CARDPERSMAN: Cards for Personnel Manual

The following is a standardized reference for users of:

BLUF: Chase, Us Bank, Citibank, and American Express have been confirmed (via user data points) to waive annual fees for service members and certain dependants. This only applies for accounts opened after 01 October 2017. It is optimal to acquire the following cards, in this order, to maximize travel benefits. Unlike “churning” you will benefit to KEEP OPEN the following cards during active duty, and downgrade them after you leave the service or are no longer covered under the MLA.

The articles will be in the format of instructions from the Cards for Personnel Manual CARDPERSMAN which does not exist. This site has no affiliation with the Department of Defense or any of the service branches. There is no implication of any official instructions.


Overview, preparation, instructions for use

0000.0Referral and Application Links
0000.1Determining MLA eligibility, Credit score and 5/24 status
0000.2Terms used in articles
0000.3Organization of cards
0000.4Meeting minimum spends and Manufacture Spend (MS)
0000.5Card use for specific categories


JP Morgan Chase Bank (JPMCB). Restricted to 5/24 rule, two applications every 30 days or else you’ll automatically be rejected. The Chase reconsideration phone number line for Personal cards is 1-888-270-2127.

InstructionProduct NameDispositionBenefit
1000.1Chase Sapphire ReserveAll Travel$300
1000.2Chase FreedomChange to CSR$300
1000.3Chase Freedom UnlimitedChange to CSR$300
1000.4Chase United Club Card*A Lounge Access$550
1000.5Chase Bonvoy BoundlessChange to Ritz$3001 Night


U.S. Bank (USB) must have a previous relationship with the bank to have the U.S. Bank altitude. For application status call them on (800) 947-1444.

InstructionsProduct NameDispositionReturn
2000.1AltitudeAll Digital Wallet$325, In Flight WiFi
2000.2Skypass PremierKorean Airlines$200, KA Lounge Passes


American Express (AmEx Credit Cards). Restricted to 5 CREDIT card max, only two new credit cards every 90 days. Check application status here.

InstructionProduct NameDispositionReturn
3000.1Hilton Honors AspireAll Hilton$500, 1 night
3000.2Hilton Honors SurpassUpgrade to Aspire$500, 1 night
3000.3Hilton HonorsUpgrade to Aspire$500, 1 night
3000.4Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantAll Marriott$300, 1 night
3000.5Delta ReserveAll DeltaComp Pass


American Express (AmEx Personal Charge). No max limit, although you can only get the bonus once every lifetime. No minimum time limit on applications of charge cards. Check application status here.

InstructionProduct NameDispositionReturn
3100.1Platinum ChargeDirect Airline Booking$500
3100.2Gold ChargeGroceries, Upgrade to Pt$500
3100.3Green ChargeUpgrade to Pt$500


Citibank (Citi). Must wait 8 days between applications and then not exceed 2 applications in 65 days.

InstructionProduct NameDispositionReturn
4000.1Citi PrestigeAll Dining$250, 2x 4th night Free
4000.2Citi PremierPC to Prestige$250, 2x 4th night Free
4000.3AA ExecutiveOW Lounges$650
4000.4AA PlatinumPC to Prestige$250, 2x 4th night Free


Advanced AmEx techniques for small business owners (and sole proprietors).

InstructionProduct NameDispositionReturn
5000.1Business Platinum$5,000+ Buys, 35% Refund$400
5000.2Business Gold$5,000+ Buys, 35% Refund$400
5000.3Business Green$5,000+ Buys, 35% Refund$400


Advanced AmEx techniques involving holding certain investment banking accounts.

InstructionProduct NameDispositionReturn
6000.1MS Platinum ChargeDirect Airline Booking$500
6000.2CS Platinum ChargeDirect Airline Booking$500
6000.3AP Platinum ChargeDirect Airline Booking$500