I'm from a long line of people who have served in various branches of the US military. Though I never enlisted myself, I still benefit from my father's service in that I'm a member of USAA. This is a private banking and insurance agency that is known for top-notch customer service, and also for being run on a non-profit basis. As the child of a USAA member, I've always been eligible. It's one of the few military benefits that those who serve can pass on to their children. I've found it to be extremely worthwhile, since their homeowner's and auto insurance rates and policies can't be beat. I also use their totally, 100% free banking services. Anytime I have a question or concern, I can call USAA and quickly get a real, live, competant, polite human being on the phone to help me. I couldn't be happier with USAA, and I don't say that lightly.
The reason I'm posting about USAA is that they recently changed their eligibility rules. It used to be that active duty military personnel could enroll anytime, and then there was a window of opportunity after discharge. After a certain amount of time had passed after discharge, you could no longer enroll, though the children of any USAA member could enroll at any time. Now USAA has opened eligibility to anyone who served honorably in any branch of the US military.
If this applies to you and you're not a USAA member, I urge you to consider becoming one. We save a lot of money and hassle with the services USAA provides. We just got our auto insurance dividends, and next month we'll get our annual rebate from our USAA credit card. And yes, those checks arrive at a particularly nice time of year. Even if it didn't make obvious sense from a financial perspective to use USAA for our banking and insurance, I would seriously consider paying for their services just for the outstanding level of customer service they provide. The sweet thing is, we pay less for that service. A lot less.
So if you or someone you know qualifies under the new eligibility rules, especially if that person is your spouse or parent, check out USAA. I would use any service they provide, with confidence that they would do right by me.