I have written a fair amount about Veterans Advantage over the last couple of years.  It is a good deal for me and I have provided my analysis of whether it is a good deal for you.  I had another conference call will the Veterans’ Advantage CEO, Scott Higgins, and their VP of marketing, Roy Asfar.  The reason for our latest get together was the result of a nicely worded complaint from reader Dan L. who was having trouble applying the Vet Adv 5% discount to Lufthansa flights.  I conducted my own test and verified the problem, then turned it over to Roy.  Roy contacted Lufthansa and found that they had changed their computer system which broke the link.  He let Dan know and made him a happy customer.  The lesson from all this is that your feedback was what discovered this problem.  I encourage you to let us know on the blog or contact Veterans Advantage Customer Service at their Portland, Oregon (not India) Call Center (866-VET-ASSIST). 

We had the chance to review the program and some of the new benefits of Veterans Advantage.  They previously had introduce a 20% discount for CVS products on-line.  Now that has extended to in-store! 

cvs-pharmacy_logo2

Veterans Advantage members can save 20% everyday on their CVS purchases across the entire store, on all their purchase of regularly priced merchandise. Members simply present their 20% OFF CVS coupon at the store register.  If you’re a member go here for the coupon to bring to the store.

My wife is always shopping for our stuff at CVS and I stop in their often to reload my Bluebird card so we really like the discount.  CVS sent us a statement that we had saved nearly $400 over the last year, with discounts and coupons.  The reason this is really big is that it changes the calculus for getting a Veterans Advantage Card.  Previously, I had calculated how much you would need to buy in United tickets for the payback.  Just with the CVS discount, you earn back the membership cost of $59.95 by buying $300 in CVS stores.   And then you get the discounts on United, Lufthansa, rental cars, etc.  Pretty good deal, and before anyone says something, no I don’t get any compensation from Veterans Advantage.

I also should mention the 20% discount the card will get you at Wyndham Hotels.  I have not tried this one myself, but would be very interested to hear from readers who have as a 20% discount is pretty good.

 

Posted by glenn | 22 Comments

22 responses to “The Latest News from Veterans Advantage”

  1. […] Scott Higgins, CEO of Veterans’ Advantage, and see what is new over there.  I wrote about that recently, but this post is about something else that Scott is impassioned about – Identity Theft amongst […]

    • Bryan says:

      I suspect you are a paid blogger by Veterans Advantage, is this true?. Their Companion Airline Certificate is a “Bait and Switch” misleading at best marketing practice. This company is designed and created to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VETERANS and make a healthy profit as they do. SCAM! SCAM! SCAM! why doesn’t United just allow you to show your 214 and give you the discount? Veterans Advantage doesn’t make you show any proof.

      • glenn says:

        Bryan – No, we receive nothing from any sponsor for this blog, not even free membership in Vet Advantage which I pay for myself. Your argument doesn’t make sense. Should a hotel give you the AARP discount simply because you are over 50? No, you have to get a membership. Same with AAA. You have to pay to get a discount which frankly is pretty common. Not understanding why you are mad about that. If it doesn’t work out for you, then don’t buy it.

  2. […] Advantage is a membership program for military members, which offers members discounts on travel. COL has written extensively on them. They have deeper discounts on Wyndham, Choice, Kimpton, and Red Roof, as well as having a […]

  3. Joe says:

    So this “military discount” requires you to pay $40 upfront?

    Why not just google ‘20% coupon cvs’ and get the savings for free?

    Scam..

    • glenn says:

      @ Joe – How can you possibly call this a scam? Try getting 5% off at United, JetBlue, or Lufthansa by “googling” them. You can find another way to get 20% off at CVS? Great, but that’s only one of many discounts that membership gives. And for those of you who think all these discounts should be free to veterans, try going to Costco and asking for a free membership because you are a veteran and deserve the discount.

      • Pira H. says:

        Glenn,

        I have to say you have a lot of patience with people that accuse you of getting paid without offering any proof whatsoever – what a shame – but isn’t that what has become of our society? I consider myself smart enough to do a bit of additional research to find out if it is worth it for me, but do appreciate any personal experiences from you and others to help along the way in my decision. Much appreciated!

  4. Joe says:

    Glenn,

    I’m not going to pay for coupons, this is 2015, there are more creative ways to receive the savings. There are gift cards, credit cards, “free” affiliation discounts, etc, that one can find by “googling” Orbitz and other third-party sites have discounts too if you “google”.

    Why are you advocating our veteran’s use their hard earned money if there are free options out there?

    • glenn says:

      @ Joe – I would ask you to prove it. Show all our readers the free coupon you found for 5% off of any United flight or jetBlue flight. Those discounts alone make it worth it for me to pay for the membership. The other stuff such as discounts on rental cars, CVS, etc. just add on to that. And I don’t need to spend my time Googling stuff and hoping to find the discount that I need. Look, I like to think that I am a smart guy and I know my fellow bloggers are smart, so why would we all recommend Veterans’ Advantage if it didn’t make sense? We don’t get anything from recommending them, so consider this free advice that you can take or don’t. It’s your money to spend, but I know a good deal when I see one.

  5. […] fee for me every year.  A lot more than just airfare, but I have written about it before here and […]

  6. Patrick says:

    My concern about this is that I seldom fly. Plus, it’s an apparent assumption that all veterans for whatever reason spend all their time flying. Am I the odd man out? We don’t have a CVS pharmacy here, so that isn’t a draw. So other than the 5% flight discount and the 20% CVS discount, why would I spend $65? Positive feedback would be appreciated.

    • glenn says:

      @ Patrick – I think that you lose a lot of the benefits of Vet Advantage if you don’t fly. While there are discounts on AMTRACK and rental cars, the big return is on their flight discounts and CVS. Doesn’t sound like the right decision for you.

    • Pira H. says:

      Good to read someone like you reasoning, rather than complaining. It doesn’t make sense for you, but for us it does. We have a CVS 5 minutes from our house, and we travel and often stay at the Wyndham hotel, so our situation is the opposite of yours.

  7. Ron says:

    Followed this thread and on the fence about signing on. My question is; can the 5% discount for airlines be used with other discounts/specials? Can it be used in conjunction with frequent flyer miles?

    Why do I need to print out a coupon for CVS? Why can’t I just show them the membership card and they honor it? A CVS stop driving home from work is not a planned event.

    Rental car companies offer some steep discounts already. Is the discount from VA from the highest prices or after other discounts are applied?

    • glenn says:

      @Ron – Yes, I have been able to use it with vouchers and special fares. Not sure what other there would be. On CVS, you can print out a coupon that is good for a couple of weeks so not like you have to decide right away. VA gives rental car discount rates similar to a corporate rate. You can shop around to see if anyone has a better discount but they are very competitive. Compare to USAA rates if you want to compare although USAA covers less companies than VA.

  8. Cory says:

    I bought into this program in July for one reason… They offered a short duration promotional that advertised “two tickets for one low price.” When we attempted to book our travel, only one ticket was discounted $75. Their promotional advertisement is very misleading since it is NOT 2 tickets for the price of 1 but instead 2 tickets with a 09% discount resulting in a lower overall cost. I wonder how many others were tricked by this marketing ploy.

    • Bryan says:

      Exactly right Cory! They are still misleading Veterans. I felt like a fresh recruit get preyed upon by that crooked car dealership or long distance phone card company. I would stay away from Veterans Advantage who is only taking advantage of veterans. Go with USAA or AAA instead.

  9. Jack says:

    I got the 5% discount on a United Ticket, but it’s less than what you might think because the discount is not calculated from the total ticket price. You have to subtract taxes, airport fees, etc.

    The Veterans Advantage program agreement is long and full of fine print. Pay attention to the part about your membership being automatically renewed unless you cancel prior to the expiration. And, you can’t cancel a current membership. You have to pay for the full year.

    Getting through to customer service takes a long time. The people are polite and always thank me for “my service,” but I feel like this is a scam. I don’t think United, CVS, and the other companies should be associated with this company. Google “Veterans Advantage complaints,” and you’ll get pages of them.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I can no longer print out CVS coupons from the VA site. What happened? It now makes me shop online if I want the discount. You cannot use manufacture coupons online in conjunction with the % off. This was the main reason I got a VA membership. I shop at CVS a lot and I’m an avid couponer so… taking away all my impressive deals really sucks!!!

  11. I wish to opt out of Veterans Advantage. My wife was admitted hospice on 16 October 2016 and we will no be using your cad

    • glenn says:

      @ Roger – I am very sorry to hear about your wife, but this blog has no association with Veterans Advantage. You would have to contact them directly.

      Glenn

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