10 Senior Discounts You Can Only Get If You Ask
Senior citizens are at a unique crossroads where time is plentiful, but finances are finite and need careful planning. They may have time on their hands to travel and play, but want to save everywhere they can to make the most out of their golden years.
Whether you're on a fixed income or just want to save for big splurges like snowbird travel, you can score some deep senior discounts if you know where to look.
Retired seniors looking to spread their wings as snowbirds are in luck. Many travel and tourism businesses, including Amtrak, Carnival Cruises, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and hotels like Marriott, all offer senior discounts. Rates can vary depending on the destination and your age, so call in advance to scout for the best senior discounts.
Take a look at these other travel-related senior discounts:
- Alamo Car Rental: Get up to 25% off for AARP members
- Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off for seniors 50 and older
- National Parks: Buy a one-time Senior Pass $80 pass to access all national parks for ages 62 and up
- Most museums and other attractions also offer discounts to seniors
If you're a snowbird looking to settle into a beach town for the winter, you can save big by merely staying longer. Look for a monthly vacation rental slightly off-season, like Florida or the Gulf Shores during the fall, and save big.
Grocery runs can quickly eat up your budget without a savings plan in place. Combine a couponing strategy with senior discounts readily available. Fred Meyer offers 10% to 15% off depending on the department for those 55-years on up, and Harris Teeter slashes prices for 60-year-olds and older every Tuesday.
Here's a quick rundown of some of your favorite grocer's senior discounts:
- Gristedes Supermarket: Get 10% off every Tuesday for 65-years and older
- Piggly-Wiggly: Get 5% off every Wednesday for ages 60-years and older
- Bi-Lo: 5% off Wednesdays for 60-years and older
And when you stay in a monthly vacation rental, you can also stock up on groceries and cook and grill-out from your condo or house for added savings.
There's nothing like an early bird special to eat all of your favorite cuisines without the rush hour price tag. Skip the crowds and look for early dining options at various restaurants and eateries, or pick and choose your days wisely. Applebee's offers 10% to 15% off senior discounts depending on the location.
You can also come hungry to these restaurants and save:
- Waffle House: Get 10% off every Monday for 60-years and older
- Perkins: Get exclusive deals from their 55+ menu
- Get daily discounts on coffee from McDonald's for 55-years and older
- Get 10% off Einstein's Bagels for 60-years and older
Restaurant discounts can vary by location, so check both your hometown and vacation destination to find the best deals. And sometimes if you just ask, your helpful wait staff will offer unadvertised savings.
- Mortgage Reductions
You may be paying too much for your mortgage without even realizing it. Designed with seniors in mind, a reverse mortgage might help put more money in your pocket, as well as Freddie Mac's Enhanced Relief Refinance (FMERR), to potentially save over $3,000 a year.
Of course, if money matters are your mind, you can also get creative with the home you own. Renting it out to snowbirds seeking a warm-weather destination, or renting it out temporarily while you head south are both options to generate some extra income.
Movie theaters are surprisingly senior-friendly with deep discounts. AMC Theaters offers 30% discounts to patrons over 60-years, and Regal Cinemas provides 35% off. Some smaller, local theaters are known to host Dollar Days and reduced tickets to matinees, as well as some senior discounts on snacks.
Check around your hometown and favorite vacation destination. Some tourist areas offer free movies at parks, beaches, and public lawns to welcome movie-lovers of all ages.
- Health Memberships
Get fit and healthy while saving at the same time by skipping the pricey gym membership and signing up with Silver Sneakers instead. The network includes access to more than 16,000 of locally owned and big brand fitness centers. This health and fitness program is often free for adults 65-years and older with a Medicare Plan.
If you don't qualify, look for senior discounts around your community like the local YMCA. Pick a franchise that caters to your favorite snowbird destinations, and you can also work-out at a discount while traveling, too.
- Car Insurance
While your adult kids and grandkids are lamenting their sky-high car insurance rates, seniors can shrug it off. Numerous car insurance companies offer senior discounts to those with a solid driving history.
Before you load up the car to a warm-weather destination like Galveston, check to see if you qualify for lower rates with these companies:
- The Hartford AARP Program
- Amica Insurance
- Metromile Insurance
- Farmers Insurance Group
- State Farm
- Your current provider
Banks aren’t celebrated for their low or transparent fees, but seniors can save on checking, savings, and other accounts with a little research. Start with your current bank to find out what kind of promotions and discounts they're offering. They may even present an unadvertised offer to keep your business. Credit Unions are also an excellent place to look with low fees and perks.
The best way to get the best deal is to shop around. Get started by looking at these banks to see what they have to offer:
BB&T Senior Checking
- TD Bank 60 Plus Checking
- Bank of America's "Advantage for Seniors"
- PNC Senior Checking Plan
- Capital One No-Fee Checking Accounts
Look sharp all through your golden years with discounts on big brand retailers and clothing. Depending on the location, some retailers like Ross offers 10% off every Tuesday for 55-years and older.
Here are other retail senior discounts to watch for while you shop:
- Banana Republic: Get 10% off for ages 62-years and up
- Belk: Get 15% off on the first Tuesday of every month for 62-years and older
- Dress Barn: Get 10% off Tuesday and Wednesday for 55-years on up depending on the location
- Cell Phone Plans
Staying connected with friends and family can get costly between Internet, landline, and phone plans. Save on your cell phone with special senior discounts at most major carriers. For starters, Sprint's Unlimited 55 Plan offers two lines of unlimited talk, texting, data, and a mobile hotspot for $35 per line, per month.
Get more options for senior discounts:
- T-Mobile 55 Plan: Get two wireless phone lines with unlimited talk, text, and data for $70/month with AutoPay
- Get unlimited talk, text, and data, plus data and texting abroad, for $35 for two lines with AutoPay
- AT&T Senior Nation Plan – Get 200 anytime min for ages 65 or older with unlimited calling to AT&T mobility customers, 500 nights and weekend minutes, 200 anytime minutes for $29.99
Another quick tip? Mark your calendar to honor World Senior Citizens Day on August 21st. Most establishments offer up deep savings to seniors, making it a day to celebrate by spending.
Year-round, there are also thousands of businesses ready and willing to offer senior discounts if you just ask. Few will offer it up without the prompt, so don't be shy about inquiring everywhere you spend money.