Home » Credit Card Reviews » The Military Star Card Review

The Military Star Card Review

The Military Star Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jan 04, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Military members and their families have unique lifestyles, including regular permanent changes of station (PCS) or deployments, so it’s only natural that they may gravitate toward service-oriented credit cards. One to consider is the Military Star® card.

To be frank, there are other credit cards out there that offer higher rewards for spending, along with more travel and purchase perks. With the Military Star® card, you only earn rewards for spending at military-operated shopping, food and hotel facilities. And you must be in the military or be a family member in order to get this card. However, the card does offer a low APR and 0% APR for military clothing plan purchases.

We’ll break down the pros and cons of the Military Star® card. And we’ll compare it with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, also a $95 annual fee card that offers more flexibility and perks.

Where the Military Star® card stands out

Solid rewards. Cardmembers earn 2 points for every $1 on qualifying purchases at all military exchanges and other participating locations including shopmyexchange.com, myNavyExchange.com, ShopCGX.com, Armed Forces Recreation Centers resort hotels, Army and Air Force Exchange Service food courts, Express® locations, mall vendors and more.

Easy redemption. Each time you earn 2,000 points, you’ll automatically receive a $20 Military Star rewards card that can be used for merchandise or services anywhere exchange gift cards are accepted. There aren’t any limits on how much you can earn each year.

Lower interest rates. The card’s regular purchase rate is 12.49% variable APR for retail plan purchases, 0% APR for military clothing plan purchases.

No fees. The card has a $0 annual fee. And it doesn’t charge late or over-limit fees.

No points limits. There’s no cap on how many points you can earn and your points don’t expire.

Special SCRA help. Active-duty personnel receive special help from customer service agents if they’re deployed or if they experience a PCS under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Nice discounts. Get a $0.05 per gallon fuel discount and a 10% food court discount every time you use the card. Also get free standard shipping on shopmyexchange.com and myNavyExchange.com with the card.

Where the Military Star® card falls short

No sign-up bonus. If you’re looking for a deal that offers a slew of points when signing up, you won’t get them with this card.

Limited redemption options. You only earn points at military facilities. Once you earn rewards cards for your points, they can only be used where military exchange gift cards are accepted.

Reward cards expire. After receiving a $20 rewards card, it expires six months from the issue date. The cards can’t be replaced if they’re lost or stolen.

No travel or purchase perks. If you’re looking for perks, such as travel or rental car insurance, concierge service, extended warranty or purchase/return protections, this isn’t the card for you.

Compare it with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

Highlights
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

See additional details for Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

More Info

If you don’t think the points and benefits that come with the Military Star® card are a good fit for your spending, you may want to consider a general credit card that offers both straight cashback rewards and more perks.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card starts with a Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel. Cardholders also earn a flat 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. This card has a $95 annual fee.

Military Star® card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee $0 $95
Regular purchase APR 12.49% variable APR for retail plan purchases, 0% APR for military clothing plan purchases 17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
Rewards earn 2 points for every $1 on qualifying purchases at all military exchanges and other participating locations 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Sign-up bonus N/A Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
Foreign transaction fee None None

Where the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card shines is the flexibility you have when redeeming the miles you earn. Use them to pay for travel booked either at capitalone.com or through any airline, hotel, rental car website or app using the Purchase Eraser feature, which gives you an account credit for what you spend. You can also redeem miles for a check, a statement credit or gift cards, or transfer miles to several airline and hotel loyalty partners.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with perks including travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and an extended warranty. There’s also access to culinary experiences, sporting events and concerts and music festivals.

Just know, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card charges a $95 annual fee.

See our full review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

The bottom line

The question to ask when deciding between the Military Star® card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is what’s more important to you: having a card uniquely tailored to your needs as a member of the military or a family member of one, or having a card that offers more redemption flexibility and better perks.

If you’re in the military, having a credit card that understands your unique situation is important. The Military Star® card’s customer service agents have more experience walking you through your SCRA benefits if needed. So if more flexible rewards and perks aren’t as important to you and you don’t mind earning and redeeming them only in military installations, then Military Star® card may be your best choice.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card gives you many more options to earn and redeem miles, including military installations. It also gives you solid travel and purchase perks, unlike the Military Star® card, so it should be considered as an alternative.


Recommended Posts:

Read More

Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard and Walmart Rewards Card Review

Capital One® and Walmart announced a partnership on Sept. 18, 2019, with the Capital One Walmart Rewards Credit Card Program. This includes two new credit cards — a co-branded card and a private label card, both of which offer generous rewards. On Oct. 11, cardholders with the existing Walmart Credit Card will have their accounts transferred from […]

Read More

Read More

Houzz Credit Card Review

If you’re in the process of home renovations or decorating, chances are pretty good that you’ve visited the Houzz website for design inspiration or to purchase furniture and other decor. If that’s the case, you’ll be happy to learn that you can now earn rewards on those purchases, thanks to the launch of the Houzz Credit Card. […]

Read More