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Various Federal Employee Discounts You Should Know About

Shrinivas Kanade Nov 4, 2018
Several companies offer discounts to Federal employees. This is because Federal employees are deemed to be "safe", particularly by lending agencies, as they have a steady source of income which is somewhat insulated from the turbulence of private sector.
Working for Federal government can offer an individual job security. Along with it comes monetary benefits such as employee discounts. A number of companies/retailers and service providers offer their products to the Federal as well as state governments at the discounted rates.
This allows them to reach a nationwide customer base and increase their sales figure. These products and services range from consumer goods such as cell phones, computer, laptops to travel and holidays. A few of them are discussed here.

Discounts Rates

The discount rates offered to the employees who work for the Federal government differ with the fierceness of the competition in the market. These rates also vary from employee to employee. The position he is working at, and the department he is employed in has a bearing on the discounts received.
An employee of the US Postal Department may buy a certain product or service at a more discounted price than that of an employee of the Department of Agriculture or Homeland Security.
Here are some examples of the products and services that are offered to the Federal employees at reduced rates:

● The rule states that, "Fiercer the competition in a sector, more eager the sellers are to offer their services at deducted rate. Cell phones aren't an exception to this rule. Most service providers offer discounted rentals or call rates.
Normally, the discounts are in the range of 10 - 20% of the cost. However, the competition has forced some of these companies in offering 10 - 25% deductions as well.
● Computer giants such as Microsoft, Dell Computers and Apple too, offer deductions on purchase of their products.

● There are some entities such as FedSave program which look after the welfare of govt employees. Different types of businesses, after negotiating with these entities make their services and products available at low costs than the market value.
● Government Employee Travel Opportunities (GETO) Program is a travel benefits program for the government employees. Discounts negotiated with hotels and resorts through this program saves money for these individuals.

● The car rental companies offer rebates to these individuals in their home towns as well as in other cities.
● Car manufacturers too, offer discounts (GM Military Program Discount) to members of armed services (reserve and active) and their spouses. The rebates offered are in addition to those available at the regional or local level. GM also offers rebate of $750 to members of USAA in addition to its discount program.
These individuals must present printouts of their GO-codes to the dealership at the time of availing discounts which are applicable to buying or renting of 2 vehicles from GM.

● Credit cards, insurance companies, too, offer deals while selling their services.
● Federal employees can change their health plan or status for the existing one only after they get married or divorced, have baby or move out of the state. Apart from these occasions, Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season that runs from the 1st week of November to the 2nd week of December annually is the only other opportunity to do so.
● Scholarships for students amounting to $1000 - $5000 are awarded to civilian Federal as well as postal workers and their family members.

● Colleges and universities too, offer courses at reduced costs to these employees and their wards.
● There is a loan repayment program which allows a Federal agency to make repayment to the loan holder on the behalf of its employee. The max limit is $10,000 p.a and the total amount is not more than $60,000. It's followed as a part of recruitment drive for candidates or to retain current employees. The arrangement puts some restrictions on the beneficiary.
● There are some organizations and websites such as Sittercity and Nannypro which offers preschool and after-school childcare, babysitting and other services like housekeeping and services of nannies at a discounted prices to Federal employees.
● Apart from the services and products mentioned here, discounts on purchases of artworks (Thomas Kinkade Events LLC), auto parts such as brake pads and brake rotors (for military personnel), clothing and accessories, eye care, food, gift baskets and flowers, pet health insurances, gyms, home improvements, home security, etc., are available.
Some retailers as well as companies offer special saving programs or discount coupons which sometimes are region or zone specific or selective in terms of products covered. Most of the time, these special reductions are not advertised to the general public.
A government employee must ask about these discounts at the time of subscribing to a service or buying a product. He may also search for these programs on the internet while doing research to select a product to buy. To avail these deductions in the costs an employee has to present his identity card issued by the government department he is employed in.