The Blue Light Card is a discount scheme offered to Emergency Service Workers and some other government employees. Take a look at the list of providers, the discount you can receive on gift cards and the special Services Day you can attend.
Blue Light Card
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.
With Public Sector wage increases being so low, it means that in real terms, their wages have decreased over the last seven years. So, the Blue Light Card could help in cutting their costs.
Who is eligible?
This scheme isn’t just for the Emergency Services. It’s available to anyone who works for the following:
-4×4 Response -Ambulance Service -Army -Blood Bikes -Cave Rescue -Emergency Response Unit -Fire Service -First Responders -Highways Agency -HM Coastguard -HM Prison Service -Independent Lifeboats -Lowland Search and Rescue -Lowland Search and Rescue -Marines -MOD Civil Servant -MOD Fire Service -MOD Police -Mountain Rescue -Navy -NHS -Police -RAF -Red Cross -RNLI -Search and Rescue -Second Line Responders -St Andrews Ambulance -St John Ambulance -UK Border Agency (including UK Border Force)
Yes, you read that right – UK Border Agency. I’m not sure what kind of emergency you would call them out on, but I’m sure they’re not complaining.
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.
How much does it cost and what discounts are there?
If you just want to shop online, then it won’t cost you a penny to use. When you want to make a purchase you are either given a code or have to click through to the retailer via the Blue Light site. If you want to shop on the high street, then you will need to buy the Blue Light card. This costs £4.99 but will last five years.
There are loads of discounts available, and far too many to list here. Some of the major brands, such as Apple, are part of this scheme. That’s quite amazing in itself, as Apple never seem keen on giving you money off. You can also get money off at restaurants such as Frankie and Benny’s, 50% off at Domino’s, days out including Alton Towers, holidays with Thomas Cook and Haven and many, many shopping outlets. Nearly anything you want, you should be able to find some sort of discount through the Blue Light Card.
The best discounts are from restaraunts. 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.
A sample of Blue Light Card Discounts
Chessington World of Adventure
Early Learning Centre
Faye & Square
Frankie and Benny’s
Fred Olsen Cruises
Holland and Barrett
Legoland Discovery Centre
Marks & Spencer
Merlin Annual Pass
Only Oak Furniture
Red Letter Days
Sea Life Centre London
The Perfume Shop
Please bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and only covers around 10% of companies. The list of shops that accept the Blue Light Card changes regularly, so it’s difficult to list all the stores. Also, some of the companies listed above only offer discounts through the purchase of gift cards (see below). Please check the BLC website before making a purchase.
Gift card discounts
Unfortunately, with the Blue Light Card, it isn’t always as simple as just producing your card to receive a discount. To receive money off from some of the bigger stores, you will need to purchase a gift card. But you can do it online and it will only take you a few minutes.
For example, Curry’s offer a 7% discount, so placing £100 on a Curry’s gift card will cost you just £93. Other stores that operate in this way are Halfords – 7%, Argos 4%, B&Q, 5% and Debenhams 6%.
The gift card is sent to you in the post and usually takes a few days to arrive. Once you’ve spent all the money on the card, you can just top it up from the BLC website.
This downside to this being that it can take a few days before the funds are loaded onto the card. If an item is on sale… you could miss out.
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 which is closed to the general public on those dates.
The 2019 event will be held at Alton Towers on the 16th and 17th March and Chessington World of Adventures on 3rd March. Not only will the queues be much shorter, but ticket prices are reduced and parking is free. It might be a little chilly though!
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.
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 shopper, this is worth checking out!
And if you do qualify for a Blue Light Card, you probably qualify for a free tax rebate for washing your uniform, which could be worth £100’s.