The Exchange is the military department and drug store. Active Duty, Guard and Reserve personnel, and their dependents have unlimited shopping privileges at any exchange. A military ID is required. The Exchange Stores can be found on military posts and ships throughout the world.
The Exchange system is made up of separate components, which are separated out by military branch – AAFES (Army – PX and Air Force – BX), NEXCOM (Navy – NEX), MCX (Marines), and Coast Guard (CGES). All are independent companies regulated by the Department of Defense. Though they may be similar in many ways as couponers we need to understand that each will have different sales and different policies in place. So we need to look at each other them separately.
This page will look solely at the policies of AAFES. These do not necessarily apply to the other Exchanges.
Army and Air Force Exchange Services (also know as AAFES or The Exchange) is the largest of the systems. The Exchange operates more than 3,100 facilities worldwide, in more than 30 countries, five U.S. territories and 50 states. The Exchange operates some 180 retail stores and more than 2,000 fast food restaurants, such as Taco Bell, Burger King, Popeyes and Cinnabon.
AAFES maintains that prices for all items in their stores will be consistent throughout all stores in the world. A direct quote on prices: “AAFES provides consistent, worldwide pricing by adhering to a standard price list. This strategy ensures troops find low cost goods at any Exchange including those in OIF/OEF. Some stores may feature sales on selected merchandise, but otherwise prices should be consistent.” So as couponers we can be confident that deals found by others should be consistent in all stores.
Main website: The Exchange
Facebook Page: AAFES, Your Military BX/PX (Official Page) | Facebook
Contact Us Page: The Exchange | Customer Relations
Phone Number: (800) 527-2345
AAFES has a written coupon policy that all stores are expected to follow. The details are below, and can also be located at The Exchange | Customer Relations | Coupon Acceptance Policy
Coupon Acceptance Policy
The Exchange accepts online coupons. This change in strategy supports the Exchange Strategic Plan to develop a lifelong emotional connection with our customers.
Coupons are redeemable as a cash substitute for legal tender when purchasing the items specified on the coupon. The Exchange facilities will accept all valid coupons when redeemed in accordance with the terms stipulated on the coupon, and ensure that the terms of the agreement printed on each coupon are followed.
After redemption, coupons become part of the facilities’ overall cash flow and must be safeguarded and properly accounted for.
REDEMPTION OF MANUFACTURER’S COUPONS
• We will accept one Exchange-issued online and one manufacturer’s online coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits that practice.
• The following elements must be present for the coupon to be valid:
o The words “Manufacturer Coupon”
o A message to the retailer specifying the terms and conditions for accepting the coupons
o A scan-able bar code and an expiration date
o A manufacturer redemption address to ensure the coupon can be processed for payment
o Usage policies in small print containing standard terminology, such as “limit one coupon per item, per customer” and “no copies permitted”
o A specially stated face value, e.g., “50 cents” or an “up to” or “no more than” value (“value no more than $5.00″)
• For coupons with an open dollar value, cashiers must fill in the coupon with the Exchange sale price to qualify for redemption.
• Coupons do not carry cash value. In situations where the coupon’s value is greater than the sale price of the designated item, the item’s sale price becomes the face value of the coupon. Our cash registers are programmed to only take the value of that item, regardless if the coupon is more than the item itself.
Some points to take from this policy – IPs are accepted, no overage is allowed, stacking is allowed but only with an AAFES store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon. This concept of stacking is often confused by couponers – the coupons found in the store that say “Exchange only” or “military only” are still manufacturer’s coupons and cannot be used to stack. Store coupons that can be stacked are only found online (ie their Facebook page) or in store ads or flyers. Store coupons will begin with 0 or 6, while manufacturer’s coupon begin with a 5 or 9 in a traditional UPC barcode or will have the new GS1 Data barcode. Two manufacturer’s coupons, even if they say exchange only, cannot be stacked together. AAFES only recently introduced their coupon policy. Before a year ago they had only occasional coupons used in their store, and never at the volume of Avid Couponers. This is new to them and they are trying their best to remain fair and coupon friendly.
Price Match Policy
Another program that couponers will like about AAFES is the price match policy. This can allow us to shop one store instead of multiple stores via price matching. Also, since there is no tax charged at the Exchange we will save even more. Below is a breakdown of the price match policy, which can also be seen here: The Exchange | Customer Relations | Price Match Policy
Price Match Policy
Although the Exchange has always price matched overseas, this guidance provides additional information concerning how to process these transactions. For overseas locations, use the conversion buy exchange rate that is posted in the cashier’s cage. This is a daily exchange rate that has been obtained from the local community bank or the military finance office. This exchange rate is valid until such time that the next day’s rate has been posted.
Exchange Retail Program
1. The Exchange retail stores will match a local competitor’s current price on any identical stock assortment item for the customer who makes the price challenge. “Identical” is defined as the same brand, same manufacturer, and same model number. For softlines, an identical item has to be the same size, color, brand and style. Though advertised most heavily in main stores, it is important to remember that our We’ll Match It! policy applies to all the Exchange retail stores, to include Shoppettes, Class Six, Car Care, and troop stores. This applies to all normally carried items whether they are in stock or not. An example of this would be tires that are line priced on the contract; we realize space is an issue and that most tires are ordered. These types of orders would not be considered special orders.
2. The Exchange retail stores worldwide will accept oral price challenges (based on the customer’s word) on identical stock assortment items from local competitors. Price differences up to $10 will be honored on the spot. A local competitor is defined as a retailer doing business in the community where the Exchange is located to include warehouse clubs. This includes the Exchange, Navy and Marine exchanges.
3. The Exchange retail stores worldwide have a 14-Day Price Guarantee on any item originally purchased from the Exchange and subsequently sold at a lower price by the Exchange, or any local competitor.
4. The Exchange retail stores worldwide will not accept price match challenges from any outside retail catalog or outside internet site.
5. The Exchange retail stores worldwide will match pricing on identical items found in the Exchange Catalog or shopmyexchange.com with the exception of the following categories: fine jewelry, collectible giftware, crystal and closeouts. In addition, Special Orders and Exchange Online Mall are excluded as well as Wireless Phones and Wireless Data Cards.
There are two types of price challenges:
1. Regular – To get a reduced price, a customer must bring in a current competitor’s ad. If the customer making the challenge does not have such an ad, verify the price by getting the ad or calling the competitor. A “local competitor’s current ad” is defined as an ad which clearly shows inclusive current dates and is sponsored by a retailer doing business in the community where the Exchange is located. This includes Navy and Marine exchanges, plus other Exchanges which may have developed their own local promotion fliers.
2. Oral – A customer may tell us they know our price is higher than a competitor’s. We will accept their word and charge the lower price up to a difference of $10. This will be approved immediately by the cashier-checker or sales associate. No competitor’s ad or any other proof is required. Price challenges under $10 do not require supervisor or managerial approval. Price challenges over $10 should have such approval before being given.
When to Give a Price Break
To get the price break, the competitor’s item must be identical to the item in the Exchange store. “Identical” is defined as: same brand, same manufacturer, and same model number. For softlines, an identical item has to be the same size, color, brand and style.
If it is uncertain whether or not an item is identical, a “common sense approach” will be used and we will give the customer the benefit of the doubt — ensuring the credibility of the program.
Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com
1. The Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com will match a lower price (including shipping and handling) from other online retailers on any identical stock assortment item currently available for sale and delivery to the customer’s area. “Identical” is defined as: same brand, same manufacturer, and same model number. For softlines, an identical item has to be the same size, color, brand and style. Exceptions include refurbished items, used items, auctioned items, fine jewelry, collectible giftware, crystal, closeouts, special orders and Exchange Online Mall concession sites.
2. The Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com will match the Exchange retail stores pricing on identical items found in an Exchange retail store. Normal shipping and handling charges will apply. Fine jewelry, collectible giftware, crystal, closeouts, special orders, and Exchange Online Mall concession sites are excluded.
3. The Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com have a 14-Day Price Guarantee on any item originally purchased from the Exchange Catalog or shopmyexchange.com and subsequently sold at a lower price by the Exchange Catalog, shopmyexchange.com, or any competitor. The 14-Day Price Guarantee does not apply to Exchange Online Mall concession sites or special orders.
4. To receive the reduced price the customer must contact our Customer Relations Department.
5. The We’ll Match It! Program does not apply to Exchange Online Mall concession sites.
Program Exceptions (The Exchange Retail, the Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com)
1. The Exchange Retail, Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com will not match prices on auction sites, refurbished goods, gray market items and unauthorized dealers.
2. The Exchange Retail, Exchange Catalog and shopmyexchange.com will not match commissary prices.
3. Other exclusions include: bonus or free offers, clearance prices, and closeout prices. Exclusions also include special orders service contracts, automotive labor and services, special order automotive parts, installation, delivery, or assembly services. Other items include mail in rebates, instant “In-store” rebates, store coupons, double and triple coupon offers, flat percentage off items, and gasoline. This also includes items advertised as special offers or promotions, free-with-purchase offers, limited quantity offers, bundled promotions and special financing.
4. In Military Clothing stores, official military clothing and accessories are excluded.
5. Any store selling tobacco cannot accept price challenges for sale prices that are below the cost to the Exchange.
6. Alcohol price challenges will only be accepted from within the state or district of the Exchange.
Should you have a question concerning a price contact our Customer Relations Department.
What to take from the policy – Price matching is allowed for like items from local competitors (each store determines which stores are competitors), the items must match, and no ad is required if its a difference of less than $10. I still strongly recommend you bring the ad anyway to maintain legitimacy. For those in areas with multiple military branches its nice to see that you can price match the NEX and such.
Price Match and Coupons Together
So luckily AAFES made it fairly clear on which coupons they accept and how you can price match an item. But they failed to explain whether you can do both together. But with further inquiry we found that yes you can! The problem can be getting your cashier to understand this. When this issue arose AAFES responded with this answer (courtesy of thebramblett4):
Thank you again for sending us your message regarding your recent visit at our ****** Exchange. We are also very sorry to hear that you had difficulty trying to apply coupons along with our price match program and that our service was not the quality that you have come to expect from the Exchange.
As the times are changing, we are currently refreshing our Coupon Acceptance Policy to reflect these changes as well. While we work diligently to communicate these changes to all of our associates, during this process, from time to time, we may run into previous redemption stipulations in which situations like yours may occur. Please be assured that we are making every effort to ensure that coupon redemption is a smooth process for everyone. We have already been in contact with several people within our organization, and we are developing further training for our associates.
Regarding the questions you posed in your original message, the Exchange allows you to apply a price match and, then, you may apply a coupon(s) toward the same item in accordance with the terms stated in both our Coupon Acceptance Policy and the terms stipulated on the coupon(s). When redeeming manufacturer’s coupons, so long as neither coupon prohibits, you may combine an Exchange coupon along with a manufacturer’s coupon. Also, please note that a Military coupon is a manufacturer’s coupon and will be treated in the same manner at redemption.
Along with our sincere apology, please accept the Exchange gift card that we are mailing to the address provided in your original message. We hope that you will give us another chance to provide you with a smooth check-out process along with the quality customer service that you deserve, and that all of your future experiences with the Exchange are pleasant ones.
Your Exchange Social Media Team
I recommend, as I do for all stores, that you print a copy of the Coupon Policy, Price Match Policy, and the Clarification letter and always carry these with you. Make sure you follow all the rules and are courteous. If you encounter a problem in a store ask for a manager. Politely show the cashier the policies. If these steps do not resolve the issue I recommend you leave and contact AAFES. They generally respond efficiently, appropriately, and consistently. AAFES is still very new to couponers and they are trying their best to handle situations appropriately.