Military StarSM Card Strengthens Troops’ Return on Investment
DALLAS –The use of bank-issued cards by troops at their exchanges costs the military community millions of dollars annually that could be directed to Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) efforts.
Last year alone, bank issued card processing expenses at Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) facilities jumped approximately 12 percent, ultimately sapping more than $65 million from the Exchange and, in turn, critical MWR programs in 2006. Since 2001, AAFES has paid more than $310 million in fees to card issuing banks, resulting in lost revenues for the military community.
“Traditionally, two-thirds of AAFES’ earnings are paid to MWR, while the other third is returned to the military community in the form of improvements, such as technology investments or capital expenditures to enhance the shopping experience,” said AAFES’ Chief Financial Officer Harold Lavender. “With 100 percent of AAFES earnings going back to authorized customers in one way or another, something as seemingly insignificant as credit card processing fees can quickly add up to a quality of life issue.”
One way military families can help reduce costs and strengthen their Exchange benefit is to take advantage of the Exchanges’ exclusive Military StarSM Card. Unlike bank cards, profits generated from the Military StarSM Card are shared with military communities through contributions to the military service's MWR funds. These funds reduce the tax burden of all U.S. citizens, and are used to fund Youth Services, Armed Forces Recreation Centers, aquatic centers post functions and golf courses that are enjoyed by military families across the globe.
“Using the Military StarSM Card is one of the easiest ways for troops to directly impact their Exchange and MWR benefits,” said Lavender. “Reducing these unnecessary expenses can go a long way in maximizing the dividend AAFES annually returns to the military community.”
The Military StarSM Card is accepted at AAFES, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Exchange activities, as well as the Exchange Catalog and the Exchange Online store at www.aafes.com.
For more information on the Military StarSM Card, visit www.aafes.com and click on the Military StarSM Card icon.
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The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is a joint command of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and is directed by a Board of Directors who is responsible to the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force through the Service Chiefs of Staff. AAFES has the dual mission of providing authorized patrons with articles of merchandise and services and of generating non-appropriated fund earnings as a supplemental source of funding for military Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs. To find out more about AAFES' history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our Web site at http://www.aafes.com/pa/default.asp.