How seniors can save money with discounts

Posted at 7:12 PM, Aug 21, 2017

As Americans get older, their budgets typically get tighter. But discounts make fun on a fixed income easier.

In honor of National Senior Citizens Day on Aug. 21, here’s how seniors can use discounts to save a little more green all year.

Look everywhere

Senior discounts are available for almost all purchases, according to Amie Clark, one of the founders of The Senior List, an informational website for seniors.

She’s seen deals on personal care items, groceries, entertainment and travel. For instance, Amtrak riders age 62 and older can save 15% on most trains’ lowest available fare, and Marriott hotel guests age 62 and older can save at least 15% on their room, depending on availability.

In many cases, all you need to do is ask — and show ID.

Senior discounts are typically 10% to 15%, says Jon Lal, the founder and CEO of cash-back and coupon website BeFrugal.

Always ask

But these offers sometimes go unclaimed. “People have real hesitation about asking for discounts,” Clark says. “I think they feel like maybe they’re taking advantage of something.”

“I really emphasize to people to ask for the discounts,” Clark adds. “They’re not putting that in large print when you walk in the door.”

Lal recommends calling or checking a business’s website for senior pricing. Age requirements vary. Consumers 50 and older qualify at some establishments, but at others you have to be at least 70.

Online, Clark advises typing in a business name along with “senior discount” to narrow your search.

Some businesses have a senior day when they offer limited-time deals.

Try different discounts

No senior discount? Clark says many businesses offer a veterans discount that seniors who have served in the military can claim.

AAA members also qualify for deals at many merchants.

Join the club

There are also senior-specific savings programs. For $16 a year, Americans 50 and older can unlock deals with an AARP membership.

“With Dunkin’ Donuts — one of our most popular offers — it is a free donut with any large beverage,” says Victoria Borton, vice president of lifestyle products and services at AARP Services Inc., the organization’s rewards and discounts division.

Browse deals on aarpadvantages.com or the AARP Member Advantages app, and keep your AARP card handy.

Go ahead, seniors. You earned your discounts.

The article How Seniors Can Save Money With Discounts originally appeared on NerdWallet.