The phrase “senior citizen” seems so old, doesn’t it? But it has its frugal advantages. A few weeks before you turn 50 years of age, you’ll likely get an invitation to join AARP. Don’t be insulted – be excited. By joining the organization you are eligible for discounts on everything from hotel rooms to restaurants to delivery services. AARP reports that 80% of its 37 million members take advantage of its discounts and deals every year. If you travel and eat out throughout the year, you can easily recoup the cost of membership.
Outside of AARP, there are other deals for seniors. But your new label may vary in age requirements, so make sure you are old enough to play. Discounts may begin at 50, 55, 62, or 65 years of age.
Airlines used to offer senior discounts. Discounts still exist, barely. You have to work to find them, and they are often limited to certain flights and/or certain times. Many airline sites state they have senior discounts, but the pages are outdated and often those discounts don’t exist. If you are buying online, compare the senior cost of tickets to a regular adult ticket. If you are at a ticket counter, ask your attendant about any discounts or perks for seniors.
But Amtrak caters to travelers 62 or older with a 15% discount.
Greyhound gives seniors (62+) 5% discounts on unrestricted fares.
Some car rental companies offer senior discounts (usually 10%); some only offer them to AARP members. Again, these may not be better than discounts offered during online promotions. Call the company you prefer for current information, as it does change periodically.
Since food and drink make up a big chunk of most budgets, it’s good to know that many supermarket chains offer senior discounts (usually at age 60-62, sometimes at 50-55) on certain shopping days (often Tuesday). My local grocery store offered 10% off purchases on Tuesdays, and included in-store specials for customers over 62 years of age. Go to the customer service desk and ask about any available discounts before shopping and checking out.
Department store discounts can yield terrific savings, especially as the holiday shopping season approaches. Kohl’s, for example, offers a 15% discount every Wednesday for customers age 60 or older; they ask that seniors bring proof of age to receive the discount.
Charity shops have also joined the senior discount bandwagon. Goodwill gives seniors (55+) up to 20% discount on specific days of the week. Call your favorite outlet to check on their program. Usually discounts can’t be used in conjunction with other deals — like the 50% off sale Saturday discounts.
Some drug store chains offer discounts. For example, Walgreens does Senior Savings Days once a month, with 20% off on all Walgreens, W Brand, Well Beginnings and Nice products (15% off almost everything else) to shoppers 55 or older. But in most stores, you must show your AARP membership card to receive the discounts.
At Rite Aid pharmacies, the first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to in-store senior (age 65 and up) events and savings including 20% off non-prescription purchases for all wellness65+ members (free sign up).
No matter where you are shopping, dining, or traveling, ask about available discounts. Sometimes businesses do not advertise them but happily discount the purchase if requested. Be proud of your age, and smart about savings.
Check out these articles: