‘Open value’ commissary gift cards also available at exchanges

During the holidays, giving and receiving commissary gift cards has never been easier with “open value” cards – the kind that lets you set your own limit up to $300 – now available worldwide in commissaries, and at Navy Exchanges and Army and Air Force Exchanges.

“Commissary gift cards are a very popular and generous means to give the gift of groceries to authorized patrons – whether they are near or far,” said Bob Bunch, the Defense Commissary Agency’s gift card program manager. “In the nine years since the program began, nearly 1.1 million cards have been purchased and more than $37.8 million in groceries have been bought using them, for a nearly 94-percent redemption rate. That’s fantastic.”

The program has improved much in just a year’s time. This time last year, the open value cards were new and available at only 40 commissaries, while the standard fixed value $25 and $50 cards remained available worldwide. Now the open value cards that let purchasers put any amount between $5 and $300, are available worldwide. The Navy Exchanges had been selling the gift cards as well since 2018, and this past June, AAFES began selling them. Commissaries also sell the NEX and AAFES gift cards.

“This level of cooperation between commissaries and the exchanges is part of an ongoing effort to make the military installations one-stop shopping destinations for all authorized patrons,” Bunch said.

Here are some commissary gift card quick facts:

  • Gift cards are available at NEX and AAFES stores and at all commissaries worldwide as well as through the DeCA website.
  • Cards are good for five years from the date of purchase
  • Cards purchased online incur a shipping and handling fee. There are no fees when the card is purchased in a store.
  • There is no limit to the number of gift cards that a purchaser can buy. It’s recommended that organizations and activities consider buying their gift cards online if they plan to purchase more than 50 cards at a time.
  • Cards can be shipped anywhere in the United States. When shipping outside the United States, an APO, FPO or DPO address must be used.
  • To check a gift card’s balance, go online and then click the “Check your balance” box.
  • There’s a phone number, 877-988-4438, on the back of the gift cards that can handle customer service questions. Customers can also use this number to check the balance on their card.

About the Author