Today, as I was standing in line with a friend at the Base Exchange on Maxwell AFB, there was an airman in front of me paying for her items. It was a lot of items and her total was a little north of $200. She paid for it all using the Military Star Card. I had a slight chuckle internally because I used to do the same thing. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the Military Star Card.
How I first came across this moment? I was first introduced to the Military Star Card back when I went through First-Term Airmen’s Center. There was a representative from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service that came in and gave us a lecture about how to use the base exchange, shoppette, and the Class VI facilities. She also gave an overview of the Military Star Card and helped some of us sign up for one to establish credit.
What it meant to me then? At the time, in the Fall of 2003, the Star Card was “free” money to me. I was pretty green when it came to credit and I think I spent $200 buying music CDs, PlayStation 2 games, and a couple of DVDs. I felt like it was a win-win. I get all of that stuff immediately and I only paid $25 a month on the bill.
What it means to me now? When I learned the game inside the game of credit, I stopped using the Military Star Card. With the 11% APR and me not really putting a dent in my balances through minimum amount payments, I just stopped using it altogether in 2008. I kept it in case I needed something from an AAFES facility and I was in a financial pinch but the AAFES boycott the last few years of my military service removed the need for the Star Card. When I did my final outprocessing at Osan Air Base, I turned in a form that showed I was 100% paid on it and that was the last of my dealings with the Star Card.