Giving groceries: Help holidays shine brighter with commissary gift cards

Giving groceries: Help holidays shine brighter with commissary gift cards

by Kathy Milley
DeCA Corporate Communications

Note: To watch a video on DeCA’s YouTube page related to commissary gift cards, go to

FORT LEE, Va. – The holidays are a time of celebration for many – pumpkin spice lattes, good food, parties, families and friends. But most importantly, it is a time to celebrate those things for which we are grateful.

Considering the great sacrifice our military members and their families make on behalf of the rest of us, they are some of the most deserving of our gratitude, said Tracie Russ, the Defense Commissary Agency’s sales director.

“Commissary gift cards are a perfect and thoughtful way to show your holiday gratitude, whether it’s honoring military families or giving the gift of groceries to single service members in the barracks,” said Russ. “This caring gift would allow them to stock up on grocery essentials they need for the holidays saving their paycheck to use on other things that will make their holiday amazing.”

Anyone, even those not military affiliated, can purchase commissary gift cards, available in denominations of $25 and $50, in stateside stores or online.

Since the program began in 2011, over 900,000 gift cards valued at $31 million have been sold, said Bob Bunch, DeCA’s gift card program manager. “With a redemption rate of 92 percent, this gift of groceries to deserving military service members and families is one that will be used and appreciated.”

Here are some commissary gift card quick facts:

  • Gift cards are available at all commissaries worldwide – on a rack at full service, front-end registers – as well as through the DeCA website. Click on the “Shopping” tab at the top of the page, then “Gift Cards” and then the “Place your order” box.
  • Cards are good for five years from the date of purchase.
  • Commissary gift 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 gifts cards that a purchaser can buy. However, DeCA officials recommend organizations and activities consider purchasing their gift cards online if they plan to purchase more than 50 cards at a time.
  • Commissary gift 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.
  • For customer service questions, please call 877-988-4438, which is also found on the back of the gift card. Customers can also use this number to check the balance on their card.

“Honoring a military member in this way would allow them to choose how they spend their commissary gift card dollars – whether it’s stocking up on needed essentials or splurging on a huge family dinner – leaving their hard-earned pay for some holiday extras they so richly deserve,” said Russ.

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