267 – Veteran’s Days Deals with Ryan Guina of The Military Wallet

Honor Veterans this Veterans Day

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Air Force veteran Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet.

The Military Wallet is a company specializing in creating a campaign to help you and your company reach the military and veteran community.

They have worked with many major organizations to attract attention to products or services that are beneficial to the military community.

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0:02
All right, Ryan, good night. Thank you so much for joining us, you are the founder of The Military Wallet. And that's at the military wallet dot com, and cash money life.com. And just fun fact, you're also a personal friend of mine. We've been friends for many, many years, both military veterans. And, you know, for this subject I, there was nobody else that I could think of that, that I'd rather have to be able to talk about this subject. And that is we're going to cover military discounts outside of just, you know, Veterans Day, and we're seeing more and more of discounts on Memorial Day as well. So anyway, thank you so much for joining us.

0:42
Hey, thanks for having me, Josh. I appreciate it.

0:44
So do you know much about the like, have businesses always been giving military discounts because if I think back, I don't remember any kind of discounts. At least I didn't know about them. Prior to stay 911 911 happened. So I served just a quick little history. So I served from 1990 to 95. And it seemed like when I got out, you know, it just wasn't that big of a deal like Veterans Day. I don't think anybody like it was known that I had served in the military. And it just know, it would be weird to say Happy Veterans Day, like no one said anything about it. And then I think 911 happened and our culture completely changed. Because now our military was in the news. We were actively, you know, going after the bad guys who had absolutely done us wrong. And, you know, it's like, I think our military men and women and their families, you know, we got, it was just much more clear in terms of, you know, it was just much more visuals. It was much more part of our narrative of our of our life and as Americans. You know, that You know, we have a lot more people deployed as well. But, you know, our military families became kind of like superheroes, you know, to go out and write the wrongs and and, you know, bring justice democracy to the world and keep us safe.

2:15
Yeah, so to answer your question, I joined the Air Force in 1999. And at the time, I knew there were some military discounts. But they were typically from your larger companies, like, you could call an airline and say, Hey, do you have a military discount for your airline tickets? And, you know, there were certain other things as well. But no, I agree. 911 changed the world. In many ways, but especially how military members are viewed. Patriotism was instill is at an all time high. I mean, it's today we're talking. We're 18 years later. So it's, it's been a long time. But you know, patriotism is still very, very high in our country. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we were attacked and it does change the way that we look at Our military and so yeah, I think it kind of changed. That's probably a good turning point. Now there are military discounts a variety of them, and not just for current military members, but in many cases for former military members. So it's, um, it's a huge thing. And I'm glad that companies offered to us and one thing and I never feel like I deserve a discount or or anything like that. I really want it. Yeah, if they want to extend one. You know, I appreciate the the sincerity and I know that it's not for me, in particular, it's for all the service members. So I think that as the military community, we need to be very cognizant of that and just be aware of what we represent and who we represent. And really, we're just an extension of our country. So as long as we're going into it with with wide eyes, in a humble heart, and I think I think it's okay, yeah.

3:56
You know, the vast majority of people that I've ever talked to are still You know, take advantage of like, you know, Veterans Day is just such a, it is such a wonderful time to go and you know, just go to the restaurants because now you you know, you kind of see all the other veterans that are that are there and you get to eat lunch with them. And every single one that I've ever seen Ryan is just always extremely grateful. You know, just you know, whether it's a free meal on Veterans Day or 10% off or whatever it might be. I always I always see the you know, please and thank you and just, you know, the appreciation so I think it's very, very rare. You know, does it do we ever have problems with that Now, one thing that I know I had someone had mentioned to me is that you know, it's first off when someone when it when a retailer offers and this is important to know when a retailer offers a military discount. And again, for the person who's listening to the conversation on even if you'd known in your immediate family serve, please share this episode with someone that you know, particularly if you know that they're a military veteran, male, spouse, retiree, that sort of thing so that they kind of know, kind of the ins and outs. And, and Ryan, I think one thing that I see pretty common line is that military members won't ask for the discount, because one thing I know about those who have served is, you know, they don't they're not necessarily looking for handouts and and in some ways, it's like, Look, I'm good, you don't have that. I appreciate that. But I encourage all of our military families members milsom please take advantage of the discounts. They're there for a reason. They want you know, if I'm a retailer, I want people taking advantage of this because it's goodwill. It's the right thing to do. I think that, you know, I had a really good conversation with boo Kerrigan boo was the sports director for the now I'm really talking out of my league right now. for it, I have it on YouTube if you search, like I did an interview with him, but he talked about, you know, why do we say thank you to a veteran. And you know, there's some of us like, you know, I wasn't really tip of the spear. I was in Hawaii, I was in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for three years. And then I was out in the Aleutian Islands for one year. I wasn't shooting bullets at the bad guys. But I signed a blank check when I joined. And I think that you know, what his point was, when I asked him about this, he goes, you know, the reason that we all want to say thank you, and the reason that we all no matter what they did, how they serve, and you know, say thank you and we offer things like discounts and you know, ask, you know, veteran like, you know, what can I do? It's because at the very least they kind of put their life on hold for a few years. And you do you sign a blank check and you have no idea. You know, what, what you're going to end up doing You know, general idea based on you know your your mo so your job or whatever. But But yeah, I was I was ready to go and do whatever was asked I mean that's that's why you sign up so and then because our military families have made that you know that sacrifice of a few years if everybody just chipped in a little bit that kind of equalizes the playing field which by the way is kind of like my same philosophy for you know, why you might serve like minority business owners minority, you know, people that are in underprivileged, you know, have an underprivileged background, women owned businesses, you know, you know, we if we all contribute just a little bit extra we can offset anything that's coming along culturally, that is is an unfair situation, so that's good. Anyway, I didn't mean to get on my soapbox on that. This is by the way your interview Ryan, you're the guest here I'm sorry

7:51
I'm going on and on and on. Forgive me Hey, no, it's it's it's your platform. So when it comes to military discounts, Personally, like I don't always ask, but there's there's a reason for that if there's a long line, if it's something that I'm not sure they already do offer a discount that I might not be likely to do that I generally don't ask for a discount from small businesses or entrepreneurs. If, if they offer me one like, so a lot of military members, with with small businesses will serve the military community and they actively seek out those customers, and they may offer a discount right away, Hey, your military, then I'll offer you discount. If it's offered. I'm not going to turn it down. And if it's part of the community, and that's what they're seeking, then I'm not going to turn it down. But if it's, you know, somebody has this brand new business, they've just started off or they're, they're a solo founder. I'm not going to ask it then because I know they're, I'm a small business owner myself. You know, I'm trying to do the same thing and hustle and make my business and serve my family. So in those cases, I'm not going to ask it but it's a national retailer. of big chain. If it's a restaurant Near base, and I happen to be there. And I know that they have one. They sure you know, it's it's not a big deal to, for me to ask that. But you know it, it also brings me to a topic that I is very important to me, right? There are some people out there who feel that the military discount is there, right. And it's, it's a privilege. So anytime anybody is extending that goodwill toward you. We need to be gracious as a military community and just say, Hey, you know, do you have a military discount? ask politely if they don't? Or if they're not sure. I mean, they could have a bet be a bad day could be a new clerk at the cash register. Hey, no problem. Just thought I'd ask. Yeah, but you know, don't raise a stink. Don't call a manager over there. Don't make no don't do that. I've seen these things. I've had a lot of very, very aggressive and similar hurtful comments left on my website from people who feel that they were wrong. Because so and so got a discount, and they didn't, or the company changed their policy or somebody just maybe the cash register just didn't know or that you know, the person working the register. As a community, we really need to represent the military at all times. Even if you're no longer in, you know, Josh, you mentioned you've been a veteran or out of military for 20 years now.

10:21
Oh, long time.

10:24
But if if you're doing that you still represent that military community. Yeah. That's right. Or for people to to recognize is that we're still an extension of the military, even if we're no longer serving.

10:37
Yeah. So and again, I I honestly, Mike, my experience of that is that's very rare. Most military members are just yeah, you know, I thank you so much. I just they keep that honor with them at all times. So Ryan, let's talk about some of the discounts that are that are no brainers that are really, really easy to get, you know, and there are some that I just I really wasn't aware of You know, even and and it's it's really, you know, it's pretty popular. You know, one thing that I'm very curious of I know for sure that I am not taking advantage of this. If they do have any kind of discounts at any national restaurant chains, I'm just not aware of that. And certainly Lowe's and Home Depot because they advertise it so much. Sure. And my local pool supply store, Leslie's has a thing right on the counter military 10% off I was like, Okay, yeah. What are some other ones that are really really and by the way, I want to make sure that the the indispensable guide for this topic is is on the internet is the military wallet.com and it's the one that everybody copies on Veterans Day.

11:53
They do some actually some major websites. Just point blank copy and paste from my website. They tend not to do that anymore. Because Yeah. But there is a lot of sharing of information. We'll call it that, but appreciate the shout out there. So when it comes to like restaurants, restaurants are kind of a tricky topic, because a lot of times it's going to be at the managers discretion. And a lot of times there are franchises. So if it's a franchise, let's say McDonald's, for example, more than half, or I don't know the exact numbers, but I think more than half of McDonald's, individual restaurants are franchise owned, so not corporate owned. So the corporate may not have this policy, but a local franchise might, but not all of them do. So it's very hard to say, Hey, does McDonald's have a military discount? If I put it on my website and say, No, they don't, then that's not a true answer. But if I say Yes, they do. It's not a true answer. It's really a case by case. So what you'll find is that a lot of these franchises, they may do a free meal on veterans. Stay, but they won't do anything the rest of the time. However, if if it's only a certain franchise, it might be, you know, one guy my own 10 or 20 of these franchises in a city or a regional area. So I try to be very careful about listing these kinds of discounts on our veterans page or on our website in general, because, you know, if you don't put those specific locations where if I say, hey, it's in the Tampa, Florida area, or Yeah, Texas, I'll still get angry comments from people saying they went and asked for a free meal and didn't get one. Even though it's clearly put on there, these locations only so yeah, some people read it in a hurry or they don't read the full information. So when it comes to restaurants, I try to list only the ones that have nationwide or I'll list the specific locations if that's the case. So Veterans Day, typically you'll have a lot of places giving free meals. They're actually Golden Corral has been doing this for years. I think they started Yeah, even before September 11, right Oh, and there are a few other chains that have done that for a while. But now it seems like every year it's it's bigger and bigger and you'll have some some big nationwide chains like you know, red Robins got a free burger on Veterans Day Applebee's. So I believe chilis. Hooters Outback, they'll always do something. Yeah, lots of lots of great big chains. And it's great. Because if you can go to one of these places, you can, like you said, really sit down and enjoy a meal with your family or you can sit down with other veterans and talk to them and have a good time. My wife and I both served. So a lot of times will take my daughters out. And you know, my wife and I would get a free meal will buy one for our daughters. But the companies like doing this because they know, hey, if we give one meal away, this veteran is more than likely going to bring a friend or they're going to bring a family and true. Yeah, and so they're going to spend more that day. I always is to make sure please, when you're tipping tip the amount of the meal so Oh, please do yes. So if my wife and I go and we order two kids meals for my daughter's you know, our final bill might be less than $20 but I'll probably leave a $20 tip right so for me it's not like Oh, I got the free meal I can go and save all my money and haha no I want to thank the waitstaff because they're serving us and and so if if you have the means, by all means do that, if you're if you're having some hard luck, then you know, by all means, just be grateful that you can have a free meal and really do take advantage of that because these restaurants and these organizations, they really do want to serve the military community on those days.

15:44
You know, Ryan, one discount that should be a no brainer and everybody who has been in the military or is in the military should ask for would be a discount on your cell phone bill. That's kind of that's really, really easy to get And some of them are pretty generous. Do you know off the top of your head so I give me a so I in fact, just did this where I just shopped around. And I'll do by the way, I'm going to do a whole podcast all about exactly what I did exactly what I said. But I was with 210 15 minute phone calls. I was able to save over $1,400 a year. Yeah. So the our cell phone for five people unlimited data. I mean, it's no joke. I mean, it's it's a little pricey. And so I gone to T Mobile, we were with so we're with Verizon, and that's who I was paying, checked out and went to TMobile I'm like, what's the best deal I can get? military discount was really good with TMobile took that back to Verizon, I said, Listen, I'm going to, I'm going to jump unless you guys can, you know, match this. And they did and in fact, they beat it even and So honestly, it was a 1510 minute called a TMobile and a 15 minute call to Verizon and bam 1400 dollars. Like I said, in a future episode, I'm going to talk about exactly like the language I used. Like that really, really matters like how you ask for this stuff. But just you know, my experience maybe you know the numbers off the top of your head but so Verizon and I don't know if this is standard, but I think I so I have a total with five lines. I'm getting $40 off for military discount, which I'm very, very grateful for. And I know T Mobile I think has the most generous, don't they?

17:35
I think t mobile's is one of the most generous, however. So I don't know the numbers off the top of my head. We have four major players, right 18 five rise in t mobile and sprint. Now here is the best part about each of these companies. Not only do they apply to current military members, but they apply to all veterans who have ever served. So you're listening. You're like, Hey, I served, you know, three or four years way back in the day. None of this applies to me that's not the case. There are a lot of companies that do offer these discounts to veterans. All four of the major cell phone providers are, are included in that so you can save a tremendous amount of money. Most of I think all of the military discount offers are for the unlimited plans for data and talk and all them so yeah, it's not like you're getting a base plan with 200 minutes and you know, right byte of data or anything like that. They're really generous plans. And the reason is the the cell phone market is so competitive these days, and that's why Verizon play ball with you is they don't want to lose you as a customer. So a lot of these companies, they don't want to lose people for customers. The T mobile's offers great but all of them are really good. Depending on your situation, they're all just a little bit different. I think Sprint's is $60 for the first person and then X amount for the second and then after that, it's like $10 per person after that. So per while, so whatever in don't quote me on that that's going off the top of the head. And I didn't review these prior to this call, I just kind of reviewed general discounts across the board. But whatever these are, you really have to compare each of the cell phone providers to see which is best for your situation. If you've got five lines, your situation is going to be different than somebody who needs two lines. And there's going to be different than somebody who has four or five kids. So really compare all the providers and then you're also going to need to look and see which is the best in your area because some of the providers do really great in certain locations, but the coverage might not be as good in other locations. Yeah, my wife and I are on the sprint right now. We've got a good deal with them and where we are, we're close enough to City area where coverage has never been an issue for us. So for us, we're really happy with those rates. But my daughters are are of the age where they don't need cell phones yet, but in a few years, they may yet re evaluate it and

19:57
look out Ryan. It's gone. We're gonna need limited data, my friend.

20:04
And, you know, my oldest is 10. And she's asking for it now. And we're saying, you don't need it now. But a few years will happen. And that's okay. And we'll reevaluate. We'll see which offers are the best at that time. So, yeah, I do have a full article on my website where I do compare each of the four major right companies and talk about each of their, their discounts and what they offer. So I would encourage you to look at all of them at once. And don't just go to your current provider because switching might be able to save you a ton of money. And sometimes, they'll offer you a discount when you trade in a phone or buy a new phone.

20:38
Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah. If you're coming from Verizon, though, don't pay off your phones. Yeah. So um, so go to the military wallet.com and then you hover over in the menu, it says discounts. And then that first link is military discounts guide. And that's what I'm actually referring to. So that's how I know what questions to ask you and then Ryan? I don't know, man just read whatever it says on the page. I don't have this stuff memorized. You know, there's two discounts that I didn't realize I should have been getting all along and that's that's why it's really helpful to kind of check this stuff out. But I see great clips. I mean, I was getting my I've got my hair cut there I don't anymore. I now have I now actually my wife talked me into going to like a barber barber. But I've been using Great Clips for a long, long, long time. And I never asked for that military discount other than that veterans day because they advertise that but I didn't realize there was an everyday discount. I don't know if that's for active that may be for active duty. But that's listed BJ wholesale club never took advantage of that and and so that's what I think it's really helpful to like, you know, keep plugged in with a lot of you know, with your community with your website. Make sure we're on your email list so we can get updated when you think Are announced.

22:01
Yeah, so great clips, like you said it is for current members, they also do first responders. So your your empties are firefighters, your police and there are a lot of places that will do that as well. And I'm I love seeing that there are a couple websites out there. id.me is one of them where they actually have a bunch of discounts. And they do include discounts for first responders as well, I think for teachers and students. So this a lot of these discounts. They may be specific to military of what we're talking about today. But even if you're not military or you know, maybe you serve these some specific discounts don't apply to you. They may have if you transitioned into a first responder type job or if your teacher now you know always asked just even beyond military, hey, do you have a first responder discount. A lot of restaurants do that. They don't always advertising but a lot of them have like a 10% discount and things like that. A lot of times they may not advertise It but if you show up in uniform if you're, you know, I'm, I'm I'm in the guard now so I'm not in uniform very often, but when I go out to eat when I'm at drill, if I do that, then a lot of times they'll they'll see me in uniform, they'll just take 10% off, or maybe they'll get a drink or something like that. Yes, I'm set. You know, I don't ask for it. But if they offer it, then you know, just be very gracious and always leave a you know, an extra buck or two on the tip.

23:26
Yeah, yeah, for sure. you one last thing I wanted to talk about was travel. And so any considerations for the military member, former military that served or some things that they might want to look out for?

23:40
Yeah, so travel. This is a great topic and there are a lot of military discounts for travel. Travel. However, as you know, is such a competitive industry, like the margins are very thin. So the discounts may or may not be large, and in some cases, the military discounts may not be better than what you can get Through. So you have hotel points or airline miles and things like that. So you really need to look at what's out there. And some of the airline airlines, for example, or hotels, they may not advertise the military discounts, so you may have to call them and get it done manually, if you will. Now, in some cases, hotels, if you are on active duty or if you're on orders, they will give you the I think it's called the GSA rate or whatever the per diem rate is for that location. And you may think, Well, okay, that's that's not a big deal. But it might actually be because in some locations, these hotels, let's say it's normally 150 bucks or 200 bucks a night, they may give you whatever the per diem rate is and break it down to wherever it fits in your per diem, and you can stay at a much nicer place than you might otherwise if you had just use their website to book so it always helps for military discounts for travel, always call and ask if if they have something in place. They may and and it may be a better deal, but in some cases like airlines, they may have their military discount, but if you get it through one of your price aggregators like a Priceline or Expedia or Travelocity, they may have a better rate than you can get through the military. The other thing to look out is free checked bags not I don't know if all airlines do it, but I think that a lot of them if your military or for your own orders, they will give you free check bags, and sometimes they'll allow you to go over the weight limits. So really, it's it's case by case you just got to call the airlines and in hotel systems and figure out what's the best offer there.

25:34
Yep, there is no I'm on Expedia. You do have a military discount for Expedia?

25:39
Yeah, YR does as well. Okay, do you if you book any hotel, I think it's $100 or more, then you automatically get 10% off. I just got that right now and I have booked thousands of dollars of hotels over the past you know, 12 some years however long a bed booking that's kind of hot wires. Usually my go to You for booking hotels. So, you know, that's the value of having conversations like this is, you know, yeah, you learn things. And Ryan, you're certainly a wealth of knowledge. And again, your website is the military wallet.com. And then as well, cash money life.com, which we'll talk about another time, cash money life, of course, that has a lot more information for more of a general audience about investing money management, banking, credit cards, career education, that sort of thing.

26:33
Yep. Excellent.

26:34
Yep. One more quick discount, just category I'll cover in 30 seconds or less electronics, computers, apple, really. All three of those. You can go to the Apple website, the Dell website and the Microsoft website, they've got a place where you can register. Most of the time it's going to be like five to 10% off of your hardware. So if I gotta go buy a new Apple computer, you can save 10% off. The other thing is If you do the office 365 through Microsoft, you're currently serving this is not for veterans. The other the other offers I believe, are for veterans as well as active duty. So you can go there and save 10% on on a new MacBook or Microsoft Surface or something like that. The Office 365 they have what they call the home use product. And it's a licensing agreement through companies. This doesn't apply just to active military but so you work for a large company like a Boeing or a GM or, or something like that. A lot of times they'll work deals with Microsoft so your workers can get use their products at home, and you can save I think it's 30% off with the military one, I'm not sure for the other companies, but it's 30% off your office 365 and that includes your what is that the cloud storage then access to the entire Microsoft Office Suite. So look, look into those offers as well because they can save you a ton of money.

27:58
You don't want another one. I just want to throw This out there because I don't want to forget is a LinkedIn which I use a lot. And LinkedIn has a free one year premium career subscription to mail it for military men. And that is so cool. So if you're looking to, you know, if you're reaching out from a jobs perspective, it LinkedIn is such a powerful tool, and LinkedIn will give you that premium career subscription for free for a year, which is really nice. You could do that. I think id.me has that linked up? Yep.

28:32
Yeah, so that's, that's huge for transitioning military members or anybody who's really coming up to a job change in their in their career. So if you doubt me as a company, and other one is share id.com, I believe it is SHER ID. And what these companies do is they verify for these, say you're a company like Lowe's and you want to verify somebody's military service or you know, they've got a form on their site and they connect A sheer ID or a troop used to be true by the US id.me. And what they do is those two companies interface with DOD databases to verify somebody's service. It's all secure. No information is really changed hands, I believe all all I had to do is give my last name and date of birth and the year I got out of the military, something like that, but they don't store that on their servers, basically, is to verify Yes, this person is a military veteran. And yeah, once you're in there, then it verifies it for the company. And that's a safe and secure way for these companies to verify wonderful discounts. Yeah, it's a

29:34
great service. Oh, man, this is great. This Great, well, hopefully we helped you know, especially for our savings Angel fans that have shared this with their friends and families that might have served hopefully we've just resulted in a lot more people getting some great discounts and, and retailers happy because their discounts that they're making available or getting taken advantage of. So which are which I absolutely love. Well run. And good. Ah, thank you again so much for joining us again. You're the founder of the military wallet

30:05
calm and cash money life. com Thank you so much. Thank you, Josh. I appreciate you having me.

30:22
Now I'm really talking out of my league right now.