Last Updated on February 27, 2023 by Melissa S.
What is a Blue Light Card?
A blue light card is a UK discount scheme exclusively for the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces. In this post, we will outline everything you need to know about Blue Light Card membership, including eligibility, fees and the best Blue Light card discounts.
What benefits do you get with a Blue Light Card?
Members can access over 15,000 offers and discounts across categories such as holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones, to name a few. With so many offers to choose from it can be quite overwhelming to know which are the best discounts and which may be available at a better rate elsewhere.
In this post I have picked out some of the best Blue Light card offers available in 2023. However, as offers change regularly, ensure you check the Blue Light website for the most up to date information.
How much does a Blue Light card cost?
Membership to Blue Light card is not free and actually costs £4.99 for 2 years. However, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a very small fee and the membership cost could easily be earned back on your first saving.
Who is Eligble to join?
The Blue Light card is not just available to frontline emergency staff. The full list of professions that qualify for a Blue Light card is as follows:
- 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
- HM 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 Marines
- Royal Navy
- Search and Rescue
- Social Care Workers
- St Andrews Ambulance
- St John Ambulance
- UK Visas and Immigration
How to Join
You can register for a Blue Light card here. You will need to provide ID or a recent payslip showing your eligibility, and make your £4.99 payment at the time of registration.
Where can I use my Blue Light Card?
As stated above, there are over 15,000 offers available, and some of these are updated regularly. To make life easier, I have picked out some of the best Blue Light Discounts currently available in 2023 below. It is not possible to link directly to these pages, as you need to be a Blue Light member to access them.
However, they will easily be searchable once logged into the website. The offers change and are updated regularly, so be sure to log into your account to check the most up to date offers.
Haven – £30 off stated price
Cinema – up to 40% off selected cinemas via Service Seats
20% off JD Sports
20% off at Joules online
20% off at Anne Summers
35% off at Seasalt
Blue Light Card Member days at Alton Towers and Legoland
Blue Light Gift Card offers
Your Blue Light card also gives you access to a range of discounted gift cards via the provider Edenred.
By buying a gift card at a discounted price and then spending it within the store means you are saving money at the rate of the initial discount.
However, there are a couple of things to be cautious about when using this as a way of saving money.
The gift cards are non refundable, so once purchased, they have to be used within that retailer.
If you are buying gift cards with no specific purchase in mind so you can prepay for future items, be aware that you may seek out things to buy with your voucher that you wouldn’t have bothered with if you were handing over the cash.
For example, if you had a £40 Starbucks voucher that you paid £35 for, you might decide to get a Starbucks several times a week until the voucher is spent. Whereas, without the voucher, you may have only bought a couple of Starbucks over the same time period, meaning that although you are getting a slight discount on your coffees and cake, you aren’t actually saving anything in real terms at all!
Aside from this, be careful that vouchers are not lost, stolen or misplaced before their expiry. If your bank card was stolen, your bank can quickly assist you in recovering any lost money. This is not the case with prepaid gift cards!
All this aside, if you have a specific purchase in mind and are planning on using the gift card balance straight away, then it can be a good way of making a saving. Some of the retailers where you can buy discounted gift cards include:
- Argos – 3.75% discount
- Sainsbury’s – 3% discount
- B&Q – 3% discount
- ASDA – 3% discount
- Morrisons – 3% discount
- Tesco – 2.75% discount
Edenred is a separate company which is accessible to a range of professions through their employer, so even if you aren’t eligible for a Blue Light card you could still take advantage of discounted gift cards, provided your employer is part of the Edenred scheme.
Other discounts for emergency workers
Did you know all NHS and armed forces staff are entitled to free membership at the Company Shop? Find out more in this post.
I’m retired from one of the eligible professions – can I still get a Blue Light Card?
Retirees from the following professions are eligible for a Blue Light Card:
- Armed Forces Veterans – ID required: Armed forces pension, Certificate of Service or Certificate of Discharge. If you do not have any of these documents, you can contact Veterans UK on 0808 1914 2 18 and they will be able to assist.
- Retired Police Officers – ID Required: Police pension or NARPO card
- Retired Firefighters – ID required: Firefighters pension
- Retired NHS – ID required: P60 Certificate showing NHS pension
How can I get a free Blue Light Card?
You can’t get a free Blue Light Card, as the membership costs £4.99 for 2 year’s membership. However, this small amount can easily be earned back on the savings you will make.
Can teachers and school support staff get a Blue Light Card?
Unfortunately not, however teachers have their own equivalent savings sites. Even better, two of the most prominent are free to join for education staff, unlike Blue Light. Check out the details about teacher discounts here.
Is Blue Light Card accepted in Tesco?
Currently, the only way to make a saving in Tesco with a Blue Light Card is by buying a discounted Gift Card through the Blue Light website (via Edenred as outlined in the section above). This will enable you to buy a gift card with a 2.75% discount to use in store.
I’m not eligible for a Blue Light Card – is there an alternative discount card available?
If you’re not eligible for a Blue Light card, Kids Pass offers similar savings on eating out and days out, although does not offer discounts on high street shops.
You could also try this list of eBay outlet stores for up to 80% discounts on high street brands.
Other ways to save money
If you’re not eligible for a Blue Light Card, there are still plenty of other ways to save money on your household expenses. Check out these posts:
About the Author
Melissa is a working parent who left behind a senior management salary for a better work/life balance. Following her own money saving and money making strategies she was able to clear debt and live a life she loves. Blogging, selling digital products on Etsy and selling preloved items on eBay are her favourite side hustles. Read her story here.