Military and Veteran Discounts for Cell Phone Service

Cell phone companies are doing everything in their power to keep customers, and sometimes, it works out in the consumer’s favor, especially when it comes to discounts. Almost all of the major cell phone carriers offer military discounts on cell phone service to current, and former servicemembers. It’s not often that veterans are eligible for military discounts, but this is one time when you may just qualify. Let’s take a look at some of the cell phone discounts available to military members and veterans, and some of the common rules to keep in mind.

Military and Veteran Discounts for Cell Phone Service

military discounts on cell phone serviceRules and participation will vary by cell phone provider, so be sure to read the fine print, and ask to speak with a manager when asking for a discount. Here are some common things to keep in mind:

  • Most cell phone companies offer 15% discount to active duty, Guard, Reserves, retirees, and often for veterans as well. These discounts are usually only for the servicemember, though many cell phone carriers will offer the discounts for multiple lines – as long as the service member’s name is the primary name on the account.
  • ID or proof of service is required. Many companies will approve discounts via email with a .mil or .gov email address. Otherwise, you may need a military ID card, VA issued ID Card, drivers license with a veterans designation, or a DD Form 214.
  • Two year service agreement may be required. Some cell phone carriers may extend your service agreement for 2 more years if you are already under contract, but not yet receiving the discount. This usually doesn’t reset your new phone discount, however, so you may still be able to upgrade on schedule. Keep the extension in mind before agreeing to the terms.
  • Ask for a manager if the customer service rep doesn’t give you a discount. Some customer service reps may not be aware of the discounts, or may not have authorization to grant them. Politely ask to speak with a manager. Whatever you do, don’t make a scene. Being polite will get you much further, faster.
  • It may take one or two payment cycles to see your discount. This is common across all carriers.
  • Be sure to compare offers across all carriers. Don’t assume the company you have been with for years or the popular cell phone provider in your region has the best deals. Call around and see which deals are best for your needs. Some people may be better off with a family plan, while others may do better on a prepaid pr pay as you go cell phone plan.

Now let’s take a look at some of the deals offered through major cell phone carriers. if you don’t see your favored provider on this list, just contact them or search their site.

AT&T Military and Veteran Discounts

AT&T offers a 15% discount for military members and veterans on qualified plans (member must be the primary name on the account). Proof of service required, and it make take 2 to 3 months to see the discount show up on your account.

Cricket Wireless Heroes Discount

Cricket Wireless offers a 15% discount for eligible military members and community servicemembers such as policemen and firefighters. Eligible military members include active duty and retirees. Discount only available in stores; no contract required. Find a location near you.





Sprint Military and Veteran Discount

Sprint offers a 15% discount military and veterans discount to current and former members of the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard through their National Value Program (NVP), or through the Sprint Company discount program. I didn’t see any verification of discounts for National Guard or Reserves members, but I am assuming they consider these to be part of the parent organization. In any case, you would have access to a .mil email address or ID card, so you would be able to qualify with one of those items.

These discounts may apply to family plans, so be sure to ask before assuming they will apply to everything. It may also take a cycle or two before you see the discount applied to your bill.

To qualify online, you must send them an email from your .mil address, or provide another proof of service. You may also be able to show your ID in person if you visit a Sprint Retail store. You can also send in required proof of service via fax or email. Visit this link for more information.

  • Discount eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserves, Retirees, Veterans
  • Accepted forms of ID include a military ID card, VA issued Veteran’s ID Card, discharge paperwork, or DD 214.
  • If you don’t currently have a Sprint account, you can view Internet specials here.

T-Mobile Military and Veterans Discounts

Affordable Android™ phonesT-Mobile offers a 15% discount to military members and veterans. Eligible persons include those serving on active duty, Guard/Reserve, retirees, and veterans, with proof of service. Veterans will need to show proof of service, including some form of picture ID or official paperwork. Examples include retiree card, VA issued ID card, DD Form 214, or a state drivers license with veterans designation.

New customers may be eligible to have their activation fee waived, and may be eligible for additional discounts on phones. You can shop for new plans and online only discounts at the T-Mobile website.

How to apply for the 15% discount:

U.S. Cellular Military Discounts

U.S. Cellular offers a 15% discount to active duty service members. U.S. Cellular is one of the few companies listed that only offer the discounts to active duty servicemembers. Retirees, part time Guard and Reserves, and veterans aren’t eligible (though it wouldn’t hurt to ask; you never know!).




  • Discount eligibility: Active Duty, including active duty Guard and Reserves. Part time Guard and Reserves are ineligible.
  • To receive the discount: Call 1-888-944-9400 or 611 from your U.S. Cellular phone.
  • More information.

Verizon Wireless Military Discounts

Verizon offers discounts to military servicemembers and veterans on all plans $34.99 and up. You may also be eligible for discounts on data plans and accessories (up to 25% off Verizon branded accessories). You may be able to add up to five lines on the bill, so long as they are under the service member’s name and they all go to the same address (verify this policy in the event it has changed).

How to get the military discount:

  • Discount eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserves, Retirees, Veterans, and Federal Employees
  • Visit the store in person: Bring your military ID, retiree card, DD Form 214, or other official ID showing proof of service. Ask to speak with a manager if you are not able to get help from the customer service rep.
  • Existing customers applying for the discount online: Submit a copy of your pay stub, employee ID card, Veterans ID Card, or DD Form 214. Do not send a copy of your military ID.

Final Notes about Cell Phone Discounts

Keep in mind corporate policies may change frequently. We do our best to ensure these are accurate at the time of publication, but some policies change without notification. Be sure to verify the deals before signing any agreements, and like joining the military, always get it in writing! If an employee doesn’t give you the discount, be sure to ask nicely to speak with a manger. Finally, many cell phone providers have begun requesting verification to remain in discounted programs. Most companies will ask you to resubmit verification of employment every 24 months or so. Don’t take it personally, it’s just their policy. And in this case, most of the cell phone providers still offer the discounts for veterans, so you most likely wouldn’t lose your discount if you leave active duty. You would just need to provide a copy of your DD Form 214 – which you should always maintain.

Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson

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Date published: May 21, 2013. Last updated: June 21, 2013.

Article by

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.

Comments

  1. Tim Heberling says:

    I asked my cell company about this, Credo uses the Sprint network. This is their “progressive” reply:

    Dear Mr. Heberling,

    Unfortunately CREDO does not participate in this offer at this time. Instead of offering discounts for specific groups or employees, we frequently send discount offers to our members for renewal offers.

    If you were eligible for renewal offers as such, you would notice banners saying “loyalty rewards” on your online member services, you would receive e-mails and you may even find information about it on your bill.

    I hope this helps and I hope you have a great day!

    Thanks for choosing CREDO, America’s only progressive phone company.

    Regards,

    Customer Relations
    CREDO Mobile

  2. AT&T also allows you to cancel your contract if you have orders overseas. I was able to cancel out of two iPhone 5s even though the contract was only a few months old. They even unlocked the phones so I could use them overseas.

  3. Believe me when I tell you that Verizon has no intention in allowing us veteran to apply for a discount. I have gone to the Verizon store and faxed in my DD214. We have uploaded it 4 times now on the website and every time we get a notice that it has been rejected because the date is illegible and not within 60 days. We have spent hours on the phone with absolutely NO results. Well, I was discharged in the 1960’s so yes it is over 90 days. I have tried to register for this discount for 3 months with 0 affect. So, my plan is to now get this information and my experience out over the internet to as many sites and reviews as I possibly can. Although the attempt by Verizon is to look patriotic, the reality is that they have made this process for veterans discount impossible so they can claim they offer it but really do not. Chuck

  4. I have had a similar experience with AT&T . I was told that I was eligible for a 15% discount as a veteran (Vietnam) but with my senior plan they would not provide the discount – only after I called customer service since I did not see the discount on three bills. I was told by two AT&T sales reps initially that I was eligible and that the discount would appear on my next bill. I also received a text from AT&T stating that my discount had been applied. This is discriminatory, because we are not on a high cost plan.

    Bob

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