Sprint Military Discount: Huge Savings for Military Families (Not So Great for Individuals)

September 13, 2019 by Kyle
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If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I love discounts for active military and vets. What better way to say “thanks” for serving our country than with a way to save money on everyday expenses. With that said, it’s now time to breakdown the Sprint military discount. How much money can it save you on your wireless bill, who’s eligible, and how do you apply. Plus, I offer some Sprint insider tips on how to maximize your savings.

Sprint Military Discount: Huge Savings for Military Families

Is the Sprint Military Discount Good?

It’s pretty solid, especially for military families.

Specifically, their military discount is really good for military families, not so much for individuals or a couple with NO kids.

Here’s exactly how the Sprint Unlimited Military Discount breaks down:

1 Line = $60/month

2 Lines = $80/month

3 Lines = $80/month (3rd line free)

4 Lines = $80/month (3rd and 4th lines free)

5 Lines = $80/month (3rd, 4th and 5th lines free). This is easily the best value and comes out to $16/month. 5 lines without the discount would cost a family $160.

The Sprint Unlimited military plan is identical to the Sprint Unlimited Basic plan.

Here’s what you get with the Unlimited plan:

  • Unlimited data, talk and text.
  • Free Hulu account. ($7.99/month value)
  • 500 MB Mobile Hotspot.
  • Streaming in SD (DVD-quality)
  • In Mexico & Canada you’ll get unlimited talk & text and 5 GB of 4G LTE data.
  • Global Roaming in 200+ worldwide destinations.

It’s also worth noting that data speeds could get throttled during times of heavy congestion.

This current discount is available through September of 2020. I’ll keep this page updated in case the offer changes.

Who is Eligible?

Their military discount is available to current and former members of the military.

This includes active duty, reserves, National Guard, veterans, and their family members.

Military members must be the primary Sprint account holder for family members to be eligible.

How Do I Sign-Up?

If you aren’t currently a Sprint subscriber you need to visit this page and fill-out the pre-registration form.

Once your pre-registration is accepted, you’ll get an offer code via email with instructions on completing your military discount.

If you’re already with Sprint, just visit the same page and click the Activate button under the pre-registration form.

You can also walk into any Sprint store and have an associate help you setup your discount.

It’s also important to note that this discount requires you to sign-up for auto-pay.

See Also: Verizon’s Military Discount: How It Works and How Much You Can Save

What Proof Is Needed?

You’ll need to submit one of the following to complete your discount registration.

– .mil Email Address

– Military ID Card

– Military Orders Form

– Veterans ID Card

– DofD Form 214

– W-2 Tax Form

– Military Retiree Account Statement

How Do I Verify My Discount?

Verify Sprint Military Discount

Sprint uses a highly reputable 3rd party company called Sheer ID to verify your military service.

Once you’ve applied to get the discount, you can visit this page and check if you’re getting all the discounts you’re eligible for.

What Happens If I’m Sent Overseas?

If you get deployed be sure to visit the Sprint Deployment Page.

Sprint will happily suspend your wireless service and you won’t have to pay ANY monthly charges while you’re gone.

You’ll get this free service for 36 months. If you need to extend it for any reason call Sprint at 844-751-0149 and they’ll help you out.

Be sure to call the same number to get your service reinstated when you get home.

How Does the Sprint Discount Compare to Verizon’s?

The Sprint Military discount is much better than Verizon’s military discount if you need 3 or more lines.

You’ll save close to $40/month by using Sprint compared to Verizon.

If it’s just you, or maybe you and your spouse, the savings with Verizon is better.

Ask the Reader: If you end up applying for the Sprint military discount let me know if it was an easy process.


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

Verizon Military Discount: How It Works and How Much You Can Save

September 11, 2019 by Kyle
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Verizon Wireless is expensive, there I said it. But thanks to the Verizon military discount it doesn’t need to be. People, me included, are cool with paying more for Verizon because of the great features and strong network coverage. Heck, I live out in the countryside and Verizon is the only reliable service in the area thanks to it’s great coverage map. Here’s how their military discount program works so you can start saving today. Thanks for your service to our country.

Verizon Military Discount: How It Works and How Much You Can Save

What is the Verizon Military Discount?

Verizon Military

Verizon’s military discount breaks down into 3 main categories.

1. $30/mo for Unlimited Data Plan: To qualify for this discount you’ll need at least 4 lines on the plan.

Unlimited plans available include the following: Start Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and the Above Unlimited plan. Details here.

To give you an idea of how good this discount is, my family of 4 has an unlimited plan from Verizon and we pay close to $200/month for it.

For 2-3 lines you’ll get a $25/month discount per line.

For only 1 line you’ll score a $10/month discount.

2. 15% Off Eligible Plans: If you don’t want an unlimited data plan then a 15% discount is still available for you.

3. 25% Off Select Accessories: Accessories include phone cases, screen protectors, chargers, etc.

Obviously you’ll want to use the discount that makes the most sense for you and your family.

Important Note: To get the discount you must sign-up for auto-pay along with paperless billing.

See Also: Veteran & Military Discounts: 90+ Places Where Heroes Get a Deal

How Do I Sign-Up?

The first thing you have to do is register your military discount and join the military discount program.

Simply visit this page on the Verizon site and follow the instructions.

Is the Discount Only Available to Active Military?

No.

The Verizon military discount extends to veterans as well as spouses and their children. More on this later.

What Proof Do You Have to Show?

You’ll need to show at least one of the following when registering for the discount.

Active Military:

– Military-issued email

– Military paystub

– Military enlistment DD Form 4

– SCRA Status Report

Veterans:

– DD Form 214

– Veteran’s ID Card

– Military Retiree Account Statement

– VetRewards Card from Veterans Advantage

See Also: Sprint Military Discount: Huge Savings for Military Families

Are All Military Branches Eligible?

Yes.

More branches are eligible for this military discount than any discount I’ve ever seen.

They include the following branches:

– Marines

– Army

– Air Force

– Navy

– Coast Guard

– Commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

– Commissioned officers of the United States Public Health Service

– All military reserves and National Guard

– Veterans of all branches

– Gold Star Families

– Cadets

See Also: First Responder Discounts: 22 Popular Stores That Offer Them

Is a Discount Available for Gold Star Families?

Yes.

I applaud Verizon for offering a discount to Gold Star spouses and next of kin.

The coolest part about this discount is the military member who died while serving their country does NOT have to be a Verizon customer for the family to qualify.

All you will need is a DD Form 2014 to register. Visit this page for all the details.

Can I Get a Military Discount On Top of My Employee Discount?

No.

Unfortunately you can only take advantage of one discount at a time.

But keep in mind that the Verizon employee discount DOES NOT offer a discount on unlimited data plans thus making the military discount a better deal in most situations.

I’m a Military Spouse, How Do I Sign-Up?

You CAN’T by yourself.

The person signing up for the discount must be either a military member or veteran AND the account owner or manager of a Verizon Wireless account.

The one exception to this policy is Gold Star families.

How Do I Check That My Discount Was Applied?

Don’t just forget about your military discount after you register.

Be sure to follow-up and make sure it was accepted by Verizon.

Visit this page on Verizon’s website and you can quickly verify your discount status.

Can My Data Speed Get Throttled?

Unfortunately, YES.

According to the Verizon website, “In times of congestion, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic.”

Is a FIOS Discount Available Too?

Yes.

If you want Verizon internet services in your home you can score a military discount on that as well.

You have 2 discount options:

1. $120 off a yearly subscription of Fios Triple Play (Home phone, Internet and Fios TV).

2. $60 off a yearly subscription of Fios Double Play (Internet and a choice of Home Phone or Fios TV).

What Happens If I Get Deployed Overseas?

Verizon will let you temporarily suspend your service until you come home. Details here.

The great thing about this feature is that your discount will be waiting for you when you return.

Ask the Reader: Have you received the military discount from Verizon? Was it an easy process and how much money does it save you every month?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

Costco Hearing Aids: Who Makes Them and Are They a Good Deal?

September 6, 2019 by Kyle
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Are you considering buying hearing aids from Costco? Or maybe you already have and are wondering about the pros and cons of buying them from Costco Wholesale. Whatever the case may be, I researched exactly how the Costco Hearing Aid Center works so you can walk in and make an informed decision. Hearing aids are very expensive and it’s important to know all the facts before you spend a cent. I hope this information helps.

Costco Hearing Aids: Who Makes Them and Are They a Good Deal?

What Hearing Aid Brands Does Costco Sell?

Hearing Aid brands

Costco offers a nice selection of top hearing aid brands.

They include the following 5 brands:

– Philips: They are the newest manufacturer of hearing aids on this list.

– Kirkland Signature: These are built by Sonova, the same company that makes Phonak, Unitron, and Hansaton hearing aids.

– Phonak: Considered to be a premium brand.

– ReSound: Danish company famous for making the “Made for iPhone” hearing aid.

– Rexton: While still good, these are considered a slightly less expensive brand.

Many of the models from these brands are sold exclusively at Costco.

It’s common knowledge that some of the models Costco sells are slightly watered down versions of themselves and have less features.

Always compare features when deciding where to buy your hearing aids.

Do your research ahead of time and figure out what features you actually want and make sure the hearing aids you buy have all those included.

To help you figure out which features are important, check out this fantastic Consumer Reports buying guide.

 

Are Costco Prices Competitive?

Yes.

As a matter of fact, the prices are so good at Costco that they’ve grown into the largest private seller of hearing aids in the United States.

For example, you can buy the Kirkland Signature premium hearing aids for about $1,500 per pair. This is about 50% less than a “name-brand” equivalent.

Remember when I told you that the Kirkland brand is actually made by the same company that produces the premium Phonak hearing aids? This makes the Kirkland brand an excellent value.

When it comes to the name-brand hearing aids that Costco sells, they are definitely more expensive than the Kirkland brand, but still 15%-30% less than other sellers.

What Hearing Aid Styles Does Costco Offer?

Costco offers 6 hearing aid styles for you to try.

They include the following:

– Open Fit: For mild to moderately severe hearing loss. They fit behind the ear and have a small tube that goes into the ear.

– Behind the Ear: For mild to extreme hearing loss. Worn behind the ear and attached to a custom fitted ear mold.

– Bluetooth Compatible: For mild to severe hearing loss. Similar to the open fit but allows you to connect to Bluetooth enabled devices.

– In the Ear: For mild to severe hearing loss. Custom molded and takes up most of the outer ear.

– Canal: For mild to moderate hearing loss. Custom molded to fit in the ear and takes up most of the ear canal and some of the outer ear.

– Completely in the Canal: For mild to moderate hearing loss. Fits in the inner ear canal.

 

Do I Need to Be a Costco Member?

You DO NOT need to be a Costco member to get a free hearing test and expert recommendations.

Just tell the card checker at the door that you’re there for your hearing test and they will let you in.

But if you decide to buy your hearing aids or batteries from Costco, you WILL need to be a member.

Do I Have to Make an Appointment?

If you’re a new customer YES, you need to call and make an appointment. (Find a Costco Near You)

Basically you’re making an appointment for a no-obligation hearing test.

Once the hearing test is complete, a specialist will go over the results with you and make any recommendations.

Be sure to fill out this Patient Intake Form before your appointment and bring it with you as it will speed up the process.

Can I Return Hearing Aids If I Don’t Like Them?

Yes.

If you don’t like your hearing aids for ANY reason, you can take advantage of Costco’s Generous Return Policy and bring them back for up to 6 months after you bring them home.

Does Each Costco Have Their Own Audiologist?

Some, but not all.

It depends on the location and some travel from Costco to Costco on certain days of the week.

They are considered “independent audiologists” and are not a Costco employee.

This means they are not bound by sales quotas and will not push a certain brand on you.

The end result is typically someone who has your best interests in mind.

But EVERY Costco employs highly trained hearing aid specialists that will help you.

 

What Are the Cons of Using Costco?

1. “De-Featured” Hearing Aids: As mentioned above, some hearing aids at Costco might not have the features you need the most. Always ask.

2. Crowded Warehouse: Another con is you have to visit a big crowded warehouse to buy your hearing aids and have them serviced.

The key here is to shop midweek before noon. The parking lot will have ample space and the warehouse will be very easy to maneuver in and out of.

3. Locked Hearing Aids: Some of the hearing aids that Costco sells are “LOCKED”.

This means they can only be unlocked and serviced by Costco.

So if you move to a town that doesn’t have a Costco, or you have to make a long drive, you’re kinda screwed.

 

What Other Hearing Aid “Perks” Does Costco Offer?

Besides competitive pricing, the Costco hearing aid center offers some other nice perks…

– Free Cleaning & Check-ups: When you’re shopping at Costco be sure to stop by the Hearing Aid Center and they’ll clean your hearing aids for free.

– Free Follow-Up Appointments: Need help adjusting your new hearing aids? No problem. You’ll get unlimited follow-up appointments for free at Costco.

– 2-Year Loss and Damage Protection: My Dad actually lost one of his hearing aids on a plane and Costco replaced it for free. There is NO deductible either which is a huge perk.

– 3-Year Warranty on Faulty Devices: This covers anything that might go wrong with the hearing aid that is not your fault.

– Deals on Hearing Aid Batteries: Be sure to buy Kirkland hearing aid batteries at Costco too since they’re cheaper than anywhere else.

 

Ask the Reader: Do you buy your hearing aids from Costco? If so, what has been your experience? Let me know in the comments section below, thanks.


By Kyle James

Side-note: I want to thank my Dad, who recently bought his hearing aids from Costco, for his help in putting this article together. Much appreciated!

What Exactly is the Apple Credit Card and Do I Need One?

September 5, 2019 by Kyle
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Like it or not, the Apple Card is officially here. I recently took a deep dive into the card and discovered where it’s awesome and where it falls short. From security measures, to cashback features, to debt management tools and a cool design, I looked at it all. I hope this review helps you decide if the Apple credit card belongs in your wallet or on your iPhone.

What Exactly is the Apple Credit Card and Do I Need One?

What Exactly is the Apple Credit Card?

Back in August of 2019, Apple rolled out the Apple Card, a credit card that’s linked directly to Apple Pay.

The card is backed by Goldman Sachs (and MasterCard) and is designed to seamlessly work with your iPhone and Apple Pay.

But you don’t need to use Apple Pay to use the card, but you’ll want to, more on that later.

You can use the card to make digital Apple Pay payments with your iPhone OR you can use it like you would any plastic credit card in your wallet.

The card also boosts strong security measures. These include FaceID, TouchID, and unique transaction codes.

So…Does Apple Actually Mail Me a Card?

Yes.

In addition to be able to use the card directly from your iPhone, Apple will mail you a credit card made out of 100% titanium. Yes, you read that correctly.

Besides being made out of titanium, the card has some other cool features too.

The card only has your name on the front and a magnetic strip on the back…that’s it.

There’s no card number or CVV number anywhere which keeps people from stealing your information when you’re not looking.

Is There An Annual Fee or Hidden Fees?

The card does NOT have an annual fee or any hidden fees.

There also is NO foreign transaction fee or late penalty.

Be aware that instead of charging you a late penalty/fee, Apple will charge you “additional interest” instead.

See Also: My Adventures in Credit Card Churning and How I Earned $1,985

How Exactly Do I Use the Card?

Quick pay

You can use the credit card in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Apple Pay: This is when you link the card to your iPhone via the Wallet app that comes already installed on all iPhones. You just use your iPhone to complete purchases like in the picture above.
  2. Non-Apple Pay: If the store or business doesn’t accept Apple Pay then you just use your titanium card and complete your purchase like you would with a traditional credit card.

Not all merchants accept Apple Pay so it’s smart to have the actual credit card on you at all times.

According to MacRumors, as of early 2019, “Apple Pay was available in 65 percent of U.S. retail locations. 74 of the top 100 merchants in the United States accept Apple Pay.”

What APR Can I Expect?

Depending on your credit rating, your card will come with an APR between 13.24% to 24.24%.

As with any credit card, interest charges can add up quickly. To help you realize this, Apple shows you EXACTLY how costly it is to carry a balance on your card.

Specifically, “When you’re ready to make a payment, Apple Card estimates the interest you’ll wind up paying, based on any payment amount you choose.”

Seeing the numbers in black and white should help many shoppers realize how their spending habits influence their finances every month.

How Does It Help Me Control My Spending?

Apple Card Spending

All Apple Pay transactions are linked to Apple Maps within your iPhone which allows you to quickly see exactly where you made your purchases.

This is a really handy tool for shoppers who tend to overspend and not keep a tally of their credit card purchases.

Think of it as an easy-to-follow “history” of your recent purchases.

The Wallet app also breaks down your purchases by type and color codes them accordingly. Think entertainment, food, shopping, and travel.

You then get a snapshot within the app of where you tend to spend your money and your “virtual card” actually turns the color of whatever you spend the most on.

Where your card looks like rainbow sherbet you know your spending is balanced.

Apple is trying to make it easier for you to see what types of purchases you might want to cut back on. At least that’s how I would use the information.

See Also: The 11 Best Credit Cards for Savvy Shoppers

What are the Requirements to Qualify for the Apple Card?

You must be at least 18 years of age and a legal U.S. citizen.

When applying, Apple will ask for the following:

  • First and last name.
  • Date of birth.
  • Phone number.
  • Home address.
  • Country of citizenship.
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Your annual income.

Apple also reserves the right to ask for a picture of your driver’s license or state ID card.

Does the Card Offer Cashback Rewards?

Cash Back

Yes, and they’re not to shabby.

You get 3% back on everything you buy from Apple, 2% back on all Apple Pay purchases, and 1% back on all purchases where Apple Pay is NOT accepted.

Not as good as some “rewards” credit cards, but not terrible either.

The coolest perk of their rewards system is “Daily Cash”. Daily Cash is essentially Apple’s way of giving you cash rewards on a daily basis rather than making you wait for your monthly statement.

Cash you can use right away on your next purchase via Apple Pay.

Just make sure you sign-up for Apple Cash as that’s the only way for you to collect your “Daily Cash”.

Without Apple Cash setup, you’ll have to wait for your monthly statement to collect your cash-back.

The amount of cash-back available is unlimited and can also be transferred to a friend with an iPhone, used to pay off your credit card bill, or it can be transferred to your bank account.

How Do I Make “Non” Apple Pay Purchases?

You just use the titanium card that Apple sends you in the mail like you would a normal credit card.

You can use it anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

The one downside is you’ll only get 1% cashback on these purchases instead of 2% when using Apple Pay.

What Will My Credit Limit Be?

It depends on your annual income and credit score.

Typically the better your credit score, the higher your credit limit will be.

FYI: Some people with a credit score as low as 620 are getting approved. (Source)

How Do I Make My Payments?

Make Payment

This is where the card is kinda awesome, not gonna lie.

You make your payment via the Wallet app on your iPhone. (see pic above)

To get started, you first have to add a bank account. The first time you choose to add a bank account you’ll be asked if you want to use the same account you use with Apple Cash.

If you select “Yes” then you’ll be good to go, otherwise you’ll have to follow the prompts to link your bank account.

You’ll also get notifications on your iPhone when your payment is coming due so you never miss it.

But the really cool part is how the Wallet app shows you how much interest you’ll pay if you don’t make the full payment.

It’s a great reminder how interest builds up and totally sucks.

Here’s a screenshot of what I am talking about:

Interest charges on Apple Card

So…What’s the Final Verdict?

Let’s break it up by pro’s and con’s to help you decide if the card is right for you.

Pros:

  • Strong security features
  • No fees
  • Unique titanium card design
  • Easy to use debt management tools
  • Seamless integration with Apple Pay
  • Daily cashback

And of course some of the negatives:

Cons:

  • No welcome bonus
  • Requires Apple technology and hardware
  • Low 1% cashback on non Apple Pay purchases
  • No introductory low APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • Dependent on Apple Pay sticking around

If you’re an Apple fan-boy (or girl) you probably don’t care about the cons but they’re definitely significant and should be taken into account.

Ask the Reader: What’s in your wallet? Is it the titanium Apple card? If so, how do you like it so far?


By Kyle James

Screenshots courtesy of Apple.

12 Fun & Practical Gift Ideas for College Freshman

September 3, 2019 by Kyle
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Ah, freshman year. We’ve all heard the stereotype; Freshman year is the most fun you’ll never want to have again. You’ll do more school work than ever before, but at the same time, make lifelong friends, have formative experiences and party way too much.

While full of new adventures, it also comes with challenges. So, when you’re thinking about what to get an upcoming college freshman, a good mix of practical and fun items are […] Continue Reading…

Save 10% at Whole Foods When Buying Stuff by the Case

August 28, 2019 by Kyle
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Whole Foods is expensive, there I said it. But today I have a clever way for you to save some money, especially on the products you LOVE and simply can’t live without. It’s called the Whole Foods case discount and it scores you extra savings on your favorite items. Here’s how it works along with a couple bonus shopping hacks to make your next trip to Whole Foods totally legendary.

What Is the Case Discount?
10%.

If […] Continue Reading…

Lowe’s Military Discount: If You Served, It’s a No-Brainer Way to Save

August 27, 2019 by Kyle
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Hats off to the folks at Lowe’s. When it comes to honoring those who’ve served our country “they get it” and are happy to pass along some savings to those who keep us free. To this end, Lowe’s has come up with an easy-to-use military discount that allows vets and active military quick access to their savings when checking out in-store. You verify your information just once and you’re good-to-go every time you shop […] Continue Reading…

Here’s How the Apple Military Discount Works and How You Qualify

August 23, 2019 by Kyle
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Back in December of 2018, Apple officially announced and opened a dedicated online store specifically for active military and veterans. It’s a nice gesture by Apple to offer those who serve and protect our country a good deal on a new iPhone, MacBook, or iPad. So I figured it was time to take a closer look at how the Apple military discount works, how you qualify, and what kind of deals you can expect.

What […] Continue Reading…

The Home Depot Military Discount: Time to Cut Through the Confusion

August 22, 2019 by Kyle
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Unlike Lowe’s, the Home Depot does not have an official military discount printed anywhere on their website. This has created a lot of confusion as shoppers try to figure out what, if any, Home Depot military discount exists. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to investigate and see what I could find out. What I discovered was really enlightening. Hopefully you can take advantage of this information and save some money. Let’s get […] Continue Reading…

Amazon Employee Discount: The Nuts & Bolts So You Can Take Advantage

August 21, 2019 by Kyle
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(Updated 9/13/19) If you found this page you’re probably either a new hire at Amazon (or considering applying) and wondering what the Amazon employee discount is and how it works exactly. While researching their employee discount, and talking to my Amazon contacts, it quickly became evident that their discount is only a small portion of the employee perks package. So I went ahead and also listed the major benefits you get from working for […] Continue Reading…