Mcard Deals and Discounts
What It Is
The official yellow Mcard ID for U-M faculty, staff and students serves multiple purposes both on and off campus. One of those is providing deals and discounts specifically for members of the U-M community for a magnitude of services, merchants and online businesses. “The Mcard became the single university ID card in late 1994. It serves many purposes, and discounts are an added bonus,” says Assistant Program Manager of the Treasurer’s Office Dave Doyle. The Treasurer’s Office administers the Mcard program for the university.
The Mcard discounts program officially began in 1995 after Doyle noticed an increase of Ann Arbor merchants advertising discounts to members of the university community. He then developed a website listing the available discounts, broadening awareness of the discount offers and making them more visible to Mcard holders.
Since then, the program has grown tremendously, expanding from just Ann Arbor businesses, to merchants throughout southeast Michigan as well as online and international businesses. To date, over 500 businesses have applied to participate in the program with an average of one or two discounts added to the site each week.
“Currently there are about 400 discounts [available] for students, faculty and staff.” says Doyle.
To ensure quality discounts are offered, Procurement Services reviews the vendors, organizations, businesses and merchants with the State of Michigan and the Better Business Bureau before approving an Mcard discount.
Why You Should Know
With a growing list of hundreds of available discounts and categories ranging from health and beauty services, attractions and theme parks, computers and electronics, banking and pet care, there is sure to be something to meet the needs and interests of everyone.
Of the offered discounts and deals, those offered by TCF Bank, car and cell phone companies seem to be most popular among the U-M community.
TCF Bank offers a variety of outstanding options for bank accounts with no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees for new and existing account holders; just link your Mcard to the account(s) at a TCF branch.
The “Big 3”— Ford, Chrysler and General Motors — as well as other car companies — offer discounts towards the purchase or lease of new vehicles to employee Mcard holders.
Cell phone service providers Sprint, AT&T and Verizon offer discounts towards monthly bills and plans. For those interested in traveling, there are discounts available in the U.S and internationally. International deals include Icelandic tours and car rentals in Europe. Mcard holders can also enjoy discounted rates for domestic car rentals, resorts and spas.
Be sure to check the Mcard discounts website regularly, as the expiration dates for deals and discounts vary, and some are only available for a limited time. Sports fans, for example, can enjoy year-round discounts for sporting goods from area retailers, as well as seasonal discounts for tickets to professional and U-M sporting events. For music lovers, discounted tickets to Detroit Symphony Orchestra performances are available periodically.
Although Doyle follows up with participating businesses once a year to ensure their discount is still offered, he suggests Mcard holders contact businesses prior to making a purchase to ascertain that the discount they are interested in is still available and applicable. “People should look at the Mcard website, see what’s offered and then use the contact number to check with the merchant or business itself,” recommends Doyle.
MHealthy kept family members of Mcard carriers in mind when they spearheaded the addition of discounts from local fitness facilities. Participating facilities allow family members of university affiliates to receive the same discounted rate as the Mcard carrier.
Another way the U-M community can save money and time is by using their Mcard through the MRide Program. The MRide Program is a partnership the university has with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) that allows valid yellow Mcard holders to ride the bus on any day and route (except for the art fair and football game shuttles) free of charge.
university is very appealing to companies eager to offer discounts to university affiliates. As the number of discounts offered continues to increase, so does the popularity and awareness of Mcard deals. In the fall, nearly 13,000 people visited the Mcard discounts website.
There are also many discounts available to blue and red Mcard holders (visitors, contractors, etc.) listed in the “Other” section on the affiliate pull-down menu of the Mcard discounts website.