The Defence Discount Service now offers a Defence Privilege Card, which is available from today to members for a small cost of £4.99. It enables special discounts to be obtained in-store from participating high street businesses. Details on how to register to purchase the new privilege card can be found in the Q&A below at the bottom.
The privilege card is exclusively for members of the Armed Forces Community including serving Regular and Reserve personnel, Armed Forces veterans, spouses/partners of Service personnel and bereaved spouses/partners. It is also open to MOD civil servants, members of the cadet force and NATO personnel serving in UK-based posts.
• The MOD launched a new Defence Discount Service in October (https://www.defencediscountservice.co.uk), as part of the Armed Forces Covenant in recognition of service in the Armed Forces. Over 24,000 members have already registered with the scheme. Examples of discounts they can receive are outlined below.
• The new privilege card is a key part of the new Defence Discount Service. It is the only card of its type with the support of the Ministry of Defence and participating companies across the country will accept the card in-store, offering good discounts to scheme members.
• In the light of the Prime Minister’s recent comments we expect many more companies will now come forward to offer meaningful discounts to help make life a little easier for our Armed Forces community.
Some of the high profile companies already on board are offering discounts on cars, lap-tops, supermarket shops, holidays and phones. Many companies have come on board to add their support to the Armed Forces Community since the launch of the Defence Discount Service, including:
• Vodafone. 20% off the monthly payments of contracts worth £20 a month or more. They offer 10% off monthly rental costs of deals costing less than £20 a month.
• Iceland. 10% off groceries for members of the Defence Discount Service.
• Vue Cinemas. 20% off cost of ticket prices.
• Restaurants. 20% off at Frankie & Bennys.
• Clothing companies including Austin Reed offering 15% off (with 20 off for launch), and Burton Menswear offering 10% off.
• Merlin Group Attractions. Discounts of over 40% on visits to attractions like Alton Towers, Legoland, the Edinburgh Dungeon, and Warwick castle when booking online.
• KFC. 10% off.
How long will it take to register?
People can register in two ways; either just for on-line discounts or to obtain the Defence Privilege Card by visiting www.defencediscountservice.co.uk. Registration for on-line discounts only should be a quick and painless process, as only limited information is required. Registration for membership including the Defence Privilege Card may take slightly longer. Applicants with a MOD internet email address will be able to use this to register on the Defence Discount Service website to confirm their eligibility. Those without a MOD internet email address should use their own personal email account or use the hard copy application form on the website. Completion of the registration process should usually take no longer than 5 minutes to answer a few questions. At peak times on the website, the process may take slightly longer. If you experience any difficulties, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Note: Although MOD internet email addresses can be used to verify eligibility, payment for the card should be made using an individual’s own private internet connection. Currently MOD is unable to process payments using paypal®.For those without a MOD internet email address, and with a need to confirm their eligibility, should use their own personal email address or use the hard copy application form on the website.
What information is required for registration and card application?
For those registering only to use the website, only basic information, such as name, e-mail contact details, and service number, will be required.For those applying for the card, there will be a need to provide a postal address, so that the card can be sent to them, and something that provides an additional confirmation of eligibility. Those who have official MOD internet email addresses, e.g email@example.com, (including single Service email addresses) can use this as confirmation of their eligibility. Although Defence email addresses can be used to verify eligibility, payment for the card should be made using an individual’s own private internet connection. Currently MOD is unable to process payments using paypal®.For those without a MOD internet email address, and with a need to confirm their eligibility, should use their own personal email address or use the hard copy application form on the website. Scanned documents will be accepted by the Defence Discount Service but this is conducted at the user’s own risk. Applicants should use their own private internet connections but are advised to take care if using internet cafés or public libraries where not all of these facilities delete cached information. If in doubt, use the hard copy application form. A photocopy of a document that provides an indication of status should be used with the hard copy postal applications. The application area of the website provides guidance on which documents can be used for this purpose.
How do you submit that information?
The majority of users will use the Defence Discount Service website to submit their details. Application forms can be downloaded and sent via email or post along with confirmation of eligibility. Hard copy application forms will also become available through other channels in the near future. Useful links to the website follow:
How will DDS know that someone is eligible to join?
Confirmation of eligibility is required and we expect service numbers to be used in the majority of cases as well as one of the documents listed on the application section of the website. MOD has provided the DDS with examples of appropriate documents that can be used to confirm eligibility.
What measures are in place for older veterans who can’t scan confirmation of their status?
The majority of veterans will have some form of Service document or pension paperwork that can be photocopied and then sent to the DDS along with a hard copy of the application form. The DDS website provides advice for those who do not have such documents to hand.
How much is the DDS Privilege card?
The card will cost £4.99 and is valid for 5 years.
Why is there a charge for the card?
The idea of charging recipients was suggested in Professor Hew Strachan’s report ‘Military Covenant Task Force Report’, published in 2010. The ex-Service charities consulted raised no objection to a small fee being charged for the card. The fee is charged in accordance with standard market practice and is pitched at a competitive level.
Can I register and get discounts without the card?
Yes. Offers are available without the purchase of the card by visiting the Defence Discount Service website.
Can't Service personnel already use their military ID card to obtain discounts? Why should they then purchase this card?
Service personnel can use their military ID card and don’t necessarily need the new privilege card but the MOD has always wanted to expand the scheme to other members of the Service community who don’t have ID cards. Service spouses/partners, veterans, and cadets are the groups who will benefit.
How will I get information about discounts?The Defence Discount Service website will inform you of all of the discounts that are available and how they can be claimed. New offers will be advertised on the website and the Defence Discount Service will use its social media networks on the DDS Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/defencediscountservice and the DDS Twitter feed https://twitter.com/discounts_mod.
Can I access discounts immediately?
Yes. By visiting the Defence Discount Service website at www.defencediscountservice.co.uk.
How long will it take from application of the privilege card to receipt?
Verification of eligibility needs to take place but Blue Light Card Ltd are confident that card applications can be turned around within 10 days on condition that individual details are correctly provided along with the payment. After the initial launch there may be a surge in demand but the contractor has prepared for this.
Will discounts continue to develop after the launch of the privilege card?
Yes. Discounts and offers will continue to be presented in the coming months. The Defence Discount Service will be working with local communities to embrace the service and give discounts to the Defence Community. The discounts will also increase when the membership card is launched.
What data protection measures are in place?
The operators of the DDS, Blue Light Card Ltd must operate within the normal standards expected of a UK based company and meet UK legislation on data protection measures. The MOD has worked closely with Blue Light Card Ltd to ensure that these standards are met.
Is there a Covenant link with the Defence Discount Service?
The two key principles behind the Covenant are: the Armed Forces Community should not face disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services; special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved. The Defence Discount Service is a practical and welcome way for the business community to show support to the Armed Forces community.