Tax-free shopping and discount goods and services sound like a dream. As a service member, they are very real. Find tax-free shopping, great savings and other benefits when you shop at a commissary or military exchange.
Buying groceries at the commissary offers great savings and can make a noticeable difference in your household budget:
- Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving customers thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products sold by commercial retailers.
- The commissary tacks on a 5% surcharge at checkout, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. But even with the surcharge, commissary shoppers save nearly 24% on average when compared with commercial grocery store prices.
- Shoppers can save even more through the Defense Commissary Agency’s YES! (Your Everyday Savings!) program, where commissaries reduce prices daily on hundreds of the most frequently purchased brands.
Commissaries also offer other perks that you may not know about, such as:
- Commissary Rewards Card: Load your Commissary Rewards Card with for digital coupons even more savings.
- Savings Center: Go to the DeCA website for sales promotions and a sales flyer to access deep discounts. You can also create an online shopping list on the website.
- Prizes: Test your luck and enter to win one of many commissary contests, sweepstakes or shopping sprees.
- Gift cards: Forget brainstorming for gifts. Instead, buy commissary gift cards for your commissary-eligible loved ones to use at commissaries worldwide.
- Scholarships: The $2,000 Scholarships for Military Children, funded through contributions, are awarded annually at commissary locations.
- Commissary store brands: Sold under eight names, including Freedom’s Choice (food items) and Home Base (nonfood items), these private-label products provide savings and quality comparable to national brands.
Military exchange benefits
Each military branch has its own exchange, and military service members from all branches, retirees, their families and other eligible patrons can take advantage of savings and benefits. Military exchange benefits include:
- Contest prizes: Each military exchange offers customers a chance to participate in a variety of contests, events and sweepstakes.
- Scholastic rewards: Military exchanges reward military family member students in grades one through 12 who have a B grade-point-average equivalent or better. Find out more by bringing a recent report card to a military exchange customer service desk.
- Family employment: The military exchanges offer eligible spouses an advantage in the hiring process through spouse preference programs.
- Giving back to the community: Each time you shop at your military exchange, in-store or online, you make life better for those who serve. Roughly 60% of what you spend goes back to military quality-of-life programs.
- We go where you go: Military exchange associates, many of whom are military affiliated either as a retiree or family member, voluntarily deploy under harsh conditions to serve warfighters in contingency locations around the world.
- Shop safely online: You can shop 24/7 through secure websites, and get free shipping on purchases of $49 or more and for any items purchased with a MILITARY STAR® credit card.
- Extra friendly credit terms: The MILITARY STAR® card’s interest rate is one of the lowest in the country among store cards.
- Get special deals overseas: If you’re stationed overseas for at least 30 days, you can typically buy a car tax-free and may even be able to ship it back to the United States for free.
- Contactless shopping: The Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s curbside pickup and the Navy Exchange’s Pick/Up Program allow customers to safely pick up merchandise curbside at select locations. Orders are ready for pickup within 48 hours of being placed.
- Private-label merchandise: Military exchanges offer private-label merchandise in categories throughout the store to save customers even more.