If you’re a first responder, such as a firefighter, police officer, or EMT, you most likely took the job because you wanted to help others. You wanted people going through a crisis in their lives — a heart attack, a car accident, a break-in — to have someone reliable they could turn to for help. Chances are the possibility of getting discounts on products and services was the last thing on your mind.
But the simple fact is Americans and American businesses are grateful to our first responders and essential workers. We know you’re the glue that holds society together — particularly in times of crisis, like a major natural disaster. And we also know that all too often, everyday heroes like you get too little support.
For instance, Vox reports that first responders who became ill as a result of their rescue efforts after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 had to wait nearly 10 years for Congress to pass a law compensating them for their medical costs. In the years since, renewed funding for that law has been held up repeatedly. And during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, health care workers couldn’t get enough masks and other gear to protect themselves from infection because the United States government had failed to maintain its emergency stockpiles.
That’s why some U.S. companies are taking matters into their own hands. They’re reaching out a helping hand to frontline workers, offering you exclusive discounts and other deals on a wide variety of products and services.
Who Qualifies for First Responder Deals
Most companies that offer first responder discounts and other perks make them available to all active emergency workers. That includes:
- Police officers, including city police and state troopers
- Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics
- Members of rescue squads
Some first responder discounts also apply to 911 dispatchers. Many businesses make similar discounts available to active-duty military service members or veterans. And some companies extend their special offers to the families of first responders and service members as well.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies have expanded their first responder deals to include all hospital staff members since they face the highest risks from the disease. Other companies are offering new temporary discounts for both health care workers and first responders.
Of course, all these companies want to make sure the people registering for discounts really do belong to these professions and aren’t just faking it to get a deal. To prevent fraud, many of them require people shopping online to register on an identity-verification platform, such as ID.me, SheerID, or VerifyPass. These are sites where you can enter your credentials to prove you are who you claim to be — a student, teacher, military service member, or first responder. Once you’re registered, you can use your account to verify your identity on multiple websites, just like showing your ID in a store.
Companies Offering First Responder Deals
First responders can qualify for special offers across a wide range of categories. Many businesses that offer these discounts are retail stores, selling everything from clothing to cars. Others provide services, such as travel, entertainment, and cellphone service. Even institutes of higher education have gotten in on the act, offering discounts to first responders seeking advanced degrees.
Some of the biggest companies that offer first responder deals are general retailers — stores where it’s possible to buy nearly anything. These include:
- BJ’s Wholesale Club. This warehouse store announced in April that all first responders and health care workers could sign up for a free four-month Inner Circle membership. To get this deal, visit the customer service desk at your local club. Even after your temporary membership expires, you’ll still be allowed to shop at the store for free on Sunday mornings from 8am to 9am. BJ’s has designated this hour as “Appreciation Hour” for first responders and health care workers at all BJ’s stores.
- Costco. This chain offers a $30 gift card to all first responders who sign up for membership and verify their identity through ID.me. This deal also applies to nurses, military service members, government workers, and teachers. In addition, Costco is giving all first responders and health care workers priority access to its stores for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. That includes pharmacists and all hospital workers with a hospital ID. Members of these professions can move to the front of any line to enter the store after showing their Costco membership card and an official work ID listing their profession.
- Overstock. Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs are all entitled to a free Club O Gold membership at Overstock. It gives them a 5% discount on all purchases, free returns on select items, price matching of competitors’ stores, and other perks. To get your free membership, sign up and verify with ID.me.
- Walmart. In April 2020, Walmart announced that it would offer a designated pickup time for online grocery purchases to people most at risk from COVID-19. Each day, the hour from 7am to 8am is reserved for first responders and other customers designated at high risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes people over age 60, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and caregivers of newborns.
Apparel & Accessories
One of the largest categories of first responder discounts is apparel and accessories. From underwear to outerwear and from sunglasses to shoes, both men and women in first-responding professions can find deals on everything they wear.
- Adidas. This sportswear brand offers first responders a 30% discount on all purchases at Adidas.com. Medical professionals and military service members also qualify. To get the discount, sign in and verify your identity through ID.me.
- Allbirds. When this eco-friendly shoe company started offering donations of shoes to health care workers through its “Buy One, Give One” program in March 2020, the demand was so high the shoe supply ran out almost immediately. Now, the company is doing the next best thing: offering health care workers the chance to buy shoes from a limited collection at the special donation price. Simply add the shoes to your cart and enter the coupon code “healthcarehero” at checkout to get these $95 shoes for $60 a pair. All sales are final.
- Asics. Both first responders and other medical professionals can get a one-time 40% discount on all full-price products on Asics.com. To get this deal, verify your status through SheerID. You’ll receive a one-time promo code you can copy and enter during checkout.
- Carhartt. This clothing retailer is known for its durable casual clothing. First responders, nurses, and military members can all get a 25% discount at Carhartt by registering through ID.me.
- Clarks. This shoe seller offers variable discounts for police, firefighters, EMTs, military members, airline employees, and teachers. To see how much the available discount is on a given product, simply select your profession at checkout on ClarksUSA.com. The site directs you to ID.me to verify your identity before giving you the discount.
- Columbia. First responders, military members, and teachers can get a discount of 10% off outdoor gear and apparel from Columbia by registering at ID.me. Additionally, first responders who work in outdoor fields, such as search and rescue professionals, can get a discount by registering for the Columbia Professional Purchase Program.
- Dickies. Three groups of people can qualify for a 10% discount on casual wear from Dickies: first responders, military service members, and students. To get this deal, register on the website with your name, date of birth, email, job title, and workplace.
- Fanatics. If you’re a fan of a particular sports team, you can show your loyalty with clothing and gear from Fanatics. Active first responders all qualify for a 15% discount on this site, as do active service members, veterans, and their immediate families. To prove your eligibility, use the ID.me widget on the website’s checkout page.
- Jockey. Both active and retired first responders are eligible for a 10% discount on underwear from Jockey when they verify their status through ID.me. The site also provides the same discount for active and retired military members, their immediate families, and students.
- Lululemon. This seller of athletic wear for women, men, and girls offers a 25% discount to North American military members, military spouses, and first responders. To get this deal on either full-price or marked-down merchandise, show a valid ID at the register at any Lululemon store. The discount is not available for online purchases.
- Newton Running. Members of the U.S. military, firefighters, police officers, and their family members are all eligible for special offers on athletic shoes and clothing from Newton Running. To get this deal, sign up online and list your credentials. A .mil or .gov email address is sufficient. If you don’t have one, the store can contact you to verify your status.
- Professional Sports Leagues. Many professional sports leagues — including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League — sell fan gear and apparel directly through their websites. All three sites offer a 15% discount to current and retired first responders, military members, and their immediate familie. Use ID.me to verify your status.
- Reebok. The athletic shoe brand Reebok has one of the most generous first responder discounts we’ve seen. It offers 50% off on select shoes and apparel for all police, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, hospital workers, teachers, military personnel, and government employees. The site uses ID.me for verification.
- Roxy. Sportswear and accessories from Roxy all come with a 15% discount for first responders, military service members, and teachers. To get your discount, sign up on the site, which verifies your identity using SheerID.
- Sunglass Hut. Active first responders can get a 15% discount on all online purchases at Sunglass Hut. Just sign in and verify with ID.me. The deal also applies to service members, teachers, students, and government employees. This discount doesn’t apply to certain brands, and you can’t combine it with any other promotional code.
- The North Face. Throughout the year 2020, The North Face is offering a 50% discount to all U.S. first responders and health care workers on certain full-price outdoor gear and apparel. Included professions are police, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses, technicians, medical researchers, and all hospital workers. You can get the discount in stores with a service ID or online using SheerID for verification. There’s also a 10% discount available on nonclearance items at The North Face outlet stores in the U.S.
- Under Armour. Active first responders, service members, veterans, health care workers, and teachers can all get a 20% discount on sportswear at Under Armour. To get the discount, select “Military and First Responder Discount” at checkout. Then verify your identity through ID.me.
- Vineyard Vines. Vineyard Vines, a seller of upscale casual wear for men, women, and kids, offers a 15% discount for both first responders and health care workers. The site provides details about which specific professions are eligible. To get this deal, sign in with SheerID online.
Whether you want to buy a car or service and accessories for it, being a first responder can help you get what you need at a lower price. Companies offering automotive discounts include:
- CARiD. Police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and search and rescue workers can get an emergency services discount on car parts and accessories at CARiD. The amount of the discount is variable. To sign up, send an email to email@example.com, call 800-505-3274, or start a live chat session on the website. Have your ID available so you can provide your firefighter, EMT, paramedic, police, or rescue ID number.
- General Motors. GM is offering discounts to first responders on the purchase or lease of a new Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, or GMC vehicle. The discount applies to police, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and 911 dispatchers. To get the discount, choose the vehicle you want online, receive an authorization number, and take it to your local dealership.
- TireBuyer. First responders can get 7% off any purchase of tires through TireBuyer. To get this discount, select “Verify with ID.me” at checkout.
- Volkswagen. Active U.S. first responders and members of the military are entitled to a $500 cash bonus toward the purchase or lease of select Volkswagen vehicles. This discount applies through Jan. 4, 2021. Contact your local dealer for details.
First responders interested in pursuing a college degree or graduate degree can get discounts on tuition at colleges and universities across the U.S. Some of these are online colleges, while others are traditional campus-based institutions.
- Amridge University. Online-only Amridge University offers reduced rates on tuition to qualified police officers, sheriffs and deputies, firefighters, EMTs, and correctional officers. The cost is $250 per undergraduate credit hour, $350 per graduate credit hour, and $450 per doctoral credit hour. These professions can also skip the $50 admissions fee.
- Faulkner University. This private Christian liberal arts university is based in Montgomery, Alabama. Both active and retired full-time first responders — including law enforcement, fire department, and EMS personnel — can get 25% off tuition in most of its degree programs. The university requires only a letter, written on letterhead, from their department stating that they are or were employed there.
- Grantham University. Grantham University is an online-only university focused on adult learners. Its Heroes Program offers first responders and their families a special tuition rate of $250 per credit hour for both undergraduate and graduate programs. They also waive fees for textbooks, software, and technology. The program is open to federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, U.S. civil servants, and U.S. licensed or certified patient care workers. Their spouses and children of any age are also eligible.
- Lee University. Although this Christian liberal arts university has a physical campus in Tennessee, its first responder discount applies only to its online undergraduate degree program. Active first responders and present or former service members at Lee pay a discounted rate of $250 per credit hour. The school’s office of enrollment and student services determines which students are eligible for the discount.
- Liberty University. Online degree programs at Liberty University offer a 25% tuition discount to firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and other first responders. Liberty also offers a tuition discount for service members, and first responders with military experience can take advantage of both, reducing their tuition cost by 50% or more. To apply, submit proof of your employment or volunteer first responder status on letterhead or a legible copy of your employment ID card by fax or email. If you’re also a member of the military, see the Liberty website for details on how to prove your military status.
- New England Institute of Business. The New England Institute of Business at Cambridge College offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees in financial fields, all online. It offers tuition discounts for first responders, active service members, veterans, and their spouses and children. Costs vary depending on the specific program.
- New York Institute of Technology. The New York Institute of Technology does not provide discounted tuition to first responders themselves. However, it does offer a tuition discount of up to 50% to their children, plus waived admission fees. The parents must be active, full-time first responders working in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Children of certified K-12 teachers in these states can also receive the discount.
- New York Medical College. First responders can receive a tuition discount of 40% on the advanced certificate in emergency management at New York Medical College. When they apply, they must provide a letter from their place of employment to prove they work there.
- Northwestern College. Both active and retired first responders can get a 15% first responder’s tuition discount on any degree or certificate program at Northwestern College in Illinois. To qualify, they must provide either a copy of their employment ID or other proof of employment. The discount also applies to their spouses and children, who must show proof of their relationship to a first responder.
- Saint Francis University. This Catholic university in Western Pennsylvania offers a 25% tuition discount to active, paid firefighters, police, and ambulance staff. This discount applies to all degrees in the Adult Degree & Continuing Studies program, both campus-based and online. There’s also a 35% discount on tuition for active volunteer firefighters and EMS staff.
- Saint Louis University. At online-only Saint Louis University, active first responders pay a discounted tuition rate of $295 per credit hour toward a bachelor’s degree or certificate. This special rate applies to full-time, part-time, and volunteer law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. To get the discount, you must provide a copy of your current ID or credentials and a letter from your employer. There’s a similar discount for military members, including active-duty service members, reserve members, and honorably discharged veterans.
- University of Antelope Valley. California’s University of Antelope Valley offers a 20% tuition discount for military members and first responders. You qualify if you are currently employed or volunteering full time in law enforcement, emergency services, fire safety, or rescue. People retired from these fields or employed in them within the past five years are also eligible.
- University of New Haven. The University of New Haven in Connecticut gives a 50% tuition discount to active first responders. This includes law enforcement officers, professional or volunteer firefighters, full-time EMTs, paramedics, and social services investigators. For members of the local Allingtown Fire Department, tuition is completely free. However, they can only apply the discount toward part-time and graduate courses. City of West Haven employees other than police and firefighters are also eligible for a 50% tuition discount.
- Webster University. St. Louis, Missouri-based Webster University has numerous campuses across the U.S. and also offers online courses. Its first responder scholarship, which is open to all currently qualified first responders, reduces their net tuition to the same price paid by active-duty military students. It’s available for both undergraduate and graduate programs, not counting flat-fee degree programs. For details, visit your nearest campus or click the “Request More Info” button on the website.
Food and Drink
Eateries of all kinds are always happy to have first responders as customers, and many of them show it with extra savings. Even convenience stores and food delivery services sometimes offer special deals for these customers.
- Cumberland Farms. At Cumberland Farms convenience stores, all first responders, health care workers, and active-duty military members can get a free hot or iced coffee each time they visit. The drink can be any size, but only one is available per visit.
- El Pollo Loco. At El Pollo Loco, customers who “serve the community” receive a 15% discount on their order, up to a maximum value of $1.50. The discount is available to police officers, firefighters, EMTs, federal law enforcement agents, and military service members. You must request the discount before you pay and show your ID if you are not in uniform.
- Home Chef. First responders, health care workers, and teachers all get 50% off their first order from this meal delivery service, up to a maximum of $60. They also get 10% off subsequent purchases. To get the discount, use ID.me to verify your profession at checkout on the Home Chef website.
- Hooters. During the COVID-19 crisis, Hooters is offering a 20% discount on all food takeout orders to first responders, health care workers, and military personnel. You must show a valid ID to get this deal.
- Krispy Kreme. Emergency personnel who show up in uniform at Krispy Kreme enjoy a 50% discount on the full retail price of up to four dozen doughnuts. First responders who are not in uniform get a more modest 10% discount if they present their ID.
- Outback Steakhouse. All military service members and first responders qualify for a 10% heroes discount off their entire check at Outback Steakhouse. You must show a valid state or federal service ID to get this deal.
- Texas de Brazil. This Brazilian steakhouse offers a 20% heroes discount to active first responders, military service members and veterans, nurses, and teachers. You must show a badge or ID to get the discount, which is valid for up to four people per table. This deal does not apply during holidays.
- Wawa. All Wawa convenience stores are offering free coffee to health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 crisis. To get this deal, simply state your profession to the checkout clerk. ID is not required. The chain has not announced an end date for this promotion.
Health & Wellness
Since first responders guard other people’s health and safety, it’s not surprising many companies in the field of health and wellness want to thank them for their service. These businesses offer discounts on a wide variety of health and wellness products and services, from gym memberships to smoking cessation products.
- 24 Hour Fitness. At 24 Hour Fitness, first responders and active and reserve military can save $5 a month on a basic gym membership. They also pay no initiation fees. Present your official ID to sign up.
- Atkins. U.S. military service members, veterans, and first responders all get a 15% discount on protein bars and shakes from Atkins. The site uses SheerID to confirm your eligibility.
- ContactsDirect. First responders, military members, government employees, and teachers enjoy a 15% discount and free shipping on all contact lens purchases from Contacts Direct. Just click on “Military, First Responders, Teachers and Government Discount“ at checkout and verify your status with ID.me.
- CoolFrames. Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs can take 5% off on all eyewear purchases at CoolFrames. The site uses ID.me for verification.
- FramesDirect. First responders pay less for glasses on this site with an AFEyewear Member account. U.S. military members and their families, government employees, and emergency personnel such as law enforcement and firefighters get a discount of 5% every day plus special discounts throughout the year. To get the discount, create an account on the site and verify your status through SheerID.
- Gold’s Gym. Another gym offering discounts for first responders is Gold’s Gym. Active and retired military members and first responders like police officers and firefighters can get access to reduced enrollment fees and discounted monthly dues by verifying with ID.me online.
- Halo Cigs. First responders trying to quit smoking by switching to e-cigarettes can get 15% off any purchase at Halo Cigs when they verify with ID.me. The discount applies to veterans and active-duty military as well.
- Headspace. Headspace is an app that helps people with daily meditation. All U.S. health care professionals who work in public health settings can get free access through 2020. Use your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and email to sign up. Nurses who don’t have an NPI can sign up using a separate form.
- Talkspace. The Talkspace app offers a way to connect with a therapist online. Doctors, nurses, and social workers who have been affected by COVID-19 are entitled to a 50% discount on their first month of the service’s Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan. Download the app, then provide your NPI and state of residence for verification.
- Therabody. Devices and topical products from Therabody help people recover from muscle injuries. First responders, medical professionals, and military members can get a 20% discount on any regularly priced Theragun device or TheraOne CBD product from the site. Just select ID.me at checkout.
- Yeti. Military members and veterans, first responders, nurses, and government officials can get discounts on select water bottles and gear from Yeti. Log in to your ID.me account to see which items qualify for special pricing.
- Zenni. Police, firefighters, and EMTs receive a 10% discount on all eyewear purchases from Zenni. The site offers similar discounts for military members and health care workers. To get the discount, click the appropriate link for your profession at checkout and verify your identity through ID.me.
It’s helpful to have a first responder in your neighborhood, and there are a couple of programs aimed at helping first responders afford a home. First responders can also enjoy discounts on products and services for their homes, including appliances, tools, mattresses, bedding, and cleaning supplies.
- Abt. First responders, nurses, veterans, students, and teachers are all eligible for a one-time discount of $50 on any purchase of $500 or more from Abt. This online store sells appliances, TVs, home electronics, furniture, and home essentials. From the online shopping cart, select “Military, Student, and Teacher Discount” and use ID.me for verification.
- Airbnb. Health care professionals, relief workers, and first responders who live far from their jobs can find housing closer to work at no cost through Airbnb. Through its Frontline Stays program, Airbnb hosts in several U.S. and Canadian locations are providing space to frontline workers free of charge. Visit the Airbnb website to submit your credentials and sign up for the program.
- Brooklyn Bedding. First responders can get 25% off all orders of beds, mattresses, and bed linens plus free shipping at Brooklyn Bedding. To get the discount, show your ID at checkout in the store or verify through SheerID online.
- Budget Truck Rental. Police, firefighters, and EMTs who are moving to a new home can get discounts on a moving truck from Budget Truck Rental. The discount is 20% for local moves and 15% for one-way moves. Enter the code “SERVICE” when booking to receive a confirmation number.
- Frigidaire. Active U.S. first responders, military members, and teachers can get 25% off on all parts, accessories, and filters purchased on Frigidaire.com. This offer is only usable once and requires verification through SheerID.
- GelPro. People who spend a lot of time on their feet can benefit from a comfortable surface underfoot. That’s why GelPro offers first responders a discount on gel-infused floor mats. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs can get this deal by ordering online with SheerID.
- Good Neighbor Next Door Program. Run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Good Neighbor Next Door Program helps first responders and teachers buy homes in low-income neighborhoods. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, and teachers of grades 12 and under qualify for savings of 50% off a home’s list price. They must agree to stay in the home year-round for at least three years. You can find listings of available homes on the HUD Home Store.
- Homes for Heroes. Homes for Heroes is a licensed real estate company that specializes in helping heroes buy, sell, and refinance homes. That includes law enforcement, firefighters, EMS staff, active-duty and reserve military, veterans, health care professionals, and teachers. The company says most of its clients save at least $2,400 by using its service.
- Husqvarna. Both active and retired first responders can get a 10% discount on Husqvarna home and garden tools sold through local dealers. The offer also applies to military members and veterans.
- Leesa. The online mattress store Leesa is offering discounts to essential workers and first responders during the COVID-19 crisis. Hospital workers, EMTs, delivery drivers, and bank, pharmacy, and grocery store employees all qualify. To get your discount, call 757-347-8710.
- Lovesac. The Heroes Discount Program gives active first responders a discount of 5% on furniture and accessories from Lovesac. Health care workers, teachers, and active or retired service members and their dependents also qualify. This deal is available in showrooms or online with SheerID verification.
- Purple. The online mattress seller Purple offers a 10% discount on any order for law enforcement, EMTs, paramedics, and firefighters. Fill out a form online to show your eligibility and receive your 10%-off coupon by email.
- Tervis. Insulated drinkware from Tervis is 15% cheaper for first responders who verify online with ID.me. The deal is also available to military members, teachers, students, and government employees.
- Tuft & Needle. High-end mattresses from Tuft & Needle come with a 15% discount for first responders, health care workers, active military, and veterans. The website uses SheerID for verification.
- Toolbarn. The First Responder Discount Program from Toolbarn gives active-duty police officers, firefighters, and EMTs a 5% discount on eligible products. Fill out an online form to apply for the program, and use the code “TBHeroes” at checkout.
No matter what your favorite sport or outdoor activity is, being a first responder can get you special deals on all the gear you need. Companies that offer discounts include:
- Cycle Gear. Active and retired police, military, fire, and EMS personnel can get a 10% discount on motorcycle and bicycle accessories from Cycle Gear. Call customer service at 800-292-5343 to place your order.
- GoRuck. U.S. first responders, service members, public school teachers, and government workers all get 15% off full-priced rucksacks and other fitness gear from GoRuck. They also receive a 25% discount on events such as races. The site uses GovX ID for verification.
- Moosejaw. Military personnel, their spouses and dependents, and first responders can verify their status with ID.me to get a 20% discount on full-priced sporting and outdoor gear from Moosejaw. There’s a similar discount for college students. Certain products, such as canoes and skis, are not included in this offer.
- Tactical Gear. Products from Tactical Gear are suitable for outdoor activities like camping and hunting or for military field operations. The site offers a 10% military discount to first responders and all military personnel — active-duty, retired, or veterans — and military families. Use ID.me for verification.
First responders can save on a wide variety of tech-related products and services, including smartphones and accessories, cellphone plans, and audiobooks. Companies with first-responder discounts include:
- Apple Store. All state and local government employees (including first responders) and their immediate families qualify for special pricing on Mac and iOS devices from the Apple Store. This program also applies to contractors who work for the government. For details, see the Apple website.
- AT&T. First responders, military members, veterans, and their families are all eligible for discounted cellphone service from AT&T. The AT&T Unlimited Starter Plan costs them less than $27 per line per month for four phones — a discount of 25%. There’s a similar discount on the Unlimited Extra plan, which includes 5G service, and the Unlimited Elite Plan, which adds HBO Max. To sign up, you must provide valid proof of employment online or at an AT&T store.
- Audiobooks.com. First responders, military members, teachers, and students can receive a free audiobook from Audiobooks.com when they sign up through ID.me. That’s in addition to the two free audiobooks for all new subscribers.
- Lenovo. First responders and nurses signed up with ID.me can get a 5% discount on products from Lenovo. For Canadian first responders and U.S. and Canadian military members, the discount is 7%. The site also offers special deals for medical professionals, students, teachers, and senior citizens.
- Ring. First responders, service members, veterans, students, and teachers can get 20% off select smart doorbells and other home security products from Ring. Visit the website and sign in with VerifyPass to receive a one-time discount code.
- Samsung. First responders and health care workers receive a discount of up to 30% for online purchases of specific products from Samsung. Products that qualify for the discount include smartphones, laptops, monitors, tablets, and audio equipment.
- Sennheiser. First responders can receive discounts on Sennheiser headphones with an active ID.me account. This deal also applies to military members and families, doctors, nurses, students, teachers, and government employees.
- Tidal. First responders can sign up for the streaming music service Tidal at a discounted monthly rate. A premium subscription costs $5.99 a month ($4 off), and a top-tier HiFi plan costs $11.99 per month ($8 off). The deal applies to police, firefighters, EMTs, other EMS workers, and military service members.
- T-Mobile. The cell service T-Mobile offers special plans just for first responders. They can get a four-line Magenta plan with 3GB of mobile hotspot data for $100 per month or a four-line Magenta Plus plan with 20GB of mobile hotspot data for $140, including taxes and fees.
- Verizon Wireless. Competing cell provider Verizon also offers discounted plans to first responders. They pay $120 per month plus taxes and fees for a four-line Start Unlimited plan with auto-pay. The discount plans apply to active and retired firefighters, police, and EMS workers, and to the immediate family of those killed in the line of duty.
Travel & Entertainment
Another big category for first responder discounts is travel and entertainment. From hotels to car rentals, cruise lines to theme parks, dozens of businesses are eager to have first responders as guests and are willing to reward them with special deals.
- Beaches Resorts. Firefighters, police officers, and active members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receive a 10% first responder discount on top of all other special promotions at Beaches Resorts. Members of the military also qualify for this discount. Proof of employment is required at the time of booking.
- Caesars Entertainment. The Caesars Entertainment chain owns hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and all across the U.S., including Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s, and Horseshoe hotels. First responders can take up to 35% off the price of their stay at 29 Caesars locations on top of any other discounts. Check the website for a full list of participating hotels. To get the discount, use ID.me when booking.
- Choice Hotels. During the COVID-19 crisis, Choice Hotels is offering discounted room rates to all workers identified as essential by the Department of Homeland Security through its Choice Cares program. First responders, doctors, nurses, food and agriculture workers, and mass transit employees can all participate. Volunteers are also eligible for the program. Book your stay through the Choice website to request the Choice Cares rate.
- Clipper Vacations. Active and retired military members and first responders from the U.S. and Canada can take 10% off the regular adult fare for travel between Seattle and Victoria, BC, with Clipper Vacations. The fare for children age 11 and under is half the adult rate. Request the discounted rate when booking through Clipper’s toll-free number.
- Dave & Buster’s. This chain that combines dining with arcade games is giving out $10 Game Cards to all first responders and health care professionals in all locations. To get yours, present your ID at any Dave & Buster’s location.
- Disney. Several Disney theme parks offer discounts for first responders. At Walt Disney World in Florida, first responders save up to $40 off the gate price when booking through ID.me, as do military members, teachers, nurses, and government employees. At Disneyland California, the same groups save up to 15% off the regular price of admission.
- Great Wolf Lodge. The Great Wolf Lodge hotel chain includes 17 locations scattered across 16 U.S. states. The chain offers a Howlin’ Heroes discount of up to 30% off for guests in law enforcement, firefighting, EMS, and the military (active or retired). Just use the coupon code “heroes” when booking.
- Legoland. This Lego-centered theme park and resort offers first responder discounts at two locations. At Legoland California, the discount is up to 35% for first responders, nurses, military members, teachers, and government employees. At Legoland Florida, the same groups save up to $34 off the gate price. Both locations use ID.me for verification.
- Marriott. Through December 31, 2020, first responders can receive a special Community Caregiver Rate at participating Marriott hotels across the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. To get this discount, you must show valid identification from a medical, government, military, or relief organization at check-in. There are many Marriott family brands, including Sheraton, Westin, Courtyard, Fairfield, and Springhill Suites. Check the site for more.
- Peter Pan. First responders and active or retired military members save 15% off the full adult fare on Peter Pan buses. Be prepared to show a valid ID, including your photo and occupation, upon request.
- Royal Caribbean. First responders qualify for special rates on select Royal Caribbean cruises. This deal applies to active or retired members of a local or state law enforcement agency, fire department, or EMS unit in the U.S. or Canada and all guests staying with them in the same stateroom. You must present a valid badge or ID plus a second form of identification when boarding. The company also offers discounts for active and retired military members and veterans.
- Sandals. Firefighters, police officers, U.S. and Canadian military members, and FEMA workers can all take an extra 10% off at Sandals resorts in the Caribbean on top of any current promotions. To get this deal, fill out an eligibility form online and present ID at check-in. See the website for details about which forms of ID are acceptable.
- Vrbo. Some hosts on Vrbo opt to provide a discount on bookings for first responders. The amount of the discount and the specific groups that qualify vary by location, so check specific listings for details.
- Wyndham. The Wyndham hotel group includes such brands as LaQuinta, Howard Johnson, and Ramada. All these chains offer discounts of up to 20% off the best available rate to first responders, military members, teachers, and students who book through ID.me. In addition, members of the chain’s Wyndham Rewards program qualify for a free gold membership upgrade if they hold essential jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. That includes health care workers, delivery drivers, truck drivers, warehouse employees, construction workers, sanitation workers, and grocery store employees.
As long as this list of discounts is, it’s far from complete. We’ve covered the biggest and best-known companies offering discounts to first responders, but many smaller businesses provide them as well, including local restaurants.
So even if a company you do business with isn’t on this list, it may still offer a first responder discount. To find out if it does, you can consult the company’s website, call customer service, or simply ask the clerk at the checkout. All kinds of businesses are eager to help out first responders, so don’t be shy about asking if there’s a discount available. Compared to the lifesaving work you do every day, it’s not a lot to ask.
Do you know of other chains that offer discounts for first responders?