Senior discounts are one of the perks that come with aging, as it can lead to a substantial amount of savings when used correctly. And while the idea behind it might sound simplistic, there are still quite a few things that people don't know about them.
Now, considering that the Economic Policy Institute details that Americans age 56 to 61 have an average of only $21,000 in their bank accounts, it may be wise to familiarize yourself with senior discounts.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) lists a slew of benefits that will surely be of help down the line. It'll be in your best interest to take advantage of these discounts, as they can improve help improve the overall quality of life all while saving you some money.
To help you out, we've compiled everything that you'll need to know about senior discounts. We'll also be going through common questions and misconceptions to help clear any misunderstandings or misgivings you may have about senior discounts.
Now, the first question that has to be answered is pretty simple: how old do you have to be to qualify as a senior citizen in order to receive a senior discount? Well, the short answer to this question is 50 years old.
While there is no legal definition of what a senior citizen actually is, it is a term often relegated to individuals who have retired or are no longer working. This is tricky because the age that Americans retire seems to be on the uptick.
It's also important to mention that while you can get the discounts at the age of 50 and technically count as a senior citizen, you may not even truly be retired at this age. Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research details that 20% of Americans over 65 are still looking for work.
The AARP states that anyone age 50 years old or older is eligible for full membership. AARP members gain access to all the benefits, discounts, and programs associated with the AARP. Through these benefits, AARP members can save a significant amount in the long run.
However, it is also important to note that the AARP offers associate membership for individuals below the age of 50 years of age. And while it doesn't come with the same benefits as the full membership, it does come with its own benefits that can help save you money.
AARP members who are under associate membershipwill also have their membership automatically converted to full membership once they turn 50 years old. Keep this in mind when considering whether or not to become part of the AARP well before you turn 50 years old.
Many of you would probably be surprised to know that there are actually quite a few types of senior discounts for eligible AARP members. And while we can't possibly include all of them here, we've done our best to round up the most popular ones.
One thing that you have to remember is that the availability of senior discounts isn't always made public. It's best to ask establishments if they offer senior discounts. Another thing that varies by location is the need to show proof of age. For these instances, it's best to show them your AARP discount card.
Now, it's important to note that many of these may vary by location. It would be best to contact your local establishments or send a message to Senior Strong today.
Senior discounts under retail are a lot less common than the other types. To add to this, they also have quite a few stipulations attached to them. Some stores only give discounts to seniors and AARP members on one day of the week.
Again, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to contact your local store or establishment to ask them about the details and requirements for their discounts for seniors. By going through this extra step, AARP members can save quite a bit on their retail purchases.
When it comes to retail stores, seniors have a multitude of options. Different types of stores offer discounts that can give seniors the best deals. To give you a better idea, we've listed popular stores that offer discounts for people who are 50 years old or older.
Seniors and AARP members receive a number of promos and discounts when buying books off Kindle. What's great about this is they offer a discount on select books that change each month, giving seniors brand new reading options on the regular.
Kohl's offers a 15% discount for seniors who are 60 or older every Wednesday. You'll need to bring proper identification so that they can verify your age and give you your senior discount.
Michael's gives seniors an additional 10% senior discount on their entire purchase. What's great about this is the senior discount includes items that are already on sale. This gives seniors the best available deal, allowing for maximum savings. Be sure to register online before availing of their senior's discount.
While T.J. Maxx doesn't necessarily have a senior discount across all their stores, they do have a discount that varies by location. Their branches in Florida offer a 10% senior discount on all items every Monday. All you'll need to do is show your ID or proof of age to avail of the discount for senior citizens.
The UPS Store
All AARP members have to do is to present their card among any of the 4,900 UPS Store locations to get a special AARP member offer. This qualifies seniors for a 15% discount on all UPS products and services. This promo also gives a 5% senior discount on all domestic and international shipping services.
Savers gives seniors a 30% discount on their purchases every Tuesday. This is part of their Senior Day Tuesday program. Individuals who are 55 years old or older are eligible for this promo. They recommend that you contact your local store for details, as the promo may vary by location.
Goodwill has a Senior Savings Day that is in effect every Tuesday. Seniors aged 60 or older receive a 10% discount on the donated merchandise. Be sure to bring proof of your age or your AARP membership card.
LensCrafters offers discounted prices and exclusive deals for AARP members. If you're an AARP membership cardholder, you're eligible for a senior discount on select items such as lenses, sunglasses, frames, and contact lenses. This can be pretty useful, as the discounts can give seniors up to 50% off on their eyewear needs.
Americans love to eat outisde. In fact, Zagat highlights that Americans eat out an average of 5.9 times per week. Considering the frequency, eating out can be quite costly in the long run. This is why a senior discount on restaurants can be quite useful.
Many restaurants offer a senior discount. It's best to reach out to your local establishments to know the specifics of the discounts and promotions that they offer to seniors. Fast-food chains and other dining establishments are also known to offer discounts for senior citizens. We've listed a couple of them here so that you won't miss out on their discounts for seniors.
It's important to note that senior discounts vary greatly among restaurants. Some of them require you to be of a specific age, while some vary by location. Keep this in mind when going to any of the restaurants listed below.
AARP members can avail of a 10% senior discount on food and nonalcoholic beverages. One caveat here is that the discount is only available for dine-in customers. This means that AARP members cannot use their discount for delivery orders.
Seniors citizens who are 55 years old and older can receive up to 10% off on any food item on the menu. However, these offers aren't really publicized, so it's best to ask your local Hardees about their senior discount before finalizing your order.
Depending on where you are, Arby's may offer up to 10% off on purchases and special prices for drinks for seniors who are 55 years old and older. Be sure to get in touch with your local Arby's to know if they offer senior discounts.
Many of KFC's branches offer a senior discount. It would be best to check with the location, but seniors get up to 10% off on their final bill. This promo is only available for seniors who are above the age of 55. Be ready to provide proper identification to avail of the discount.
While Denny's in general does offer a senior discount, it may vary by location due to franchisor rules. For participating stores, AARP members are qualified to receive a 15% discount on their bill. Like the other establishments on this list, this only applies to dine-in customers.
While they don't advertise it, Chili's does indeed offer a senior discount. Seniors who are 55 years old and older are qualified to get 10% off on their bill. You can also use this discount along with other offers such as coupons in order to maximize your savings.
Many branches of the restaurant are independently owned and operated, so their senior offerings vary by location. Participating stores give seniors a free refillable drink. Get in touch with your local Chick-fil-A to know if they offer the senior promo.
Seniors may be able to get a 10% discount on food items for individuals who are 60 years old and older. They also offer additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks. To ensure a smooth transaction, be ready to present an ID to verify your age.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average household spends around $314 to $516 on groceries every month. This is why a senior discount on groceries can be quite beneficial for seniors who are trying to get the best deals.
Luckily, quite a few stores in various locations offer discounts for senior citizens. To help you out, we've put together a list of establishments that extend senior citizen discounts. Refer to this list to check if discounts are available at your local grocery store.
Seniors who shop at Fred Meyers get a 10% discount on select items every first Tuesday of every month. While this may sound limiting, quite a few items are covered by the discount. This includes private brand groceries and nutrition, apparel, and auto & garden supplies. The discount is offered to seniors who are age 55 and older. Be prepared to show any piece of identification that can be used to verify your age.
American Discount Foods
American Discount Foods holds its Senior Day every Monday. This gives senior shoppers who are age 62 and older a 10% senior discount on all their purchases. As per usual, be sure to provide an ID that can certify your age.
Harris Teeter offers a 5% discount every Thursday for senior citizens who are 60 years old or older. What's great about this discount is that it can be applied with other promos and discounts, allowing seniors to get the best deal possible.
The availability of their senior discount is dependent on the store location. Participating stores offer seniors who are 55 years old and older a 5% discount on their purchases every Wednesday. This offer, however, is not applicable to the pharmacy, lottery, and postal services. The discount also excludes tobacco and wine & spirit items. Check out your local store to see if they offer the senior discount.
New Seasons Market
New Seasons Market has two main discount days: Military Tuesdays and Senior Wednesdays. Senior Wednesdays give customers who are 65 years old and older a 10% senior discount on the items they purchase from the store every Wednesday.
DeCicco Family Markets
DeCicco offers a senior discount on a designated day of the week. The day and discount amount vary depending on where the store is located so it's best to contact the nearest DeCicco's for more details. Senior citizens must present valid identification to avail of the discount upon purchase.
Bloomberg reports that Americans spend around $1,200 per year on prescription drugs. Couple this with the fact that senior citizens are more susceptible to chronic illnesses and conditions, and you're looking at exuberant annual spending directed towards medication.
Considering the amount of medicine that seniors need, the costs can really add up. This is why senior discounts for pharmacies can be quite useful for the majority of the senior population.
One thing we have to mention here is that the most common senior discounts for prescription drugs are tied to the AARP discount card. This means you'll need to apply for an AARP membership to get these discounts and get the best prices on medicine.
Using your AARP discount card at Walgreens to purchase prescription drugs and health products can yield quite a few benefits. Walgreens offers AARP membership cardholders a 10% Walgreens cash rewards on branded health and wellness products. To add to this, they also offer a 1% Walgreens cash reward on vaccines.
Rite Aid's Rx Savings Program can save seniors up to 20% off of both brand-name and generic prescription medicine. All one has to do is sign up to be qualified to receive these special deals at Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide.
Seniors who use their AARP prescription card when purchasing FDA-approved medication at Walmart can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on their medication spending. AARP members also receive additional benefits associated with the membership to the organization.
Communications and internet services have become ingrained in modern life. So much so that the Pew Research Center highlights how 8 in 10 adults go online at least once daily. Given the high-usage among adults, senior discounts for communications and internet services have become particularly useful.
Indeed, these costs can add up, as more and more of everyday life slowly transition to the digital space. To help counterbalance these costs, seniors may make use of senior discounts and promos.
Some discounts may also not be publicized so it's best to inquire with your service provider for any senior discounts and promos they may have to offer. Keep in mind that rates may also be dependent on location.
Verizon has created a specific phone plan for senior citizens. This special offer is only for seniors who are 55 years old and older. The plan gives seniors unlimited 4G LTE data with unlimited talk & text. This plan costs only $80 a month for two lines, saving seniors around $40 per month.
Seniors age 55 and older can sign up for T-Mobile's senior rate. It comes with unlimited data, texts, and calls. It's one of the better deals on the market from a price standpoint, as it gives you two lines for only $60 a month.
Sprint's Unlimited 55+ Plan is limited to seniors who are 55 years old and older. This plan comes with unlimited calls, texts, and data. What makes this plan different is that it's streamlined to be more user-friendly. It's a barebones plan created for seniors who aren't as tech-savvy as the rest of the population.
The airline industry brings in billions of dollars annually. Americans spend a significant amount on both domestic and international travel. This is why senior discounts on transportation can come in pretty handy.
One of the more practical discounts that seniors are qualified for is the numerous transportation discounts that they can avail of. Whether it be airline discounts or bus discounts, seniors will be able to save a lot when it comes to traveling.
American Airlines gives seniors who are 65 years old and older a discount on domestic flights. This discount extends to their partner American Eagle. You'll have to contact the airlines regarding the specifics of their senior fares, as the discount does not apply to all markets.
AARP members have exclusive benefits when flying with British Airways. Discounts are available for their economy, premium economy, and business flights. Seniors can save up to $200 on their fares via AARP exclusive deals. All members have to do is log in to their AARP account to get the discounts.
United Airlines offers senior fares for their customers who are 65 years old and older. To avail of this offer and get a discount on ticket prices, all you have to do is select the "Seniors" category when making your booking. Contact the airlines for more details on their senior discounts.
Greyhound Buses offers discounted prices for their senior passengers who are 62 years old and older. All you have to do is provide a valid ID that certifies your age when purchasing a ticket to avail of their special senior fares that slashes 5% off of the regular ticket price.
Amtrak offers discounts for seniors who are 65 years old and older. Senior citizens are eligible for a 10% discount on most of their rail fares. The policy is slightly different for cross-border services as the age requirement is adjusted to passengers who are 60 years old and over.
While senior discounts are often associated with essential items and services, there are actually quite a few leisurely activities that offer discounts for seniors. Seniors like to have fun too, and with discounts, they can do so at the best available price.
These discounts range from cruise lines to hotel accommodations. This allows seniors luxury accommodations and experiences without having to break the bank.
Senior citizens who are 62 years old and older that book accommodations at Marriott brand hotels may avail of a special senior rate. Seniors can get at least 15% off on their room rate when they book their stay under the Senior Discount rate. AARP members can also get at least 10% off on the standard rates.
Wyndham Hotel Group
The Wyndham Hotel Group offers a senior discount to customers who are 60 years old and older. This will give seniors the best available rate, as long as they present valid proof that will certify their age upon check-in. This discount applies to their other brands such as Days Inn, Ramada, and Travelodge.
Royal Caribbean has a multitude of options when it comes to special rates such as special rates for police and military person. Their senior rates allow for reduced prices on selected sailings. These senior rates are available for people who are 55 years old and older.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines offers a special senior fare for passengers who are 55 years old and older. These are very limited and are only available on specific dates. It's best to visit their website and check out the Deals for Seniors section to see the full calendar of available dates with their corresponding rates.
Patrons who are 62 years old and older can save up to 35% on the regular adult ticket prices. To add to this, Cinemark gives an additional 10% discount for seniors on their designated Seniors Day which is held every Monday.
Showcase has a special day for seniors in the form of Senior Wednesdays. Seniors who are 60 years old and older get a discounted admission price that's dependent on location for all movies including MX4D, XPlus, IMAX®, RealD 3D every Wednesday. They also may avail of popcorn and soda for just $4.50.
There are several organizations that offer discounts for seniors. Signing up to these organizations can give seniors access to discounts, promos, and special rates that one may not have access to even if one falls under the right age category.
These perks can range from something as trivial as restaurant discounts to discounts on healthcare and prescription medicine. We've listed down the most popular organizations, to give you a better idea of what these organizations have to offer.
American Association of Retired Persons
The American Association of Retired Persons or AARP is one of the largest organizations that is dedicated to improving the lives of senior citizens. Their organization is geared towards making the lives of seniors easier when it comes to health security, financial stability, and overall personal fulfillment.
They've partnered with popular organizations and stores to give AARP members discounts, special rates, and promos to help improve the quality of life of their members. AARP members get an AARP membership card that they may use in partner stores to get a senior discount.
AARP members go through a formal application process. Surprisingly, you don't have to be 50 years old to apply. The AARP allows anyone of any age to apply. While they won't have access to all the perks that seniors have, they are still eligible for non-age restricted promos and discounts.
American Seniors Association
The American Seniors Association or ASA claims to be the fastest-growing senior's advocacy in the country. Their main goal is to provide seniors with benefits that can help them live healthier and wealthier lives.
To achieve this, they offer their members travel and prescription discounts that they can use at ASA-partnered establishments and organizations. Other benefits include automotive discounts, life insurance, and financial planning.
Anyone of any age can apply to join the Americans Seniors Association. The organization believes that everyone will eventually be a senior, and thus deserve the same benefits. Membership to the organization can also include spouses, making it more convenient for married couples to join.
The Seniors Coalition
The Seniors Coalition or TSC was founded back in 1989 in order to push back on unpopular laws that put seniors at a disadvantage when it came to healthcare and other issues. Since then it's evolved into an advocacy organization that promotes the rights of America's senior citizens.
Joining TSC grants certain discounts, promos, and special rates. These range from discounted hotel accommodations to auto & home insurance. A TSC membership card also grants its members discounts on prescription medicine to help save on brand name and generic prescription drugs.
TSC has a rather straightforward application process. All one has to do is go to their website, fill up a form, and pay the annual dues. To simplify things, married couples can sign up together under one application.
This can vary depending on a variety of different factors. The organization you join is a pretty significant factor as it can dictate a majority of the discounts, promos, and special rates. For the most part, senior discounts kick in at the age of 50. Most establishments also require individuals to be at least 50 years old to qualify for their senior rates, discounts, and promos.
There are quite a few places that give senior discounts for customers who are 55 years old and older:
50 is pretty much the standard age where individuals become eligible for senior discounts. Due to this, there are quite a lot of stores that make this the minimum age for their senior discounts, rates, and promos:
It's also important to note that the availability of a senior discount varies by location, as some of the establishments are run by independent franchisors.
Many grocery stores give senior discounts. One caveat is that many of these discounts and promos are only applicable on a specific day of the week. Nevertheless, these discounts can prove quite useful considering how much seniors spend on groceries.
All these stores require an ID that can verify your age upon check out. Be sure to bring one in order to avail of the senior discounts.
Airlines are rather generous when it comes to senior citizen discounts, as most major airlines have some form of senior discount or promo. However, it's important to note that some of the discounts only apply to domestic flights.
Restaurants that give a senior discount vary by location. This is due to different franchisors having different policies on senior discounts, promos, and offers. It would be best to get in touch with the restaurants on this list to inquire if they offer a senior discount.
It's also important to note that some of these restaurants require you to have an AARP membership card. Keep this in mind before availing of senior discounts and promos.
Check out these lists for a more in-depth list of establishments, stores, restaurants, and organizations that give senior discounts:
If you have any questions regarding the above, don't hesitate to contact Senior Strong today!
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.