This article was updated with more discounts on Nov. 10.
You may be celebrating Veterans Day differently this year because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some deals and discounts waiting for you. Veterans Day isn’t just about saving money, but these offers are just one way businesses and organizations show they’re grateful for the service of military and veterans. Some establishments offer year-round discounts, too.
Because of COVID, some establishments have had to close or limit their operations. And situations do change day to day, so above all, if you’re going to a restaurant for a discount, for example, call ahead to find out if they’re actually open, and whether they are participating in the discount program. Find out what their safety protocol is to make sure you’re protected, and what you need to do... such as bring a mask!
One thing of note this year: We’re eating out differently now, using third-party delivery services, etc. In perusing discount offers, we’ve noticed that some restaurants restrict the discount to dine-in or carryout, and don’t apply it to online orders or third-party deliverers, for example. So if you’re counting on that discount, make sure you clarify ahead of time.
The discounts come in various sizes and may have various exclusions. These are a few for starters, but we’re maintaining a running list and will update it at least several times over the next week or so. Check back for deals offered by restaurants, hotels, retail establishments and other businesses. Email Senior Reporter Karen Jowers at firstname.lastname@example.org with your additions and suggestions.
If you don’t see a favorite establishment on the list, ask them if they offer a military discount. They may offer it, but may not have a sign in the store. Just remember that nobody is required to offer a discount or deal, (with the exception of military stores and ticket and tour offices.)
Be aware that the free meal may be offered to you, but not to your other family members. That’s entirely up to the business owner, but it helps you to know that ahead of time so you’ll be prepared to pay before you enter an establishment with your family members.
Check out our “Before you go” section at the bottom of this article to save yourself some headaches.
And don’t forget your mask.
FOOD AND DRINK
Applebee’s: Offering a free meal from a limited menu to active duty and other veterans on Nov. 11, at participating locations. Proof of service required; dine in only.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Offering a free entree (up to a $14.95 value) and free Dr Pepper beverage on Nov. 11 for current and former military members. Present military ID or other proof of service. Dine in only. Find a location here.
Black Rifle Coffee Company: Offering a 20 percent discount on coffee, apparel, and other gear, excluding new releases and bundles, now through Nov. 11. Use code “VETDAY2020”. Available to active duty and other veterans. Extra 10 percent discount off for veterans who verify their status through GovX on the site.
Bob Evans: Offering a free meal from a menu of seven choices to active duty and other veterans on Nov. 11. Proof of service required; dine in only. Find the nearest location here.
Cicis Pizza: Offering a free adult buffet for active duty and retired on Nov. 11. Must present active or retired military ID. Dine in only. Link to coupon here.
Cracker Barrel: Offers a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake on Nov. 11, when dining at any Cracker Barrel location, available to active duty and other veterans.
Famous Dave’s: Free Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich plus side for all military personnel, on Nov. 11 at participating locations only. Valid for dine in, to go and online ordering. Not valid for call in orders. Proof of service required. Check to see if a location near you is participating.
Houlihan’s: Offering $10 off a $30 food purchase on Nov. 11, for active duty and other veterans and military families. The offer is valid for in-restaurant dining or for carryout; but orders through their website or a third-party delivery service aren’t eligible. The offer may vary in some markets, but the $10 off $30 purchase is available at all 10 restaurants in New Jersey; and in Pittsburgh, for example. For the nearest Houlihan’s restaurant, operating hours and to confirm the Veterans Day special, visit their website. Year-round, Houlihan’s offers a 15 percent discount on food to all active duty and other veterans, with proof of service.
Kolache Factory: Offering free breakfast to current and former military, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 11. Includes a free kolache and a cup of coffee. Must present a military ID or DD 214. Find locations here.
Little Caesars: Offering a free Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo to active duty and other veterans, on Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The combo features four slices of their Detroit-style deep-dish pizza, with a 20-ounce Pepsi product. Present proof of service such as ID card, DD-214, or an ID card with veteran designation. More information here.
Menchie’s: Offering free six ounces of frozen yogurt on Nov. 11, for active duty and other veterans, with military ID or proof of service, at participating locations.
Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers: Offering one free breakfast combo and a free Pilot coffee of any size, at participating locations, from Nov. 9 through Nov. 15. Eligible are active duty and other veterans. The offer will be available through the Pilot Flying J app and can be redeemed at any participating U.S. Pilot and Flying J travel center.
QuikTrip: Offering free self-serve coffee or fountain drink to currently serving and retired military members, on Nov. 11. Show military ID at checkout. There are 865 QuikTrip locations in seven states.
Red Lobster: Offering a free appetizer or dessert on Nov. 11, to active duty and other veterans with a valid ID. The offerings include seven appetizer selections ranging from lobster and langostino pizza to mozzarella cheesesticks; and four dessert selections ranging from vanilla bean cheesecake to key lime pie. Find locations and information here.
Shoney’s: Offering a free, all-you-can-eat, breakfast bar on Nov. 11 from opening until 11 a.m. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy and fresh fruit are just a few of the offerings for active duty and other veterans. The free breakfast bar is dine-in only, with no purchase required, but coffee and beverages cost extra. For locations click here.
Starbucks: Offers a free tall (12-oz) cup of coffee to active duty and other veterans, and military spouses on Nov. 11, at participating U.S. Starbucks stores.
TooJay’s Deli: Offering free entree from a select menu on Nov. 11. Active duty and other veterans are eligible. There are TooJay’s locations across Florida. The offer is valid for one person only for dine-in and takeout. To redeem, you must show this coupon and a valid military ID or other proof of service. Online orders are excluded.
Torchy’s Tacos: Offering a free taco and a non-alcoholic beverage on Nov. 11 to active duty and other veterans. Veterans can choose from a special menu of five different tacos, such as the Trailer Park Taco and the Fried Avocado Taco. The offer is available for dine-in and pick up orders placed by phone or in person. Military ID or other proof of service is required. For information, and to find one of the 80 locations nationwide near you, click here.
Wendy’s: Offering free small breakfast combo on Nov. 11, from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to active duty and other veterans, with proof of service in the restaurant or drive-thru. Check your local participating Wendy’s, because breakfast hours may vary.
RECREATION AND TRAVEL
Colonial Williamsburg: Free admission Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 11 through Nov. 15, to all active duty and other veterans and their immediate dependents. That includes admission to historic trades and sites; admission to two art museums, and complimentary shuttle service. Guests must visit a Colonial Williamsburg on-site ticket sales location to receive the free admission ticket. Proof of service required, to include military ID or DD Form 214. If a service member is deployed, dependents can use the free admission, and dependents ages 10 and over must have valid ID.
National Corvette Museum: Free admission through Nov. 30 to this museum in Bowling Green, Ky., for active duty and other veterans. Accompanying family members will receive a $2 discount on admission. Ticket prices are normally $12 for adults; $10 for seniors 61-plus; $7 for youth ages 5 to 12; and age 4 and under are free. The offer is also open to firefighters, police and first responders. Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Central time. For more information, visit their website.
National WWII Museum: Offering free admission to the museum, located in New Orleans, to veterans of all conflicts on Nov. 11. The museum also plans commemorative programming with a livestream available at 11 a.m. Central time Nov. 11.
Red Roof Inn: Offering active duty and retired personnel a 10 percent discount year round, with promo code “VP606732.” Veterans can also join Veterans Advantage, which is free and offers members additional military discounts.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas: Fees are waived for day use on Nov. 11 at the more than 2,850 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide. The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches; it doesn’t apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters, or events. Visitors should contact USACE lake and river projects beforehand to make sure the recreation areas are open. The status of these areas is available here.
World of Coca-Cola: While the attraction in Atlanta offers year round free admission to military members and retirees, the company is offering half-price tickets for up to four friends and family members to join the service members and retirees at the museum and attraction on Monday through Thursday, from Nov. 2 to Nov. 12. Normally general admission tickets for adults are $18; for seniors 65-plus, $16, and youth, $14. Toddlers 2 and under a free. Tickets must be purchased online using promotional code “vets2020” and members will be asked for their military ID at the ticket window.
Tickets and tours: These offices, which are part of installations' morale, welfare and recreation programs, offer a variety of discounts exclusive to the military community for local and national entertainment and recreational activities, many of which can only be obtained at these offices. Check with your local office, which you can find via Military OneSource’s installation directory at the bottom of its homepage.
Advance Auto Parts: Offering a 10 percent discount on regularly-priced items for in-store purchases. Active duty and other veterans are eligible. Show proof of service — military/retired ID card; Veteran Identification Card (VIC).
Army & Air Force Exchange Service: From Nov. 11 to Nov. 19, those who make in-store purchase at AAFES stores will get coupons for discounts on future purchases. They can be redeemed between Nov. 16 and Nov. 19 for: $20 off a purchase of $100 or more, and $50 off a purchase of $250 or more. AAFES is also offering deals for those using their Military Star card on Nov. 11: 10 cents off every gallon of fuel bought at Exchange Expresses; double rewards points online and in AAFES stores, earning four points for each $1 spent with the card; $10 off AAFES mall concession or kiosk purchases of $25 or more with the card, with coupon (see store for details); 15 percent off food orders bought with the card at participating AAFES restaurants. Also Exchange Expresses and participating restaurants will serve free coffee Nov. 11; and AAFES Redbox video rental locations will offer two movies for the price of one Nov. 6 through Nov. 13, using the promo code “HEROES1”.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Offering a one-time, 25 percent discount off entire purchase, from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14. Available to active military and other veterans; sign up online for the discount and the offer will be loaded to their “My Offers” wallet starting on Nov. 11. Can be used online or in store. Some exclusions from the discount. Validation through SheerID. Get more information and sign up here.
Big Lots: New 10 percent discount year-round for active duty and other veterans. Available to all Big Rewards members online and at all Big Lots stores nationwide.
buybuyBaby: Offering a one-time, 25 percent discount off entire purchase, from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14. Available to active military and other veterans; Sign up online for the discount and the offer will be loaded to their “My Offers” wallet starting on Nov. 11. Can be used online or in store. Some exclusions from the discount, such as diapers, wipes, formula, baby food. Validation through SheerID. Get more information and sign up here.
Eyemart Express: Offering a 20 percent discount on eyewear, every day. Active duty and family members and other veterans are eligible, with valid military, retiree or dependent ID, or DD-214. To find the 224 stores around the country, click here.
Grizzly Industrial: Offering a one-time 10 percent discount for military personnel on a tool order placed between Nov. 9 and Nov. 14. Verification through SheerID. The coupon code can be used when placing orders at www.Grizzly.com, by phone, or at Grizzly’s two showrooms in Washington and Missouri. Some exclusions apply. Get more information and sign up for coupon code here.
Haggar.com: Offering all Haggar pants at $27.99 price and all shorts at $17.99, regardless of original price, online only on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12. Free delivery on all orders. Active duty, and other veterans, and families are eligible with code “VETERAN”.
High Falls Hemp NY: Offers 30 percent discount year round for active duty, veterans and family, on entire range of homegrown and cultivated CBD gummies, tinctures, softgels and body care. Verification of service through VerifyPass. Discount code is applied at checkout, limit one code per day.
Kill Cliff: Offering 30 percent off its clean energy drinks, apparel and all other items on the website on Nov. 11, for active duty and other veterans. Normally the discount is 15 percent. Get the discount here.
Maxwell House: NOTE: This offer is no longer available, because all the 10,000 coupons for free canisters of coffee had been claimed as of the afternoon of Nov. 9, the first day of the offer, according to a spokeswoman.
Michaels: Offering an additional 15 percent off entire purchase, including sale items, in store and online. Available to active duty and other veterans and their registered dependents. Those eligible are verified through SheerID, and sync their military status to their Michaels Rewards account so that the discount will be automatically applied to purchases and online, moving forward. Some exclusions apply. Get more information and sign up here.
Outdoor Research: Offering a 30-percent, one-time discount to veterans from Nov. 4 through Nov. 12 on their website, featuring a variety of apparel and gear for outdoor enthusiasts. Verification is through ID.me in the shopping cart before checkout. Active duty are eligible for their Pro Program, with special pricing.
Pep Boys: Offers a 10 percent discount year round on all automotive parts and service for active, reserve and retired military members. In store only. Make appointment.
Samsung: Receive additional deals through its military discount program from Nov. 6 through Nov. 11. That includes an extra 10 percent off smartphones, tablets, wearables, mobile accessories, and PCs, which can be applied to any current Samsung.com promotion for the same products. Receive an additional $50 eCertificate and free phone case when you purchase a smartphone. Receive 10 percent off certain home appliances (or 15 percent if purchasing two or more) such as Cube Air Purifier, AirDresser, certain PowerBot vacuums, top load washers, electric or gas dryers and more. Available to active duty and other veterans and their families who verify their identity during purchase. Deals are available starting Nov. 6 at http://www.samsung.com/militarydiscount. Those eligible can register for these deals through Samsung’s Military Discount Program at that same web page.
QALO: Free wedding ring from the U.S. Military Silicone Ring Collection, for active duty and other veterans, available through Nov. 30. Normally priced at $19.95, it features the service branch’s logo imprinted into the silicone. Military service must be validated through GovX, which is a website offering discounts on a variety of products to military, police and first responders.
Staples: Offering 25 percent discount on in-store purchases for active duty, reservists, retired, disabled veterans and their immediate family members at all U.S. locations from Nov. 8 through Nov. 14. Must present valid military ID. Some exclusions apply.
Target: Active duty and other veterans and their families receive a 10-percent discount on a purchase, in stores or online, from Nov. 1 through Nov. 11. To get the discount, register at www.target.com/circle/military so that your eligibility can be verified. After that verification, a one-time use Target Circle offer will be available. Some exclusions apply. More information is available here.
Tohi: Under a new discount program starting Nov. 11 and continuing indefinitely, DrinkTohi.com is offering one free four-pack of beverages, and a 20 percent discount on Tohi products for military and other veterans. Normally the four-pack costs $12.99; shipping and handling fees apply. Verification of status is through Shopify on the site.
vineyard vines: Offering a 50 percent discount to active duty and other veterans on Nov. 11, on apparel and other products and gifts for men, women and children. Some exclusions apply. Verification through SheerID. Get more information and sign up here.
Clear Space Junk Removal: Offering 20 percent off total price of junk removal for the months of November and December, for active duty and other veterans. Services the Chicago and Chicagoland area; open six days a week. Mention #USA20 when booking your appointment.
GB Auto Service, Inc.: Active duty and other veterans in five cities can get a free lube, filter and oil change of up to five quarts, through Nov. 30. The brands in those cities are BRAKEmax in Tucson, Ariz.; Tire Works in Las Vegas, Nevada; Ramona Tire in Inland Empire, Calif.; Tate Boys in Tulsa, Okla.; and Driver’s Edge in Dallas/Fort Worth. Texas. In addition, in two other cities, these veterans can buy three tires and get one free at Louetta Automotive in Houston, Texas and Lamb’s Tire in Austin, Texas.
Great Clips: On Nov. 11, visit a salon and get a free haircuts or a free haircut card that can be redeemed through Dec. 11. Retired and active duty service members are eligible. In addition, non-military customers who get a haircut on Veterans Day at a Great Clips salon will receive a free haircut card to give to a service member. Now through Nov. 6, people can nominate an active duty or retired service member to receive free haircuts for a year, plus a $350 gift card. Two people will be randomly selected through this social media campaign, instructions are available here. Great Clips has more than 4,400 salons throughout the U.S. and Canada. In the previous seven years Great Clips has offered this program, it has provided more than 1.6 million haircuts.
Sport Clips: Many locations will offer free haircuts to to active duty and other veterans on Nov. 11, with proof of service. Find a participating location here.
TBC Corporation: Tire Kingdom and NTB Tire & Service Centers are offering a conventional oil change for $18.99, free service on flat repair, 10 percent discount on tires and 20 percent discount on services. These discounts are available every day (not just select days), to active duty and other veterans and first responders. Note: This item was corrected with information about which locations are offering the discount.
BEFORE YOU GO
• Check the fine print, and call the participating organization to be sure the offer is available at the time you plan on arriving. That’s especially important during these days of COVID, when an establishment may have had to shut down in the last day or two.
• Don’t forget your mask.
• Let the host, cashier, attendant, reservation agent or other relevant employee know up front that you want the discount or deal.
• “Free” isn’t always completely free. A free meal doesn’t always come with a drink, for instance. Be prepared to pay for extras such as taxes, (and to tip). Most restaurants require patrons to dine in if they want the deal.
• Call ahead to local establishments to be sure they are aware of, and are participating in, national chain programs. Confirm availability and what type of ID is required.
• Not all offers apply to veterans of all stripes. Be sure you are eligible and you have the appropriate ID/paperwork.
• Not all discounts apply to the entire party. Be sure you’re clear whether family members or guests are covered in the discount.
• Always check with your local installation’s tickets and tours office before making plans for travel and visiting local attractions. They work with local and national companies to offer discounts on a variety of hotels and attractions, and many of these deals are available only through that installation office.
• It doesn’t hurt to ask a company whether they offer a military discount before you book a reservation or order from your waitress. But don’t act like you expect it.
Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.