One of the best parts of getting older is the discounts you're entitled to. From travel and dining out to groceries and shopping, there is no shortage of savings available if you know where and when to look. Here are three of the biggest types of senior discounts, as explained by our experts.
Selena Maranjian: You may not be thrilled when you turn 50 and receive an AARP membership package in the mail, but don't toss it out without giving it some thought. For one thing, membership is quite affordable, at just $16 for a year, or less if you pay for several years at once. Here are just some of the things that that gets you:
- You can get up to 38% off of prescription drugs not covered by your health insurance plan.
- You can access a Grocery Coupon Center for discounts on many items you buy regularly, and can receive some via an emailed newsletter, too.
- If you're interested in travel packages from Grand European Travel, you can get $100 off any guided vacation they offer.
- AARP has a program with Best Western offering 10% off, the chance to earn points, and enhanced status when staying at Best Western. Up to 10% off is offered at La Quinta Inns & Suites, too.
- You can save 10% on summer train vacations in 2015.
- You can get 10% off your meal at many popular restaurants such as McCormick & Schmicks, Landry's and Rainforest Café, and 15% off at eateries such as Outback Steakhouse and Denny's.
- If you like donuts, you can get a free one with every large coffee at Dunkin Donuts.
- Sears offers 5% off of RoadHandler tires for AARP members at its auto centers.
AARP also offers an Everyday Savings Center, which lets you accumulate points at a host of major retailers and then use those non-expiring points as cash. There are, simply, gobs of available discounts through an AARP membership. Many might not be of much interest or use to you, but some others will be, and probably enough to make the membership fee worth it.
Sean Williams: As Selena mentions, AARP is a great place to look for discounts if you're a senior citizen. However, you don't have to be an AARP member in order to land a great deal. I'd specifically point out that there are a number of non-AARP travel and vacation deals available for seniors, which is great news because senior citizens should be enjoying their golden years by traveling now and then.
For example, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines Group, which is comprised of American Airlines and US Airways, all offer varying degrees of discounts to passengers 65 and up, regardless of whether you're an AARP member or not.
Are you considering renting a car? Good news if you decide to choose Dollar Rent-A-Car, which is now part of Hertz. Dollar will rent to persons aged 50 and up who aren't AARP members and give those individuals a 10% discount.
Not really wanting to travel by plane or automobile? Amtrak also offers substantial discounts to seniors. Per Amtrak, seniors aged 62 and up are eligible to receive a 15% discount on the lowest available rail fare for most Amtrak trains. For cross-border services that head into Canada and are jointly operated with VIA Rail Canada, a 10% discount applies to eligible passengers 60 years-old and up.
If all else fails, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines both offer discounts to seniors aged 55 and up. It should be noted that senior discounts only apply to select cruise ships and destinations, but having just one eligible senior citizen in your cabin qualifies you for a special rate.
Matt Frankel: If you're a senior citizen (which many places define as being over 50), there are a tremendous amount of discounts you could take advantage of when you shop or dine out.
Many retailers offer senior discounts on certain days. Just to name a few, some of the best deals currently being offered include
- Belk: 15% off for 55 and over on the first Tuesday of each month
- Kohl's: 15% off on Wednesdays for 55 and over
- Ross Stores: 10% off on Tuesdays for 55 and over
- Banana Republic: 10% of for 50 and over all the time
Many grocery stores also offer perks to seniors. For example, Publix offers shoppers over 55 a 5% discount every Wednesday, and Kroger offers 10% off on dates that vary by location.
Restaurant discounts are even more abundant. According to the website "The Senior List," there are a lot of national chains offering senior discounts, and 10% off seems to be the norm at places like Arby's, Boston Market, Chili's, Subway, and Wendy's to name a few. And bear in mind, some offer even sweeter deals for AARP members, as Selena mentioned earlier.
Also remember that these lists just cover national chains. Many local retailers and restaurants offer senior discounts, and some might be even better than those listed here.