When it comes to recognizing the demands put on those who serve their country and the families supporting them, there is no discount or reward big enough. There are, however, many discounts available for members of the military. Veterans and active-duty military personnel have access to a varied and quite substantial list of discounts, perks and benefits.
If you are a veteran who is also enhancing your education, you may have access to both student and veteran discounts. Which discount is better? Can you use them both at the same time?
This article will answer these questions. It also provides a comprehensive list of perks and discounts for veterans who are in school.
If you are in the military or a veteran, make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits you deserve. While discounts may seem small, when used regularly they can add up to big savings for you and your family.
Discounts for Military Students vs. Civilian Students
Chances are you have been to a restaurant or store and seen advertisements for student and military discounts. Is one better than the other? Can you use them both at once?
While researching this article, we found that there were not any cases of “military student discounts”. We couldn’t find any business that specifically offers a combined military student discount. All the discounts were separate military and student discounts.
If you can’t use both, which one should you use? The answer often depends on what you are buying.
For example, the first company we compared student and military discounts for was Greyhound bus lines. Certainly any student — whether a military veteran or not — will appreciate seeing family while traveling on a slim budget, which Greyhound provides. How do their student and military discounts break down?
Greyhound Student Discount: Greyhound offers a Student Advantage Discount Card, which saves you 20 percent on their unrestricted walk-up or online fares. If you are shipping through Greyhound, you can save up to 40 percent on package shipping. The only drawback is the card costs $20, plus shipping and handling.
Greyhound Military Discount: The Greyhound military discount is a little more straight forward. Any active-duty or retired members of the military and their family members can get a 10 percent discount off of their walk-up fare.
While the student discount offers 10 percent more off the ticket price, it also requires an upfront $20 investment. The military discount, on the other hand, is a simple 10 percent across the board. For the best savings, you would have to consider ticket price and frequency of use.
Quite a few technology companies also offer both student and military discounts. Apple is one example. A laptop or other computing device is essential for today’s education. Get the computer equipment you need while saving hundreds of dollars. Here are Apple discounts available to students and military members:
Apple Student Discount: In the Apple Store for Education, eligible students could save up to $200 on a new Mac computer and up to $20 on an iPad. Apple also extends this discount to parents, faculty, and those teaching in a homeschool.
Apple Military Discount: Active-duty and retired military personnel may be eligible for discounts on iMac, Macbook Air, pro, and mini computers. The discounts are between 5 and 15 percent. Discounts are also available for the Apple Care Protection Plan as well.
This is just a small sampling of companies that offer both student and military discounts. Here are some additional companies that offer discounts and savings to students and military members:
Dell Computer: Students receive up to 30% off. Current and former military personnel can receive 15% off.
Theme Parks: Disneyland, Disneyworld and Seaworld all offer student and military discounts. On certain days and seasons, both retired and active-duty military personnel can enjoy free admission to parks and attractions. Disneyworld even has its own special area reserved for active-duty servicepersons, veterans, and their family called Shades of Greens.
Nike: Nike provides a flat 10 percent off all purchases with military I.D. Students can receive discounts on new pairs of trainers or other kits specifically available through their University Online Store.
Now that we have a list of businesses offering discounts to military students, can those discounts be combined? As is the case with most coupons, student and military discounts cannot be combined. We were unable to find even one example of a company that would honor both discounts together.
In the case of Greyhound bus lines, the fine print beneath each discount clearly answers this question and leaves no room for ambiguity. The student discount fine print states that no other discount may be applied to that particular fare. The military discount gets even more specific, perhaps because family members can take advantage of it. It states that the fare may not be combined with any other discounts, including the children’s discount.
Taking some necessary time off to relax and enjoy a movie is something both students and veterans can appreciate. Cinemark movie theaters is another example of the varying discount as well as the inability to combine them.
Cinemark’s website states that discounts vary by location. When we called our local Cinemark Theater, they told us that the discounts could not be combined.
Apple is another company that offers both student and military discounts but does not allow them to be combined. Since both the student and military discounts for many businesses can be result in substantial savings, it is no surprise that they can’t both be used together.
In some cases, businesses may only offer one discount or the other. Based on our research, it appears that military discounts may be offered slightly more often than student discounts. First, let’s take a look at companies that offer perks to military veterans only.
Military Student Perks
In some cases, there are only discounts for military students — not civilian students. Locations vary in a few of these examples. We’re including a list of military-only discounts based on what certain locations are offering. Many military discounters will require proof of service — such as a military I.D. — so have one handy just in case.
The types of business listed here — in alphabetical order — vary widely from gyms to food establishments to car dealerships. Military students have to get themselves from point alpha to point beta — and not starve doing it. Many of these businesses also extend discounts and savings to family members of military personnel. Businesses on this list include:
24 Hour Fitness: If you are active duty, there is no initiation fee, and you only pay first and last months’ dues to start a new membership. They also offer discounts on specific packages, resulting in lower monthly costs.
Ace Rent a Car: Military veterans receive a 15 percent discount on car rentals.
Alamo Car Rental: Here is an interesting military perk: If you are traveling on military orders, you can get complimentary collision damage and any additional driver fees waived.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Many locations offer 10 percent off for active-duty and veteran military personnel.
Chick-fil-A: Most Chick-fil-A locations provide a 10 percent discount with a valid military I.D.
IHOP: Show your military I.D. to your server for 10 percent off of your entire meal.
Chrysler: Active-duty, reserve and retired veterans may be eligible for exclusive rebates and special financing deals on Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles.
Costco: New members who are military and their immediate family may be able to receive over $50 in savings at the warehouse store.
Old Navy: Old Navy offers “Military Monday’s.” Call your local Old Navy to find out which Monday you should be going to get an additional 10 to 15 percent off of your purchase.
Door to Door Storage: For any military student moving into a small dorm, you know space is limited. If you need to store a few things, this public storage business offers special local rates and discounts for active-duty and retired members of the armed forces.
Sprint Wireless: Show a valid military I.D. to get 15 percent off of your monthly phone bill. In the days of exploding data usage, this may be a significant amount.
The best way to save the most is to know where you can get the discounts. Though they are fewer than businesses that offer military-only discounts, there are a number of companies that offer discounts for students only. Knowing which companies offer what is key to saving you the most.
Just as companies that offer military discounts will often require military I.D. as proof, many retailers that offer student discounts will require student I.D.s as well.
In some cases, the student discount may be offered through an online portal. Be sure you have a .edu email address. If you don’t have one, contact your college or university administrator. These email accounts are typically offered free through the school. Companies that offer student perks include:
Adobe: Are you looking to create awesome graphic designs for your school projects? Adobe offers its Creative Cloud suite of programs — which includes Photoshop and Illustrator — for only $19.99.
CenturyLink: Here is an interesting perk that isn’t just a flat percent off of a rate. If you live off-campus and pay for your own internet connection, Centurylink will provide you with free Norton Anti-virus to help keep your files safe.
Lenovo: Lenovo is a Chinese-owned company that does not offer any military discounts. Distrust between the two countries could be a reason why they don’t offer discounts for U.S. military members. Fortunately students can receive up to $100 off the purchase price of a Lenovo laptop computer with a valid student I.D.
The New York Times: If you are a military student who wants to stay current on the events of the day, The New York Times offers 50 percent off the regular rate for both digital and print subscriptions. Pricing structures may vary depending on whether you want a digital or print subscription, but in both cases student discounts apply.
J. Crew Clothing Stores: With a valid student I.D., you can get 15 percent off of your entire purchase.
Sony: Get up to 10 percent off of Sony electronics and other products that you could use during your studies.
Sam’s Club: You can be eligible for a $15 gift card when you sign up for a Collegiate Gym Membership.
There are also offers that cater to specific regions or municipalities. The Starving Student Card — available in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada — offers a wealth of discounts and perks from businesses in those states.
The Veterans Advantage Card
Veterans Advantage is a national program that offers veterans special perks, discounts and preferred pricing on particular goods and services. They do this in partnership with corporations that are seeking to thank service members for their service. The board of advisors is comprised of active-duty military personnel, along with business and non-profit industry leaders.
This program, founded by a Vietnam Veteran, offers a national military I.D. This military I.D. provides privacy protection and specialized perks.
Veterans Advantage offers both insurance services and discounts. Part of the package includes a 60-page printed color directory covering plan details and available member discounts. Veterans Advantage also offers discounts for family members of veterans. Here is a list of companies that offer discounts through Veterans Advantage:
- Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker
Home and Office
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- ADT Home Security
- Bed, Bath & Beyond
- Jackson Hewitt Tax Preparation
Health and Wellness
- CVS Caremark
- GNC Nutrition
- 1800 Pet Meds
Veteran’s Advantage offers a comprehensive list of discounts and benefits for veterans. There are simply too many discounts to list them all in this article.
Below are a few more significant discounts that you have probably never heard of. These will help you get the most out of being a military student:
Viva Amore Boutique: This is a pretty big deal for those who are either engaged to someone serving in the military or preparing to marry an active-duty soldier. How about a free wedding gown for the bride-to-be? You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by taking advantage of this discount.
Operation Military Kids: This non-profit group focuses on what is going on at home, rather than the battlefield. If you are a military veteran who is away from family while attending school — whether on or off campus — Operation Military Kids provides kids with a range of support. The program puts kids in touch with others their age going through the same challenge of being separated from a parent. It also provides recreational, social, and educational programming.
Lowes and Home Depot: Decorating your dorm? Both of these home improvement chains offer tax-free and discounted construction and building materials.
The final verdict is that although student and military discounts cannot be combined, there is a wealth of them to choose from. Take a few minutes to research the discounts available to you. By taking advantage of these discounts, you can help maximize your savings and put more dollars back into your pocket. Supporting those business offering military discounts is also a great way to thank them for their recognition.