13 Credit Card Companies That Provide CASH Refunds to Service Members Under The SCRA

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credit-card-scra-refunds

Did you know many credit card companies are going above and beyond their legal obligations under the Service Members Civil Relief Act?

Many companies are retroactively lowering interest rates for balances placed AFTER your enlistment! Under the SCRA, 6 percent is the maximum interest rate that can, however, in 2016 many institutions are choosing to use even lower rates.

Considering my current circumstances, this is fantastic news.

For the two or three people who truly know me, I’m always looking for a way to save a few bucks. Since January of 2015, I’ve been a geographical bachelor living in Houston, while my family maintains a residence in San Antonio.

I reside on the North side of the city, well outside of the Beltway. I opted for comfort and security, and some would say I’m paying a premium for rent. Between my house and apartment, we currently pay close to 3k a month for the most basic living expenses. I live off of a credit card and typically pay the balance in full (or close to it) before the end of the billing cycle.

Currently, my go-to credit card is the Hilton Honors Card from American Express. I swipe this card to cover all of my day-to-day living expense while simultaneously earning rewards points.

Now the scary part.

This card comes with a hefty 15.49 annual percentage rate (APR).

american-express-interest-refunded-scra

 

Aha Moment With Spencer & Amex

Recently, I ran across a post from the Military Money Manual, which explained how American Express goes above and beyond their legal obligations under the SCRA.

Following Spencer’s guidance, I’ve submitted my request to have my account handled in accordance with the SCRA.

Armed with this new information, I conducted a brief Internet search, searching for a list of credit card companies that also provide similar support under the SCRA.

To my surprise, I failed to locate a substantial resource to share, so I decided to create one.

 

Not Just American Express

Many credit card companies are heeding the call and retroactively lowering interest rates, reducing the interest on balances placed AFTER enlistment, and cutting refund checks.

Now I understand that for many of us, the promise of 0% APR and having our annual fees waived may sound like an April fools post on the Duffel Blog.

But I’ve been able to locate 13 credit card companies, which have been secretly offering SCRA benefits to service members and in some cases their spouses.

List of SCRA Friendly Credit Card Companies

Here’s a List of 13 Credit Card Companies that Go Above and Beyond To Support Service Members Under the SCRA:

credit-card-companies-support-scra

USAA SCRA Benefits


Benefits
: USAA has three unique programs designed to put money back into service members pockets:

  • SCRA: USAA provides service members a reduced interest rate of 4%, for credit card debt incurred prior to active duty. This is good for up to six months after separation
  • Deployment of PCS: Active duty members can get a 4% interest rate, and some fees waived on their USAA MasterCard, Visa or American Express for current balances, new purchases, and cash advances for up to 12 months for PCS or up to 15 months for deployment.
  • Campaign Medal: USAA members awarded a qualifying campaign medal can get all the interest incurred during the campaign refunded on their USAA MasterCard, USAA Visa or USAA American Express.

How to apply: Find out if you qualify online and send in the required documents. Call 210-531-USAA (8722) for more information.

Sourcehttps://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/bank_military_special_benefits_main?akredirect=true

USAA has a card for you

From great rewards to low-interest rates, they've got you covered.



I’m a Soldier, Entrepreneur, and friend to at least two important people. You can find me online at: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

43 Comments
  1. Reply
    Andrea Doolittle July 24, 2017 at 2:37 PM

    Hello all,

    We were approved for SCRA through Synchrony bank (Amazon). When will we receive the money from the interest we have been paying?

    • Reply
      Whitney R August 11, 2017 at 2:43 AM

      Did you ever get anything back from interest you’d been paying after they reduced interest rate to 0%?

    • Reply
      Elaine July 24, 2017 at 5:07 PM

      Took me two months to get money from Synchrony. With the wait!

      • Reply
        Andrea Doolittle July 24, 2017 at 5:13 PM

        Hi! Thanks for responding. Was it by check or did they just apply it to your balance?

        • Andrea Doolittle July 25, 2017 at 7:19 PM

          Eek that makes me nervous. We looked on our statements and they lowered the interest rates but nothing has been applied interest paid wise. 🙁

        • Elaine July 25, 2017 at 7:14 PM

          All three accounts had credits posted to my balance. I requested the refund via online for one and received the check in about 2 weeks. The other two were closed accounts. I’d forgotten about them, but glad Synchrony didn’t! One account emailed me a statement reflecting a credit and the other mailed me a statement showing that credit. I called the number on each statement and requested a refund check through the automated system. I should receive those checks in 10 working days. Together they equal $2600. Happy camper!! I’m a Synchrony fan!

  2. Reply
    Jon July 12, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    Does anyone know how long synchrony takes to refund interest paid? I received a letter and check my accounts. The interest has been reduced to 0% but no credits.
    Thanks in advance for ya’lls help.

    • Reply
      Whitney August 12, 2017 at 1:22 PM

      Hey Jon! Did you ever get refunded interest? And if so.. How long did it take?

    • Reply
      Doug Nordman July 13, 2017 at 10:10 AM

      Jon, we don’t have any recent data on payment times. You might want to e-mail or call every few weeks so that the company doesn’t “forget” about their policy.

  3. Reply
    Ryan February 23, 2017 at 3:36 PM

    I’ve had a amazing luck with most of the credit card companies I’ve reached out to, giving benefits for both open and closed accounts. However, both Honda and Standard Mortgage are telling me that SCRA doesn’t apply because both of those accounts are already closed. Any advice on how to handle that? I’ve read the SCRA and nowhere does it mention that accounts have to be open in order to qualify for benefits. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Doug Nordman February 24, 2017 at 4:59 PM

      Ryan, if the debts were incurred before active duty then the interest rates could be required to comply with SCRA. But if the accounts are closed (especially if they were closed after payoff, not delinquent or sent to collections) then the companies may have complied with SCRA.

      This is a situation where you may or may not have paid more interest than required by the SCRA, but it could cost you far more in legal fees to obtain a resolution.

  4. Reply
    Samuel Guzman October 17, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    Just FYI, I have 2 credit cards under Synchrony bank (Amazon and Gap) and I called in my SCRA benefits recently. They reduced my interest rate to 0% and will reimburse me for interest and fees charged from the date of my enlistment. Happy camper! 🙂

    • Reply
      Al January 21, 2017 at 12:58 PM

      Just out of curiosity, did you obtain these cards prior to your active duty service date or after? I called a few credit card companies, some would not honor if cards if they were obtained after entering active service but after speaking with synchrony rep, it seemed that it did not matter. Just wanted to confirm if this was the case.

      • Reply
        samuel guzman January 24, 2017 at 11:38 AM

        Hey All, my credit cards were all acquired before I joined. But you may be right. Synchrony Bank may be going above and beyond. It seemed like they only wanted my enlistment documents for the in order to reimburse me the interest and fees charged since that date.

      • Reply
        Doug Nordman January 24, 2017 at 10:19 AM

        I can’t speak for Samuel’s experience, Al, but many of the credit-card companies mentioned in this post have offered SCRA terms for those who obtained the cards after starting their military service.

        Some companies offer the more generous terms as a sort of military discount, while others simply comply with the SCRA. You’ll have to contact your card companies to learn their policies. Before you open a new account, ask them about their military terms.

  5. Reply
    Tim October 5, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    I am aware of the difficulties and inconsistencies with Chase approving SCRA benefits for accounts created after joining. However, I’m curious if anyone has had any success with the following scenario:

    I have been AD for about a year and a half and recently PCS’d to an AFB where I am projected to be stationed for the foreseeable future (at least 6 years). I am very interested in the 100k sign-on bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If I apply, get accepted, get the card, then get deployed (complete with new orders)… will they know my [ineligible] active duty joining date (through possibly contacting the DoD) or do they only know the date on the newly issued deployment orders I’ll be sending them as proof of AD status (which would appear to make me eligible for SCRA benefits)?

    • Reply
      Tim October 7, 2016 at 11:14 AM

      **UPDATE: I found out about the DMDC (Department of Defense Manpower Data Center) website where credit card companies (or anyone, civilians included) can look up a service member’s active duty date with only a couple pieces of info (name and birth date).

  6. Reply
    Jae September 30, 2016 at 6:06 PM

    Amazing. Thank you for creating this blog and providing such valuable information. To receive a credit that you weren’t expecting can change your financial status.. i can pay off a few bills, reduce debt and take a much needed vacation.. what an economy booster.. These companies are going above and beyond! I feel SO appreciated!

  7. Reply
    Kristy September 25, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    This is great, thank you. Only two issues – 1, VS # you gave will refer you to call their home office, at 614-415-7000. 2, not everyone with a VS card is the “spouse” of a SM….some of us can be sexy and serve too! 🙂

  8. Reply
    Arnold V September 19, 2016 at 4:25 AM

    Does this work for an already close credit card with BOA? I used to have a credit card with them? The Apr rate was rediculous, which really hurt when you are only a private!

    • Reply
      Curtez September 19, 2016 at 6:46 AM

      Yes, once you submit a request they should review all open/closers accounts to determine your eligibility.

  9. Reply
    Alex Gibson September 18, 2016 at 1:57 AM

    Anybody know if comenity bank honors SCRA on pre-AD debt as well? Or know what comenity offers as a whole? I’m not finding any info on them.

  10. Reply
    Britt September 8, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    I’m a spouse and Discover, Chase, and Capital One all extended the same benefits to me, which was awesome. But I just called about my Synchrony and not only are the extending the same benefits, they drop the interest rate to 0%. I’m blown away right now. Thanks for providing the number to call.

    • Reply
      Rita October 18, 2016 at 6:22 AM

      Hey Britt, I am a spouse as well. When you fill out the form to fax in for Capital One, did you put your information in or your husbands? It says “about the servicemember”

      Thanks!

    • Reply
      Curtez September 13, 2016 at 8:21 AM

      I’m glad that it worked for you. Please share the post so others can see the value.

  11. Reply
    danie August 12, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    US Bank….you had to get the loan before joining active duty…how does that even work under the SCRA?

    • Reply
      Chris September 29, 2016 at 1:24 PM

      If you read the scra, it actually states that it should be applied to pre-active duty debt. These companies are going above the spirit and extending it to debt incurred after enlistment.

    • Reply
      Curtez August 12, 2016 at 9:10 PM

      Danie,

      I’m not exactly sure that I understand your question. Here’s the link to US Bank if you have specific questions: http://the-military-guide.com/credit-card-companies-support-scra/#US_Bank

      • Reply
        Danie August 15, 2016 at 1:31 PM

        i called us bank to get the info needed as our mortgage was with them, they said we did not qualify as you had to have the mortgage with them before joining the military.

        • Curtez August 15, 2016 at 3:12 PM

          Sorry, this article is specifically for Credit Cards…

  12. Reply
    Francis July 19, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Capital ONE is excellent. They went back to 2000, when I entered the service although I got my card in 2005. They forgave the $5000 balance and I had a $3500 credit on the card. Happy Happy Day.

    • Reply
      Maria April 12, 2017 at 4:43 PM

      How long did Capital one take to reply to your request?

      • Reply
        Elaine April 13, 2017 at 9:10 PM

        I applied for SCRA benefits from Capital One (all cards opened prior to AD service) and had a negative balance on my account within a few days. I called to get the money refunded to me and had two checks within 10 days. I was skeptical until the checks cleared my bank! They are amazing!

  13. Reply
    Chad Davis April 15, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Does this apply for credit cards acquired after you joined the military, or just credits card from before you joined?

    • Reply
      Chad Davis April 18, 2016 at 6:31 AM

      Thanks Doug! It is good to see companies doing this. This defiantly cleared it up for me!

    • Reply
      Doug Nordman April 16, 2016 at 12:21 PM

      Good question, Chad, because it can seem a little too amazing to be true.

      The SCRA law applies only to debts (and accounts) incurred before starting active duty. (This includes Reserve/Guard mobilizations as well as joining the military.) However the card companies in this post have been going above and beyond the SCRA requirements.

      When you contact them and explain your duty status (including the applicable dates) they may still decide to voluntarily comply with the SCRA requirements– even though the law might not apply to your particular account situation.

      There’s no deceit or manipulation. It’s just the financial companies doing a good thing for servicemembers & families.

      • Reply
        Gail May 21, 2017 at 8:39 AM

        Just denied by Wells Fargo even though we have been and still in for 23 years. Claim credit debt was before entering

  14. Reply
    Nick March 27, 2016 at 2:48 AM

    As always you find the cracks in the system that these companies will never openly share with service members. It’s a shame we have to even “look” for this or ask. Great resource here. I have at least four of these cards in past accounts and plan to test this next week.

    • Reply
      Curtez March 27, 2016 at 6:42 AM

      Nick, long time my friend! Keep me posted of your results.

  15. Reply
    Joy Dallas March 26, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    This is such a great resource! This a great read for any full time active duty personnel. These companies are truly rising above! I am glad to see our military being treated well!

    • Reply
      Curtez March 26, 2016 at 9:18 PM

      Thanks for the comment Joy!

  16. Reply
    Thomas March 26, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    Curtez, great article and this should benefit several Soldiers. Now, did you forget AAFES? https://www.myecp.com/HtmlPages/MR_DPolicy

    • Reply
      Curtez March 26, 2016 at 12:50 PM

      Thanks. I wanted this article to focus on the companies that went above and beyond the basic requirements of the law. Unfortunately for most of us with a balance, being deployed shouldn’t be a point of consideration in order to qualify for the meager break… Especially considering the volume of Soldiers that are restricted to AAFES, you would think they’d be a little more considerate. Now, that’s just my opinion. We all choose which places we spend our money, or swipe our cards.

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