You can now buy commissary gifts cards at 43 NEX locations.
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced this decision saying they “teamed up to make it more convenient for you to share the gift of groceries with the authorized commissary customers in your life!”
“NEXCOM and DeCA teams have provided a win-win for our shared patrons. This coordinated effort seeks to provide our deserving customers additional convenience, and throughout the year our teams will be continuing the collaboration on other joint opportunities and events for our service members and their families,” said Retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, NEXCOM CEO and DeCA Interim Director and CEO in a press release.
Until recently, you could only purchase commissary gift cards at the commissary or online from DeCA’s website.
Now the cards are in the NEX, near the front registers. When you purchase one, tell the cashier how much to load onto the gift card. The minimum is $5. The maximum is $300.
These gift cards can only be redeemed by an authorized commissary patron, which means the person receiving the gift card must have commissary privileges. If you’re thinking about giving one as a thank you gift to your child’s caregiver at the on-base Child Development Center, double check that he or she is able to purchase items at the commissary. Government employees do not have commissary privileges unless they are a military spouse or retired service member.
Here are five more things you need to know about commissary gift cards:
Expiration Date. The cards expire five years from the date of purchase.
Gift Card Balance. You can check the balance of your gift card by calling 877-988-4438.
Handling Fee. If you purchase the gift card online, there is a handling fee. There is not a fee is you purchased the gift card at the commissary or NEX.
Overseas Shipping. Gift cards can be mailed to APO, FPO or DPO addresses. This is great when your husband is deployed and you know he needs snacks. You don’t have spend time and money buying the snacks and shipping them in a care package. You can send him a commissary gift card and he can pick out what he wants from the closest commissary.
No Limit. There’s not a limit on how many gift cards you can purchase at once. But if you’re the FRG president and you need 10 gift cards with $100 on each card for your command’s Thanksgiving social, it may make more sense to order the cards online.
This decision by DeCA and NEXCOM to sell gift cards in the NEX is just one in a series of promotions that are linking commissaries and exchanges.
First DeCA allowed patrons to use their Military Star Card at commissaries. Prior to this, patrons could not use their Military Star Card at the commissary. Then DeCA and AAFES did a joint promotion for April’s Month of the Military Child. In May, some commissaries co-hosted a sidewalk sale with their nearby exchanges.
What does these joint promotions and sales between the commissaries and exchanges mean for DeCA’s future?
Honestly, it’s too early to tell, but it looks like the line between DeCA and the exchange is becoming blurred. Will these combined promotions increase sales at commissaries? Maybe.