Light rain

58°F

Shelton, WA

Light rain
Humidity: 90%
  • MTA's New Transit Center Has Big Goals

    M-OliverTransitCtrThis week KMAS had the opportunity to tour the construction site of the Mason County Transit Authority's Transit-Community Center Project, located at 601 W. Franklin Street. MTA Development Manager Mike Oliver led a tour which showed off many of the features… Read More +

  • 1
  • Tacoma Police Award Medal Of Courage

    tacomadomeThe Tacoma Police Department awarded the Medal of Courage to a citizen for his bravery in saving a drowning girl. Police Chief Donald Ramsdell made the presentation to Noah McDonald, saying his heroism went beyond what was expected of a citizen.… Read More +

  • 1
  • Which QB Will No. 20 Utah Choose For Oregon State?

    footballcollegeThe big mystery for Thursday night's game between No. 20 Utah and Oregon State is who the Utes will start at quarterback. The depth chart lists Travis Wilson "or" Kendal Thompson, and earlier this week coach Kyle Whittingham wasn't giving away his choice. The 6-foot-7 Wilson has thrown for 788 yards and seven touchdowns this season, starting all five games for the Utes.

    Read More
  • 1

Military Members Receive Perks from Top Credit Card Companies, Banks

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_f58539f72b.jpgShaun Egan/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Members of the U.S. armed forces who are on active duty, and their families, are faced with many unique challenges. Thankfully, they also receive several unexpected benefits -- and that includes credit cards. The blog Military Money Manual, written by an active duty member of the Air Force, has learned that American Express will waive most of its fees on all of its cards that are held by active duty members of the armed forces.

Personal Finance Challenges

According to the blog's author, who only identifies himself as Spencer, service members do not appear to be any more or less financially capable than civilians, but they face an entirely different set of challenges when it comes to managing their finances and credit. For example, he says new service members may not receive their first paycheck for six weeks to two months, due to the paperwork required by the massive Pentagon bureaucracy. Then, their first payment is received as a check, before direct deposit can be enabled. Other challenges to their budget include frequent relocation.

"We have to frequently pay for our moving expenses, and immediately put down two months of rent as a deposit, and buy new furniture, so it can easily strain our finances," he says.

Furthermore, Spencer calculates that new enlistees earn less than minimum wage when their long duty hours are considered. Finally, he cites the massive time commitments required by military service, as well as the prospect of temporary deployments, that leave the average service member little time to research and manage their own personal finances.

How the American Express Fee Waivers Works

Cardholders can contact American Express customer care and inform them that they are active duty military, and request fee waivers in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This act requires that banks offer an interest rate of no more than 6 percent on loans received before starting active duty. In addition, American Express appears to be exceeding the legal requirements in waiving all annual membership fees, overlimit fees, late payment fees, returned payment fees and statement copy request fees for service members on active duty.

Service members must supply their credentials to American Express, which then verifies that the cardholder is in fact on active duty. Spencer has also heard from other service members that American Express may even refund fees that were paid during the time the card member was on active duty.

Here's the scoop on what other issuers do for active duty military members:

Bank of America: Bank of America will also go beyond the requirements of the SCRA. For eligible members of the armed services, the bank will waive all credit card fees, including fees for balance transfers, overdraft protection, foreign transactions, NSF, late payments, overlimit, statement copy requests and any annual fees (if applicable on the account).

Capital One: Capital One also waives all credit card fees for service members such as the annual membership fee, monthly maintenance fee, past due, overlimit, balance transfer and cash advance fees. They also offer a 4 percent interest rate cap on eligible loans, as opposed to the 6% cap required by law, which they extend to one year beyond their separation, as opposed to the 180 days required by law.

Chase: Chase waives all credit card fees for active duty service members on accounts that were opened before going on active duty. In addition, Chase offers its Blue Star Deployment Program, which offers a 100 percent refund of any interest and fees charged during military deployment. In addition, Chase offers a line of credit cards for members of the military that have no annual or foreign transaction fees, and rewards that never expire.

Citi: Emily Collins, spokeswoman for Citi, says that "During active military service, service member accounts will receive a 0 percent APR and will not be charged such fees as balance transfer fees, annual membership fees and penalty fees such as late fees."

Discover: According to Katie Henry, spokeswoman for Discover Financial Services, "Discover fully complies with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which for those active duty servicemembers who apply for this benefit, we will, among other things, lower their interest rate below 6 percent."

U.S. Bank: U.S. Bank complies with the SCRA regarding credit card interest rates, and grants all active service members their Platinum Package benefits at no cost, which waives checking fees and annual fees on lines of credit.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

  1. Environment
  2. Recreation

Tweets

HRBLindberg
HRBLindberg - When even your Republican friends say you're better than the voter's guide! #MailedIt

Retweeted 3 hours ago

wsdot_tacoma
wsdot_tacoma - Cleared: Collision on I-5 SB near SR 167 Bay St at mp 135

3 hours ago

SoundersFC
SoundersFC - Highlights...there were lots of them in #LAvSEA: sndrs.com/be8s pic.twitter.com/O8GYyoOXuQ

4 hours ago

wsferries
wsferries - Edm/King - Update - No extended wait departing Kingston bit.ly/9EfdcV

4 hours ago

Public Notices