At a time when our emergency service staff and medical or care staff are being recognised for their outstanding work, companies and other businesses are providing certain benefits for those who are in these categories.
Let’s face it, we all love to grab a bargain – and if you’re involved in the relevant field, you may also be entitled to get certain perks and benefits from the blue light card.
Due to its relatively new status though, it can be difficult to know who exactly is entitled to claim their blue light card and what you’re entitled to use it for.
Below, we have outlined what the blue light card is, along with who is entitled to apply for one.
What Is A Blue Light Card?
A blue light card, named for its association with emergency services, is a discount card that certain essential workers can apply for.
Those that are eligible can pay a fee during the application process for a 2 year membership.
The card aims to allow these workers some amazing discounts and benefits as a thank you for their service. These discounts are vast and can range anywhere from electronic goods to food or day trips!
Who Is Eligible For A Blue Light Card?
Essential services and essential workers are the target consumers for the blue light card. However, the full list of who is entitled to apply for the blue light card are below:
- All NHS staff and volunteers
- The Police
- Fire services
- Prison workers
- Ministry of Defence civil servants
- Highways workers
- Border force and immigration workers
- Coastguard workers
- Search and rescue staff
- Emergency response staff
- Blood bikes
- First response
- Ambulance workers
- Social care workers
- Essential transport employees
- Military personnel
In addition, if you volunteer for one or more of the above organisations, you may also be eligible to apply for the card.
Is It Worth Applying For The Card?
It’s certainly worth applying for the card and it isn’t costly – more to the point, it can save you hundreds of pounds a year!
Certain businesses and entertainment are using the blue light card as an incentive for certain things. For example, people who are blue light card holders can enter certain competitions by acts for free tickets to their shows.
Of course, this is down to the discretion of the act, but it’s becoming more and more common.
So, if you’re looking for a bargain, hoping to save money over the course of the year and you like the idea of winning some fantastic prizes – the blue light card is a great idea to apply for!
Where Exactly Can You Use A Blue Light Card?
It’s all going to be up to the business or organisation about whether or not they will accept a blue light card or whether they are getting involved in the scheme. However, there are some places that are right behind the idea.
Some of these organisations and businesses include:
- Turtle Bay
- Toby Carvery
- New Look
- Molton Brown
- The Body Shop
There are plenty more too! It’s always a good idea when shopping online or on the high street to check if the business will accept the blue light card for discounts and how much discount they’re offering.
Asda for example reduces your shopping bill by 10% when you’re at the counter and present your blue light card!
What Are Blue Light Tickets?
Blue light tickets we mentioned briefly above. The blue light card providers work and liaise with artists and other events to give blue light card holders the opportunity to win free event tickets that can often be worth hundreds of pounds!
This can be cinema, theatre, sport events, comedy events, music events and other random events such as the gin festival.
Can Retired Staff Apply For A Blue Light Card?
There are some staff that are now retired who are eligible to apply for the card – and they are veterans of the armed forces, former police officers, former firefighters and former workers of the NHS.
It’s important to note though that you will need to provide evidence of your previous employment and now retired status.
What Evidence Do You Need To Provide?
If you’re a current employee of one of the eligible groups, you will need to provide evidence of your employment status. This is normally either an ID card or a recent payslip, P60 or other documentation.
It’s a good idea to check their website for exactly what evidence you’ll need to provide depending on your job role.
As in the previous point, if you are retired – you will need to evidence your former employment status along with your current ID.
If you’re having trouble or you’re being declined for a blue light card – you are either not eligible for the card, or your evidence is not being accepted.
If this is the case, it is a good idea to contact the blue light card providers for assistance.
What Is The Difference Between A Blue Light Card And A Carer’s Card?
You may have noticed carer’s sometimes have a discount card, which was around before the blue light card scheme was introduced.
A carer’s card is a form of evidence that proves your status as an unpaid carer. People who have a carer’s card are entitled to certain benefits like discounts in certain places.
Many local authorities accept a carer’s card and will allow you to receive its benefits. Including Hull City council, Newham, Hampshire, Plymouth and Durham.
In some of these councils, carer card holders can get discounts applied to their council tax or energy bills.
Blue light cards are available to carers as long as they have the relevant evidence.