10 Jobs That Get You Discounts
Does your job entitle you to discounts on clothing, travel, computers, cars, or even a house? People in many professions enjoy employee discounts from the companies where they work. In some cases, other businesses offer discounts to show appreciation for people who provide a public service. Either way, these 10 jobs promise savings for those who take advantage.
Teacher discounts are some of the most common. Many dedicated teachers purchase school supplies and other necessities with their own paychecks. At Barnes and Noble, a discount card for educators offers 20 percent off classroom purchases. With an International Teacher Identity Card, Target takes $5 off an online purchase totaling $50 or more. A.C. Moore, the arts and crafts store, extends a 15 percent discount to teachers (including parents who home-school their children). Office Depot awards 5 percent off purchases and 15 percent off copy and print services through its Star Teacher Program. Discounts for teachers don't stop at classroom supplies. At stores such as The Limited, teachers can purchase work clothes at a 15 percent discount.
Government employees, including public educators, can purchase homes at half price through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Good Neighbor Next Door program. The primary requirement is that they remain in the home for at least three years. Government workers have access to other exclusive discounts, including vacation deals. On the Government Vacation Rewards website, government workers (and military personnel) can book hotels, cruises, and rental cars at discounted rates. Federal, state, and local government employees get discounts on Apple products through the company's Military/Government Purchase Program -- $100 off the latest MacBook Pro, for example. The iPad Air, normally $499, is $479 for government workers. Sprint reduces monthly phone service plans by 15 percent for government employees.
Discounts for military personnel often extend to their families. Spouses and children can take advantage of discounted gym memberships and military appreciation days at 24 Hour Fitness, which waives the initiation fee and requires only the first and last month's dues. Military families also receive 20 percent off admission to Six Flags and free admission to SeaWorld parks, including Busch Gardens. No matter where you go, it's worth asking if there's a discount for veterans or active military.
Most airlines offer employees and immediate family members free or deeply discounted airfare anywhere the airline travels. Delta Air Lines, for instance, offers free flights to hundreds of U.S. and international destinations for employees who pay a $50 annual fee. Even low-cost airline JetBlue offers employees free standby tickets (for seats that haven't been filled by paying customers). Flight attendants sometimes also receive buddy passes for friends and family.
People who work for car companies and dealers typically receive discounts or preferential pricing on cars. CarMax offers employees and their immediate families a hefty $500 discount on a new car and covers the cost of a used car up to $3,000. Honda and Toyota feature employee lease and purchase programs as part of their benefits packages.
In addition to healthcare and education benefits, academic hospitals such as Duke University Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital offer various employee discounts, such as special rates for fitness club membership or discounts on prescription drugs. Certified first responders receive 10 percent off Under Armour purchases and emergency medical services personnel qualify for discounts on Oakley products (both programs are also open to military personnel).
In addition to offers for public employees, such as the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door home-buying program, police officers can take advantage of discounts exclusive to law enforcement. Police officers often enjoy discounts from fast food retailers and they receive lower rates on auto and motorcycle insurance through the Badge Benefits program at Nationwide Insurance. (As with other insurance quotes, the discounted rates vary depending on factors such as the policy holder's age and driving history.)
Forget online booking sites. At chains including Marriott and Hilton Hotels and Resorts, hotel staffers from managers to housekeepers receive discounts on hotel rooms as part of their benefits packages. These exclusive discounted rates can reach up to 50 percent off. Under the Hilton Family Travel Program, family members can take advantage of special rates even if a hotel employee does not accompany them.
Most retailers offer employee discounts on the products they sell. Although this can help make up for pay at or near minimum wage, clothing retailers often require their workers to buy and wear the store's merchandise. Employees at American Apparel receive a $200 clothing stipend at the beginning of their employment and 50 percent off additional clothing and accessories. Discounts at dozens of other stores are listed at Rather Be Shopping. Target allows employees to stack other deals on top of the employee discount.
Discounts for clergy and religious workers are less common these days, but they do exist. Some companies offer special rates on lodging for traveling clergy. Christianity Today has come up with a list of places where pastors can go on a free or discounted getaway, including the Hampton Inn and Suites in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.