Being a servicemember means you have the honor of serving your country along with earning a steady income. There are additional benefits to joining the military that many don’t take advantage of, usually because they don’t even know about them.
Here are a few military perks that you might have missed:
1. Transferability of the Post-9/11 GI Bill
Current servicemembers and veterans up to 15 years after discharge are eligible for higher education funds, thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, you don’t have to use the benefits exclusively on yourself or at all. Some or all of the funds can be transferred to a spouse or dependent children with approval from the U.S. Department of Defense. Read more on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
2. Airline and Airport Perks
You can save money and improve your leisure travel experience thanks to a few military perks. Space Available Flight, also known as Space-A Travel, is a privilege that provides air travel to current and retired military members at virtually no cost. Department of Defense aircrafts with unfilled seats are your ticket to dozens of destinations around the United States and the world. The program has been reduced in recent years, but it’s still an effective way to see the world on a dime.
Many civilian airlines offer discounts for current and veteran servicemembers and, in some cases, even for your spouse and children. You may also be eligible for free checked bags or other waived fees. Military members also have free access to United Service Organizations (USO) centers with complimentary snacks, Wi-Fi, television, video games and more; not a bad way to spend time between flights!
3. VA Mortgages
Purchase loans provided by Veterans Affairs are a great way for eligible veterans and Active Duty members to buy a home at a competitive, fixed interest rate—often without the need for a down payment or private mortgage insurance. This means you can buy a home with very little out-of-pocket cost. Other benefits of a VA home loan include a closing cost limit, no penalty fees for early loan payments and assistance if you run into difficulty making payments. Don’t miss out on all the benefits you receive as an Active Duty or retired servicemember. Learn more about navigating the VA loan process and about Navy Federal-provided VA loans.
4. Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance
Should you be permanently disabled as a result of service, your spouse or children may be eligible for tuition assistance. This program may be used for up to 45 months of education in degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship or on-the-job training. Some beneficiaries may be eligible to combine this program with the benefits of the GI Bill, effectively providing 81 months’ worth of tuition assistance. Learn more about the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance program.
5. Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship
If your spouse is looking to further his or her education, the MyCAA Scholarship can provide tuition assistance. It provides up to $4,000 for military spouses seeking a license, certificate, certification or associate degree for high-demand, high-growth portable career fields and occupations. Many careers qualify for the program, including nursing, construction, information technology and legal. Read about eligibility requirements with the Department of Defense fact sheet.
6. Amusement Park Discounts
After all this serious money talk, you might be ready to go on vacation. Why not go to an amusement park that accepts military discounts? Parks across the country offer discounts to active and retired military. Sometimes these discounts can only be applied to general admission tickets, while other times they can be applied to special packages including multiple tickets, hotel accommodations and early park admission.
Proud to Serve
Navy Federal is proud to serve the military and their families for more than 80 years. Learn more about how we support our military members with options like Free Active Duty Checking accounts, VA loans or education about keeping personal finances in budget.