Amy Miller, AFC®
During the recent MilMoneyCon event in Nashville, we heard from keynote speaker, Dr. Eric Elbogen. Dr. Elbogen is the director of the VA National Center on Veteran’s Financial Health which focuses on the financial challenges facing Veterans today.
Dr. Elbogen recalled a story about a Veteran in one of the money-management groups he facilitates. The Veteran reported saving around $10,000 in one year by seeking out and asking for military discounts everywhere he shopped, ate, and played. $10k in discounts is HUGE, so naturally, this piqued my interest. I love a good discount and never remember to ask if one is available. (Read more about Dr. Elbogen’s presentation in our recap of MilMoneyCon)
Many businesses offer regular discounts to service members, Veterans, and their families year-round. Some offer additional discounts during the month of May in honor of Military Appreciation Month or November for Veterans Day. I wondered how much the military community could save if we knew what discounts were available. This motivated me to put together the following list of discounts. These are discounts you can take advantage of all year as well as a few extras for Military Appreciation Month. As we get closer to November, I will share some discounts for Veterans Day also!
Retailers & Shopping Discounts
Academy Sports & Outdoors: 10% off online and in-store purchases
Advanced Auto Parts: 10% discount on in-store purchases with valid ID for military members and Veterans
Belk: Up to 20% discount on Tuesday for both active-duty and Veterans
Brides Across America: Many bridal retailers work with this organization to provide free wedding dresses to military brides. Check their website for specific event locations, dates, and details.
Carters & OshKosh: Free shipping on orders over $35 to APO and FPO addresses.
Crocs: 25% discount off all full-price styles. Must verify military status. Some exclusions apply.
Home Depot: Active-Duty, Veterans, and Spouses receive a 10% discount up to $400 annually.
Jiffy Lube: Most locations offer a 15% discount to active-duty service members.
Michaels: 15% off the entire purchase including some sale items with a Michaels Rewards account.
Pep Boys: 10% discount every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Rack Room Shoes: 10% off the entire purchase in stores every Tuesday and 20% off on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Veterans Day.
Sleep Number: 20% discount with promo code that can be retrieved from their website.
Walgreens: 20% in-store discount on eligible items from May 26-29th with a myWalgreens membership.
Whirlpool: 15% off all new orders for major appliances online and free delivery and haul away on purchases over $1000.00.
1800flowers: Discounts of up to 30% on truly original flowers and gifts for Veterans Advantage Members and their families.
Food & Beverage
Applebee’s: 10% discount with ID. They also offer free meals to active-duty service members and Veterans on Veterans Day.
Carrabba’s: Active Duty & Veterans receive a 10% discount on their entire bill and can receive a free appetizer or dessert on Veterans Day each year.
Chic-Fil-A: Most locations offer a 10% discount every day to activity duty military and Veterans with ID.
Dairy Queen: The amount of discount varies by location but can be as high as 50% for servicemembers in uniform.
Golden Corral: 10% discount for Active-Duty Service Members and Veterans with valid ID as well as a yearly Military Appreciation Night that features free meals. (dates vary by location)
Hard Rock Café: 15% discount on all food and beverage with valid military ID.
Mission BBQ: Active-Duty and Veteran service members can enjoy a FREE sandwich on their designated day during Military Appreciation Week, May 15-19, 2023.
Monday – Army
Tuesday – Marine Corps
Wednesday – Navy
Thursday – Air Force & Space Force
Friday – Coast Guard
They will also host a special Lunch with the Heroes offering free sandwiches on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 11 am-2 pm.
Outback Steakhouse: 10% discount off the entire check
Shoney’s: 15% discount with valid military ID
Fun & Entertainment – Travel & Attractions
AMC Theatres: 10% off any evening ticket. Must be purchased at the box office only at participating theatres.
Amtrak: 10% discount on the lowest available fare on most trains for service members and their families. They also allow uniformed service members to move to the front of the ticket line.
Baseball Hall of Fame: Free admission for active-duty military and career retired military. There is discounted admission for Veterans and children under 6 years old are free.
Bluestar Museums: Free admission to the active-duty military from Saturday, May 20 – Monday, September 4, 2023, to any of their nationwide locations.
Rent-A-Car: Up to 25% discount on rentals with a Veterans Advantage membership.
Busch Gardens & SeaWorld: Active-Duty military receive complimentary 1-day admission for them and up to 3 family members year-round at one of the two parks. During Military Appreciation Month Veterans can also receive complimentary admission for themselves and up to 3 family members.
Choice Hotels: Special rates are available for leisure travel along with Choice Privileges Lifetime Golf Status with bonus points on qualifying stays.
Disney Cruise Lines: Special military rates on new bookings for select cruises. Limited to one stateroom per military member, per sailing.
Dollywood: Active-Duty, Retired Military, and Veterans, spouses, and dependents received a 30% discount on single-day tickets.
Hilton Hotels: Discounted room rates for service members and their families traveling are available upon request and based on room availability. Discounts and rates vary by location.
Holland America Cruise Lines: Active-duty service members and Veterans receive $100 onboard credit per stateroom.
Legoland: Discounted tickets available through ITT and include a 2nd day free
JetBlue: 5% discount on travel to over 100 destinations in the U.S., Caribbean, and some Latin America and European cities with Veterans Advantage Membership. Members are also allowed to check two bags up to 50 lbs. for free!
Sandals: 10% year-round discount. It can be added to other promotional rates.
Six Flags: Discounts on both one-day passes and season passes that include parking as well as perks and discounts in the park.
Cell Phone Service
AT&T: 25% off some unlimited plans
Boost Mobile: Boost does not currently offer a discount BUT does allow service members to keep their accounts and phone numbers while deployed overseas. Servicemembers won’t be charged any fees during their deployment nor any reactivation fees when service is restored.
T-Mobile: 40% off the regular Magenta plan rates for family lines, including 5G access and a price lock guarantee.
US Cellular: 15% discount on wireless plans, including family plans
Verizon: Discounts to both active-duty service members and Veterans but the amount of discount depends on the service plan chosen for personal and business phone lines.
We hope you find this list helpful. It’s a small list compared to the actual number of companies and organizations across the nation that support our military, Veterans, and their families. For more discounts available, check out the Military Discount Center and the Veteran Discount Center’s directories.