Shopping Tips for Military Families

Servicemembers can shop smarter thanks to available military resources and discounts.

By Navy Federal June 11, 2020
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For servicemembers and their families, your military base is the go-to destination for great savings on food, clothing and other household products. But did you know there are a number of other military shopping benefits and discounts that can help you save on everyday purchases, in addition to bigger purchases, as well?

On-Base Shopping

Shopping at the commissary automatically saves you money on groceries, but you can save even more by registering for a Commissary Rewards Card. With a Commissary Rewards Card, you have access to tons of digital coupons that can be used both domestically and overseas. To use this benefit, you'll first need to pick up a Rewards Card at the commissary and then register it on the commissary website. You can also download the Commissary iPhone® or Android™ app and enter the Rewards Card's information there. If you don't want a Rewards Card, you can also check out the Commissary's Savings Center website. There you'll find information on special sales, links to coupons and other ways to save.

The Exchange: Similar to the commissary, the goods sold at Exchanges are tax-free, except the Exchange sells a variety of items such as clothing, furniture, home appliances and electronics for less than your local department store. These same discounted items are also sold on the Exchange’s online Savings Center with the added benefit of free shipping for qualified items. Plus, you’ll find access to special sales, coupons and weekly ads.

Mobile, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR): At the MWR, you can participate in discounted activities and sports for the whole family, such as arts and crafts, movies and bowling. Your MWR may also offer discounted adventure trips. For a full list of everything available at your installation, visit the MWR office.

Off-Base Shopping

Even though shopping on base is a great way to save money, there are times you'll need something that's not available on base. In these instances, you can still save money as long as the retailer offers a military discount and you have the necessary ID with you—this includes your Common Access Card (CAC), Dependent Card (DD Form 1173) or Veterans ID Card (VIC). To find out if a particular retailer does have a discount, visit the company’s website or call its customer service center.

Retail discounts: Many retailers offer a military discount, which will vary based on the store.

Car purchases: Some dealerships offer military discounts and/or special pricing on the vehicles in their inventory. To find out if a dealership offers this, either visit its website or call its sales office. You can also save money on your next car purchase by taking advantage of Navy Federal’s military discount and Auto Buying Program.

Technology discounts: Tech retailers like Apple® and Dell® offer military discounts on their products. To get this discount, you'll need to make your purchase directly from the retailer's website.

Service plan discounts: Most major wireless companies like AT&T®, Verizon® and Sprint™ offer military service plan discounts. To find out what you need to do to get this discount, check out the company's website.

Other Ways to Save

Navy Federal is dedicated to helping you save money as a military member or part of a military family. Visit us online for more information on discounts, products and resources designed for your military life.

Apple and iPhone are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Android is a trademark of Google LLC. Dell Technologies, Dell, Dell EMC, and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Verizon is a registered trademark of Verizon Trademark Services, LLC. AT&T is a registered trademark of AT&T Intellectual Property, LLC.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.