Authorís Note: This article deals with Veteransí Discounts in the United States. Other countries do offer discounts to their Veterans as well. The Internet hinted there were, but I could not find any substantial information on them. I would appreciate posts on the Veteransí forum of what is available to Veterans in other parts of the world.
Most everyone is aware that most businesses extend discounts to Military on active duty, Military retirees, National Guard and Reservists. Were you aware that many retailers and e-commerce companies give discounts to Veterans too? Research on this topic proved to be almost impossible in attempting to read through company policy after company policy to determine which of the participating member of chain stores honored the Veteran Discounts. How does one prove they are a Veteran without carrying a pocket full of DD214s (discharge papers) with you?
A major purchase like a cruise is fairly easy. There are twelve (12) cruise lines that offer fairly significant discounts to Veterans. They are: Carnival, Celebrity, Costa Cruises, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Princess, Pullmantur, and Royal Caribbean. Discounts vary according to booking lead time, season, and destination. When you book your cruise, make sure you ask for your Veteran Discount. It could be as much as 60%. All of these cruise lines will require a copy of your discharge papers (DD214), a driverís license and/or passport at the time of check-in.
Another easy discount to acquire is your mobile telephone Veteran Discount. All three of the majors, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint offer Veterans 15% off their calling plans with minimal restrictions. Some waive activation fees, while others discount accessories. You have to ask for it. If you already have service from one of these three and want to claim your discount, you need to take a copy of your DD214 into your carrierís store so they can make the proper adjustment to your invoicing. Discounts are not retroactive to your contractís effective date. Many of the smaller carriers, but not all, offer the Veteransí Discount too.
Loweís and Home Depot are the two retailers that are known for Veteran Discounts. According to company policy, Veterans will receive a 10% discount on certain holidays for example, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veteranís Day. Please check your local newspaper for these discount holidays. A DD214, a Veteranís I.D. card from the VA or a membership card from the VFW or American Legion is required to obtain the discount. Note: Purchase restrictions may apply. It has been reported some stores will honor the Veteran Discount year round, but it is not company policy. I want you to understand, these stores extend Veteran Discounts as a courtesy, so do not get indignant if the discount is not extended to you, just be polite when you ask for your discount. Ask about the discount before you make your purchases.
There are a plethora of other stores, hotels, motels, service providers, e-commerce stores, insurance companies, restaurants, and credit unions offering discounts to Veterans. Literally, everywhere you shop, you should ask about a Veteran Discount before you make your purchase. You might be surprised where a discount may show up for you.
As stated earlier, no one wants to walk around with a pocket full of DD214s to get a Veteran Discount. Many States offer a Veteranís designation on your Driverís License. This is just as good as presenting a DD214 to a merchant, and can be used to obtain hundreds of discounts. The States that have approved Veteranís designations are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia. Please note: Some of the States listed as issuing the ďVeteransĒ Driver Licenses have not begun to implement the policy. Minnesota is one of those States, and Virginia issues a separate Veteranís I.D.
The following States have passed legislation for the Veteranís designation on the Driverís License, but have not implemented the policy as of this writing: Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
The States that have legislation pending, for the Veteranís designation, are: California, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The States having no intention of issuing a Veteranís designation on their Driverís Licenses, at this time, are: Montana, Vermont, and District of Columbia.
Make sure you call the main office of your Stateís DMV and ask about the Veteranís designation and the requirements to obtain it before applying. Almost all the States provide the Veteranís designation free of charge.
Veteran Discounts may show up places you least expect. You do not need to subscribe to any of the Internet services that offer Veteran Discounts. You just need to ask. You should broach the subject by saying, ďMost stores offer Veterans a discount. Does your store give Veterans a 10% or a 15% discount?Ē If the person waiting on you does not know, ask for a manager. Who knows, you may just receive a discount. Stores like Sears, USAA (Insurance), Sports Clips, Goldís Gym, Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon, Motel 6, Overstock.com, and even Park Ride Fly USA offer Veteransí Discounts among hundreds of others. It could save you a couple thousand dollars a year.
FTC Requirement: This author has not received any compensation, remunerations, or promises from any of the companies named in this article. All companies named were the result of Internet research, and personal research.