Online Exchange Shopping for Veterans

Updated: March 24, 2022
In this Article

    AAFES, NEX, MCX and CGX online military exchanges are open to veterans. In years past, only currently serving military members and their families, and eligible military retirees could shop at exchange stores. The Exchanges operate department stores at U.S. military installations all over the world. These stores feature tax-free shopping, discounted goods, even a store credit card known as the Military Star Card.

    Expanded Commissary & Exchange Privileges for Veterans: All service-connected Veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war (POW), and individuals designated as the primary family caregivers of eligible Veterans under can present their VHIC to gain entry to DoD and Coast Guard installations and some commissary stores; and at point of sale at commissaries, exchanges and MWR retail activities to complete their transactions.

    Which Veterans Qualify for Online Exchange Access?

    All honorably discharged veterans, including Reserves, are eligible to register online and shop at the online exchanges the same way customers shop Amazon. The benefit does not include family members.

    How Do Veterans Obtain Online Privileges?

    The first step is check your eligibility. Go to and submit your verification form today. Applicants are required to submit verification of their military service, but it’s a very simple process. You’ll be asked to provide your full name, last four digits of your Social Security Number, date of birth, and a contact email.

    Successful applicants are taken to a “Thank You!” page which includes notification of when veterans can start using this benefit. Spouse and dependents of veterans are not eligible however this probably won’t stop many from using the credentials of an authorized veteran to make purchases online.

    What Exchanges Can a Veteran Shop?

    Authorized veterans can shop the four (AAFES, NEXCOM, MCX and CGX) military exchanges:, and Additionally, veterans can shop across all online exchange offerings regardless of their branch of service.

    Benefits of Signing Up for Online Shopping

    • Tax-free shopping
    • Military-exclusive pricing
    • Members-only credit options
    • Free shipping on orders over $49 or more
    • Free shipping on any amount when you use your MILITARY STAR Card

    What You Can Purchase

    As with any “big box” department store, there is a variety of shopping options from clothes, toys and games to laptop computers and home stereo systems. But for some shoppers, one of the best features of AAFES online shopping is retaining access to the “Military” section.

    It is true that many veterans won’t have any use for updated/upgraded BDUs or dress uniforms. But AAFES pricing and shopping choices for Leatherman multi-tools, boots, cold weather gear, and military-themed gifts definitely have an appeal for many. Veterans should know they will retain their ability to shop for these things and more.

    Online shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products.

    About The AuthorJoe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.

    Written by Team