Every penny counts for older people on fixed incomes, so taking advantage of the discounts offered can cut regular expenses and free up funds for savings. This article includes information on how to take advantage of senior discounts, and an overview of the types of discounts to be on the lookout for.
Don’t be afraid to ask for about discounts
Every penny counts for older people on fixed incomes, so taking advantage of the discounts offered can cut regular expenses and free up funds for savings. Many organizations offer discounts for older people but might not advertise them. These discounts range from a small percentage off to large discounts, free items, and free services. Savings of 10% or more at so many establishments can really add up and are certainly worth asking about.
Some businesses, like Amazon Prime, offer hefty discounts for older adults with lower incomes. Others offer discounts and perks for retired veterans and their spouses. It is common for retail outlets to host “senior discount days,” a certain day of the week during which older shoppers receive an extra discount of 10% or more.
Age requirements for senior discounts vary by organization, with some advantages starting as young as 50 years and up. Although many businesses that offer senior discounts do not require proof of age, some will ask to see licenses or other forms of identification.
Groceries are essential items and often take up a substantial portion of the monthly budget, so it makes sense to shop for bargains and discounts. In addition to clipping coupons and shopping the weekly ad circular for deals, older people receive special discount days at some grocery stores. Many grocery chains are regional, and independently owned stores might not advertise discounts as widely, so older adults are advised to ask their cashier the next time they visit. Some stores also offer special discount cards for older shoppers, allowing them to save on specific items all the time.
Many cellular service providers offer either special rates for seniors, discounts, or specialized cell phone plans for older users. Each cable provider differs, but some do offer discounted packages for older adults, and most offer discounts for low-income customers.1 As for electricity and natural gas, many states offer discounted rates, grants, and other forms of assistance to help with utility bills.2 Some also offer protections for older residents to keep them from having utilities like heat and water disconnected for nonpayment.
Discounts on medical costs can be substantial. Following are a few ways to save on medical items, from prescriptions to wellness programs and more.
- Prescription discount cards: In addition to Medicare Part D and Medicaid for low-income seniors, help with prescription costs can come from discount cards like WellRx3 and Optum Care.4 It’s a good idea to carefully research the benefits of each prescription discount card before signing up: some work to supplement prescription insurance and some work instead of insurance. Each program has pros and cons depending on each individual’s needs.
- Search for discounts on specific drugs: GoodRx offers an online tool to search prescription drugs by name and to find stores nearby that offer that medication for the least amount of money. The website also frequently offers coupons for discounts or even free medications.
- Discount loyalty programs: Target, CVS, Walgreens, Costco, and Walmart all have different versions of loyalty programs. Although they might not offer specific discounts on prescriptions, some of these programs help members get rewards for purchases.
Many retail stores offer discounts, either through a special “senior day” each week or each month, or in the form of a percentage discount. Following are just a few stores that offer promotions and discounts.
- 1-800-FLOWERS and 1-800-BASKETS offer 20% off or $20 off when AARP members spend $20 or more.
- Ace Hardware offers 10% off for customers age 65 and older every Thursday.
- Goodwill and other thrift stores usually have a Senior Discount Day, with an extra percentage up to 50% off for older customers.
- Kohl’s offers 15% off every Wednesday for customers aged 60 and older.
- Pep Boys offers customers 55 and older 10% off with proof of age.
Although most people are aware of discounts for movie tickets, not everyone considers other attractions when asking for a discount. Parks, zoos, art galleries, and more might offer savings for older adults, especially during off-peak times.
- Movies: Matinee showings of theatrical performances and movies have been a popular way to save money on entertainment for a long time. These early showings are generally available regardless of age. In addition to these, discounts for older adults are common. AMC and Cinemark theaters offer special prices for seniors only, while other chains like Regal and Landmark offer discounts of up to 20%.
- Parks and cultural attractions: U.S. National Parks offers discounted annual and lifetime passes, as well as discounts on amenities of up to 50%. Zoos, parks, and historical and art museums also often discount admission prices for older visitors.
Many restaurants offer a 10% discount for seniors, so it’s always a great idea to ask. Following are just a few examples of special menus and discounts offered for older adults. These may vary by participating locations.
- Denny’s offers 15% off for dine-in orders for AARP members.
- Dunkin offers 10% off or a free donut with some purchases.
- IHOP offers a special discounted senior menu on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.
- McDonald’s offers discounted or free coffee at participating locations.
- Perkins offers a 55+ menu at some locations.
Senior travel discounts, from cruises to car rentals to hotel rooms, can make trip planning less stressful. Following are a few ways to save for older travelers.
- Car rental: Budget, Alamo, and other car rental agencies offer up to 25% off for AARP members, and several other services offer senior discounts with or without AARP membership.
- Air travel: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines offer special rates for seniors who reserve flights by phone.
- Train travel: Amtrak offers a 10% senior discount for most rides for those aged 60 and older.
- Hotels: Marriott, Omni, and Hilton are just a few of the hotel chains that offer special rates for seniors and AARP members.
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