No matter who you’re shopping for, finding just the right Valentine’s gift can be a challenge, so we’ve decided to simplify things a little by compiling a list of lovely discounts available to veterans and, in some cases, their families.
- Flowers - Many big-name flower companies offer military discounts, including FTD (up to 25% off), ProFlowers (up to 20%) and 1-800-Flowers (20%). However, there are a few things to remember.
When ordering online or by phone, some companies require customers to have an account with an authentication service like ID.Me.com, a financial service like USAA or a military/government E-commerce site like GovX.com or Veterans Advantage in order to access military savings. If you decide that’s something you’d like to do, you’ll need to provide your DD-214 or other acceptable proof of service.
Also, make sure the military discount you’re getting is better than any other discount that is being offered at the time of purchase. Usually, military discounts can’t be used in conjunction with other offers and there are many cases in which other offers are better.
Last, ordering by phone from a global delivery service can mean dealing with callcenter representatives who don’t have adequate training, which means they sometimes don’t know anything about U.S. military discounts or how to apply them.
Often, it’s just a good idea to call your local florists, find out who provides discounts and make your order in person so you can provide your proof of service.
- Goodies - Ordering treats for your special someone online or by phone can be similar to ordering flowers; depending upon the company, you may be required to have an account with a special E-commerce site or verification service like the ones mentioned above.
For instance, Harry & David offers a 30% savings to customers who are enrolled with Veterans Advantage, while Shari’s Berries offers varying special deals to GovX.com members. Once again, opening a free account with either of these services will require you to provide a DD-214 or other acceptable documentation.
Godiva offers 15% off participating store purchases only, with proof of service, while Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory offers 10% off online purchases and lets their franchisees determine whether they want to provide in-store discounts to qualified veterans.
Of course, calling regional or local confectioners to see if they offer in-store military discounts with proof of service may be preferable to opening up accounts or dealing with “big store” customer service issues.
The Big Leagues
- Jewelry - Of all the national jewelry chains we researched, Helzberg Diamonds leads the pack in making sure their military discount of 10% (both in store and online) is not only easy to find, but easily accessible. Their “Military Appreciation” web page allows users to provide the requisite information and upload their DD-214 form so that they can begin saving immediately.
While they don’t offer any online discounts, Tiffany & Co. does give an in store 10% military discount on engagement rings and wedding bands, with proof of service. Similarly, Zales offers no online deals for veterans, but select store locations may offer discounts with proof of service.FYI, Jared, Kay Jewelers and many other large, popular brands do not offer military discounts, which is why contacting local jewelers to find out what they may offer is never a bad idea.
- Vacations - You can’t lose with a surprise tropical getaway and Sandals Resorts is the go-to choice for many veterans and their families wishing to soak up the sun on white-sand beaches at a savings of 10%. All you need to do is present your eligible proof of service at time of payment, and you’re all set.
For those who would rather travel by sea than by air, Carnival Cruise Lines provides not only various discounts to vets who can provide a valid DD-214 showing an honorable discharge, but also a more lenient refund policy.
If you’re not particular about where you want to go or just want to see what the best deals are on your dream destination, Expedia.com offers eligible veterans automatic “+gold” status, which is usually reserved for members who have spent $10,000 or stayed 15 nights.Expedia’s +gold program means member-only pricing; free “points” that can be used towards more savings, amenities and upgrades; around-the-clock customer care, etc.
But You’re Going to Need Your DD-214
As you can see, the military discount landscape can be a little rocky. Sometimes just providing your DD-214 form is enough. Other times, you’ll be required to join a military ecommerce site, sign up with military financial institution, show a driver’s license/state I.D. with a military designation, etc. Your DD-214 will be key in any of these scenarios.
If you’re one of the many veterans who’s never received your discharge papers or no longer have them, you can order them by visiting the National Archives website. Unfortunately, navigating your way through eVetRecs can be as harrowing as figuring out how to get a military discount. Although the service is free, the time it takes and the anxiety it can cause aren’t worth it to many veterans.
Which is why those veterans contact DD214Direct.com, the nation’s premier military records retrieval service. Let’s face it, while our national government has many outstanding employees, oftentimes they don’t seem to be in any particular hurry.
At DD214Direct.com, hurry is all we do, without sacrificing precision, service and courtesy. We use our unique understanding of our nation’s records repositories (which number over 100) and the National Archives’ methods to hone in on your records quickly and get them back to you ASAP, even by email!
Our three-tiered pricing lets you choose just how quickly you’d like to receive your documents. Don’t miss out on another military discount - get started today!