Discounts for veterans shopping on ShopMyExchange and the Military Exchange Online.
Veterans as well as members of the military can save money using the ShopMyExchange online portal. One of the big benefits of military life or being a veteran is being able to shop at base exchange stores, as members of our Armed Forces can save a significant amount of money at those locations. These large retailers are similar to "big box" stores like Walmart and Target. There is also an online store called ShopMyExchange. The services carry a mixture of groceries, electronics, household goods, clothes and entertainment products at low everyday prices.
The Military Exchange Online, also commonly called ShopMyExchange, is available to both active members of the military as well as veterans. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service administer this discount store/service across the nation.
Though the everyday exchange prices are good, they are comparable to what anyone can get at the national big box retailers. So why should vets go out of their way to shop at the online exchange? There are five main reasons that the exchange often has the best deal around.
1) Tax Savings on Large Purchases
The biggest benefit of exchange shopping is that sales tax doesn't apply. This can be an immediate savings of 5 to maybe even 10%, depending on where you live. That tax free benefit from ShopMyExchange remains true for internet purchases, no matter where you live.
Over 40 states collect sales tax, and most of them have gone above 7% at this point. The leader of the pack, Louisiana, is just shy of 10%. On larger purchases that range from the hundreds or thousands of dollars, this can represent a very significant savings.
Another benefit to doing larger purchases at the exchange is that their free standard shipping kicks in when your total reaches $49. There is also free shipping for items bought with the MILITARY STAR Card or MCSS items. This is comparable savings to all those online retailers such as Amazon. Now veterans and active military members can both get free shipping.
2) Price Matching
The exchange will match prices for veterans from certain authorized online retailers, including shipping and handling costs. The list of authorized online retailers includes most of the major big box stores including Wal-Mart and Target, as well as some of the larger online-only retailers like Amazon and Tiger Direct. The full list can be seen at the bottom of the AAFES "price match policy" page.
Be aware that there is a list of excluded items, however, such as wireless data cards and jewelry. Special deep-discount sales such as doorbusters and double coupons are also not eligible for price matching.
3) Sold-Out Items
The exchange often still has hot items in stock after everyone else has sold out. A veteran looking for savings on the latest electronics or maybe Christmas toys may be able to find them on ShopMyExchange.
Consider that there are about 2 million service members between active duty and the reserves at any give time, and about 22 million veterans. Even if you double that number to account for eligible family members, that's still only about 1/6th of the adult population of the United States that has access to the store.
The Military Exchange Online accepts a wide variety of coupons. Manufacturer's coupons and anything you can clip from print or online sources are almost always valid. This can add to even more savings for food, clothes, electronics, and much more.
The store policy for matching competitor coupons also applies online; coupons from the authorized retailers mentioned above will be matched, and any coupon (including manufacturer's coupons) can be combined with one exchange coupon unless it bears a "cannot be combined with any other offer" designation.
Speaking of exchange coupons, AAFES frequently publishes their own internal coupons on their Facebook page, many of which are quite valuable. Veterans now have access to all of these savings. Or find a list of free coupons to use.
5) MILITARY STAR CARD
ShopMyExchange allows veterans to use the card to build credit as well as save even more money on their shopping. It is a line of credit that provides more flexibility to members of the military and veterans. There are even cash back benefits and reward points for shopping online with MILITARY STAR.
6) Black Friday and Cyber Monday Veteran deals
Yes, the exchange does both Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for veterans and members of the military (as well as their family). ShopMyExchange willoften have some of the best deals around. When combined with their tax-free status and free shipping on orders over $49, the total price is sometimes lower than the in-store doorbusters that people have to camp out for hours to get.
Saving with AAFES and ShopMyExchange
Veterans do have to jump through some hoops to set up their online exchange account, but it's well worth the trouble. The unique combination of discounts from ShopMyExchange makes it a good enough choice to be your first shopping stop for a number of different items.