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USAA Members - Save 40% off hotels booked by 1/19 (Can join USAA for free)

jonthompson 801 January 16, 2013 at 04:22 PM in Travel (3)
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Last Edited by jonthompson January 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM
This is for USAA members only - full or partial members are fine. If you are not a USAA member you can sign up at for free (With or without military affiliation - USAA membership is fantastic and well worth signing up either way!)

Explore Travel, USAA's travel booking partner is offering 40% off all hotel rooms booked thru 1/19 using coupon code "USAA1"

UPDATE 2: Now only valid on bookings >$750(Total, not per night) so to get 40% off your booking has to start >$750.

I found some great deals on there - rates were comparable to kayak in many cases - and then 40% off those rates! - it will prompt you for USAA login - once you find your hotel, select room, the checkout page will have a place for the coupon about half way down.

Ontop of this, for travel, USAA also has great rates on rental cars - and free Avis Preferred/Hertz Gold membership with USAA membership - with under 25 year old renters free (save $27/day) and many discounts and coupons.

If you are signing up for a new USAA account and do not want to provider your SSN, call the 800 # on the signup page and they will give you a membership ID that you can then use to sign up online. That said, they wont pull your credit if you provide your SSN unless you apply for credit/loan. <-- Thanks Thare187


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Ah bs now 750 or over
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just got this message

Promotional code only valid on orders over $750.00..

I guess the deal is getting worst!
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Quote from RetiredDoc View Post :
Ah bs now 750 or over
Damn they keep upping the min eh? I guess its still a good deal if you're going somewhere for a longer stay - the prices dont look changed this time atleast! Just noticed some more prices increasing, still cheaper after coupon than the other sites, but this deal is running out Wink
Last edited by jonthompson January 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM
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Should have booked last night but the prices from their website are much higher. I was checking a hotel in San Diego. Hotel website says $175 plus $20 tax while this web site says $250. I know with 40% off it coming cheaper but would be nice if original price was competitive. Same with 3-4 other hotels I checked.
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Quote from bobby350z View Post :
Should have booked last night but the prices from their website are much higher. I was checking a hotel in San Diego. Hotel website says $175 plus $20 tax while this web site says $250. I know with 40% off it coming cheaper but would be nice if original price was competitive. Same with 3-4 other hotels I checked.
Ya their normal rates are pretty discounted/competitive, they must have had a lot of demand and were losing money, because the rates currently are closer to rack rates for rooms (Then 40% off, still good, but not quite as amazing...)

If you wanted to give it a shot, you could try to price match and then use 40% off, they guarantee price matching on their website Wink I doubt it'd work tho.
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Oh just checked again. Rates jumped like $80-$100 per day. Last night it was $250, now I see $332. Going to hotel website still show $175 plus $20 tax.
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Quote from badstink View Post :
I just booked 11 nights at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa for $3478 (pool view) --- $2300 below the quoted rate of $5797 --- by providing the promotion code "USAA1".
All of the reports of hotel rates going up are true. I just checked again and the price fo the exact same booking that I made last night has gone up from $3478 to $3861.
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Quote from house kitten View Post :
I have partial USAA and would like to get teh insurance etc. but partial does not qualify. My Dad was in Merchant Marines and they don't consider them vets. My Dad in law was in the Army but has since passed. Can we upgrade our membership under him?

Yeah, I don't think service in the merchant marines provides USAA eligibility. Frown However, I think there's a way you can still become a member. bounce The key is your spouse, not you. (Just call the member services number 800-531-8111 to confirm this information. They still have good old-fashioned people on the phone, but you may have to navigate the phone tree and wait a bit to get through. Ignore the part where they ask for your USAA #, and keep repeating the word "representative" until they put you in queue for a live person.)

If your father-in-law was separated from the military honorably, and if your mother-in-law is still alive, I believe your spouse can establish eligibility as the son/daughter of an eligible parent (his/her mother being the widow of an eligible veteran.) I'm not sure if she would need to become a member or not. (If so, maybe she can start a cheap renters' policy, like for stuff stored at Public Storage or some such. She can always cancel her $20/month policy later. And if she's eligible but doesn't have USAA, it would be sensible to compare rates/coverage/service for at least her auto insurance.) USAA recently extended eligibility to NCOs and then to all Enlisted, so if your father-in-law was a veteran, your spouse will almost certainly qualify through his/her mother. Your spouse is the key. Once his/her eligibility has been established and s/he becomes a member, you can also become a USAA member as a member of your (or from USAA's viewpoint, your spouse's) family. And once you're a member, I think you're a member until your policy ends (lapses, non-renews, you die, etc.) even if you're spouse passes away or you get divorced.

It's nice to be "grandfathered" in. In fact, there's a lot of grandfathering going on at USAA. They think that makes it fairer to their members, which makes sense to me. So don't jeopardize your membership if you can avoid it. Once you're in, you're in, but if you don't have eligibility yourself, and you leave, you might not be able to rejoin. BTW, once you're in, your entire immediate family is also eligible--and I think their families too (if one of the parents/your adult children is a member through your family,) etc.--so long as the eligibility remains intact by having a USAA property & casualty insurance policy in force.)

A few points to keep in mind: You MUST maintain an active PROPERTY AND CASUALTY (read: auto or homeowners' policy--BTW, renter's insurance qualifies in the same way as homeowners', and it's cheap) insurance policy, and it must not be allowed to lapse. If it lapses, you'll have to reestablish eligibility, and you may be denied at that time, even if you were approved before. Having a USAA bank account, credit card, or even life insurance is not the same thing, as it appears you already know.

BTW, if you don't carry a USAA homeowners'/renters' policy, you may not be able to get USAA homeowners' in the future. I know of people who switched, thinking they could get a better deal/service, and then came running back, only to be told they couldn't get a policy later, because underwriting was suspended in their state. (They had too many policies in that state and they wanted to spread out their risk.) But if you had even an inexpensive renters' policy in force, they consider it continuous coverage for the purposes of homeowners' underwriting. So, if you think you might like to get USAA homeowners' insurance, even if you already have USAA auto, and even if you don't own a home but plan to in the future, get a cheap renters' policy to grandfather you in. (I'd verify that information with USAA just to be sure.)

Also, an FYI: I think Jr Enlisted as well as members who are not themselves eligible (not active duty, veteran, etc. officers and NCOs), like non-military adult children, are called "CIC" (CIC is a separate company within USAA) members, and are in a different rating group, so their rates are (slightly) higher. (Apparently officers are lower risk.) I don't know if there are differences in the policies, but the customer service is the same. I was moved to my own CIC policy after I left college. I haven't noticed a difference.

No, USAA is not a ripoff company nor a scam, as I've seen some posts suggest. They're in the top third of the fortune 500. My family & friends have used their travel services for years and have saved money over anything else, plus they're a pleasure to work with. (And just like AAA, there are often discounts for mentioning you're a USAA member.) I don't know this for a fact, but I think, similar to airline tickets, online hotel prices are determined largely by complex computer algorithms that take into consideration how many rooms have sold (and how quickly) and how many remain, often determined by policies outside the booking agency. While I understand that changing the threshold minimum to $500 or $750 is a policy USAA may have actively instituted, it's likely the price increases people are seeing on the site are the result of some maximum allocation of less expensive rooms being sold out leaving a supply of only the more expensive room rates available, similar to what happens when airfares go on sale.

Most of the people who are truly going to benefit from this deal are those spending many hundreds or thousands of dollars on travel, like a family vacation, and typically stay in name brand or luxury hotels that usually cost a couple/few hundred dollars a night, like a Disney vacation or a cruise. If you're looking for a fifty dollar room, this deal probably isn't appropriate for you, but if you're someone who often books a week or two through Costco, etc. or is a retired jet-setter, then you're probably the target market, since a $500 or $750 minimum won't be a problem for you.

As an insurance company, USAA is the best by far. As a financial services company, they're always ranked at or near the top--when they're included in comparisons. (I've noticed USAA is often left out of national comparisons, because membership is not open to everyone, so much of the general public has never heard of it.) Other insurance companies won't even try to compete with it, because it's in another class altogether. (My wife recently had a AAA guy stop mid-sentence when she mentioned we had USAA. He said it was the only company they couldn't compete with, and he left it at that. When we were married, and my wife switched from her GEICO policy, the premium dropped substantially despite now having twice the coverage and all the other USAA add-ons--and that was before the multiple vehicle discount was applied. BTW, her GEICO policy was a lot less than her previous Farmers' and also quoted by Allstate, etc. for the same coverage, not to mention the claims and service we received compared to cut-rate insurance companies--we shopped around.) If you want to know who's actually there to help after they take your premiums, just ask the body shops.

USAA is also a non-profit "mutual" company, kind of like a credit union in comparison to a bank. Ironically, they're not in business to make money. They're in it to serve their members, to be sure they can pay back any member claims short term and are solvent long term. Kinda like AAA, except without the relatively high premiums. That means when they have overcharged on their premiums based on their actuary and experience, they refund any excess premiums to their members as dividends, which is kinda nice. (We don't usually see dividends following major events like Katrina or the Colorado wildfires, so I'm not expecting anything following Sandy)

I know there are probably lots of people who have had bad experiences with USAA. Hey, it's an insurance company. (Actually it's technically not even that; it's organized as a reciprocal inter-insurance exchange, not a corporation. That means each member is basically insured by all the others.) But I challenge people to compare the treatment they'd have received from another company under similar circumstances. My father was so upset with a particular USAA claim, that after 30 years he thought he could do better and switched to another company that was known for having the best service--outside of USAA--until he had to file a claim and realized just how good he had it before and switched back. Contrary to all the commercials, no insurance company is going to completely restore things the way they were before a claim. That's not what insurance is designed to do; it's supposed to help prevent people from having a catastrophic loss from which they couldn't (easily) recover financially. USAA is really a different kind of company, and I for one am glad they're there.

And no, I don't now nor have I ever worked for USAA, but I have used their services. I'm just a SDer who likes value and knows a good deal when he sees one. USAA fits the bill on both counts.
Last edited by astraleo January 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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Rates are higher. coupon code mins are higher. Deal is worthless now. Kayak is better.
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Quote from piggypuppy View Post :
How do you book a Fusion Maia in Da Nang? I do not see it on the website?
I just put in Danang as the destination. My booking is for Sept 2013 though. Just checked and saw the price for the same dates that I booked increased by 25% (from ~$400 to ~$500/night before 40% off). So maybe play around with the dates to see if you can find anything good? Good luck...
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Quote from mysteryegg View Post :
Rates are higher. coupon code mins are higher. Deal is worthless now. Kayak is better.
I agree. 1 star hotels from this site are now more than 3 star hotels on Priceline. Whatever, they just lost a customer.
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Quote from astraleo View Post :
... USAA fits the bill on both counts.
wow, longest reply I've seen yet. repped just for the effort
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i've logged in but for some readon the site doesnt load.

can someone post the link they use, or instruct me on how to reach the booking engine?

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Quote from mysteryegg View Post :
Rates are higher. coupon code mins are higher. Deal is worthless now. Kayak is better.
Depends where and when you're looking, yes prices are going up but i'm still seeing 20%+ off kayak for a lot of hotels - especially the higher end ones.

Example (for a trip I'm on next week):
Disney Animal Kingdom lodge savannah view - cheapest on kayak for 5 nights w/tax: $2090 - current price on USAA w/tax: $1680.

Thats still a pretty great discount - that said - it was as little as $1200 when i first posted the deal.
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Quote from astraleo View Post :
(We don't usually see dividends following major events like Katrina or the Colorado wildfires, so I'm not expecting anything following Sandy)
I got my dividend this year, $40 (CIC).
Last edited by gammann January 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM
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