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Many airlines and hotels offer U.S. military members discounts and perks when traveling. Even when you aren't traveling on orders, members of the military can get free checked bags and priority boarding on airlines, military travel discounts and even elite status at some hotel brands.
To maximize your military travel benefits, you'll want to utilize perks available through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA. Card issuers like Citi and Barclays offer military members , while Chase may . Many of these credit cards offer generous travel benefits.
Here, we're going to focus on non-card-related military travel discounts and other travel benefits for veterans.
Many airlines and hotel brands offer some version of military travel discounts. Some of these travel discounts are available to all military members; however, some airlines and hotels only offer discounts through an organization called .
This membership-based organization isn't free. Members need to pay $9.99 per month or $59.95 (plus a $4.95 processing fee) for a full year of membership. So you'll want to make sure that you save more than this from your membership before you sign up.
Active duty military, veterans, retired military and spouses and dependents of active-duty, veterans and retired military can save $30 on a . All Costco members have access to Costco Travel, which is an online travel agency that offers everyday savings on travel expenses exclusively for members.
Veterans Advantage offers many airline discounts, including:
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Also, a couple of airlines offer military travel discounts directly:
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In addition to discounts on flights, airlines offer travel benefits for active U.S. military service members such as free checked bags — even when flying for personal travel.
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Some airlines go beyond just offering free checked bags to military members. Here are the airlines that offer perks like priority boarding and lounge access:
Active military members and veterans can also save at many hotel brands.
Veterans Advantage also partners with many hotel brands to offer a discount to paying members:
Here are some of the best military travel discounts available at hotels in North America:
In addition to discounts and perks, members of the U.S. military are eligible to with a few hotel chains.
offers lifetime Gold elite status for active-duty military, veterans and military spouses. This elite status grants you a 10% point bonus on stays, an elite welcome gift and access to an elite phone number for reservations and customer service. Plus, you'll get 2,500 bonus points for completing your first qualifying stay after enrolling. for full details and to enroll in the program.
Similarly, offers Gold status to members of the military and armed forces through its Best Western Service Rewards program. In addition to a 10% discount, you'll earn 10% bonus points, receive either bonus points or a welcome gift on arrival, get early check-in and late checkout (subject to availability), and potentially even score a room upgrade.
Military members can also get elite status with and . However, getting these perks isn't as straightforward.
Here's how it works. Members of the military may be eligible for for through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. You’ll likely have to apply for relief directly to AmEx to get the fee waiver. Once you have , you can enroll to receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold elite status. Terms apply.
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Many airlines and hotels offer some sort of discounts or perks to members of the U.S. (or Canadian) armed forces, veterans and reserves. If you're an eligible service member, it's worth double-checking the perks and discounts available before booking your next trip.
To view rates and fees of , see .
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the , including those best for: