Best Credit Cards for Active-Duty Military

Many credit cards offer good “civilian” perks, but a handful also offer outstanding military benefits for active-duty service members.

To save big on fees and interest during your service, here are some cards worth keeping top-of-wallet.

Top credit cards for active-duty military

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Our pick for: Cash back / paying off debt

Citi® Double Cash Card
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Earn 1% back on every dollar spent and 1% back on every dollar paid off. $0 annual fee. Requires good to excellent credit. 

SCRA policy: For SCRA-eligible accounts opened prior to active duty, Citi offers 0% APR waived annual and other fees, such as balance transfer fees and late fees, during active duty, according to a Citi spokeswoman.

  • High flat rewards rate of 1% + 1%

  • No balance transfer fees charged on SCRA-eligible accounts

  • No penalty fees, such as late fees

  • Charges foreign transaction fees

For SCRA-eligible service members paying off credit card debt — who can avoid this card’s balance transfer fees and get 0% APR during active duty — the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is hard to beat. Its industry-leading rewards also make it a top choice for everyday spending.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our pick for: Luxury travel

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
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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®.. $550 annual fee. Requires excellent credit. 

SCRA policy: For SCRA-eligible credit card accounts, Chase waives applicable fees and reduces interest rates to 4% while you’re on active duty and for a year afterward, according to a Chase spokeswoman.

  • High rewards rate: Earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining. Purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards earn even more: 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining, hotel stays and car rentals and 5 points on air travel. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

  • Rich travel benefits, including a travel credit of up to $300 a year and Priority Pass Select membership

  • Big sign-up bonus: 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®.

  • High annual fee of $550 (after SCRA benefits end)

  • Not a good option for folks who don’t spend a lot on travel and dining

Among luxury travel cards, Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a top choice. With Chase’s solid SCRA benefits, it’s even more worthy of your attention — especially if you spend plenty on travel and dining.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: General travel

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. $95 annual fee. Requires good credit.

SCRA policy: For SCRA-eligible accounts opened before active duty, Capital One waives all credit card fees and caps interest rates at 4% APR during active duty and for a year afterward.

  • High rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar spent on most purchases

  • Big sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Annual fee of $95 (after SCRA benefits end)

  • Not a good option for folks who rarely travel

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the perfect card for travelers who want to keep their options open. Its robust ongoing rewards, strong SCRA benefits and big sign-up bonus make it an excellent pick.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Fair credit

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card
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1.5% cash back on all purchases. The annual fee is $39Requires fair credit.

SCRA policy: For SCRA-eligible accounts opened before active duty, Capital One waives all credit card fees and caps interest rates at 4% APR during active duty and for a year afterward.
Benefits

  • High rewards rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases — an especially good deal for average credit

  • Potential for credit line increase after paying on-time for as little as six months

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Annual fee of $39 (after SCRA eligibility ends)

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