The Blue Light Card is discount card aimed specifically at those in the NHS, emergency services, social care, and other key workers. Whilst it is limited in its eligibility, it exhaustive in terms of the discounts available.
In this article we take a look at scheme, who can get one, and where to get the best Blue Light Card discounts.
Is the Blue Light Card free?
No, the Blue Light Card costs £4.99 for two years, but depending on the deal you could save more than that on your very first use of the card.
Who is eligible for a Blue Light Card?
The card is aimed at key workers and covers those in the emergency services, armed forces, first responders, prison guards and more. Social care workers are also included as are those working in Visa and Immigration departments.
There’s no strict eligibility checker, so if you think you qualify then it’s worth going ahead and applying. Alternative email the Blue Light Card team at email@example.com
Examples of those eligible include:
- Ambulance service
- Blood bikes
- Fire service
- Highways traffic officers
- HM armed forces
- HM armed forces veteran
- HM coastguard
- HM prison and probation service
- Home Office (Borders and Immigration)
- Independent lifeboats
- MoD civil servant
- MoD fire service
- MoD police
- NHS staff and NHS Dental Practices
- Pharmacy staff
- Police – including community support officers
- Red cross
- Army Reserves
- Search and rescue
- Social care
- St Andrews and St John’s ambulance
Currently there are over 2.4m Blue Light Card holders, and you don’t need to be in a direct frontline role to qualify, as often support staff and others are also included.
Where can the blue light card be used?
The Blue Light Card can be used across a range of high street brands both online and in store. Over 15,000 retailers participate in the scheme, so the odds are if you want it, you can get it cheaper with a Blue Light Card.
The type of discounts available include supermarkets, restaurants, mobile phone providers and even days out and holidays. Many of the discounts offered by larger chain stores such are for gift cards, but you can buy yourself a gift card to use when making your purchase and enjoy the discount. It does take some forward planning though.
Some of the most popular retailers to spend with include:
- Apple – 2% off
- Argos – discount varies
- Asda – 10% off
- B&Q – gift cards
- Curry’s – discount varies
- EE – 20% off
- Go Outdoors – 15% off
- Halfords – 10% off
- Hotels.com – 10% off
- River Island – 15% off
- Starbucks – 10% off
- Pizza hut – 50% off
- New Look – 20% off
The best Blue Light Card deals and discounts
Members to the scheme come and go, and the deals do change regularly so for the latest up to date information it’s worth checking the Blue Light Card website or even better download the app to get notifications of new offers.
In any case we’ve rounded up what are in our opinion some of the best deals out there (correct at the time of publishing).
Asda – 10% off your weekly spend
Asda shoppers can enjoy a 10% discount when using their Blue Light Card in store. With recent inflation figures continuing to rise this is one of the most effective discounts arounds, especially given that according to Which Asda is the cheapest major supermarket around.
A typical spend at Asda for a family of four is in the region of £113 a week. At that price the Blue Light Card would pay for itself in just one shop.
Given the supermarket recently released its own Asda Rewards scheme, we asked Asda if rewards could still be earned when enjoying the Blue Light Card discount. Their response was “I can confirm that you can use your Blue Light Card in conjunction with your Rewards App.”
Additionally, ASDSA has extended its Blue Light Card offer to cover the busy Christmas period. That means you can combine your Blue Light Card with your ASDA card to enjoy some massive savings over what is normally a costly time of year.
Curry’s – up to 10% off
Blue Light Card discounts can be had at Curry’s but you need to visit the Blue Light Card website first to buy a voucher. Typical savings are between 3-10%, but do vary so be sure to check before you purchase the voucher, and be sure that Curry’s is the actually the cheapest place buy the goods you want. You might be able to get the item cheaper by using a cashback website instead.
Go Outdoors – 15% off clothing and equipment
Go Outdoors currently offers Blue Light Card members 15% off over the Go Outdoors Discount Card price. The discount will be applied at the till on presentation of your card.
You can also get the same 15% discount online, but you need a voucher code to enter at check out. To get the code call 0330 008 1555.
River Island – 15% off
The clothing retailer is offering 15% off the full marked price to Blue Light Card holders until 24th December. It is valid for purchased in-store or online, but the discount only applies to full priced items.
Like most stores, when shopping online you will need to use a voucher code. Often this can be found in the Blue Light Card app.
New Look – 20% off
Card holders can enjoy 20% off shopping at New Look when purchasing full priced items. The offer is valid both online and in store. You can’t use it on sale items or gift cards, and can’t be combined with any other discounts.
Schuh – 10% off
Schuh is also offering 10% for Blue Light Card holders. Again, it’s only valid on full priced items, but does apply both in-store and online.
Depending on the price of the shoes you are buying you might be better off getting a £5 via the ‘sell you soles’ scheme when trading in an old pair of shoes instead. See our article on cash for clothing for more information.
Can you use Blue Light Card with Apple?
Apple does accept the Blue Light Card, but be warned the discounts can be measly. To get the discount you’ll need to go through the Blue Light Card website or app to see the current list of discounts. They can range from 2% up to 10% if you are lucky. Given the price of many Apple items, even a 2% discount could be a decent sum.
Combining the Blue Light Card with other offers
Typically you can’t combine the Blue Light Card discount with other offers (Asda excepted), but you can make use of rewards card and cash back cards in order to boost your savings. For example Hotels.com offers 10% discount when booking with the Blue Light Card, but pay using a cashback card such as Chase’s current account and you’ll get an additional 1% cash back upping the total discount to 11%.
For those willing to get a little more adventurous you can get 3% cashback on debit card spending, a £10 a month perk, and a $10 welcome bonus when via Plutus. Combine this with your Blue light Card discount, and you really are paying the lowest price possible. For more see our Plutus card review.
Other loyalty cards and rewards
The Blue Light card covers a substantial amount of high street and other retailers, but it’s not the only game in town. It’s not accepted everywhere (Boots for example) and the participating stores and offers frequently change. Some retailers might offer better deals, discounts or rewards when using other cards. For example Sainsbury’s Nectar double up events which allow Nectar users to to exchange points for double their usual cash value.
As such, it might make financial sense to also carry/use a number of other discount cards depending on where you shop. See our guide to the best reward and loyalty cards to carry in 2022 for more information.
Is the Blue Light Card worth it?
Yes! At just £4.99 for two years, it costs less than a day’s lunch out but could save you up to 20% on that said lunch.
Some of its offers can be beaten elsewhere, for example NHS works can claim 50% off domino’s orders when paying in store vs 30% with the Blue Light Card, but with over 15,000 participating stores (and more being added everyday), there’s a huge amount of choice, and more often than not using the Blue Light Card just once will save you more than it cost.