73 best discounts for ages 50+: Where to save money for active agers, seniors and retirees

While senior discounts aren’t as standard as they’ve been in the past, you can still save money just for managing to make it to your 50s. And let’s face it, there’s been a bit of chaos to survive in each year of those five-plus decades. You deserve it.

So, whether you’re ready to associate the word senior with your current age bracket or not, simply flashing your ID could save you money on groceries, travel, entertainment and more.

To celebrate Older Americans Month — and help you find the best deals, rates and prices out there — we put our research nose to the grindstone to dig up the top discounts across national and regional chains, retailers and services. 

For those of you who prefer the comforts of Main Street, your local and independently owned stores are likely to offer senior discounts we couldn’t uncover, so it’s a smart idea to call around to favorite shops and restaurants in your area to ask.

🛒 Grocery discounts

Gone are the days of set senior discounts. Rather, many of today’s grocery stores offer senior shopping days that can save you money just for browsing on a specific day. But the rules for these discounts vary widely — some stores knock a blanket percentage off your grocery bill, while others limit discounts to certain types of items, require you to shop within specific hours or exclude on-sale and promotional items. Most require you to belong to the store’s free loyalty card program.

If you don’t see your local grocery store listed, it doesn’t hurt to call and ask about senior shopping discounts.

Ages 55 and older

Albertsons — 10% discount either the first Wednesday or Thursday of the month, depending on where you live (call your local store for details)

Family Fair — 5% discount every Wednesday (includes weekly promotions and sale items)

Fred Meyer — 10% discount the first Tuesday of the month

Fry’s Food Stores — 10% discount the first Wednesday of the month

Hy-Vee Grocery — 5% discount every Thursday

Ages 60 and older

Gristedes — 10% discount every Tuesday

Grocery Outlet — 10% discount every Tuesday, though hours and days may change by store

Harris Teeter — 5% discount every Thursday

Tops — 6% discount the first Tuesday of the month

Weis Markets — 10% discount every Tuesday on Weis brands

Ages 62 and older

Piggly Wiggly — 5% discount one day a week, depending on location

Safeway — 10% discount in select states

Ages 65 and older

Food Bazaar — 5% discount Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (excludes sale items)

🛍️ Retail discounts

Many retailers support membership programs that pass along discounts to shoppers of all ages, but we found a few still offering extra discounts to shoppers ages 55 and older.

Ages 55 and older

Goodwill — Discounts range from 10% to 40% off, depending on location

Joann Fabrics — 15% discount every day, depending on the location; 15% extends to military and veterans

Michaels — 10% off every day, including sale items

Ross Dress for Less — 10% discount every Tuesday

Savers — 30% discount every Tuesday, excluding new merchandise

Target — $10 off eyewear and contact lenses and 50% off prescription eyewear for AARP members

Ages 60 and older

Kohl’s — 15% discount every Wednesday on select brands

Ages 65 and older

PetSmart — 10% discount at Grooming Salon on Tuesdays and on overnight stays at PetsHotel

🍽️ Restaurant discounts

As with other shops and retailers, many restaurants that offered senior discounts in the past have replaced those promotions with memberships and rewards cards for all ages.

We’ve listed those that specifically offer senior discounts, but it’s still worth asking your local franchise of your favorite restaurant for a discount. While the brand office may not have a policy, local restaurants could still offer 10% or more off for diners ages 55+.

Ages 55 and older

Cicis Pizza — discount varies by location

Denny’s — 55+ menu with discounted prices and smaller portions

IHOP — 55+ menu with discounted prices and smaller portions

Luby’s — Senior LuAnn Special discounted meal from 3 p.m. to closing

McDonald’s — Discount varies by location

Perkins — 55+ menu with discounted prices and smaller portions

Wendy’s — 10% discount, depending on location

Ages 60 and older

Applebee’s — 10% to 15% Golden Apple Card discount at participating locations; free entree on Veterans Day (must sign up for Golden Apple Card and bring ID for free entree)

El Pollo Loco — 10% discount with a maximum value of $1

🍿 Entertainment discounts

If you’re eager to see a new-release film or a revival tour of your favorite band coming through your town, you may be able to save some money on your night out. We’ve included popular movie theaters and ticketers in our list — but as with most discounts, you’ll need to call your local theater to get the discount rules.

Ages 55 and older

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema — Senior Day discounts by location

Ticketmaster — Discounted general admission by ticket type, varies by event

Ages 60 and older

AMC Theaters — Discount varies by location

Marcus Theaters — $7 Friday matinee tickets, plus concession discounts as part of Young at Heart special

Regal Cinemas — Discounted senior tickets

Showcase Cinemas — $7.75 tickets every Wednesday, plus concession discounts

Ages 62 and older

Cinemark Theaters — Discounted senior tickets, plus select locations host Senior Discount Days

✈️ Travel discounts

With so many people using their retirement years to travel, senior discounts can make a big difference in keeping a trip on budget. But most travel discounts aren’t guaranteed — whether a discount can push your price down depends on availability, as well as where and how you’re traveling. Still, before you set your itinerary, take a look at the discounts we’ve discovered that can help you save on flights, rental cars and hotel stays.

Airline discounts

Few airlines offer discounts for older customers, but it’s worth identifying yourself when you book your travel. You could qualify for preboarding or a host of other benefits to assist with health concerns or special needs. We’ve found these airlines that offer special fares on specific flights.

Ages 65 and older

American — Senior fares available on select flights and destinations

Southwest — Senior fares available on select flights and destinations

United — Limited senior fares available 

Hotel discounts

While quite a few hotels offer discounted rates, they tend to come with caveats about availability and location. Here too, you’ll want to ask about any discounts when booking a room to avoid missing an unadvertised rate.

Some hotels are strict about whose name is on the reservation and some aren’t. So make sure you understand all the rules when reserving your stay.

Ages 50 and older

Aqua-Aston Hospitality — 15% discount on best available rate

Ages 55 and older

Best Western — Discounted room rates

Knights Inn — 10% discount on your stay

Omni Hotels — Senior rates available every day

Ages 60 and older

Choice Hotels (includes Cambria Suites, Clarion, Comfort Inn and others in the Choice family) — 10% discount on advance reservations

Days Inn — Additional discount on best available rate at participating hotels

Motel 6 — 5% off best available rate

Super 8 — Additional discount on best available rate at participating hotels

Travelodge — Additional discount on best available rate at participating hotels

Wyndham Hotels (includes La Quinta, Ramada, Wingate and others in the Wyndham family) — Additional discount on best available rate at participating hotels

Ages 62 and older

Hyatt — Senior citizen rates, which vary by location

IHG Hotels (includes Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and others in the IHG Hotels family) — Discount on best Flex rate, depending on location and availability 

Marriott — Discounted rate on up to two rooms, depending on availability

Car rental discounts

Renting a car comes with a lot of rules and fees, and that remains true whether you get a discount or not. Read the fine print before you pick a rental company, and make sure they take your discount off the base rate for maximum savings.

Ages 50 and older

Hertz — 20% off base rate

Sixt — 5% discount

Thrifty — 5% discount on time and mileage charges

Ages 55 and older

Advantage — 10% off base rate

Miscellaneous travel discounts

You can get discounts on buses, trains and cruises if you use one of the companies we’ve listed.

Even day-to-day travel can come with a discount: If you use federally subsidized transit, the Federal Transit Administration guarantees you 50% off of any peak fare.

Ages 55 and older

Carnival Cruise Lines — Special rates for seniors

Royal Caribbean — Reduced rates on select sailings

Ages 62 and older

National Park Service — $80 lifetime pass or $20 annual pass for all parks nationwide

Ages 65 and older

Amtrak — 10% discount on most fares in the U.S. and cross-border rides in conjunction with VIA Rail Canada (ages 60+ for cross-border rides)

Federal Transit Authority — 50% off peak fare on all federally subsidized transit providers

Trailways — Up to 10% off a senior bus fare, depending on your travel area

💊 Pharmacy discounts

Pharmacies tend to offer discount days and specific programs for older customers. We’ve listed those offered at the national chains, but don’t hesitate to ask your local pharmacy about any programs you might qualify for.

Also, look beyond over-the-counter savings to ask about any senior-focused services — like CVS Oak Street Health, a partnership that provides primary health care exclusively for older adults, or vaccine alerts offered to myWalgreens members.

Ages 55 and older

Walgreens — 20% Senior Day discounts on the first Tuesday of the month (must sign up for myWalgreens)

Ages 60 and older

CVS — $4 off your first purchase, 2% back in rewards and exclusive offers and deal notifications (Must sign up for CVS ExtraCare)

Ages 65 and older

Rite Aid — 5x rewards points on the first Wednesday of each month (must sign up for Rite Aid Rewards)

💰 Miscellaneous discounts

This list of discounts didn’t fall cleanly into our previous categories but still might be helpful for saving money — including wireless plans, rideshare services, gym memberships and more.

Ages 55 and older

AT&T Wireless — $40 a month per line for two lines with unlimited talk, text and data (limited to Florida customers)

Dish Network — Special pricing on a satellite package, plus one free movie rental per month

Mint Mobile — $15 a month for mobile service with free tech help throughout

T-Mobile — Discounted plans for two lines with autopay

Verizon — $42 a month per line for two lines with autopay (limited to Florida customers)

Ages 65 and older

SilverSneakers — Free online fitness classes and access to 15,000 gyms nationwide for members of select Medicare Advantage or Supplement plans

Uber — Free rides through senior centers and rides on demand through a phone number (instead of the Uber app)

Qualifying customers

Amazon Prime — 50% off Prime membership to qualifying recipients of EBT and government assistance

Lyft — Free or discounted rides to the grocery store for low-income seniors through Lyft Up program

Dig deeper: 5 top alternatives to cable TV for 2024: How to cut the cord — and your monthly costs

Associations that offer discounts to older Americans

If you don’t see your favorite stores and brands in our lists, check out these four organizations that offer members benefits and discounts just for signing up.

AAA. The American Automobile Association doesn’t offer senior discounts, but it provides driving courses and workshops geared to senior drivers. As a member, you also qualify for a long list of discounts that many believe rival the AARP’s.

AARP. A membership with the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) comes with a vast list of benefits, including senior discounts in nearly any category you can think of. But there may be caveats: Some members say they’re constantly inundated with spam, emails, flyers and other marketing materials, and many believe AARP sells their member info to mailing lists and political organizations without permission.

AMAC. The Association of Mature American Citizens is a conservative political association that offers its members a host of benefits, including roadside assistance and discounts on entertainment and travel.

Good Sam. If your perfect retirement dream includes road trips in your car or RV, a Good Sam membership can help with discounts on gas and propane, RV sites and campsites, vehicle repair and member-only perks on Princess Cruises.

Dig deeper: 18 clever ways to save money — and take a bite out of inflation

What to know about senior discounts

As we’ve learned, senior discounts can come with a lot of qualifiers and rules. Still, there are a few hard-and-fast tips to keep in mind when considering money-saving moves.

Most discounts are for in-store and dining-room customers. You probably won’t find as many discounts on delivery or online purchases. Most retailers and restaurants require seeing you in person to get the best deals.

You have to ask for your discount. Stores won’t offer a discount unless you ask for it, no matter how gray your hair has gone. And asking could earn you unadvertised price cuts and lower rates you wouldn’t know were available otherwise.

Memberships come with spam. If a store requires you to become a member of a club or rewards program to get a discount, expect an influx of marketing in your email inbox and mailbox, regardless of whether you uncheck the box declining it.

You may find a better deal outside the “senior” discount. Just because a store or travel company offers a discount doesn’t mean it’s the best deal it has to offer. Take a few minutes to comparison shop and find the best discount you’re eligible for.

Don’t forget to check with your city. Many cities — big and small — support special prices for older citizens to take advantage of museums, parks, restaurants and entertainment, giving you every excuse to explore attractions in your own backyard.

Even though many of these discounts might not do much more than offset the sales tax in your area, we’re of the mind that a savings is a savings. And maybe the prospect of a discount can be incentive enough to try a couple of new places the next time you’re out on the town.

And even though we scoured every corner of national and regional brands to compile this list, double-checking websites and talking with folks on the phone, it’s likely you know of hidden-gem discounts in your area or among your favorite brands that we weren’t able to unearth as easily. If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments or email our editorial team. Happy exploring!

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