Each year, thousands of federal, state and local government employees enjoy access to reduced pricing for products and services. Some companies advertise general price breaks for anyone who can show identification proving that they hold a government job. In other cases, government officials negotiate deals with private companies and share news of the bargains with their employees through government websites, newsletters and mass emails.
Who Offers Discounts?
Some hotel chains routinely offer discounts to government employees. Car rental companies and airlines also offer pricing breaks, and some government workers receive discounted pricing for consumer goods. For example, Apple offers special pricing for educators, and AT&T gives discounts for wireless services to certain government employees. Select restaurants may discount meals to specific groups of government employees.
Companies often specify which government employees may claim discounts. In some cases, only active members of the U.S. military may claim discounts, for example. Holiday Inn Express and T-Mobile specify that their discounted pricing applies only to federal employees, and special pricing for Apple is for teachers only. Auto insurer Geico limits its discount to federal employees who have reached a minimum pay grade of GS-7, which is the top grade for entry-level government employees. In addition, some companies, such as JetBlue, limit discounts to government employees performing their work duties.
Claiming a Discount
Companies require you to prove that you work as a government employee to take advantage of discounts. In many cases, a copy of a government ID is sufficient. AT&T requires you to visit the company’s wireless services website and enter a government email address to substantiate your status as a public-sector worker. If you cannot provide proof, you cannot qualify for government employee discounts. JetBlue provides discounts to federal employees who book flights for work functions, and they stipulate that you must pay with a government-issued credit card to claim a discount.
Government employees usually qualify for discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent. Verizon offers a 20 percent discount on phones to federal employees, and Payless Shoes offers a 10 percent discount to military families. Legoland Florida frequently advertise free admission for Florida teachers, and U.S. national parks offer free admission to active-duty service members and their families.
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