Fact Check

Macy's Foreigners Discount

Macy's offers a 'foreigner's discount' every day but a military discount only 'a couple of days a year'?

Published Mar 28, 2011

Claim:   Macy's offers a "foreigner's discount" every day but a military discount only "a couple of days a year."


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2011]

Thought all you patriotic Americans would like to know something I recently discovered about the big department store chain Macy's.

I'm a Soldier, and sometimes businesses show their support for our troops by giving them a military discount. I was shopping at Macy's and when we went to check out my sister-in-law asked if there was a military discount. The cashier replied that they only give military discounts a couple days a year. That didn't upset me, I understand that businesses run on profits and so if they don't offer a military discount it is not a problem for me. My problem with Macy's is that the cashier went on to say that they did have a "foreigner's discount" of 11% EVERY DAY. They only have to show that they are citizens of any country but the United States of America. I was totally shocked. I asked if she was sure, and she called her manager to confirm. I dropped my purchases and left the store. To double tap it and make sure I wasn't getting it twisted (since I was having a hard time believing that they would be so un-American) I asked another sales associate, and she confirmed it.

So Macy's doesn't support my husband and friends that are fighting for our country, but they would support the ones trying to kill them. As long as Macy's supports anyone with citizenship in any country but our own instead of the Soldiers that give them the right to make that choice, I will never patronize that store.

I ask you to forward this email and let everyone you know about this so that we can let them know that Americans support our military, and we are appalled that they choose to support foreigners over our troops.

Remember, it's not that they don't give us a discount, it's that they DO give one to foreigners instead.


Origins:   A common form of urban legend centers on the misperception that foreigners and immigrants are provided with all sorts of financial incentives and handouts — tax exemptions, free housing, new cars, clothing allowances — not available to U.S. citizens and residents. This item is of similar ilk, decrying the notion that the Macy's chain of department stores regularly offers generous discounts to foreigners, but seldom offers them to U.S. military personnel. It is correct that Macy's has been providing international visitors with discounts on merchandise at all its U.S. stores, but it misses the mark by failing to note that Macy's also provides similar or better discounts to domestic residents, military personnel, and seniors much more often than "a couple of days a year."

As described on the Visitor Services and Tourism section of Macy's web site, through 30 March 2011 the department store chain has been offering International Savings Cards to foreign visitors which provides (with limitations) a 10% discount on merchandise at all U.S. Macy's stores:

International Visitors can use the Welcome International Savings Card, which is available in ten languages and offers 10% savings in all Macy's stores nationwide for 30 days after validation.

Excludes: Everyday Values (EDV), specials, super buys; furniture, mattresses, floor coverings, rugs, electrics/electronics; cosmetics, fragrances, selected licensed Depts. Not valid on previous purchases, special orders, special purchases, services, jewelry, trunk shows, macys.com, gift cards, payment on credit accounts; restaurants, gourmet foods, wine.

However, Macy's also offers U.S. residents a similar Welcome Savings Pass which provides a 10% discount on merchandise at all U.S. Macy's stores, with the restriction that shoppers must "reside at least 250 miles from [the] Macy's store location" where they use the discount pass. That offer is limited by the same restrictions as does the one tendered to visitors from abroad, which is outlined above.

And one day each month, Macy's offers an additional 10% to 15% discount to active duty and retired military personnel (and their families) and to senior shoppers.

The first Tuesday of every month, Macy's invites active or retired military personnel, military dependents and shoppers age 55 or over to come in and enjoy Rewards Day. Take an extra 15% off regular, sale and clearance purchases made with your Macy's credit card. 10% off when you use cash, check or another credit card.

*Excludes certain items, check Macy's Stores for details.

Last updated:   28 March 2011

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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