Retail Stores, Restaurants, and Businesses With the Best Deals for Military Veterans

Most retail stores, restaurants, and other national businesses pay homage to the troops with deals for military veterans on holidays like Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. It’s a wonderful — and appropriate — sentiment considering these brave men and women risk their lives to protect us here at home, but some retailers agree that sporadic bouts of appreciation just aren’t adequate enough. As a result, quite a few retailers have extended their military discounts to year-round savings.

Active duty, veterans, and first responders can save big by asking about discounts for military personnel. Though some companies do not advertise their discounts publicly, others do. Here is a list of 18 unbeatable deals available to military veterans you must know right now. Did someone say “cruise?”

1. Costco

Veterans receive a bonus when signing up. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

All Costco regulars know just how easy it is to spend loads of money at one of the country’s most popular retail chains. But all members of the armed forces — as well as veterans and their families — are privy to a small monetary cushion. They receive over $60 in savings when joining Costco as a new member. Simply go online to verify your status and start seeing why everyone loves shopping at Costco!

Next: A worthwhile discount at this giant tech retailer

2. Apple

Apple store on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica CA United States

Military members get a discounted rate. | ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly supported transgender military members in the past, so it seems fitting his company would offer special deals to those heroes. Military personnel with their eye on the latest and greatest Apple products can purchase iPhones, iPads, Macs, and accessories at a discounted rate. They are cheaper for military members, National Guard and Reservists, and employees of the federal government through Apple’s Military/Government & Veterans Purchase Program.

Next: Big savings at the drugstore

3. CVS

CVS

Veterans get an extra discount at CVS stores. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

CVS and other drugstores aren’t always regarded for their low prices. But military members see it a little differently. They save 20% on all online shopping at CVS.com plus free shipping when using a Veterans Advantage card. This can add up to significant savings on countless healthcare and household products.

Next: A way to soften the blow of a pricey home renovation

4. Lowe’s and Home Depot

Lowe’s offers an everyday 10% discount. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One of the nation’s largest retailers, Lowe’s, offers a 10% discount to military members every day. Spouses and children are also eligible for the discount, and it applies to online purchases as well. The same 10% discount is available at Home Depot up to a $500 maximum. Both home improvement retailers offer additional savings on national holidays such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July.

Next: A company that’s brimming with veterans gives back

5. Subway

Subway Sandwich Chain Planning 500 New Stores By 2020

Many Subway heads are veterans as well. | Carl Court/Getty Images

Although the deals may vary from franchise to franchise, most Subway locations offer military veterans 10% off their orders. Many of Subway’s C-suite leaders are veterans themselves, and the company does continuous work offering services to various military organizations nationwide.

Next: Trendy company with big deals

6. YETI

Yeti Rambler Cup

The drinkware company offers 20% off. | Yeti

YETI caters to outdoor enthusiasts who frequently brave the elements with indestructible products. Therefore, a 20% discount on select products for military veterans falls right within their company brand. Servicemen and women, as well as first responders, can score deals on coolers, drink wear, and trendy apparel.

Next: Military discounts at Disney

7. Disney World Parks and Cruises

There are discounts for active and retired military. | Mariah Wild/Disney Parks via Getty Images

No one ever said vacationing at Disney was easy. Or cheap. However, special military rates are available to active military and spouses, retired military, National Guard and Reservists, and their families. Military promotional tickets offer cheaper deals on admission and discounted room rates. If cruising is more your style, Disney Cruise Lines gives special rates on one stateroom per military member, per trip.

Next: Other cruise line discounts coming up

8. Various other cruise lines

The Carnival Freedom

Carnival offers reduced rates for those with proof of service. | Karen Bleier/Getty Images

Many other popular cruise lines advertise deals for military veterans as well. Carnival offers reduced rates to active and retired U.S. military provided you show proof of service. Norwegian offers 10% off select cruises and Royal Caribbean offers discounted rates to members of the armed forces in addition to emergency medical services personnel.

Next: See where you can score an $80 discount

9. National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands

The national parks are free for military members and their families. | iStock/Getty Images

Entrance fees to any national park or federal recreational land are waived for military members and their families. This means you do not need to purchase an $80 annual pass or wait for a free entrance day to visit places like Yellowstone National Park, The Grand Canyon, The Badlands National Park, or The Everglades.

Next: Serious discounts on an expensive, yet common, procedure

10. Lasik Plus

young woman's eye

Say goodbye to glasses and contacts. | Steve Mcsweeny/iStock/Getty Images

Clear vision is a must for members of the Armed Forces and other emergency personnel, even if it requires  thousands of dollars to get it. LasikPlus offers a significant 20% discount on laser eye surgery to military, veterans, and other public service personnel at all locations nationwide.

Next: Where you can rent a car for cheap

11. Thrifty Rent-A-Car

thrifty rental car bus

Rental cars are expensive, so take advantage of the discount. | Xnatedawgx/Wikimedia Commons

Deals for military members even extend to rental car services. Thrifty Rent-A-Car services offer special perks and discounted rates to both U.S. military and government officials nationwide. Exclusive deals for Veterans Advantage members include free car upgrades, free GPS rentals, and 5% off your total rental bill.

Next: A heartwarming service

12. United States Postal Service

Care packages are free. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Not all deals for military members come in discount form. The USPS decided to show support by making it easier for us to ship items to military members overseas via military care-kits. Anyone who wants to support the troops by sending a care package can get common shipping items such as priority mail flat rate boxes, tape, address labels, and the appropriate customs forms — for free. This makes comforting those away from home a no-brainer as each box is adorned with a worthy phrase: “America Supports You.”

Next: Work out for less

13. Gold’s Gym

Gold's Gym

Discounts on monthly fees and enrollment. | KudzuVine/Wikimedia Commons

Gold’s Gym knocks 20% off monthly dues as well as discounted enrollment rates through its Our Heroes Program. Active and veteran military members, active police officers, and active firefighters are all eligible for special membership deals.

Next: A restaurant with many military appreciation days

14. The Melting Pot

Get your fondue at a discount. | iStock/Getty Images

The Melting Pot holds multiple military appreciation days at its restaurants around the country to demonstrate support for those fighting for our freedom. During these days, all active and retired military personnel, as well as family and friends, receive a 25% discount on all food menu items.

Next: A restaurant giving back in more ways than one

15. Texas Steakhouse and Saloon

t-bone steak

Get a discount on your steak dinner. | erwin_ps/iStock/Getty Images

Active and retired members of the Armed Forces have access to a running 10% discount at Texas Steakhouse and Saloon. All that’s needed to enjoy a nice steak dinner is a valid military ID. What’s even better, the restaurant chain also donates money to the Wounded Warrior campaign, per its website.

Next: For the fan in all of us

16. Various sport league shops

John Lucas II #15 of the Chicago Bulls

Get your official gear at a discount. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

You can find deals for military veterans, first responders, and their families scattered throughout official sports retail stores. For example, the NFL Shop and the NASCAR Store both offer a 10% discounts on purchases with a valid military ID while the NBA store offers a 15% discount. This means pricey jerseys, collectibles, hats, and accessories are all available to veterans at a much cheaper rate.

Next: Outdoor retailer than shows the military some love

17. Cabela’s

Cabela's World's Foremost Outfitters Opens First East Coast Retail Outlet and Museum

Get 5% off with your military ID | William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Whereas competitor Bass Pro Shops only offers its military discount during certain weeks of every month, Cabela’s gives a standing discount to active and retired military daily. Cabela’s Legendary Salute program gives 5% off retail purchases with a valid military ID. While this doesn’t apply to larger items such as boats, tractors, and ATVs, it’ll surely sweeten a deal on a fancy fishing rod or a new hunting rifle.

Next: National restaurant chain with a hefty discount

18. Shoney’s

shoneys restaurant

The restaurant chain offers free breakfast on Veteran’s Day. | Ed!/Wikimedia Commons

Shoney’s goes beyond the seemingly standard 10% military discount to offer a 15% savings for all servicemen and women who dine with them. Either wear your uniform or present a valid ID to seal the deal. The restaurant has also been known to offer free breakfast on Veteran’s Day and free All-American burgers during other promotions. Fire and police workers are eligible for this discount as well.

Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.

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