100+ Gov't + Private Sector Discounts and Benefits for Veterans & Military Families
In This Guide
- Here’s what you’ll get in this guide:
- First step: Obtain a military ID card
- Government benefits
- Benefits for women veterans
- Pro tip 1: Consider joining a discount or benefits program for veterans
- Pro tip 2: Check out websites that offer tips and ideas for finding veterans discounts
- Deals and discounts for veterans
- Travel and transportation
- Groceries and dining
- Computer, phone, and electronics
- Health, Body, and Fitness
- Home Improvement
- Online Shopping Outlets
- More money-saving tips and ideas:
- Always ask for a discount
- Look for holiday specials
- Try comparison shopping
- Keep an eye out for discount days
- Use discounts for the whole family
- Look for rewards programs
- Do your research
Those who have served in the military are some of the most honored professionals in the United States. Whether Army, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, or Air Force, whether active duty or reserve, there are many folks out there who wish to celebrate you for your commitment and service.
That means that for the 21.8 million veterans living in the United States, there are many opportunities to save money and to receive rewards, discounts, and reduced rates in honor of your military service.
Of course, we can all stand to save a little money here and there, and it’s especially important that veterans know about the many businesses that offer discounts on their products and services. This handy guide will show you some of the benefits, discounts, and deals available to those who have served in the United States military, and how you can get them yourself.
Here’s what you’ll get in this guide:
Advice on how to obtain a military ID card which will help you access tons of deals
A list of government benefits for veterans
Over 100 amazing discounts for veterans divided into useful categories
Expert tips on saving money
First step: Obtain a military ID card
Many businesses, though not all, that offer discounts to veterans will require you to show proof of service. Let’s talk about a few different ways that you can obtain a military ID card or other proof of service and get started collecting your discounts and benefits:
Apply for a Veteran’s ID Card from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA): As of 2015, all veterans who served in the armed forces and/or the military reserve and were discharged honorably can apply to receive a Veteran’s ID Card (VIC) from the VA as a simple way to demonstrate proof of service. To start your application, click here.
Or, apply for VA health care: Those who receive health care benefits through the VA will receive an identification that can also be used as proof of service.
Find out if your state offers special driver’s licenses or photo IDs for veterans: Many states have developed licenses and photo IDs that act as proof of service for veterans. Check out this handy resource to find out whether your state provides these IDs and what the requirements are to obtain one.
See if your service organization offers ID cards: If you’re a member of a service organization such as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or the American Legion, your organization may offer you an ID card as part of your membership. While this doesn’t stand in for a government-issued ID, many businesses will accept this as proof of your service.
Show your DD12 Form 214 and a photo ID: The DD12 Form 214 is the paperwork you receive when you’re discharged from service and can be used as proof of service. If your forms have been lost, stolen or damaged, you can request new forms either online, by mail, or by fax from the National Archives.
Now that you’ve taken care of your proof of service, let’s explore some of the benefits that the government offers to veterans. In honor of your service, the government provides a number of different benefits to veterans that can help you to settle back into civilian life, from health care and home loans to education and training for a new career.
One of the simplest ways you can find out what benefits you’re eligible for and start gaining access to them is by registering with the VA’s eBenefits portal. The portal allows you to quickly and easily apply for various benefits, check the status of your applications, and manage your current benefits all in one convenient location.
Here are just a few of the services the government offers to military veterans to help you save money:
Disability compensation and benefits: If you’re a veteran who has an injury, medical disorder, or disability that you incurred while serving in the military or that is a result of your military service, you may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly compensation. There are also grants available for veterans with disabilities to make their homes more accessible and to make living alone easier.
Education and training: Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other similar legislation, veterans are eligible for assistance with college tuition, training, housing and other education-related expenses to help you get your degree or train for a career in a new field.
Health care: Veterans can apply to receive free or low-cost health care through the VA. Benefits are extended to those who have served out their allotted time in active service (typically 24 months) and will vary based on your income level and access to other health care insurance through a spouse or other source. You may be able to receive VA benefits as a supplement to another insurance plan as well.
Housing assistance and home loans: The VA offers home loans for those looking to purchase a home or install energy-saving technology in a current home as well as refinancing options with lower interest rates for those who already have a home loan. Native American veterans can also receive direct loans to purchase, construct, or improve homes on Federal Trust land.
There are many non-profits and other organizations out there whose mission is to help you with the transition back to civilian life, particularly when it comes to accessing the benefits you’re entitled to through the US government.
Benefits for women veterans
For women veterans specifically, there are many organizations that provide you with opportunities and discounts.
- She S.E.R.V.E.D. is an excellent resource that donates clothing and personal hygiene products, and offers weekend retreats and career workshops for a smooth transition out of military life.
- The U.S. Department of Labor offers a Women Veteran Program that ensures equal resources are given to men and women veterans, and offers free employment services at American Job Centers nationwide.
- The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers health care plans specifically for women veterans, under the VA Women Veterans Health Program. They also offer resources to homeless women vets, including emergency shelter, transitional housing programs, and permanent housing.
- The YWCA provides a multitude of resources for women vets, including emergency housing, health care, career training and counseling, and sexual assault support.
- Organizations such as the National Veterans Foundation, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion also offer services to help you access your benefits as well as scholarships, employment resources, and emergency assistance if you’re in need.
- Other quality reference sites and online communities for women veterans include AmericanWomenVeterans.org and National Women Veterans United.
- Lady Foot Locker offers a 20% discount on orders online or in-store.
- David's Bridal offers a 10% discount to active duty service members, veterans, and their families.
- Military members can get a 10% off discount at Dress Barn.
Pro tip 1: Consider joining a discount or benefits program for veterans
There are a few programs out there that you can sign up for that will help you get linked up with discounts and rewards in one convenient place. Some are free while others may have a small monthly fee for subscription.
These programs will help you to find discounts and rewards and many offer exclusive savings for members that you won’t find anywhere else. Here are three that are definitely worth checking out:
Veteran’s Advantage is a registered public benefits corporation that offers free or low-cost subscription plans to veterans that link them up with special discounts from major corporations. A free account will connect you with a database of deals that are available to all veterans, while the paid subscription at $5/month gets you access to discounts exclusive to Veteran’s Advantage members at many different retailers nationwide.
ID.me offers a digital wallet service that also acts as an online ID that can serve as proof of service for veteran’s discounts. The service has connections with business partners who offer exclusive deals and rewards which you can gain access to by signing up. The ID.me wallet also offers cash back deals from some of your favorite online retailers.
Sheer ID provides a similar service to ID.me, allowing you to easily verify your status as a veteran and get access to exclusive deals from their corporate sponsors.
Pro tip 2: Check out websites that offer tips and ideas for finding veterans discounts
There are a lot of websites out there dedicated to helping veterans find ways to save money. Browse the following websites to find out if businesses in your area offer discounts for veterans:
Militarybenefits.com: This easy-to-use resource compiles a bunch of information and discount ideas for current and former military service members. Check out the Military Discounts tab to get started.
Military.com: The Discounts tab is broken up into categories that make it easy to search for exactly what you’re looking for.
Deals and discounts for veterans
There are plenty of other discounts, reduced rates, and rewards available to veterans. With so many of them out there, it can be difficult to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve broken down these discounts into several different categories, and offered a few examples for each, to help you quickly and easily figure out how to access all the money-saving rewards the US offers to its esteemed veterans.
Travel and transportation
From discounts on plane and train tickets, to reduced rates on hotels and rental cars, there are plenty of ways to make travel more affordable if you’re a veteran.
Check out these amazing deals:
United Airlines: 5 percent discount for Veteran’s Advantage members for flights that originate in the US and Canada with destinations in the US, Canada, Mexico, the Carribean, and Central America.
JetBlue: 5 percent discount on flights to 85+ everyday travel destinations to folks enrolled in Veteran’s Advantage. JetBlue also allows you to check two pieces of baggage at no additional cost.
Allegiant Airlines: Free select services for veterans including three pieces of checked baggage for free, free boarding pass printing and reserved seat selection, and one pet in the cabin at no cost.
Bus and train travel:
- Amtrak: 15 percent discount for Veteran’s Advantage members that can be used for up to seven tickets for spouses, immediate family members, and dependents.
Greyhound: 10 percent discount on bus fare for Veteran’s Advantage members. Greyhound also provides low or no-cost travel assistance for veteran’s traveling to and from VA hospitals.
Peter Pan: 15 percent discount for veterans with a valid military photo ID.
La Quinta: 12 percent discount on hotel rooms. Veterans also automatically get upgraded to Gold status when they join the La Quinta Rewards Returns program which allows you to earn points towards free rooms and other offers when you stay at La Quinta hotels nationwide.
Motel 6: 10 percent discount to all retired military personnel.
Super 8: 15 percent discount for veterans and their family members.
Sixt: 5 percent off car rentals.
Divi Resorts: 20 percent off resort stay at their locations in Aruba, St. Croix, Bonaire, Barbados, and St. Maarten.
Sandals: 10 percent discount added to any promotional rate year-round.
Caesar’s Resort: Veterans with an ID.me account qualify for the Total Salute Rewards program which gets you discounted rates on hotels, complimentary parking, and many other free and discounted benefits at Caesar’s locations.
Groceries and dining
Get your tastebuds ready! These well-known purveyors of food and drink have veterans discounts on the menu that you’re going to love:
Costco: Get $60 in savings when you sign up for a membership.
Sam’s Club: Get a $10 eGift card for signing up.
Thrive Market: Low-income veterans can apply for a free membership to get healthy, organic food delivered to your door.
99 Restaurants: 10 percent discount for veterans.
Depending on location, you can get discounts of up to 20 percent from Applebee’s, IHOP, Cracker Barrel, Johnny Rocket’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Dairy Queen, Lonestar Steak House, Shoney’s, Denny’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, and many other beloved chain restaurants. Ask your server to find out if discounts apply!
Make getting from A to B easier (and cheaper!) with these savings on cars.
Ford: Retirees and veterans less than 24 months out of service get a $500 credit towards a Ford automobile.
Honda: Retirees and veterans less than 12 months out of service get a $500 credit towards a Honda.
General Motors: Retirees and veterans less than 12 months out of service can get a deal on a GM car with rates below MSRP.
Geico: 15 percent off car insurance premiums.
Computer, phone, and electronics
Connect with friends and family and stay up to date with the latest technology with these discounts on electronics:
Verizon: Choice of $15 discount on the Beyond Unlimited and Go Unlimited plans or 15 percent off monthly service fees for other eligible plans, and 25 percent off online purchase of select accessories.
AT&T: 15 percent off monthly service charges on select unlimited plans.
T-Mobile: 15 percent off monthly service charges on select plans. Veteran’s Advantage members can also receive a $100 bill credit per line when you enroll or add a new line to an existing account.
Sprint: 15 percent off select plans.
Dell: Service members receive 10 percent off.
Crutchfield: $25 off purchases of $250 or more with an ID.me account.
Microsoft 365: 10 percent off for military members and family.
Get reduced rates on movies and entertainment in honor of your service:
Cinemark: Discounted movie tickets for retired service members and their families at select theaters.
Regal Theaters: Discounted movie tickets at select times and locations.
Vet Tix: Connects veterans with free tickets to movies, shows, and sporting events through donations from various venues.
Tough Mudder: 20 percent off registration price for obstacle races.
Health, Body, and Fitness
Keep your body fit and healthy with these health and fitness discounts:
Gold’s Gym: Low enrollment fee and discounted monthly dues at participating locations.
Again Faster: 7 percent discount on training equipment.
Veteran’s Advantage Prescription Drug Discount: Veteran’s Advantage members receive an average of a 20 percent and as much as a 65 percent discount on prescription drugs at 56,000 pharmacies nationwide.
Sally Beauty: Receive a free rewards card with military ID.
Grab the supplies you need to build or renovate your home with these home improvement discounts:
Home Depot: 10 percent discount up to $500 annually either online or in person with valid ID.
Lowe’s: 10 percent discount online or in person.
JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores: 10 percent discount in-store with valid ID. Includes sale and promotional items.
Michael’s: 15 percent off in store with valid ID.
Sherwin Williams: 15 percent off in store with valid ID.
Yankee Candle: 10 percent off in store with valid ID.
Williams Sonoma: 15 percent off most items and 10 percent off electronics in store with a valid ID.
Online Shopping Outlets
Shopping online is one of the easiest, most convenient ways to get all of the supplies you need. These companies have savings for military veterans and civilians alike:
Overstock.com: Service members and veterans can get a free Club O Gold membership with rewards averaging $55 per year on Overstock’s already discounted items.
Amazon: Amazon Prime members can get free two-day shipping on many Amazon products. Reduced membership rates are now offered to low-income veterans and their families.
Stay in style with military discounts from some of your favorite clothing retailers including:
10 percent discount on clothing and apparel purchases at:
ID.me members with a Troop ID can get 10 percent discounts at Under Armour, Jockey, Wrangler, Merrell, Saucony, Hanes, Champion, and many others as well as 15 percent or more at Sperry, Columbia, Ray Ban, and more.
Foot Locker: 20 percent off most items.
Benefits and discounts are available for you at some of the nation’s most trusted banks:
Chase: No monthly service fee, four free non-Chase ATM visits, no fee on money orders and cashier’s checks, and many other benefits with Chase Military Banking.
Wells Fargo: Worldwide Military Banking offers four US and four international withdrawals from non-affiliated ATMs per month at no additional charge.
Transitioning back into civilian life can be a challenge after you’ve completed your service. However, there are a number of different companies that have made it their mission to prioritize veterans for employment. And, while finding a job isn’t exactly going to save you money, it can give you the stability to afford the things you want and need.
If you’re looking for employment, these are just a few of the organizations are actively committed to hiring former service members:
More money-saving tips and ideas:
What we’ve discussed here is just the tip of the iceberg. Many small and local businesses have discounts available for you. There are also plenty of tips and tricks out there for saving money regardless of whether you’re a veteran, including many right here on Dealspotr. Here are a few ideas that can help you to save money every day:
Always ask for a discount
It might not always be clear whether a business has a veterans discount, but you’ll never know unless you ask. Many stores don’t advertise a discount up front but do have one available. So talk to your server, cashier, or clerk and ask them whether a discount is available.
Look for holiday specials
Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July are all holidays when businesses offer special deals to veterans and military personnel including free meals, discounts, and rewards.
Try comparison shopping
As we’ve seen here, there are many different companies out there offering discounts and savings for veterans. When you’re in the market for something, shop around and see which companies offer the best prices and which ones offer discounts for veterans as well.
Keep an eye out for discount days
Some businesses offer military discounts on specific days of the week such as Old Navy’s Military Monday discount where you can get 10 percent off your purchases every Monday with a valid ID.
Use discounts for the whole family
Many of the discounts that are offered to veterans are also extended to family members. Check with companies that have veteran's discounts and ask whether your family members are eligible to receive them too.
Look for rewards programs
Many major companies offer loyalty or rewards programs where you can earn points and discounts for each purchase you make. Some companies such as Kmart will offer to boost you to a better rewards program if you’re a veteran or allow you to sign up for the program for free if there’s a charge.
Do your research
We’ve offered plenty of deals and ideas here, but there’s a whole lot more out there. Type “veteran discounts” into your favorite search engine and see if there’s something we missed.
Dealspotr offers a huge database of regularly updated discounts and promo codes for veterans and civilians alike. You can also keep up with our blog for more useful money-saving tips and tricks.