National Senior Citizens Day occurred this week on Aug. 21; it was created to acknowledge the influence and hard work of senior citizens in this country.
Aug. 21 was marked as Senior Citizens Day by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. “Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country,” President Reagan said when announcing the holiday. “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute.”
Reagan encouraged Americans to make and improve resources to serve our nation’s senior citizens: “We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older,” Reagan said.
One of the ways that communities and companies honor senior citizens is by offering senior citizen discounts. It’s a great way for retailers to show their appreciation to seniors, and for seniors to stretch their dollars further — especially since many of them are on a fixed income.
Senior Citizen Discounts for Senior Citizens Day
To help our senior readers get the most for their money on Senior Citizens Day 2014, GOBankingRates compiled a list of the best senior discounts.
Using deals gathered by our friends at BeFrugal, RetailMeNot, CouponCabin and other discounts we could find, we identified the 42 best deals available to senior citizens year round. We looked for discounts above the typical 10 percent savings, and for companies whose senior discounts are available at a younger age.
“Many retailers offer discounts and added perks to seniors,” said Trae Bodge, senior editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. “Even if there’s no mention of a senior discount program on the retailer’s website or at the register, be sure to ask about what perks you may be entitled to.”
Alaska Airlines: Travelers age 65 and up can save 10 percent when they book their flights with Alaska Airlines.
Albertsons: Seniors who shop on the first Wednesday of the month can receive 10 percent off at select locations, according to CouponCabin.
AMC Theaters: Seniors 60 years young are eligible for the theater’s senior pricing on tickets. The price of senior tickets will vary by location, but BeFrugal was able to verify discounts of up to 30 percent.
Amtrak: Those age 62 and older can get 15 percent off their train tickets with Amtrak, according to RetailMeNot. Certain exclusions apply and the discount cannot be combined with other offers.
Applebee’s: The restaurant chain offers a Gold Apple Card that gets seniors 60 and up a discount of 15 percent, according to BeFrugal. Participation in this program will vary by location, but restaurants that don’t have the Golden Apple Card will still offer a senior discount of 10 percent when asked.
Bally Total Fitness: According to BeFrugal, those age 62 and up can receive up to $100 off their gym memberships with Bally Total Fitness.
Chick-fil-A: Patrons 55 and up can choose to get a free small drink or small coffee with a purchase, or a 10 percent discount on any food order at select locations.
Chili’s: BeFrugal reports that diners age 55 and over will qualify for 10 percent off their entire purchases.
Dress Barn: Shoppers 55 and up can get 10 percent off their purchases.
Great Clips: A seniors discount saves $3 per haircut for those 65 and up, according to BeFrugal.
Holiday Inn: Guests age 62 and up can save between 10 and 30 percent on their stays, depending on location.
IHOP: The chain offers a special seniors’ menu that features special, lower pricing for those 55 and up.
Jack in the Box: Senior discounts vary by location, but those 55 years or older can snag up to 20 percent off their food orders.
KFC: Get a free small drink with any purchase, available to those 55 and up.
Kohl’s: Shoppers 60 years old and up get 15 percent off their purchases every Wednesday. An ID is required to verify age.
Krispy Kreme: You only have to be 50 to qualify for the donut chain’s senior discount of 10 percent, according to BeFrugal.
Marriott Hotels: Guests 62 and up can stay at Marriott for up to 15 percent off.
National Parks: U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are 62 can buy a $10 Lifetime pass from a federal recreation site and get free access to more than 2,000 recreation sites and discounts of up to 50 percent on expanded amenity fees like camping, swimming, etc.
Rite Aid: The pharmacy’s wellness+ program offers a number of incentives for seniors, including 20 percent off every purchase for a year after signing up. Seniors 65 and over are eligible for the wellness65+ membership, which includes cash-back offers, as well as 20 percent off every first Wednesday of the month. Enrollment in both programs is free.
Ross: As part of the Every Tuesday Club for customers 55 and up, Ross locations offer discounts of 10 percent on Tuesdays.
Salvation Army: Every Wednesday, seniors 55 and up get 25 percent off, and the thrift store also hosts special Super Senior Days that up the discount to 33 percent.
Subway: Select locations of the sandwich franchise give diners 60 and up a 10 percent discount, according to BeFrugal.
Supercuts: The hair salon chain will take $2 off a haircut for seniors that are 60 years of age or older.
Walgreens: During the pharmacy’s regular Senior Days, shoppers who are 55 and over, or are members of AARP with a Balance Rewards card, will get 20 percent off their purchases. Sign up for the email newsletter at Walgreens.com to be notified of upcoming Senior Days.
Seniors Save More With an AARP Membership
Seniors can reel in even more savings with a membership in America’s Association of Retired People (AARP). AARP members have access to benefits and discounts from a wide range of retailers and service providers.
“One of the founding principles of AARP was to help stretch the hard-earned dollar of members,” said Kristin Palmer, manager of media relations for AARP. “AARP membership provides members with a wealth of opportunities to save money, travel, and play. Discounts enable members to get value for their money and more enjoyment out of life. Not surprisingly, money-saving offers continue to be one of the reasons why people say they join and stay with AARP.”
The minimum age to join AARP is only 50, meaning members can get discounts years before most retailers’ age limits of 55, 60 or even 65. And the benefits of an AARP membership only cost $16 a year, or $1.33 a month. AARP also offers discounts when purchasing multiple years of membership: 10 percent for three years and 21 percent for five years.
ADT Home Security: New and existing ADT customers can save with an AARP membership, getting 20 percent off all new equipment, upgrades and installations.
Alamo Rental Car: Save up to 25 percent on your car rental when you have an AARP membership.
Avis: AARP members can get up to 30 percent off car rentals through Avis, plus an additional $30 off when renting for a week or more.
Best Western: AARP members get 10 percent off their stays with Best Western, according to CouponCabin.
Budget Rental: Rates are discounted by up to 30 percent and a $25 credit will be applied for AARP members when renting for at least five consecutive days.
Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts: Those with an AARP membership receive 10 percent off regular rates at select Crowne Plaza locations, according to RetailMeNot.
Days Inn: A discount of up to 20 percent will be applied for AARP members.
Denny’s: AARP members get 15 percent off, while the restaurant also offers a 10 percent discount to all diners 60 and up. Its menu also features a 55+ section that caters to seniors.
Dunkin’ Donuts: Get a free donut with the purchase of any large or extra large beverage or coffee when you show your AARP card.
HP Computers: Purchases are discounted by 15 percent or more for AARP members and shipping is free.
Outback Steakhouse: AARP members can get 15 percent off their food orders Monday through Thursday, or during lunch any day of the week.
Papa Johns: AARP members can use code AARP25 to get 25 percent off their orders, according to CouponCabin.
Pearle Vision: Eye exams are discounted by up to 60 percent for AARP members. Purchases are also discounted by 30 percent for eyeglasses and 20 percent for contact lenses.
Reebok: The sporting goods retailer offers a 20 percent discount to AARP members when shopping online, at Reebok Outlet Stores or at Rockport Outlet Stores.
Regal Cinemas: AARP members pay only $8 each for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online. Moviegoers who are also Regal Crown Club members can show that card with their AARP cards to get $3 off a small or large popcorn and drink combination. Those who lack an AARP membership can still benefit from the theater’s senior citizen tickets for those 60 and over. Regular and senior citizen ticket prices will vary by location, but look for discounts of up to 30 percent, according to BeFrugal.
Sheraton Hotels: Get up to 20 percent off the best available rate at this hotel chain by showing your AARP membership card.
Starwood Hotels: AARP members get a 20 percent discount at any Starwood hotel or resort, according to CouponCabin.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts: Any Wyndham-owned hotel chain or resort will offer a discount of up to 20 percent for AARP members.
Photo credit: Maimemphis