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
Rules 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 a discount of around 15% (or greater) to active duty, Guard, Reserves, retirees. This usually includes 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, Veterans ID Card, VA issued ID Health Card, drivers license with a veterans designation, or a DD Form 214.
Service Agreement or Contract May be Required. Some cell phone carriers may require a 2-year contract when you sign up for their service. Be sure to read the full terms before you sign a contract. Also note that some carriers, such as T-Mobile, may be willing to pay early termination fees from another carrier if you switch to them.
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 the 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.
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. You may also be able to combine military discounts with the Verizon Fios internet service.
Here’s how Verizon Military Discount applies to the following plans:
- Start Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Get More Unlimited
- 1 Line: $10/mo discount
- 2-3 Lines: $25/mo discount
- 4+ Lines: $20/mo discount.
- Autopay and paper-free billing required.
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.
- Visit the Verizon Wireless Website for more information about the Verizon Wireless Military Discount.
AT&T Military and Veteran Discounts
AT&T offers a 25% discount for military members and veterans on qualified AT&T unlimited plans (member must be the primary name on the account). Proof of service required, and it may take 2 to 3 months to see the discount show up on your account.
Eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserves, Retirees, Veterans, and spouses of active-duty and deceased service personnel.
Required Proof of Service:
- Active Duty members can verify their service eligibility by using their .mil email address on this page (this page can also be used to verify corporate discounts).
- Guard / Reserves can use their .mil email address or visit a local store or participating dealer.
- Military Veterans can bring their Department of Defense Form DD214 indicating an honorable discharge, a valid retired military ID, a veteran designated driver’s license, Veterans ID Card, Veteran Health Insurance card, or a current AMVETS membership card are also acceptable.
- Spouses of active duty or deceased military service personnel will need to provide a valid Department of Defense sponsorship card.
T-Mobile Military and Veterans Discount
T-Mobile offers the most generous military discount among the national cell phone service providers. T-Mobile offers a 20% discount to military members and veterans, with a 50% discount on additional lines. This is an excellent discount to pair with the T-Mobile unlimited plan with no contract.
Eligibility: Eligible persons include those serving on active duty, Guard/Reserve, retirees, veterans, and family members. Veteran owned small businesses are also eligible, for up to 12 lines. Proof of service required to obtain a discount.
This discount is also available for family members when the lines are bundled on the same plan. The military member or veteran will need to keep his or her plan in place for family members to remain eligible for the discount.
T-Mobile Military Discount Features:
- Unlimited talk, text, and data.*
- Unlimited in Mexico and Canada. To include talk, text, and up to 5GB of 4G LTE data.
- In-Flight texting + 1 hour of data. On all GoGo®-enabled flights to, from, or within the U.S.
- Mobile hotspot data included. Keep all you data connected at max 3G speeds.
- Stream unlimited entertainment. Video at DVD quality, 480p.
- Taxes and fees included. (no surprise fees on your monthly plan bill).
- Texting and data abroad, including unlimited text and data roaming and flat-rate calling in more than 140 countries.
- Free Netflix Standard subscription – Standard 2-screen subscription for almost any device, even TV.
T-Mobile May Pay Early Termination Fees or Pay Off Your Phone:
Get a new phone and we’ll pay off your current phone and service contracts – up to $650 per line or $350 in early termination fees, via prepaid card when you trade-in your device. Visit the T-Mobile site for more info.
T-Mobile Military Discount Pricing (price shown with Autopay enabled; add $5 if you do not use Autopay):
- Line 1 – $55 (20% off standard pricing)
- Line 2 – $40 per line (50% off standard pricing)
- Line 3 – $30 per line
- Line 4 – $25 Per line
- Line 5 – $22 Per line
How to apply for the military discount:
- Discount eligibility: Active Duty, Guard, Reserves, Retirees, Veterans, and Family members (when military member or veteran is primary account holder)
U.S. Cellular Military Discounts
U.S. Cellular offers a 15% discount to active duty service members. The military discount is also available to members of the National Guard, Reserves, military retirees, and military veterans.
- Discount eligibility: Active Duty, National Guard, Reserves, Retirees, military veterans.
- To receive the discount: Call 1-888-944-9400 or 611 from your U.S. Cellular phone, or visit the U.S. Cellular website.
Cricket Wireless Heroes Discount – Grandfathered
Cricket Wireless previously offered 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.
However, Cricket no longer offers this discount to new customers once they migrate to the new Cricket account. Customers will need to choose a new Cricket (GSM) rate plan.
Plans start at $25/month including all taxes and fees. Plans starting at $40 per month offer additional discounts: a $5 Auto Pay credit each month or Group Save discounts.
Sprint Military and Veteran Discount – Save 50% Off Family Lines
Update: Sprint has merged with T-Mobile. They are still offering the military discount for current customers, who are grandfathered into the discount plan they received when they signed their contract. All new customers are being referred to T-Mobile. You can learn more about the T-Mobile military discount plan for more information.
Sprint 50% Off family lines when current and former military members sign up for the Sprint Unlimited Military Plan.
Eligibility: The military and veterans discount is available to current and former members of the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard through the Sprint WorksSM Program, or through the Sprint Company discount program.
Proof of service is required in order to qualify for the Sprint military discount. Accepted forms of ID include a military ID card, VA issued Veteran’s ID Card, discharge paperwork, or DD 214. 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.
- Members pay full price for the first line, then save 50% for each additional line. So the savings grow as you add more lines to your account.
- Enrollment in Sprint AutoPay is required to receive the discount
- It may also take a cycle or two before you see the discount applied to your bill.
Sprint Unlimited Military Plan Features:
- Unlimited data, talk and text nationwide
- TV, with Hulu subscription ($7.99 monthly value)
- 500 MB mobile hotspot
- DVD-quality streaming
- Global roaming in more than 185 worldwide locations
- Unlimited talk and text in Mexico and Canada
- and 5GB of 4G LTE data.
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 manager. 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 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.