Cash-back options AAFES
Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

By Amy Bushatz, and

Did you notice that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) hasn’t had a cash-back option at registers for almost a year?

At the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) the upgrade to the chip card readers meant learning to press a few extra buttons for debit cards and cash back, and getting really confused while you got used to the system.

But at AAFES it meant the cash-back option went away last spring as their system upgraded to chip readers.

And now it’s back.

The issue, AAFES officials said, had to do with a few security issues associated with “certain chip cards.” The problem impacted several other retailers as well, they said.

“We appreciate the community’s patience and are so happy to once again offer this service to the military community,”  Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Luis Reyes, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor, said in the release.

Getting cash can be pricey at ATMs for some military members because using an ATM that doesn’t belong to your bank often carries a $3 per transaction fee (although some banks, like USAA and Navy Federal, reimburse those charges). Cash back is one way to circumvent that problem … assuming it is working wherever you are shopping.

AAFES allows cash back in increments of $10, $20 and $50 at the exchange, the release says, and  $5, $10 or $20 at Express stores, troop stores and military clothing stores.

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