Millions of dollars in senior discounts are missed every year in America simply because people don’t know about them or don’t ask for them.
The age for qualifying varies from business to business, but if you’re 55 or older in the U.S., always ask if they offer any senior discounts before placing an order or making a purchase. It could save you as much as 25%.
Here are five areas where you could be saving money.
More than 30 national and regional restaurant chains offer up to 20% off for seniors.
Start with a free cup of coffee with a Dunkin’ Donut or a McDonald’s breakfast. Take 10% off your lunch bill at chains like Sonic, Burger King, or Fuddruckers. Then deduct another 10% for dinner at Bostom Market or Shoney’s and get discounted dessert at Ben and Jerry’s.
If you prefer to dine in, at least 15 grocery store chains offer savings for seniors, including Harris Teeter, Kroger, and Publix. Discounts range from 5-10%, and are usually are available only one day a week. Be sure to ask your local store if and when they offer discounts. [Update: A viewer wrote in to say Publix offers the discount except in Florida, where senior populations are the norm.]
Wherever you go in the U.S., and however you choose to get there, seniors have a lot of options for savings.
Amtrak offers 15% discounts to people 62 and older while Greyhound and Trailways offer varying amounts of savings on their bus fares. Trailways even gives people aged 50 and above the preferred discounts, but they need to ask.
Major airlines — including United, Southwest, and American — offer savings to people 65 and older. You need to call them directly before booking your flight.
Once you’re back on the ground, save up to 25% on a rental car with Alamo, Avis, and Hertz if you’re an AARP member. National will give AARP members a 30% discount.
Hotels from Motel 6 to Marriott offer savings of as much as 30%, if you’re as young as 55. You’ll need to let them know before you book.
After a good night’s sleep, head out to the nearest National Park — $10 buys seniors a lifetime pass with free admission to federal attractions.
If you prefer amusement parks, Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida offers $13 off a one-day pass for people 50 and older. Sea World takes three dollars off the ticket price and Six Flags offers varying discounts at their parks. It’s best to check online for discounts before heading out.
If you’re staying closer to home, you can find bargains on a trip to the mall.
Banana Republic, C.J. Banks, Clarks, and Dress Barn all offer 10% discounts to seniors. Kohl’s and Belk’s offer 15% and many other stores offer specials for seniors on specific days.
If you’re shopping for a new phone plan, AT&T and Verizon offer rates of $29.99 per month for people 65 and older.
Major theater chains offer 30-35% off ticket prices for seniors, including AMC, Carmike, and Regal. You can be as young as 55 to take advantage of the senior discount for some movie tickets.
Just remember whenever you’re making a purchase, the most important thing about getting a senior discount is to ask about it up front.
(Photos:dominique_cappronnier, CC; Unsplash, CC; PublicDomainPictures, CC; StevePB,)