On the hunt for the best Civil Service discounts? Take a look at the list below to see how you can save money.
Ah, the Civil Service. Join the rollercoaster of fun I was told when I joined. Well, I’m still waiting for it to start but will let you know when the wheels start turning. Still, we get a great pension which they will never touch… Oh, hold on.
Anyhow, as the government tries its hardest to take away any perks left, there are still some great discounts available to civil servants. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a Civil Service discount card, so you have to put in a bit of effort into finding the best discounts available. Actually, I’ve put the effort in so here is a list of some of the best sites.
Civil service discounts
- Blue Light Card
- CS Healthcare
- Motor Source Group
- SMC Motor Group
The majority of these schemes require you to join before you can earn your discount. Some also come with a monthly fee – to find what’s involved, read on.
mylifestyle makes it to the top of the list because it’s free. mylifestyle offers several perks with the main one being discounts on your shopping. You can order eGift cards and vouchers which offer you discounts across over 250 stores. The major supermarkets are included, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda. Other popular stores include Argos, B&Q, Currys, Halfords, IKEA, and Sports Direct. Discounts usually range from 3-8%. All you need to do is order your card or voucher online and it sent to you by email or post.
Other discounts include gym membership and the Cycle to Work scheme.
There is also a resources page that can advise on all manner of topics such as debt, budgeting, savings, and health insurance.
Boundless is brought to you by the Civil Service Motoring Association. There are plenty of deals on offer, such as discounted insurance and breakdown cover. You can also save money on days out, car hire and shopping.
Membership comes in at a reasonable £27 per year…
However, whether that is value for money is another thing. I often find insurance deals aimed towards civil servants aren’t that great and if you can find better prices by shopping around. I used to use the breakdown cover through CSMA, but found I could get better deals by swapping between RAC and AA each year.
Discounted gift cards are always useful, but you can get them from mylifestyle without paying a fee.
Discounts and services include:
- LV travel insurance
- Landlord insurance
- Home insurance
- Online financial advice
- Car hire
- Airport parking
- Access to various interest groups
- Gift cards from Marks & Spencer, Boots, Topshop, Tesco, Debenhams, B&Q and Sainsbury’s
The CSSC is another paid membership scheme for civil servants. This is more expensive than Boundless and costs £51 per year (although you can pay £4.25 per month). However, it does come with free entry to English Heritage sites which is worth over £100. Plus you also receive a free Taste Card and some great discounts on cinema tickets and gym memberships. I also find that their discount cards offer better rates than the other companies I’ve listed here.
You can earn cashback when shopping online by following links listed on the CSSC website.
There are plenty of social meetings or days out available if you are looking to keep busy.
- Currys Amazon
- Discounted days out
- Reduced cinema tickets at Vue, Odeon and Cineworld
or take a look at my full review of the benefits.
Blue Light Card
Next on the list comes the Blue Light Card. Although this costs, it will only set you back £4.99 for two years (if you want a physical card). Like mylifestyle, you can buy discounted gift cards with similar savings. You can also purchase discounted cinema tickets, although the prices aren’t quite as good as the CSSC. On top of this, you can also get a range of discounts not available from the other schemes. For example, there certain food places (such as Domino’s) which give you 50% off. The great thing is, a lot of these discounts don’t require you to order any vouchers, you just have to flash your card.
The only downside is that the Blue Light Card is restricted to certain professions – namely emergency service workers and a select few others.
- Pizza Hut
or take a look at my review for all the benefits available.
Another free to join site for Civil Service discounts is PSdiscounts. Like many others on this list, you have the option to purchase discounted vouchers or gift cards from anywhere between 2 – 15% off. Retailers include Argos, Sainsbury’s, B&Q, Costa and many more.
You can also purchase a ‘Black Card’ for 2 years which will set you back £9.99 or £2.99 if your employer provides a discount code. The card is a prepaid Visa card (like a debit card) which you will need to top up before shopping. Then, use the card to pay at certain stores and you will earn up to 5% cashback. The card can be used at over 50 stores, including Asda, John Lewis, Halfords, and Boots.
PSdiscounts also offer you the chance to earn cashback when shopping online. Similar to TopCashback and Quidco, just click on a link through the PSdiscount site before you make a purchase to earn cashback.
Other discounts and cashback from:
- Insurance deals
- Car rental
Mobile phone companies
Most of the major mobile providers offer some kind of discount for civil servants.
- EE will give you 20% off line rental,
- Vodafone offers a 15% discount
- O2 offering the most generous at 25%
The easiest way to earn your discount is to take out a new contract in-store. You will just need to show staff proof that you’re a civil servant.
If you sign-up online, you often need to enter a discount code. This can be provided by your employer but can be difficult to find depending on what part of the civil service you work for.
Bear in mind that to join the Vodafone scheme, you will need to pay a £10 membership fee.
Moving slightly away from the shopping side, there are also discounts available for private healthcare. This isn’t always for everyone but does give people peace of mind.
Established in 1929, CS Healthcare work in partnership with over 300 hospitals. Not only that, but they provide:
- GP24 – unlimited 24/7 GP access from anywhere in the world
- Fair pricing – they won’t penalise you for making a claim
- Free cover for your first child until they are 18 years old
- Discounted benefits including holidays, gym membership, spa breaks and savings on eye care
An expensive purchase, so any kind of discount is always welcome. The Motor Source groups provides new, used and leasing options for cars for the Public Sector. You can find discounts in excess of over £7,000, so it’s well worth visiting their site before you make a purchase.
According to their website, customers have made over £100 million in savings with the FCD & MSG Group of companies.
If you have your heart set on Renault, then you could visit SMC Motor Group. They offer up to 32% off new vehicles for civil servants.
Which is the best Civil Service discount scheme in the UK?
As I said above, it’s a bit of a pain that you have to join a scheme to find most of these discounts. However, they do come with some extra benefits.
It’s quite a tough decision choosing the best. For me, the CSSC wins it although it’s slightly more expensive than its rivals. The Taste Card is very useful, especially as a family of 5. But even a couple could see some decent savings. We have plenty of English Heritage sites to visit nearby, which saves us £30+ for each trip. And to top it off, I also find that discounts on gift cards and cinema tickets are slightly better than the other schemes.
The Blue Light Card is a great option too though. As the cost is minimal, even if you don’t use any of the benefits, you won’t really lose out. And of course, don’t forget about mylifestyle, as access to that is completely free.
These are the best civil service discounts I can find but would always welcome more ways to save money. If you know of any, please leave a comment below.