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Air Force Clubs transition from credit card system to virtual portal, app

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- The Air Force is revolutionizing its club membership program in the coming months, to include a transition away from a club credit card to the Air Force Club Member Portal.

“Our members are important to us and the credit card membership system was their number one complaint,” said Jonathan Boyd, the Air Force Services Activity chief of nonappropriated fund food and beverage operations. “We’ve changed that and much more with this new portal and we’re very excited to roll it out to our current members and offer it to all of our active-duty force, reservists, retirees and Department of Defense civilians.”

The new Air Force Club Member Portal begins at six pilot bases in May 2017 before being rolled out across the Air Force in late summer. The web- and app-based system allows members to choose their payment methods and receive real-time event information directly on their smart devices.

Currently, member dues are charged to a specific bank-affiliated club membership credit card.

“The beauty of the new system is that members can now use their credit or debit card of choice,” Boyd said. “It’s an easy process … you simply update your profile using your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.”

Members without easy access to smart devices or computers can stop by their local club for assistance.

The new Air Force Club Member Portal system also standardizes payment dates for membership dues. Currently, members are charged dues at different times during the month. All members will now be charged dues on the 15th of each month.

In addition to more freedom with dues payment methods, members will be better informed about club programs and events in real time through the web portal and an application on their smart devices.

“Through the club portal, club members will have easy access to a wide variety of information such as events and special programs scheduled, meal specials and other notifications in near real time,” Boyd said. “We’re also exploring the ability to expand information provided to include what’s happening at morale, welfare and recreation activities across the installation.”

AFSVA partnered with MemberPlanet to host the new Air Force Club Member Portal. Current member information will automatically be loaded on the club portal so members simply log in and update payment information.

The free MemberPlanet app is available in the App Store and Google Play.

“Once you’ve updated your account, you can select your preferred method of payment with the system accepting all credit cards and electronic bank drafts,” said Boyd.

Since members won’t have physical cards to prove membership, they’ll now show their digital membership card through the MemberPlant App on their smart devices.

“We understand some members may still wish to carry a physical club card,” Boyd said. “The digital card can be printed at home and shown when they visit the club. Some clubs may also be able to print the cards for our members and laminate them.”

Although there are many changes in the program, several important things remain the same, according to Boyd.

“Dues are remaining the same, club membership is valid at all Air Force clubs and members can cancel their membership at any time,” he said. “And, when our members deploy, their dues will still be waived. They simply talk to their club managers to initiate the pause on their accounts."

“Air Force club membership is a tradition,” said Col. Donna Turner, the AFSVA commander. “It’s where our Airmen experience, learn and share our Air Force culture. Our clubs provide resiliency to our Airmen and their families. This new approach to membership will make it easier for our Airmen to stay connected with our Air Force tradition and build on the culture and esprit de corps established by those who have previously served.”

Air Force team members – active-duty members, reservists, retirees and DOD civilians – who would like to join the club can visit their installation club or go to their local force support squadron’s website during the transition.