Service members, veterans and their families now have a one-stop shop for finding and booking travel with military discounts. The Department of Defense has teamed up with Priceline to create a travel booking site exclusively for U.S. military members.
It only takes a quick eligibility check on the American Forces Travel booking site to begin accessing savings that claim to include up to 60% off hotel stays.
Here are seven questions about the new site, answered.
1. What kinds of travel can be booked through the site?
Eligible members of the military and Department of Defense can book everything from flights and rental cars to vacation homes and hotels. Even cruises are available on the site.
The site, which is powered by Priceline, can be used for booking domestic and international travel, and boasts hotel deals in more than 71,000 destinations around the globe.
American Forces Travel also offers packages that users can use to book flights in combination with hotels or car rental for even deeper discounts. On Priceline’s site, travelers who book a package save $240 per transaction per person, on average. People will see similar savings on American Forces Travel.
In the future, American Forces Travel hopes to also offer discounts on theme parks and other attractions.
2. Who is eligible?
American Forces Travel is open to all military and military-affiliated personnel who are eligible to use Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs. That’s an estimated 9 million people.
The list of people who are eligible to use American Forces Travel includes:
- Active-duty members and their families.
- Full-benefit retirees and their families.
- Veterans who are100% disabled and their families.
- Medal of Honor recipients and their families.
- American Red Cross and USA paid personnel who are serving outside of the United States and their families.
- Department of Defense civilians.
Veterans and non-active members who did not retire with full benefits should be eligible later in 2019. The Department of Defense has said it intends to make them eligible but has not specified a date yet.
3. How do I find out if I’m eligible?
The eligibility check is on the American Forces Travel site. Users will enter their last name, the last four digits of their Social Security number and their date of birth. Then the information is checked against the Department of Defense’s records.
Priceline is not part of the verification process and does not capture or retain that data.
4. What kind of savings can military members expect?
American Forces Travel will offer hotel deals up to 60% off and cruise deals up to 80% off. Military members will have access to discounts on 1.2 million hotels, as well as deals on flights and car rentals.
» Learn more: Credit card offers for active-duty military
5. Are these discounts different than what nonmilitary travelers might find on Priceline?
Some of the discounts are different because Priceline has a team dedicated to negotiating additional deals for American Forces Travel.
6. Outside of travel deals, what else can American Forces Travel provide?
The same services exist for American Forces Travel that exist for Priceline customers, including 24-hour customer service and insurance options for all forms of travel.
7. Why was American Forces Travel created?
Previously, military families would have booked travel with a travel agent on a military base. The Department of Defense created American Forces Travel to make the process faster, more modern and accessible.
In addition, travel booked through American Forces Travel will generate a commission that will support Quality of Life programs for each branch of the military.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Nerdwallet’s top travel credit cards
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Credit card offers for active duty military personnel