10 Money-Saving Perks for Senior Citizens

Updated on April 27, 2020
KT Dunn profile image

KT enjoys travel, memories, creativity, and laughter. She plans to remain healthy and active for a very long time.

Senior Perks: Where Your Age Is a Benefit

I had been enjoying senior menu selections in restaurants for some time, but still got a bit of a jolt when I stopped at a McDonald’s one morning on my way out of town for an early appointment. Glancing at my receipt, I saw that I had been charged only 39 cents for a senior coffee. Nothing had been said about a senior discount, so how, I wondered, did they know I was a senior citizen? Well, perhaps it’s more evident than I would like to think. However, there are some benefits to achieving this pinnacle of maturity.

Here is a quick run-down of 10 types of discounts and programs you may qualify for as a newly minted senior citizen:

Zion National Park, Utah
Zion National Park, Utah

1. National Parks Senior Pass

Several years ago, when my husband and I visited a couple of national parks, we were surprised to learn that we could purchase a lifetime senior citizen pass for $10. Since then we have used that pass a number of times.

Recently, however, the National Park Service (NPS) has increased the cost of the senior pass from $10 to $80 (with an option for a $20 annual pass available). That is quite an increase. Still, this is arguably a bargain for a lifetime pass, particularly if you plan to use it a great deal. The NPS website states that the additional income will be used “to enhance the visitor experience in parks.”

Those $10 passes that were issued prior to the increase will still be honored for life. Seniors are eligible to purchase the passes at age 62, and may turn in four previously purchased annual passes for a lifetime pass.

2. "Senior Freeze" and Other Real Estate Tax Breaks

The purpose of this is to “freeze” the assessed value of the property, for taxation purposes, at the level where it stood the year before the homeowner’s first freeze application was approved. Illinois residents may also qualify for a “senior exemption,” which further reduces the assessed valuation of their property by $5000. A “senior freeze” on real estate taxes is available in some states, as well as a homestead exemption (which does not require senior status), so check with your county assessor’s office to find out if these are available in your area and whether you qualify. A qualifying resident of Illinois, for example, must apply annually for the senior freeze.

As a senior citizen, you may qualify for benefits ranging from coffee to college tuition.

3. Restaurant Discounts

Various independent and chain restaurants offer senior menus and discounts, often for customers age 65 and up, but sometimes starting at age 55 or 60. Generally the restaurant menu will include a senior section with a number of offerings from the regular menu, but in slightly smaller portions and at a lower price. Denny's restaurants offer a 55+ menu. Taco Bell discounts the total bill, and McDonald's, as mentioned above, gives discounts on coffee for seniors 55 and over.

These types of discounts may differ according to store location.

4. Grocery Store Discount Days

Certain grocery store chains and independent groceries offer senior discount days, often on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, usually with 5% to 10% off, although this seems to be less prevalent than it once was. In the case of chains, these discounts and days may vary by location.

Senior discounts of 5% are currently available on Wednesdays at Publix stores in Tennessee, North Carolina, and the northern portions of Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia for customers age 60 and older.

IGA and IGA Market Fresh stores offer discounts of 5% to 10% to seniors on specific days, starting at age 55, depending upon location.

Don't forget to check with your local grocery stores to see if they participate in senior discount days.

5. Other Retail Store Discounts

A number of national chain stores offer senior discounts of 10% to 20%. Examples include Michael's stores, which offer 10% off on selected merchandise every day to customers age 55+, and Kohl's stores, with 15% senior discounts on Wednesdays for those at least 60 years of age. Of course, these discounts cannot always be applied along with other coupons or to all types of merchandise.

Belk stores and Walgreen's stores have senior days on the first Tuesday of each month for customers age 55+.

With different store chains, these types of offers can fluctuate and/or vary by location, but if no discount is advertised it may be beneficial to inquire. In some cases, senior discounts may be valid only with a store credit card or a specific membership status.

6. Movie Tickets

Senior ticket prices are available at many movie theaters, sometimes as low as $5 for matinees. These vary by location and other factors. AMC is among the theater groups that offer discounts for seniors age 60 and over.

7. Waiver of Bank Fees

Free checking services (no additional monthly fees) are available with automatic social security deposit at some banks, so explore your options to find out what benefits may be offered at the bank of your choice.

8. Senior Organization Benefits and Discounts

Senior organizations such as AMAC and AARP offer group discounts on insurance, prescription plans, vision and dental plans, travel programs, and other services. Annual membership fees are required for participation in these plans, and more information is available online or by phone.

9. Travel and Hotels

Senior rates are available for many hotel chains, as well as some airlines and other modes of transportation. When booking a hotel online, you can usually find the senior discount, if available, on the hotel's website. This is sometimes listed under "Special Rates." If booking by phone or in person, remember to request the senior discount.

Travelers age 65 and above receive senior rates for travel on Southwest Airlines, and these fares are refundable. Details are available from customer service representatives and on their website. Other airlines may offer senior discounts in certain areas, so it could be useful to ask when booking.

Senior/disabled reduced fares are available for public transportation in many cities, as well.


10. Tuition Waivers

College tuition is waived at some universities and community colleges for qualified students who have reached the age of 65 in most states, but only age 55 in others. Usually this is a limited program, often applicable to only one course at a time and to be taken as not-for-credit.

In Missouri, for example, qualified applicants may receive a scholarship for tuition and enroll in any Missouri state school at age 65, if they meet entrance requirements. Eligibility is determined by each institution and is based on available class space, after paying students have enrolled. All other required course fees and expenses are the responsibility of the student.

However, the University System of Maryland has a "Golden ID" program in which retired people age 60 and over may enroll, even in degree-seeking programs, with tuition waived for no more than three courses per semester. Again, eligibility requirements and other restrictions apply.

Check with the school of your choice or online to see what rules apply in your state.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • KT Dunn profile imageAUTHOR

      KT Dunn 

      2 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Larry! Yes, I've found that too, and some have discounts that I wouldn't have been aware of without researching it.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      2 years ago from Raleigh

      I enjoyed your read about senior discounts. I like the restaurants in my area that offer a discount and the grocery stores we shop at. Many times I have noticed that you have to ask for the discount or they will not mention it.

    • KT Dunn profile imageAUTHOR

      KT Dunn 

      2 years ago from United States

      I hope that works out for you, Dan. Thanks for your comment!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Nice! I've been thinking about a college class or two - maybe it's time to check out my local state college. Thanks!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)