There’s an array of different discount schemes available to emergency services and NHS staff in the UK. One of these is the blue light card. The blue light card is £5 for 2 years and gives access to a range of discounts, gift cards and services at a discount price. Blue light Card discounts are usually redeemed online or presentation of the card. Only last month, a Cineworld Unlimited Membership that was usually £220, was available for only £170 for blue light card NHS members. This article will set out who’s entitled to a blue light card and the potential discounts and offers available to its members and via the blue light card app.
Who can get a blue light card?
As a teacher in the UK, I appreciate the amount of hard work that goes into a job in the public sector on reasonably low pay per hour. I’ve also admired the work of the NHS in supporting me and my family with various needs over the years. Therefore, I highly endorse any discount or offer schemes that help out the NHS and emergency services. So, who can apply and get a discount card?
- 4×4 Response
- Ambulance Service
- Blood Bikes
- Border Force
- British Army
- Cave Rescue
- Community First Responders
- Fire Service
- Highways England Traffic Officer
- HM Armed Forces Veterans
- H.M Coastguard
- HM Prison Service
- Immigration Enforcement
- Lowland Search and Rescue
- MoD Fire Service
- MoD Police
- Mountain Rescue
- Red Cross
- Reserve Armed Forces
- Royal Air Force
- Royal Navy
- Search and Rescue
- Second Line Responders
- Social Care Workers
- St Andrews Ambulance
- St John Ambulance
- UK Visas and Immigration
Some retired NHS and emergency service staff also have access to this service. If you’re retired, to get it, you need to provide ID appropriate to your previous role. Visit the BlueLightCard official website to find out more.
How does the bluelight card work?
The emergency service discount membership works by providing access to an array of discounts via the blue light app and website. Users can buy gift cards directly from the website at a percentage of the face value and then use them at the high street retailers or online stores directly. This is remarkably similar to other schemes such as NUT / NEU teachers’ discount scheme known as a countdown teacher’s discount card.
Individuals will need to work out if the percentage of discount being offered on any given retailer represents good value. This is because some of the deals can often be better if you approach a company directly and look for cashback offers that stack via the big UK cashback sites or even sites like boom25 and MyMoneyPocket
Some of the best discounts available are money off offers or two-for-one offers at restaurants in the UK. These represent up to 50% off and soon add up if you dine out regularly. It’s debatable, but some of these restaurant offers may work in combination with other restaurant discounts like a gourmet society or tastecard, or even offers via meerkat meals
Can I get Blue Light Card cinema discounts?
Users of the card for the NHS and emergency services can get huge discounts on cinema tickets in the UK. Currently, this works at Odeon, Vue and Cineworld. In general, you will need to purchase a voucher which will then be sent to you by email. This cinema discount voucher can be exchanged for tickets via most cinema’s online booking pages. The discount codes can usually be used on all films apart from previews and premieres.
It changes every year but there are also service days for cardholders. These are essentially free events where major UK theme parks are closed to the public and access provided to various services and service staff around the UK.
Using the Blue light card App to find discounts near you
This app is available for both iOS and Android operating systems. It has built-in push notification for letting you know when you’re near blue light card offers in your area. It can occasionally be a little bit buggy so often booting up good old Google and typing in “blue light Card discounts near me” will show more via the search results.
There are plenty of other discount schemes are available for NHS staff, students, teachers and other public services. However, I’ll be writing about those separately. In the meantime, if you work for the NHS or in the UK public service sector please let me know of any additional discounts that you think other people should know about.