While I get all my insurance needs and a few other items through USAA, I was not aware until recently that they have their own frequent flyer program.  The program is actually run by Explore Cruise & Travel.

The program awards points based on the price you pay for hotels and cruises, with a flat 300 points for car rentals.  They guarantee the lowest rate on the cruises and hotels, so it’s not like they are getting you to pay a higher price and then using that to pay for your points.


The good point about these points is that you can directly relate them to a value.  Each group of points gets you a dollar discount on future travel according to this table.


So let’s say you spent $4,000 on a cruise, that would be 16,000 points or about $150 off something in the future.  I kind of like the on-line hotel option at 8 points/$ as I certainly can see spending $2,000 on hotels in a year, which again would get you 16,000 points or $150 off.  If I spent $2,000 at Marriott in a year, I could expect to get 20,000 points which is about one $150/night hotel room.

One nice thing is that if you save up the points, they get larger in value, unlike most FF programs that I know.   While 100 pts. ~ $1 in the beginning, at the higher levels 100 points ~ $1.20.  Not huge, but it’s something.

I have never tried this program, but would be glad to hear from a reader who has.  I feel like I can usually trust USAA, but wonder about this.  Good or bad?

Posted by glenn | 3 Comments

3 responses to “Tried the FF Program from USAA Yet?”

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for the post. I have saved up some of these points and hope to use for a cruise discount one day. Seems like a good deal, though cruise shopping between sites/agents can be a complicated maze of discounts and credits.

    Of note, I had USAA for auto and home insurance for years. I never considered changing (they have great service). One day a friend convinced me to check Geico for car insurance, and they came in about 40% less than USAA. I had to switch for that savings. Geico has not raised the rate for the past 2 years. Food for thought for long time USAA members. Couldn’t hurt to get a Geico quote. I’m glad I did.

  2. Ghostrider says:

    I too have “shopped” USAA insurance as well as mortgages and indeed they do come up higher in many cases. However I still use them for banking, CD’s and credit cards, here they excel.

    The issue I have with these types of programs for me as I have a high status currently with an major airline and several hotel properties, in that particular case one could use the USAA Amex since I already get discounted rates.

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