By Sterling Raskie
NEW YORK (AdviceIQ) -- If you or your loved one serve in the military and are about to deploy in a dangerous area overseas, know your savings options. They are generous.
The Department of Defenses savings deposit program allows combat-zone service members to allocate fractions of -- and in some cases, all -- their combat pay to a savings account up to $10,000 per deployment.
The interest rate: a hefty 10% annually, compared with a national average of about 1% on savings from most commercial banks.
Current designated combat zones are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bosnia, Croatia, Iraq, Kuwait, Kyrgyztan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia (including Kosovo), Tajikistan, Turkey (in some cases), the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
Sea areas also designated combat zones are the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea north of 10 degrees north and west of 68 degrees east.
Military service outside a combat zone counts as performed in a zone if the Department of Defense designates the service as directly supporting military operations in it.
Your draw extra pay for duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger.
Army soldiers usually deploy more than members of any other service branch. The standard Army deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan now lasts 12 months. HFP/IDP maxes out at about $225 monthly beyond regular pay.