The Blue Light Card offers exclusive discounts to Emergency Service Workers and a host of other employees. But who can join and is it worthwhile? Take a look at the list of shops you can use your Blue Light Card discount and how to claim. Plus, I show you how to get money off cinema visits and free tickets to some major events across the UK. And don’t forget about Service’s Day!
Discount list – most popular
- Pizza Hut
Blue Light Card Discounts
Now, I’m sure that the vast majority of us appreciate the work that is done by our Emergency Service Workers. Having worked closely with them before due to my job and with family members previously in the Police Force, I’m well aware of the hard work they put in.
But with Public Sector wage increases being so low, it means that in real terms, their wages have decreased over the last seven years. So, any extra help is always welcome and the Blue Light Card is a great way to save money.
What can you use the card for?
Blue Light Card membership gives you access to discounts across a range of retailers – many not available to the general public. But it’s not restricted to just shopping, you can find better deals on insurance, local services and days out.
Who qualifies for the Blue Light Card?
This scheme isn’t just for the Emergency Services. It’s available to anyone who works as a paid employee for the following:
- Police Service
- Ambulance Service
- Fire Service
- HM Prison Service/HMPPS
- NHS Dental Practice
- HM Armed Forces
- MoD Civil Servant, Fire Service, Police
- Highways Agency
- Border Force
- Immigration Enforcement
- UK Visas and Immigration
- HM Coastguard
- Search and Rescue
- 4×4 Response
- Blood Bikes
- First Responders
- St Andrews Ambulance
- St John Ambulance
- Social Care
You also qualify if you are a volunteer for any of the below:
- HM Coastguard
- Search and Rescue
- 4×4 Response
- Blood Bikes
- First Responders
- St Andrews Ambulance
- St John Ambulance
The card is also available to some retirees. Taken from their site:
You are eligible only if you are an Armed Forces Veteran or a retired Police Officer or Fire Fighter. We will require ID to prove this in order to send the card to your home address.
So, do workers in the social sector qualify?
As you can see from above, workers in social care qualify for the Blue Light Card and the discounts associated with it. And according to the definition I found – Social care is a term that generally describes all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support.
How to apply
You can join online and will need to provide the following information:
- Employer’s information, including division (if applicable) and job role.
- Email address
If this is accepted, you will then need to complete your address details if you want a physical card sent to you. Then, it’s just a matter of waiting until BLC has confirmed you’re eligible to join.
How much does the Blue Light Card card cost?
The cost of membership, which includes a physical card, is £4.99 and will last 2 years. If you lose your card, you will need to pay another £4.99 for the replacement.
Blue Light Card has recently introduced a virtual card. This is similar to the physical card, except it is accessed through the app on your phone. There is no charge and according to the BLC, many businesses will accept it…
However, they go on to say ‘Remember to check with the business first, some may require a physical card’.
So, very non-committal there. However, it has always been accepted in the stores I have used it at.
Did you know that if you wear a uniform or work branded shirt you are entitled to a tax rebate for money spent on washing? It could be worth £100’s and it’s free to do!
Can family members use my card?
The Blue Light Card can only be used by the holder and cannot be loaned to others. In some cases, a family member may receive a discount as long as the card holder is present at the time.
Claiming your shopping discount
How you claim your Blue Light Card discount differs between companies. Most physical stores allow you to show your card and you are immediately given a discount. However, some of the bigger chains only give you money off if you purchase a gift card, which can be done through the Blue Light Card website (or app).
Buy the gift card for your chosen store (usually starting from £10) and it is sent to you in the post within a few days. You then need to activate the card and it will be ready to use. Once you’ve spent all the money on the card, you can just top it up from the BLC website. This will take a couple of days to do though.
Because of the time it takes to load these cards, you do need to plan in advance. So it’s not great for sale items.
But the good news is, some retailers now offer digital discount vouchers that are sent to you almost immediately through email. All you need to do is enter the code at the online checkout or scan them in the shop at the till.
The discounts can be quite good though. For example, Curry’s offers a 6.5% discount, so placing £100 on a Curry’s gift card will cost you just £93.50. Other stores that operate in this way are Halfords – 7%, Argos 4%, B&Q, 5%, and Debenhams 6%. Please note that these discounts do move up and down.
Take a look at the video on this page to find out how to purchase gift cards.
Blue Light Card discount codes
Of course, if you’re shopping online, flashing your card won’t be much good. Instead, you may need to follow a special link from the Blue Light Card website which will take you to a special section of your chosen retailer’s website. But more often than not, you will need to request a unique code. Find the store you’re interested in through the BLC app or website and click the request code button. The code will then appear in your account and will also be sent to you by email.
Then, when you checkout, there should be a box to enter your code.
These codes may also be needed when you want money off your food bill in restaurants. Or, you may be sent a code that can be scanned by the waiting staff.
Where can I use my Blue Light Card?
There are loads of discounts available. Some of the major brands, such as Apple, are part of this scheme, which is quite amazing in itself, as Apple never seems keen on giving you money off. This is usually only around 2% off, but that’s quite significant when you think how much their products cost…
You can also get money off at restaurants such as Frankie and Benny’s and Subway (depending on the store), 50% off at Domino’s, days out including Alton Towers, holidays with Thomas Cook and Haven and many, many shopping outlets. For nearly anything you want, you should be able to find some sort of discount through the Blue Light Card.
The best discounts are from restaurants. You will often receive anything between 20-50% off or a free meal. You can also find good deals on mobile contracts from the major phone companies.
Does Amazon offer a Blue Light Card discount?
This is the most asked question I receive. No, Amazon does not offer discounts to Blue Light Card holders. That goes for Prime Video, Music and shopping.
After Amazon, there are 5 stores that I am asked about most often.
You can use your Blue Light Card for Argos discounts, but only by buying vouchers first. Discounts tend to range between 4% and 8% depending on the time of the year. Check out my video on this page on how to purchase your cards.
And as an extra tip for Argos shoppers, check out the Airtime rewards app. All you need to do is link your payment card, and every time you shop there, you’ll earn cashback to put towards your mobile phone bill. It works for a whole range of retailers too.
Like Argos, the only way to earn a Currys Blue Light Card discount is by purchasing a gift card. The good news is, this is usually in the region of 6-10%.
You’re probably seeing a theme here… Again, you will need to visit the Blue Light Card website and order a gift card to qualify for a discount.
This is a far easier discount to claim. Just show your Blue Light Card to a Domino’s branch for 50% off. Usually, most branches only give discounts on pizzas but some others include sides and desserts. If you’re ordering online, you can usually find a discount code on the BLC website. You can also see other ways to find online Domino’s discounts.
Until 31st July 2022, BLC holders qualify for 20% off at KFC. Just produce your physical or digital card when you purchase.
Best of the rest – Blue Light Card discounts list
So, which other companies can you get discounts for? It’s impossible to list all the stores, but I have tried to summarise the most popular. And please remember to check the Blue Light Card app or website before you claim your discount. Don’t always just expect to walk into a store expecting a discount by showing your card.
Restaurants/Food & drink discounts
- Bella Italia
- Cafe Nero
- Cafe Rouge
- Craft Gin Club
- Dobbies Restaurants
- Dominos Pizza – see how to claim
- Pizza Hut
- Rave Coffee
- Seed and Bean
- Simply Cook – see my review
- Toby Carvery
- Virgin Wines
- Wee Sweetie Shop
- Welcome Break
- Dorothy Perkins
- Foot Locker
- Go Outdoors
- JD Sports
- JD Williams
- JoJo Maman Bebe
- Look Fantastic
- New Look
- The Perfume Shop
- River Island
- Simpley Be
- Sports Direct
- Sunglass Hut
- Ted Bake
- Under Armour
- Urban Outfitters
- Vision Express
Electrical & Phones
- Beats by Dr. Dre
- Daewoo Electricals
- Hewlett Packard
- LED Hut
- Morphy Richards
- Music Magpie
- Ninja Kitchen
- Philips Hue
- Rewards Mobile
- Richer Sounds
- Russell Hobs
- Shark Clean
- Sky TV
- Virgin Media
- Arnold Clark car and van rental
- Bike Stop
- National Express
Health & Beauty discounts
- AXA Health
- Beauty Works
- Best Gym Equipment
- The Body Shop
- Ernest Jones
- Gym King
- MAC Cosmetics
- Purfume Direct
- Revolution Beauty
- Simba Sleep
- Disney Florida
- Disney Paris
- Forest Holidays
- Haven Holidays
- Holiday Extras
- Parkdean Resorts
- P&O Cruises
- Royal Caribbean Holiday
Please note that companies can leave the scheme at any time, so I will try and keep the list regularly updated. (Updated October 2021)
The Blue Light Card also offers discounts on tickets for the major cinemas, including Odeon, Vue and Cineworld. Purchasing differs between cinema chains, but usually, you purchase a voucher that is sent to you by email and this can then be exchanged for tickets.
Please note that the prices below are correct at the time of writing (July 2021) but are subject to change.
Adult tickets – £6.86
Standard tickets for Adults are £7.62 and tickets for children, £5.82.
The Odeon Limitless card for 12 months of movies will cost £156 per person
A standard adult ticket ranges from £4.94 to £10.58 depending on location. You can also purchase a discounted Adult Premium Code which will gain you entry for IMAX 3D, IMAX, 2D, 4DX 3D, 4DX 2D, Superscreen and 3D).
If you’re looking for something a little longer-term, the Cineworld Unlimited Card will give you all the movies you want for 12 months. Again, depending on location, this costs from £99 to £181.35. Not only that, but Cineworld also allows you to purchase vouchers for reduced food and drink.
Mobile phones and contracts
If you’re looking for a new phone or contract, then most of the major telecoms companies give some kind of discount.
Save 25% off O2 refresh plans
20% off handset and sim only plans
Save an extra £25 on upfront prices
£5 Auto Cashback on all Pay Monthly Deals
Not currently listed on the Blue Light Card website. However, they already offer Vodafone Advantage which gives discounts to NHS, MoD and Emergency services
Blue Light Tickets
If you’re a fan of live entertainment like sports, comedy, music and theatre, then you can qualify for tickets… absolutely free. Unfortunately, tickets are limited, so you will have to enter a ballot and winners are chosen at random.
But there are some great music events available up and down the country, plus tickets to Premier League football games.
The Blue Light Tickets site is actually run separately from the main Blue Light Card site. You have to sign up again, although if you already have a Blue Light Card, you do not need to show proof of your employment and just need to enter your Blue Light membership number.
Every year, holders of the Blue Light Card can attend a Services Day which usually takes place over a weekend. This is held at a major theme park that is closed to the general public and offers heavily discounted tickets.
The next event is due to be held at Legoland Windsor on Saturday 13th November 2021 and Sunday 28th November 2021.
Ok, so they don’t have the best weather, but they are great value!
Blue Light Card app
Remember to download the app too. This will send you notifications of the latest offers and links directly to the gift card discount area.
You can use the following links:
If you want to sign up or find out more, then head over to the Blue Light Card official site.
And don’t forget to follow their Facebook page so you can see the latest special offers and deals.
The Blue Light Card is great, but if you’re interested in saving more money, why not take a look at a paid alternative with the CSSC? For less than £4 per month, you could be eligible for free entry into English Heritage sites, a free taste card, reduced gym membership and lots of other discounts. The CSSC also offers discounted gift cards, but usually around 2% cheaper than the Blue Light Card. If you’re a keen shopper, this is worth checking out!
Help, my card hasn’t arrived
If it has been 14 days since your card was purchased, log into your account and visit the ‘My Card’ section on the Blue Light Card website or click on your virtual card in the app by clicking your name in the bottom menu. You can then mark the card as lost and another will be sent.
What is the Blue Light Card contact number?
There is no contact telephone number. You can either get in touch by sending an email to email@example.com, or you can send them a ticket through your account. If you need to contact them urgently, I would suggest trying twitter @bluelightcard
Does Nando’s accept the Blue Light Card?
Unfortunately, no. They do a specific discount for NHS staff though.
Any Airport parking deals?
Nearly all the major companies are listed – NCP, BCP, Ace Airport Parking Ltd, APH and iPark Airport Parking.
Can I get a discount at Travelodge?
No. However, you can find a discount if you shop through TopCashback.
Do I get money off at Toby Carvery?
You get 20% off Monday to Saturday. However, you will need to request a voucher code. This just requires you to click a button on the BLC app or website and it will be sent to your account.
Any New Look discounts?
Yes. There is a specific 25% code for card holders to use on the New Look website. Or, you can just show your membership card when shopping in store to receive your 25% off.
How about Iceland?
There aren’t currently any discounts at Iceland for Blue Light Card holders. However, over the last couple of years, there has been a couple of 10% offers for short periods. It is worth keeping an eye on the Iceland website.
What can I get at Halfords?
Half price MOTs, or a free MOT with a full service. 10% off servicing. 10% off in store – you will need a voucher sent to your Blue Light Card account. 7% discount on gift vouchers.
Do Frankie and Benny’s accept the Blue Light Card?
No. Although joining the scheme in 2014, they have since left. But all is not lost, the Tastecard offers 2 for 1 dining there if you are looking for a good discount.
How much is the Pizza Hut discount?
50% off if ordering online – you will need to generate a code.
25% off in a restaurant. Again, you will need a code sent to you. – The code currently works 7 days per week.
7.5% off gift cards.
Does McDonald’s accept the Blue Light Card?
There is no nationwide discount available to emergency service workers. However, the majority of McDonald’s restaurants are run as franchises. That means that they may offer their own special offers. My local will give you a free cheeseburger with the purchase of an Extra Value Meal, if you produce your BLC membership. So it’s a case of asking when you visit.
Does Primark take the Blue Light Card?
Not directly. You can purchase gift vouchers that will earn you 3% off though. Or you can sign up for the Airtime rewards app. This will give you 3.5% back towards your mobile phone bill when you shop at Primark with your debit or credit card. Use the code 8YXY4BLK for a 50 pence bonus.
What discount does Sky offer?
Listed on the BLC website, Sky Signature is reduced from £30 to £21 per month. But to receive that discount or details on any others, you will need to leave your details and an operator from Sky will contact you. Just follow the link through the BLC site.
Does B&M accept the Blue Light Card?
No, these stored do not currently offer a discount to holders.
Do you get a discount with Next?
No, there is no Blue Light Card discount for Next.
Does Smyths accept the Blue Light Card?
Smyths is currently not offering money off to Blue Light Card holders or NHS staff
What discount does Sky offer?
Currently, you can subscribe to Sky Signature for £21 per month (reduced from £30). This is available to new and existing customers.
Does Aldi accept the Blue Light Card?
Aldi only accepts the card as proof of employment for emergency workers and gives holders access to priority shopping times. It does not provide any discounts though.
Does Boots offer a discount?
Blue Light Card holders no longer qualify for a discount with Boots. However, you can sign up for the Airtime rewards app. This will give you 5% back towards your mobile phone bill when you shop at Boots with your debit or credit card. Use the code 8YXY4BLK for a 50 pence bonus.
Is the Morrisons offer still running?
For most of 2020 and 2021, Blue Light Card holders were entitled to 10% off at Morrisons. However, this expired at the end of June 2021 and does not look like it will be renewed.
Please note that this page contains affiliate links.