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Everyday Discounts Military Personnel May Be Overlooking

To honor the sacrifices made for our country, there are countless discounts and savings available to thank U.S. active and veteran military personnel. While it’s widely known that discounts and freebies are offered on days of national recognition such as Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day or Independence Day, there are many more available throughout the rest of the year that aren’t as publicized.

Here are a number of everyday discounts for military personnel, broken down by category:

Tech

You can easily find military discounts at many restaurants and even clothing stores, but did you know about the savings available at major technology retailers? For instance, many cell phone providers will offer a 15 percent discount on monthly bills to active and retired military and veterans, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

The Apple store offers a military discount program to current and retired military members and their families for price cuts on certain products. Similar discounts are available at Microsoft, Dell Computers and Hewlett-Packard.

Active duty military are eligible to file state and federal taxes for free through the Intuit TurboTax Freedom Edition.

[See: 9 Red Flags That Could Trigger a Tax Audit.]

Entertainment

Disney offers many discounts for military families. The Armed Forces Salute program allows military personnel, veterans and spouses half off the regular price of tickets to Disney theme parks. You can also get select rooms at Disney Resort Hotels at 30 to 40 percent off normal rates. Another option for military personnel is Shades of Green, a military-owned resort within Walt Disney World in Orlando, which offers affordable lodging and complimentary transportation to theme parks. The Disney Cruise Line also has military discounted cruise rates on select trips.

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Another theme park program available for active and retired military is Waves of Honor, offered by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. The program includes popular destinations such as Sea World, Busch Gardens, Sesame Place and Water Country USA. Current military members as well as up to three direct dependents can get free one-day admission to one of the theme parks. Veterans also can take advantage of promotions and discounts.

Speaking of free admission, active duty military and their families can visit several popular destinations free of charge, including Colonial Williamsburg, the Baseball Hall of Fame, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and many other attractions and museums.

[See: 10 Fun, Frugal Ways to Spend Your Free Time.]

Travel

There are a few valuable resources military personnel should check before they book any travel. The Armed Forces Vacation Club offers all eligible members of the U.S. military “vacations at an affordable price.” The website has an easy-to-use search feature to find discounts depending where and when you would like to travel. There is even a handy program called Space-A that lists all available units at a fixed price of $349 per week, plus taxes.

[See: 12 Frugal Ways to Save on Vacation.]

Discounts on flights are also available through various airlines. Exact discount percentages aren’t always listed, so the simplest way to find out is to call and ask. Southwest and United Airlines offer discounts to active military, and JetBlue also commits to offer MIL fares, or Military Leisure Travel.

Automotive

A few other benefits for military members looking to purchase a vehicle include $500 bonus cash from Ford Motor Company; a Military Appreciation Offer from Acura of $750 toward a purchase; flexible terms, reduced rates and an eliminated down payment from Harley-Davidson; and many more.

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