A Guide to Discounts for Military and Veterans

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Veterans Day Parade
Keith Srakocic/AP
By Elizabeth Harper

Many retailers offer discounts on goods and services for active duty or veteran military personnel out of respect for those who serve, and some of these discounts are well worth taking advantage of. But with dozens of deals and policies varying by business, it can be tough to navigate.

With Veteran's Day right around the corner, we thought it was high time we update our guide to where you can find military discounts, and how they might apply.

How to Get Military Discounts

Some businesses advertise their military discounts prominently, but at many you may have to ask, show ID or other proof of service, or even be in uniform to get a discount. Complicating matters further, many national retailers (particularly franchises) offer discounts that may vary from location to location; you're most likely to find deals at locations near military bases.

So despite what's on this list, you'll want to check with your local retailer to be sure what discount is offered.

What Discounts to Expect

The discounts available, when you're willing to jump through the hoops to get them, can vary greatly in quality. But many retailers will offer around 10 percent off. If you're a military member or veteran, you can usually find car manufacturers willing to offer you $500 or more off, though deals depend on what make you're shopping for as well as when you're shopping for it.

Travel deals are also common, but typically vague. Many hotels offer discounted rates for military members and families on leisure travel that are based on government per diem rates, which may or may not be the best deal you can find.

No matter where you're shopping or what you're shopping for, be sure to ask about a military discount before you buy. Even retailers who aren't on this list may offer military discounts -- you just don't know until you ask.

Here's a look at the deals.

StoreDiscountWho's Eligible?Details
24 Hour FitnessDiscounted membershipActive duty
Alamo Rent A CarDiscounted ratesActive duty
AMC TheatresDiscounted ticketsActive duty, retirees, and familyTypically after 4PM
AppleDiscounted productsActive duty, veterans, reservists, National Guard members, and family
Applebee's10% off, free entree on Veterans DayActive duty and veterans
AT&T Wireless15% off phone plansActive duty, veterans, and qualified military spousesIn-store only
Baskin-Robbins10% offVaries
Bass Pro Shops10% offActive duty and retiredFor one week, beginning on the 15th of every month
Best BuyUp to 10% offVaries
Best WesternBased on government per diemActive duty
Burger King10% offVaries
Carl's Jr./Hardee's10% offVaries
Chick-fil-ADiscounted pricing, free meals on Military Appreciation NightsVaries
Choice HotelsBased on government per diemActive duty, retired, and family
ChryslerUp to $500Active duty, active reservists, retirees, and veterans discharged within the last 12 months
CiCi's Pizza10% offVaries
Cinemark Movie TheatresDiscounted ticketsActive duty
Dairy Queen10% or more offVariesMay only be available certain days of the week or to uniformed personnel
DellUp to 30% offActive duty, veterans, and families
Ford$500 bonus cashActive duty, reservists, National Guard members, veterans (within 180 days of discharge), and familyOffer only good on eligible models
Fuddruckers10-20% offVaries
GeicoUp to 15% offActive duty, National Guard members, reservists, and retired
General MotorsDiscounted pricing, up to thousands offActive duty, active reservists, National Guard members, retirees, veterans discharged within the last 12 months, and spouses
Greyhound10% offActive duty, retired, and family
Hard Rock Cafe15% offVaries
HertzDiscounted ratesActive duty
Hewlett-PackardVarious discountsVaries
Hilton Hotels & ResortsBased on government per diem, 10% off leisure stays with Military Family RateActive duty, reservists, retired, and family
Home Depot10% offActive duty, reservists, retired, disabled veterans, and family
Honda$500 offActive duty, reservists, spouses, retirees, and veterans (within 180 days of discharge)Only available if you finance or lease from Honda
Howard JohnsonBased on government per diemActive dutyDepending on availability
Hyundai$500 offActive duty, reservists, National Guard members, retirees, veterans, and spousesOnly for select 2014, all 2015, and all 2016 models
Jiffy LubeUp to 15% offVaries
Kohl's15% offVaries
La Quinta Inns & SuitesBased on government per diemActive duty
Lowe's10% offActive duty, reservists, National Guard members, retirees, veterans receiving VA benefits, and family
Marriott HotelsBased on government per diemActive duty
Mazda$500 offActive duty; reservists, veterans, and retirees (within 12 months of discharge/retirement)Only for 2015 and 2016 models
Motel 610% offActive duty, retirees, and family
National Car RentalDiscounted ratesActive duty, retired, and family
National Park ServiceFree Annual PassActive duty, family, reservists, and National Guard members
Nike10% offActive duty, reservists, and retirees
NissanVariesActive duty, reservists, retirees, veterans (within 12 months of discharge), and spouses and partners
Old Navy10% offVariesMondays
Pep Boys10% offActive duty, National Guard members, reservists, and retiredTuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
Regal Entertainment GroupVariesVaries
Scion$500 offActive duty, reservists, National Guard members, retirees and veterans (within one year of service), and family
Shoney's15% offVariesMay have to wear a uniform
Showcase Cinemas$5.50 or $7.50 per ticketActive duty and family
SprintMonthly service discountActive duty and retirees
Starwood Hotels & ResortsBased on government per diemActive duty
Toyota$500 rebateActive duty, retirees and veterans (discharged within 12 months), and family
Verizon Wireless15% off monthly plan and 25% off select accessoriesActive duty and veterans
YMCAFree membership and child careFamilies of active duty service members
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