Seniors cards are issued around the country to Australians once they turn 60, and its worth checking if you're eligible as you can cash in on discounts and offers even if you're not retired.
Discounts are available on some of the most taxing costs we all face, like transport, energy, fuel and insurance. Thousands of businesses - from gyms and restaurants, to popular brands like Birkenstocks - are signed up and you can take advantage of cheaper offers.
All of this can be hard to quantify, but if you take a good look, you could be getting a free coffee every day, or save $488 on the average yearly grocery bill at Woolworths or IGA.
Yahoo Finance has broken down the eligibility, best rebates and some highlights to help you see how much you could be saving.
The cards are issued by state and territory governments, but businesses generally accept those from outside their region. There are some cases where an application needs to be made ahead so, if you’re travelling interstate, it can pay to do a little research ahead of time.
This applies for overseas travel as well, with businesses in places like New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and the USA also accepting Australian cards.
Here’s everything you need to know about seniors discounts, from eligibility to a taste of some of the deals on offer.
There are two different cards available for NSW residents aged over 60, depending on their working situation.
Seniors Card: If you’re averaging 20 hours a week or less of paid work over 12 months.
Seniors Savers Card: If you’re averaging more than 20 hours of paid work over 12 months.
The basic difference is Seniors Savers cards miss out on the Gold Opal Card, which gives the travel concession of unlimited travel for $2.50 a day.
You can also get discounted entry to the Australian Museum, Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Chinese Garden of Friendship, The Bradman Museum, and cheaper annual passes for NSW National Parks
The other benefits include discounts and deals - from tradies to travel and professional services - which you can search up here.
Some highlights valid at the time of writing include:
Supermarkets: Free delivery at Woolworths and 5 per cent off gift cards - if the average Aussie spends $9,776 on groceries per year, that’s $488.80 in annual savings - and there’s a similar offer at IGA
Fuel: Get 4 cents off a litre if you fill up at a United service station
Energy: AGL offers $250 in sign-up credits, split between electricity and gas
Will fee: Get a discount on the $29 fee charged to store your will with the NSW Trustee and Guardian
There are three different options for seniors to access discounts in Queensland, which depend on your age and how much you work. The base-level eligibility is that you’re a permanent resident who lives in the state for at least six months a year, which you need to prove.
If you meet that and are over 60, you are eligible for the Seniors Business Discount Card.
This gives you access to the Senior Shopper Service - cardholders can call in with an item they want to buy and check to see if they are getting the best price.
There are also more than 6,200 outlets involved with the seniors discount program (take a look at the directory). Here are some highlights:
Coffee: Seniors need not visit a cafe and pay full price, with 10 per cent discounts on offer at about 260 cafes in Queensland
Books: You can save 10 per cent on all books, magazines and newspapers at Booktopia
Hotels: Cairns Sheridan Hotel is offering 50 per cent off the rack rate, that could be a saving of $250 on two nights in a Deluxe Queen room
The two other cards - the Seniors Card and Seniors Card+go - give you access to government concessions, with the only difference being the latter also being used as a ‘go’ card for Translink public transport.
You can save with:
Public transport concessions
$42 off an annual fishing permit
State-funded energy rebates, which give you $372 off electricity and $80 off gas
Free public dental care
Concession for motor vehicle and boat registration fees
Eligibility: If you’re aged over 65, you need to be working less than 35 hours a week, but if you’re between 60 and 64, you’d also need to hold another type of concession card. Check the details here.
Luckily, it’s just one application form. Once your eligibility is determined, you will be sent the right card, or cards.
Permanent residents living in Victoria aged over 60 can apply for two different cards depending on how much they work.
Seniors Card: If you’re working less than 35 hours per week or fully retired
Seniors Discount Card: If you're working more than 35 hours per week
The difference is the former makes you eligible for free or concession rates on public transport, and you don’t have to pay for a fishing licence, which comes in at $39.90 for a year.
Here are some more highlights:
Groceries and fuel: You can get 5 per cent on Everyday WISH gift cards, which can be used at Woolworths, Caltex and Big W. There’s also a similar offer for Metcash, which can be used at stores like IGA, Mitre 10 and Total Tools
Food and drink: There are 623 discounts listed and, at a quick glance, range between 10 and 15 per cent, but there are special offers, like at Donut King, where you can get two free cinnamon doughnuts with every hot beverage
Movies: Flashing your seniors card at the IMAX in Melbourne will reduce your seat to $24 from standard adults seating at $34
Expect a discount at government-run agencies like Melbourne Museum, Science Works, Melbourne Zoo, Royal Botanic Gardens and Queen Victoria Market. Check out the rest here.
Permanent residents of Australia living in the ACT who are aged over 60 can apply for the free card, which is combined with the MyWay card for public transport.
For those still working, you’d need to be under a threshold of 20 paid hours a week to be eligible.
You can see a full list of the more than 300 businesses offering deals here, but some highlights include:
Travel: Free off-peak travel and concessional fares at peak hours. This becomes free if you’re over 70
Driving: 10 per cent off motor vehicle registration, which jumps to 28 per cent if you have a gas or electric vehicle
Cleaning: 10 per cent off all services with Calibre Cleaning, from regular to end-of-lease cleans
Insurance: up to 20 per cent off combined home and contents with Australian Seniors Insurance Agency
There are more than 600 businesses in Tasmania’s senior program and it’s one of the more simple regions to work out your eligibility.
You just need to live in Tassie, be over the age of 60 and work fewer than 20 hours a week.
These are just a taste of some of the discounts, but you can check the full directory here:
Birkenstocks: They’ve become seriously popular and, with a 10 per cent discount, you could save $23 on the classic sandal
Sunscreen: Don’t pay full price for sunsmart products like sunscreen, sunglasses or hats, with Cancer Council offering a 10 per cent discount
McDonald’s: Get a free coffee or small soft drink if you spend $4
Licence: Dodge licence fees if you’re over 65
South Australians share the same eligibility as Tasmania. Permanent residents aged over 60 can get a seniors card if they work fewer than 20 hours a week.
Here are some of the highlights:
Hearing devices: Up to $500 off premium sets of hearing devices at Hearing Matters
Roofing: You could score 20 per cent off roofing, guttering and roller shutters at Roof+
Travel: $100-per-person discount on any APT group tour or cruise
Last year, the eligible age moved from 64 to 65 for a WA seniors card.
On top of that, to be eligible you need to:
Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
Live in WA for more than six months a year, and not have a permanent residence outside the state
Work fewer than 25 hours a week, averaged over 12 months
There are quite a few state government concessions and rebates you can apply for, including:
Cost-of-living rebate: $104 for singles and $156 for couples
Home security: There’s up to $400 on offer for home alarms, CCTV, sensor lights or even video doorbells
Water rates: A discount of up to 25 per cent - a Health card pushes that to 50 per cent
Check out the full list here.
Outside those, you can get free or concessional travel, and cheaper entry to places like Art Gallery of WA, Museum of WA, Perth Zoo, Rottnest Island accommodation and National Parks.
There are more than 600 businesses offering discounts and monthly competitions you can browse here.
Permanent residents aged 60 and over can apply online, via mail or email and the card is valid for life.
Card holders get a $55 discount on private vehicle registration and free travel on public buses in Darwin and Alice Springs.
There are 470 businesses signed up and you can find the full list of benefits here, but here’s a taste.
Petrol: up to 6 cents a litre off at FuelXpress
Gym: You can get half price on membership at Grove Buff Club Gym
Pest control: Get a 15 per cent discount on general pest services