You may already know that shopping for groceries at the commissary or for electronics at the exchange can amount to significant savings. But you may not know that these stores also offer additional perks like contest prizes, scholarships and family employment opportunities, all while supporting your war-fighter overseas. Check out our listings below for benefits you may not have heard about.
The commissary and exchange system was born when the government mandated retail sales of only high-quality goods for a fair price to military personnel. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll find products at your installation’s post exchange (department store) and commissary (grocery store) you recognize at prices you can afford. Under this system, the Defense Commissary Agency arrived at even more benefits:
- Perks — Load your Commissary Rewards Card with coupons, promotions and discount savings. You can also create a handy online shopping list on the website.
- Prizes — Test your luck and enter to win one of many commissary contests, sweepstakes or shopping sprees.
- Scholarships —Your spending helps the Defense Commissary Agency and Fisher House Foundation provide a $2,000 scholarship per commissary location.
- Recipes — Improve your diet. Visit the Healthy Living section for healthy tips, recipes and the nutrition program guide.
- Gift cards — Forget brainstorming for gifts. Instead, buy gift cards your loved ones can use at commissaries worldwide.
Each military branch has its own exchange. But whether you’re a soldier, Marine, sailor or airman, any military service member can shop at any branch exchange and take advantage of their awesome savings and benefits:
- Contest prizes —Consider entering Army and Air Force exchange service contests to win thousands in prizes.
- Scholastic rewards — The Marine and Navy exchanges give military kids a monetary incentive to work hard on their grades. Check out their Superstar Student and A-OK Student Reward drawings that award kids $5,500 quarterly.
- Family employment — The exchange offers eligible spouses an advantage in the hiring process through its Spouse Preference Program.
- Where You Shop Matters — Expect to save an average of 30 percent when you shop at your exchange. Plus, about 70 percent of what you spend funds military programs like the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program and other services.
- “We go where you go” — Exchange employees are not just found state-side. You can find our retail workers overseas serving deployed service members and providing products for the war-fighter.
- Pay it forward — You can pay it forward by donating a calling or gift card to an unknown military service member at any exchange.
Where you shop does matter. By shopping at your commissary and exchange, you keep more of your hard-earned cash. Plus, you put your dollars to work supporting your military community. The next time you need to do some shopping, visit the commissary and exchange on your installation for benefits beyond savings.