There are few people who wouldn’t mind saving a dollar here or there, and a number of companies offer federal employee discounts on a variety of essentials, from computers and cell phones to flights and hotels. But the best advice? Before you buy something, ask if a discount is available for federal employees—the worst you can hear is “no.”
Below is a list of some of the best federal employee discounts out there. But take note, there are many additional discounts available to active and retired military that are not included here.
Most major hotel chains offer discounts to federal employees. When booking online, there will be a drop-down menu or checkbox for you to mark off your status. If you want to be sure that a hotel you’re considering has a cheaper rate, check http://hotels.idt.net. This searchable database is useful for both foreign and domestic travel. The same can be said for car rentals—all of the major chains (Alamo, Enterprise, Dollar, National, Avis, Budget, Hertz, etc.) offer employee discounts.
Some other websites to check out for travel and lodging deals for federal employees include:
- http://www.govarm.com offers condominium rentals, cruises, car rentals, hotels, and vacation packages
- http://www.getravelop.com offers timeshare rentals; the best deals are off-season and last-minute
- http://satovacations.com offers bookings on cruises, tour packages, hotels, flights, and more. Look for the red capitol icon next to each travel listing, which indicates that all federal employees can qualify for a discount
- http://www.govvacationrewards.com offers savings at the time of booking for hotels, flights, cruises, cars, and vacation packages, but also allows you to accrue rewards over time that you can use toward the purchase of future travel
One word of caution: After running some searches to test the discounts, I noted that a few hotels returned higher rates for federal employees than the traditional, non-discounted rate. So do your homework before you book—check your federal discount against the standard rate (and any other rates you might qualify for, like AAA).
Major cell phone carriers (like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) offer discounts on personal cell phone service and accessories to federal employees. The discounts range anywhere from 5% to 20% and many carriers will allow you to combine your employee discount with other special offers. Be advised, however, that more often than not, these discounts are available to new customers only.
The big computer outlets (like Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft) each offer a federal employee discount and have rotating special offers on different computers and accessories. For example, Microsoft’s Home Use Program is currently offering Office for less than $10 (in addition to discounted computer packages). Visit the individual websites for more information.
Carbonite, the online computer backup program that helps protect your files in case of accidental deletion, theft, or computer malfunction, offers savings for federal employees, which you can receive directly through their websites.
Both AAA and Geico offer discounted auto insurance for federal employees, and AAA will allow you to stack that with an ongoing promotion. You can receive an AAA quote online, but you’ll need to call and speak to a representative to get your discount. Be warned—some feds have reported that you can only receive the AAA discount the first time you call, so be prepared to make a purchase on the spot.
Volkswagen offers discounts on new cars to current federal employees, but you will want to ask each separate dealership whether they participate in this program and how much of a discount they will offer.
As a thank you to government employees, AutoAccessoriesGarage.com is extending a 15% discount off of qualifying orders over $150. Just use code GOVTHANKS15 at checkout.
NannyPro.com, a website that lists babysitters and nannies for hire, gives up to 30% off of a membership to federal employees with the code Fedsave.
Washington Sports Clubs, Gold’s Gym, and XSport Fitness all offer discounted memberships, and it doesn’t hurt to ask any other gym you might be interested in joining. Check with your agency as well—many have their own partnerships with local gyms, and the discount can be more significant.
ResumeEdge: This website offers professional writing and editing services to ensure your resume can compete with the best. Federal employees who purchase more than $100 in services receive a 15% discount.
When you need to send a gift, GiftBasketVillas.com will give federal employees 10% off their order when using the code Fed10. And if your gift basket needs to be sent outside the U.S., visit GiftBasketsOverseas.com where you can receive a 10% discount with the code USMilitary10.
If you’re looking for something a little shinier, Tanzanite.com offers a 10% discount on jewelry when you use the code EXECTAN.
Discounts at chain restaurants are primarily offered to active and retired military, but it never hurts to ask your server, the hostess, or the manager if there are any specials available for federal employees.
Websites of Note:
- www.Fedsave.com has a great listing of fed discounts and in addition to the site itself, you can sign up for a free monthly newsletter on current savings.
- https://gem.onebigplanet.com/d/public/login.html offers discounts on almost anything that you’re looking for — from vacations to online shopping, to computers, it’s all here.
Have you received a great discount thanks to your status as a federal employee? Share it with us!
Want even more federal discounts? Get your free copy of Top 75 Government Discounts.