One of the major perks of getting older is that the world wants to take care of you better.
And that means you can get a wealth of discounts just for being a senior!
We've put together a non-exhaustive but long list of the best benefits you can find for senior discounts.
You can save money on everything from National Parks entry to clothing in Salvation Army thrift stores!
Jump in and start saving!
When Do I Qualify For Discounts For Seniors? (AARP Members Start Early)
In theory, your exclusive senior discounts are supposed to start when you turn 65. After all senior discounts are meant to be for seniors, right?
If the senior discount is for AARP members or AMAC members, you can get your senior citizen discounts from the age of 50 onwards! That's pretty good and while you may be asked to supply proof of age and your membership card, it's still worth it to collect senior discounts 15 years early, right?
Retail Discounts For Seniors
Many retailers offer good deals for senior citizens and while some may only do so at participating locations, others may offer universal senior discounts throughout their outlets.
The best way to find out if there are any discounts for seniors is to ask. Don't be afraid to say the magic words “do you have any senior discounts?” as, in our experience, even your local store might be able to give you a senior discount, but they may not advertise it.
AARP membership is not as important for retail senior discounts as it is in other sectors though AARP members can still get deals in certain stores that other senior citizens will have to wait longer to be able to claim.
Example programs include:
- JOANN's Senior Discount Days – you will need to visit participating locations and find out when their discount days are running. However, the senior discount is a tasty 20% and is open to every over 55 with proof of age.
- Kohl's – every Wednesday you can get 15% off in-store purchases as a senior discount. This is open to those over 60 and you need to show ID when checking out.
- Michaels– in addition to ID showing you over 55, you must have a Michaels Rewards account (sign up on their website) to claim the senior discount of 10%.
- Red, White, and Blue Thrift Stores– Senior Citizen Day – we love thrift stores as they're environmentally friendly and this chain offers senior discounts of 50% for those over 55 on Wednesdays!
- Rite Aid – senior discounts on health care are particularly welcome and you will need to be over 65 and join their wellness+ program but if you do, you get a 20% senior discount on your first purchase and a range of free medical services too. This includes a free pharmacist consultation.
- Rose Dress For Less 55+ Program – every Tuesday the over 55's can claim 10% off their purchases with some ID.
- Savers – oddly they have different senior discounts based on which store you go to. But they are all available on a Tuesday to anyone over 55 who can prove it.
- Tanger Outlets– AARP members get a coupon book with $1,000 in savings for store purchases. Just ask in a store for yours.
- Walgreen Seniors Day – you will need to check their website for participating locations and their senior discount days and you need to be AARP members or over 55 and hold a myWalgreens account but if you do all this? You can get 20% off a wide range of products and bonus cash rewards. You also get a free prescription discount card.
Grocery Store Discounts
This is a pretty big deal for many senior citizens – you can save money on your grocery shopping if you meet certain criteria (which often involves joining the store's loyalty scheme).
It's very much worth taking a trip to the customer services desk in any grocery store before you spend any money at all and asking what they can do to make a senior's grocery bill cheaper as almost all of them have something. You will need to show proof of age and it's unlikely that AARP members will get any special deals over and above those offered to senior citizens in grocery stores.
- ACME Markets – you need to sign up for their just for U rewards program. If you do, they send coupons and special deals and offer enhanced rewards.
- Albertsons – this is part of the same group of as ACME Markets and offers exactly the same program.
- Safeway – is the same as ACME Markets and Albertsons.
- Food Lion – you must join their Shop & Earn MVP Monthly Rewards program and will get personalized savings that can be among the best senior discounts that we've encountered.
- Fred Mayer – show you're over 55 at the register and you can enjoy 10% off on their senior discount day which is the first Tuesday in each month.
- Harris Teeter – they offer senior discounts every Thursday. If you're over 60, you can get 5% off your items.
- Hy-Vee – you must join their discount club for seniors and shop on Wednesdays but if you do? They'll give you a discounted price by around 5% on pretty much everything that they sell.
- Kroger – you have to join their Shopper's Card program but if you do? You get exclusive discounts and the discount varies from item to item. You also get community rewards on your entire purchase.
- New Seasons Markets – the senior discounts offered here run at 10% on nearly everything but only on Wednesdays and only for those over 65.
- Publix– you will need a Club Publix Reward Card but you can get discounts every day with it.
What About Local Store Discounts?
It would be impossible for us to list every store local to everyone in the United States that is offering senior discounts or a bonus for AARP membership.
However, many do and while an AARP member may get a list of places that they can use their card in, the easiest thing for most people to do is just ask.
The worst thing that can happen is that either you don't qualify for a discount or you're mistaken for someone who is too young to get a discount (and that's a pleasure in its own right).
This is where AARP membership comes into its own. If you're an AARP member with an AARP card and a love of eating out, you're going to be able to score discounts and bonuses like a free small drink or a senior menu offering in many of the nation's restaurants.
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Bonefish Grill – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Carraba's Italian Grill– will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Chart House – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Corner Bakery Cafe – they give 10% off the check when you show an AARP card.
- Denny's– will give you 15% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card. You can also access a senior menu if you are over 55.
- IHOP – show your ID and if you're over 55, you qualify for a special menu.
- Joe's Crab Shack – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Landry's Seafood– will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- McCormick And Schmick's – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- McDonald's – show you're over 55 and get free or discounted coffee in most locations.
- Perkins – show you're over 55 and they have a special discount menu for you.
- Outback Steakhouse – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Rainforest Cafe – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- Saltglass Steak House – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
- The Oceanaire Seafood Room – will give you 10% off everything but alcohol and merch with your AARP card.
Don't see the restaurant you like on this list?
That doesn't mean you can't get a discount, the best time to check is when making advance reservations and discounted rates for senior citizens are really common in the restaurant industry.
AARP members should spend some time reviewing the AARP membership website as AARP members really do very well out of restaurants.
Leisure Time Discounts
Having fun is also cheaper for senior citizens and AARP members often qualify for big discounts earlier than everyone else.
AARP membership is great value when you consider how many paces AARP members get a discount.
- AMC Theaters – AMC offers cheap movie tickets at certain locations every day, you must be over 60 to qualify.
- Audible – Amazon's audiobook service will give AARP members $2 off each month or $30 off if they pay upfront for a year.
- Ancestry – AARP members get 30% off their membership options.
- Cinemark Theaters – You must be over 62 and attend on the Senior's Day for discounted admission fees (though you can get cheap seats every day if you opt for an Early Bird Special).
- National Parks America – The Beautiful Senior Pass – if you're over 62, you get a $20 annual pass to all the parks or you can cough up $80 at once and get lifetime access. This is an amazing deal. However, if you order the senior citizen discount pass by mail, there's an extra $10 handling fee.
- Regal Cinemas – AARP members with an AARP card will get 20% off tickets purchased online through the ePremier Tickets service. There are also discounts for seniors who pay at the theater on senior citizen days as long as they are over 60. You can also get $3 off popcorn and soda combo packs if you're an AARP cardholder and a Regal Crown Club member (you must show both cards to get yours), this is a complicated senior rate but a good one.
- SilverSneakers – you must be over 65 and a Medicare plan member but if you are, they offer free fitness classes at more than 17,000 different locations!
- Showcase Cinemas – senior rate discounts on admission and combos are available to the over 60s each and every Wednesday.
- Ticketmaster – AARP members get discounted ticket prices on select shows and certain events.
We would also note that we're yet to visit a museum, zoo, park, etc. with an entry-free that doesn't provide some sort of discount for AARP members and senior citizens.
Again, it's on you to ask if they're not advertising a discount, it doesn't mean they don't have one.
Cruises are among the most popular forms of vacation for seniors so it should come as no surprise that senior fares on cruise lines are designed to be appealing.
AARP members will find it easy to grab discounted fares but seniors over 55 do quite well too.
Some of the big names in this industry offering deals include:
- AARP Travel Center (Powered by Expedia) – as you might expect this is for AARP members who get up to $300 free onboard credits for booking with this service.
- Carnival Cruises– ask about their discounts, they're for those over 55.
- Colette Cruise Tours– also targeting AARP members with up to $50 off each cruise.
- Grand European Travel– up to $100 off per person for AARP members.
- Royal Caribbean– ask about their discounts, they're for those over 55.
- Vacations by Rail– discounted rail fares of 5% and cruise discounts too for AARP members.
This is one area in which you're going to get a discount if you ask for one about 99 times out of 100. Cruises love seniors and that means they will work to get your business, don't let them off the hook, the cash is better in your pocket than in theirs.
Travel gets cheaper too as a senior and (if you want discounts on rental cars and hotels then we strongly recommend AARP membership – nearly every chain offers something to AARP members) whether you want to go by bus, plane, or train there's something for you.
- Amtrak– if you are over 65, then Amtrak should be happy to discount almost all fares by 10%
- British Airways – you will need to be an AARP member but you get up to $200 off a fare when flying transatlantic
- Delta Airlines – you need to call the airline to get the lowdown on Delta's discounts as they like to make special seniors seats on most flights but in very limited quantities
- Greyhound– you will need to be over 62 but the bus company is happy to give discounts on tickets for certain routes or dates
- United Airlines – United Airlines is happy to give discounts to over 65s on certain routes, it's best to contact them for the latest info
We would note that, in our experience, you can boost your gains from these companies by signing up for frequent traveler programs and if you intend to travel farther afield always ask if you can get a senior discount as again, in our experience, most airlines, hotels, etc. will (certainly the Intercontinental Hotels Group will).
Internet And Communications Discounts
You definitely don't need to be an AARP member to get a discount on your Internet or Communications plan.
AT&T – If you live in Florida, you get a discount at the age of 55, but the rest of us have to wait to qualify for their senior plans which start at $60 a month.
Consumer Cellular – They offer discounts to seniors and if you are an AARP member you can get a bonus discount.
Jitterbug – senior discounts, senior-friendly handsets, and a discount for being an AARP member? You can't go wrong really.
Verizon – over 55s can get really good value plans from Verizon but only if they live in Florida…
T-Mobile– T-Mobile doesn't care where you live and all 50 states' residents qualify for their Unlimited 55+ Plans which include unlimited talk, text, and data!
Major Life Expense Discounts
This may be the most compelling reason to pay annual membership fees to AARP, you can get a ton of discounts on everything from basic health care to proper professional caregiver services through their programs.
You get discounts at these places:
- Care Linx's In-Home Care
- Optum Bank (Health Savings Account)
- HearUSA (Hearing Care Program and Hearing Shop)
- Kroger Pharmacy
- LensCrafters Opticians
- MyVisionCare (which is delivered via EyeMed)
- OptumRx (prescription discounts)
- Target Optical
- EyeMed (vision discounts)
- Walgreens Pharmacies
- Walmart Pharmacies
You can also get free driving credit or discounts on property and vehicle insurance (if you're looking for life insurance we recommend reading our article on life insurance for seniors before you spend a penny).
Again grab your AARP card and hit up
The Hartford for discounts on homeowners insurance and auto insurance.
And as with all of these things, we'd ask every single time you try to make any kind of purchase if you can get a discount. Just make sure to carry a valid government-issued ID to demonstrate that you are, indeed, old enough to enjoy the discounts that you want.
You can easily take care of yourself for less in many situations, as long as you ask.
Final Thoughts On Senior Discounts
When you realize how much money you're going to save, your senior years start to look way more attractive, don't they?
If you're wondering how you will fund your new adventures? Well, we've got some stress-free jobs for seniors, some well-paid jobs for seniors, and even some hobbies you can make money at in retirement!