Military Exchange Gift Cards

An overview of Exchange gift cards and why recruits love them

Janelle avatar
Written by Janelle
Updated over a week ago

Over the length of a service member’s career, visiting the military Exchange is pretty much a weekly occurrence.

There’s just something about the convenience of tax-free shopping right on base.

Need a wallet?

Looking for a fancy outfit?

In need of a new uniform?

Want to buy sports equipment?

The military Exchange has it all.

It’s basically a one-stop shop where service members can buy everything from uniforms to computers.

If you’re using our app, trainees/recruits can receive Exchange gift cards printed right into their Sandboxx letters. The cards never expire, which makes military Exchange store gift cards the best kind of gift — any time of year.

Have some questions about how it works?

Here’s everything you need to know about purchasing an Exchange gift card for your service member:

Can a recruit use an Exchange gift card during boot camp AKA basic training?

Yes! Your recruit will have opportunities to visit the Exchange a few times throughout their training in order to purchase supplies. They may need to buy stamps, envelopes, stationery, hygiene products, etc. Recruits WILL NOT be punished by their Drill Instructor/Drill Sergeant/Military Training Instructor for having or using a gift card when they visit the Exchange.

Where can the Exchange gift card be used?

Gift cards can be used at their respective military Exchange.

The military has four types of military Exchange stores:

  • The MCX – The Marine Corps Exchange

  • AAFES – The Army and Air Force Exchange

  • NEX – The Navy Exchange

  • CGX – The Coast Guard Exchange

How do I find a military Exchange near me?

You can visit the Exchange website to get details on the closest military Exchange to your location. In the top right corner of the site, look for the “Find a Store” tab to see locations.

Does the Exchange gift card work like a debit card?

Gift cards cannot be reloaded. These don’t work like debit cards. Once the balance has been used, the card is no longer active.

How much can I put on an Exchange gift card?

That’s up to you. These cards may be loaded with values of $25, $50, $100, $250, or $500.

My recruit/trainee graduated before they could use the gift card. Will they be able to use it in the future?

The gift card doesn’t expire and can be used at any time for purchases at their military Exchange store.

Can the gift card be used for online Exchange shopping?

Yes. Exchange gift cards can be used on the Exchange website.

Military Exchange Stores Save Service Members Money

Since 1895, the Exchange stores have served America’s troops with the mission of offering convenient shopping and more savings. Aside from being tax-free, Exchange retail stores save service members money in a variety of ways including:

  • Weekly deals

  • Free in-store pickup

  • Price matching local competitors

  • Military AutoSource (vehicle buying program)

Recruits can discover the benefits of using a military Exchange store starting in boot camp and enjoy the perks for the length of their career. Some retirees have access to the Exchange after discharge, too.

Best of all, 100% of Exchange proceeds support the military community in general. Any time service members shop at military Exchange stores, funds pile up to support programs like armed forces recreation centers and child, youth, and school services.

Additional Questions

You can contact our Customer Happiness team at

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