Christmas Shopping Deals for Feds

By on December 6, 2015 in Pay & Benefits with 24 Comments

Image of a red christmas gift bow against a white background

As the holiday season approaches, people start to focus on enjoying delicious food, spending time with friends and family and, of course, shopping.

While there are many perks to the season, travel, gifting and decorating can take a toll on the wallet. However, there are some perks designed with federal employees in mind. Federal employees work to serve our country all year long and discounts are a way for businesses to give back.

Always Ask

Many stores offer federal discounts, though they may not advertise them. If you aren’t sure, ask. It is an easy and efficient way to save money. If you are doing your holiday shopping at small businesses this year, don’t just assume that they don’t offer discounts. Small business owners have room to set prices and may offer you a discount on the spot.

While some stores require you to be physically present to get a discount, shopping sites like GovX help you purchase in the comfort of your home. They have secured special pricing on premium apparel, home, sports and tech products and can offer discounts on event tickets and travel. They offer top brands such as Nike, Oakley, GoPro and Ogio. You have to create an account and verify your military or government service before you can purchase products.

If you are looking to save money so you can start the shopping season strong, consider discounts that help you pinch pennies. For instance, Geico offers active and retired federal government employees insurance discounts and premium reductions. Find all sorts of savings at GovLoop.com, from resume writing help to gym memberships, federal employees can find substantial discounts.

Having access to discounts and deals is one of the advantages of being a government employee, especially during the holidays. Staying up to date on which stores offer federal discounts is essential to finding savings. But it can be hard to know which stores offer discounts to government personnel.

This list will help you get started on your holiday shopping. From technology to travel and gifts, saving can be easy with this guide to holiday discounts.

Gift Deals

Whether you are buying gifts for family and friends or getting something for yourself, follow this holiday guide to stores that offer discounts to federal workers.

  • Eddie Bauer’s Pro-Deal program offers a 10-15% discount for government employed certified guides, like AMGA, ACMG, and IFMGA guides. It is only offered in store and over the phone.
  • Bass Pro shops offers a 10% government discount through American Rod and Gun, which carries almost everything that Bass Pro does.
  • If you want to surprise someone you love with a non-traditional gift, GiftBasketVillas.com offers beautiful flower arrangements and gift baskets with a 10% discount for federal employees. Simply use the code: Fed10. For overseas gifts, visit GiftBasketsOverseas.com for a 10% discount with the code USMilitary10.
  • The holidays are a perfect time for a proposal. When it’s time for the next phase of a relationship, look to Tanzanite.com which offers a 10% discount on jewelry for federal employees with the code EXECTAN.
  • Remember to always ask about discounts. Retail stores that offer discounts at the manager’s discretion include Aeropostale, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Buckle, Coach, Forever 21, Gap, Hot Topic, Lady Foot Locker, Pac Sun, Payless, Rack Room Shoes and Tommy Hilfiger.

Technology Deals

Federal employees can enjoy discounts on tech related items this holiday season. Below are several companies and the discounts they offer:

  • Apple offers a wide variety of products, from iPhones to MacBooks. They also have a military/government purchase program that offers up to a 15% discount on products.
  • Dell also has computer equipment products and boasts a member purchase program that covers military, veterans and government employees. It offers exclusive deals on a variety of Dell products.
  • Microsoft’s government program offers an undisclosed discount on software products.
  • AT&T offers multiple discounts. You need your government email address to verify your eligibility.
  • T-Mobile has an advantage program that is available to federal employees. You receive monthly discounts on your wireless phone bill.
  • Verizon has a discount program that offers specific discounts depending on your type of federal employment.
  • Wix offers a free website using their award winning website builder software.
  • Carbonite is offering a 10% discount on 1, 2, and 3 year subscriptions.

Travel Deals

Getting to and from holiday destinations can be expensive. Luckily, federal workers can enjoy great airfare, lodging and car rental deals.

Agencies

The Government Armed Forces Travel Cooperative offers discount to government and military personnel, including retirees. They offer Federal employee discounts on condo rentals, car rentals, hotel reservations and vacation packages.

Government Vacation Rewards provides discounts to all active and retired federal employees and military members. You have to sign up and become a member before you book travel. Subscribers receive several benefits that include 2,500 rewards points equal to $150 in savings. They also earn one point for every dollar spent and can use those points toward vacations. They will match the price if you find a better travel value somewhere else. Discounts are offered on airline tickets, care rentals and hotels.

FedRooms is a government-wide, government sponsored lodging program that is designed to give traveling employees more comfort and freedom. Travelers are guaranteed competitive rates, they have a more relaxed cancellation policy and they boast no hidden fees. By booking through their site, employees can guarantee that they are following the governmental travel policy.

FedCruise is a cruise discount service especially for government employees. You must verify your employee status by signing up with your government email address. Cruise vacation deals will then be sent to you once a month or so.

Airfare

  • JetBlue – In their government employee discount program, tickets are fully refundable, even if you don’t show up for your flight. There are no penalties for changing or cancelling.
  • Southwest – They offer discounts, but governmental personnel have to contact them directly to receive them.
  • American Airlines – Discounts are available to select cities in the US, but you have to contact them directly to book.

Lodging

  • Marriott – Whether you are looking to fly home or get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you are likely to find a hotel at one of Marriott’s 4,000 locations worldwide. They offers discounts to verified government employees, but remember to show your ID at check in.
  • Hyatt – Domestic and worldwide location along with discounted rates for eligible government employees can help you save on lodging this season.
  • La Quinta – An already cost effective option, La Quinta allows government employees to book online and receive immediate discounts. You will have to show your ID at check-in.
  • Holiday Inn Express – When you are booking a room with Holiday Inn Express, simply choose “Government Rate” to secure your discount. You will need to show your ID at check-in. If for some reason “Government Rate” is not an available as an option, call the hotel directly.

Car Rentals

The following companies offer discounted rates for federal employees for rental cars.

Restaurants

Don’t travel hungry. Remember these restaurants, which offer 10% savings to federal employees, while on the road or just for a night out: The Hard Rock Café, IHOP, TGI Friday’s, Long John Silver’s, and Denny’s. Call ahead to check on Applebee’s as this chain’s 15% discount will vary by location. Tell your server ahead of time, especially if you have a large party.

Rebate Programs

Even though they’re not specifically for government employees, rebate programs allow you to save up to 25% off items when you shop online. The two most well known programs are Ebates and Fatwallet. Both work with stores like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Walmart, and Amazon to get you money back for everything you buy.

No matter what you are planning this holiday season, don’t let high prices overwhelm you. Keep this list handy when doing Christmas shopping or booking travel to help keep your bank account happy. And always remember to ask if there’s a discount.

© 2016 Jason Kay. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Jason Kay.

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About the Author

Jason Kay is a professional resume writer and regular contributor to KSADoctor.com, a professional federal resume service and repository of sample KSA statements.

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