Whether you’re a veteran, active, reserve, guard, or retired, there are plenty of stores offering a military discount. Here are some military discount tips to get the best of these offers and save you time in addition to saving money.
Military Discount Tips
- Always ask if there is a military discount even if you don’t see one. Many locations will say yes.
- Try calling online stores and asking if they have military discounts if you don’t see one.
- Review all official documentation including the fine print. Exclusions often apply.
- Don’t leave home without proof of service.
- Check coupon stacking policies.
- Be aware of the dates a military discount is valid. Many offers are seasonal or one-time only.
- For restaurants many free meals are dine in only, no to-go orders. Read the fine print.
- Tip your hardworking servers based on what the bill would have been before the discount.
- Verify that you’re eligible for the offer.
- Be sure the location you’re visiting is a participating location. Many promotions include small print that says participating locations only.
- Call ahead if you’re unsure about anything.
Get Clarification on the Military Discount Offer
Here are some questions to ask before visiting a store or making a purchase:
- “Do you provide a military discount? If so, do you provide them to just active duty service members or to veterans and retirees as well?”
- “What are the requirements?” Some places only discount to members in uniform (“on duty”).
- “How much is the discount? Does this cover all products, services, and/or combinations of such?”
- “Can I stack coupons on top of my discount?”
- “Are these discounts year round or restricted to certain times of the year?”
Photocopying A Government/Military ID is Illegal
Did you know photocopying a military ID is illegal? Commercial establishments can ask to see your card to verify military affiliation or to provide government rates for services, but they can’t photocopy it. So if they ask to do so, tell them no. This can be especially difficult with online stores that don’t understand you can’t ask for a copy of a military ID.
Shipping to APO/FPO/DPO
When shipping to a military post office, things do get a little tricky. Not all companies meet the requirements to handle customs. If you chose to purchase from a retailer that can not ship directly to you for whatever reason, consider sending your items to a close friend or family member so they can forward the mail to you, themselves, through another service like USPS Military and Diplomatic Mail.
USPS Shipping Military Shipping Benefits
The USPS has many benefits for shipping APO/FPO/DPO including:
- Free shipping supplies – You can order free boxes, including the special Priority Mail® APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box, and get them delivered right to you.
- Domestic Pricing – Ship to an APO/FPO/DPO and pay domestic prices.
- Click-N-Ship customs forms.
- Ship from home – Print your own shipping and postage label at home.