So to continue from last time, I interviewed Scott Higgins, CEO of Veterans Advantage, and Roy Asfar, Marketing VP, for further details on what the program offers. Here are some of the discounts that they wanted to make my readers and I aware of:
AMTRAK. 15% off of any ticket. AMTRAK was the Veterans Advantage first partner. I am not an “East Coast” guy so I am not that familiar with AMTRAK, but I did get a chance to ride their train from NYC to see my sister in Fairfield, CT last Thanksgiving and I thought it was a nice relaxing ride. Probably a good deal for someone like my daughter who lives in Baltimore and can take the train up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
Greyhound. 20% off any fare. Again, I hadn’t ridden a Greyhound bus since I was a 2LT at Ft. Belvoir in 1985. Got a chance to ride one with my daughter from Baltimore to NYC at Thanksgiving and was pretty impressed. Internet on board and power plugs everywhere gave me plenty to do on the four hour journey. The rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike was actually very nice with a wide variety of food similar to what you would expect at any large airport. This seems like a good deal for those on a budget.
Travel Medical Insurance. For a simple fee of $189/ yr. you can buy insurance in case you get very sick while traveling and need to be medevaced out. I know from my time in Alaska that those “lifeflights” as we called them cost thousands. Might be a good investment for those who travel to remote places or where there is sketchy medical care.
Concierge Service. This service is included in your membership fee and is a great reference for traveling someplace and talking to an expert in the local goings-on. Museums, shows, restaurants, etc. I plan to try this out and see how well it works. Kind of nice to be able to call someone for entertainment advice when in a strange area. I have seen this advertised for other travel services, but you usually have to pay big bucks for the conceirge service.
Prescription Discount. I thankfully don’t need this, but my wife probably gets a couple of hundred dollars worth on meds every month. Tricare picks up most of it, but I can see this discoount coming in handy because the expense is only going to get bigger with time. Not to mention what might happen if Congress cuts back on Tricare like they have been discussing. It’s hell getting old, but it sure beats dying.
Lastly, the one I am excited about most. Scott is very close to tying up a deal for Ford’s X Program. This is where you get a pre-negotiated discount for a Ford car. I really like this as I hate haggling over the price with the dealer, not to mention the required “waiting while he talks to his boss”. I know they are really out having a cup of coffee. I could really use this for my little girl when she graduates next month and needs a car for that first job. More on this to follow.