discover will match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
    • Unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases.
    • Redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases or cash back.
    • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
    Pros
    • Unlimited 1.5x miles on all purchases
    • Discover matches all the miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year
    Cons
    • Limited benefits compared to other travel rewards cards

    Read Our Review
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    Discover it Miles

    The Discover it® Miles is good for those who don’t want any fuss at all, offering a flat 1.5x miles on all purchases. Like the Discover it® Cash Back, Discover will match all the miles you’ve earned after your first year. 

    Navy Federal is a credit union available to those who are tied to the US military. As an active-duty service member, you and your family are eligible to enroll and enjoy membership, which extends beyond good credit cards.

    While it doesn’t have a ton of credit card options, there is one Navy Federal card that stands out above the rest:

    Navy Federal Visa Signature Flagship

    The Navy Federal Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card offers high reward-earning opportunities and a very low interest rate.

    • The $49 annual fee is waived the first year
    • Interest rates as low as 9.99{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}
    • 3x points on travel, 2x points on everything else
    • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck