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Troops get boost from Chase

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Friday, November 11, 2011
Posted: 11 am ET

Just in time for Veterans Day, Chase is adding perks to its line of credit cards for U.S. men and women in uniform.

The bank is giving military cardholders unlimited cash back for all purchases and eliminating foreign transaction fees.

The changes apply to Chase's Military Star Rewards MasterCard; Air Force Club MasterCard; Army Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) MasterCard; Navy MWR MasterCard; and Marine Corps Community Service MasterCard.

"Service members and their families deserve financial resources that fit their unique needs -- whether they are on base, have been deployed or are anywhere in between," says Emelie Smith Calbick, general manager of Chase card services.

Currently, military cardholders earn 2 percent cash-back rewards at Army MWR, Air Force Services and MCCS Merchant locations and 1 percent everywhere else. Chase charges no annual fee for these cards.

The bank also gives a full refund on any interest and fees incurred during a cardholder's deployment, going a step further than what the law requires of issuers.

In general, an issuer can charge a maximum interest rate of 6 percent on credit card debt that a service member racked up before he or she entered the military.  If the interest rate was higher before his or her service, the difference is forgiven. Monthly payments must reflect the reduction in interest.

"(Chase's) policy seems very generous to service members and their families," says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at watchdog group Consumer Action.

Bankrate contacted several other issuers about military credit cards. Only Wells Fargo offers credit cards specifically for service members. These cards feature low introductory rates and various rewards programs, according to the bank's website.

Should issuers offer more for our men and women in uniform?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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