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The best discounts for pensioners in Australia

Information verified correct on December 3rd, 2016

Growing older has its perks – as well as wisdom and perspective, you can also get some sweet discounts. Here are the best perks for Australian seniors.

As you get older your financial situation changes drastically. Your earnings may reduce, your time available to make up for losses will decrease, and it becomes more important than ever to have all your financial eggs in a row.

But while long-term planning to manage your pension and superannuation can be a hassle, there are also increased opportunities for savings money. There are lots of discounts and deals available exclusively for pensioners – some well-known, some rarely used, and as always, finder.com.au is here to scour the market for the best available.

Concession cards

One of the best-known routes to saving is using a concession card. Many concession schemes for pensioners are free and require nothing more than proof of age, while others have a membership fee.

National Seniors card

National Seniors is a national consumer lobby for Australians over 50. It offers membership for a low yearly fee (starting from $40), which offers access discounts, rewards, reduced price insurance and an advice line.

Am I eligible?

The National Seniors card is open to anyone who:

  • Is age 50 years or over or
  • Has a spouse/partner who is 50 years or over.

What do I get?

  • Hundreds of discounts, including money off flights, wines, healthcare and travel.
  • Discounts on insurance, including travel, home & contents and vehicle insurance.
  • Advice and information on a range of important topics, including careers, health and technology.

Click here for more information on the National Seniors Card.

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Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The Commonwealth Seniors Card is provided by the Australian Department of Human Services, and provide older Australians with access to cheaper prescription medicines, government medical services and other federal concessions.

Am I eligible?

You qualify for the Seniors Health Card if you:

  • Have reached age pension age (usually 65)
  • Have a Tax File Number, or a valid reason for not having one.
  • Are resident in Australia.

You also need to have an income below a certain level. . At the time of writing, the income requirement is set at:

  • $51,500 for singles
  • $82,400 combined for couples
  • $103,000 combined for couples separated by illness or respite care, or where one partner is in prison

What do I get?

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card entitles you to discounts on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines, which can represent a significant saving. You will also need to show your Medicare Card when lodging your prescription.

You may also get discounts on:

  • Rail travel on Great Southern Rail services, such as the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and the Overland
  • Out-of-hospital medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
  • Health, household, transport and education concessions, as offered by different businesses and retailers in each state. More information on this will be provided once your application for the card is accepted by your state.
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Pensioner Concession Card

Another card from the Australian Government, the Pensioner Concession Card aims to provides some health concessions and access to other discounts.

Am I eligible?

You may be able to get a Pensioner Concession Card if you receive any of the following benefits:

  • Age pension
  • Bereavement allowance
  • Carer payment
  • Disability support pension
  • Newstart or youth allowance.
  • Parenting payment

You're also eligible if you’re aged over 60 and have been receiving any of the following allowances for more than nine months:

  • Newstart allowance
  • Parenting payment
  • Partner allowance
  • Sickness allowance
  • Special benefit
  • Widow allowance

What do I get?

The Pensioner Concession card entitles you to reduced price medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. You may also be eligible for other concessions including:

  • Bulk billing for doctor's appointments (at your doctor's discretion)
  • Refunds for medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net
  • Assistance with hearing services
  • Discounted mail redirection through Australia Post

Depending on your state or territory, you might also be entitled to:

  • Reduced property or water rates
  • Reduced energy bills
  • Reduced fares on public transport
  • Reduced cost of motor vehicle registration
  • Free rail journeys
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Any other discounts for those over 60?

Aside from the card and membership schemes, many private businesses also offer discounts for seniors. It’s always worth asking in every store you visit. A few that we have found which offer senior discounts: SpecSavers, Red Rooster, Best Western Hotels, Ultratune and Telstra.

Travel insurance

You have more free time to travel when you're retired – but getting insurance can be tricky. Older people, in general, usually have to pay more for insurance, and people over 80 may struggle to find cover at all. There are several insurance companies that offer specialised travel insurance policies designed with seniors in mind. If you’re on the look out for insurance, then check any of the links below:

Credit cards

It can also be tricky to qualify for a credit card if you’re no longer working, but there are always options. Check out the link below for our full guide to credit cards for seniors.

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The secret: ask, ask, ask!

The most important rule: constantly ask if there is any seniors discount.  Every time you visit a store or are checking out with a purchase, get into the habit of asking 'Are there any discounts available for seniors?' The worst that they can do is say no.

A lot of business keep quiet about discounts they offer, and so you might not see your discount advertised. But if you ask, you might find yourself with a little more money in your pocket.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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8 Responses to The best discounts for pensioners in Australia

  1. Default Gravatar
    Maurie | November 22, 2016

    I am 78 & have difficulty climbing stairs.
    Can I get assistance to buy a chair lift?

    • Staff
      Harold | November 23, 2016

      Hello Maurie,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      If you are referencing to “National Seniors Card” yes you are eligible. Because the eligibility requirements are:
      - Is age 50 years or over or
      - Has a spouse/partner who is 50 years or over.

      For your complete guide please click this page.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  2. Default Gravatar
    Sheila | October 19, 2016

    Do you get a discount when you go to a specialist and have to go to hospital for an operation

    • Staff
      Harold | October 26, 2016

      Hello there,

      Thanks for your question.

      For Australian Senior Citizen guide you may consider this article helpful.
      If you are holding a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card you will be covered for cheaper prescription medicines, government medical services and other federal concessions.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Harold

  3. Default Gravatar
    Jann | July 11, 2016

    Pensioner concession card / commonwealth seniors health card
    Does Income below $51,500 include money from my super fund?
    Or income from rental property or shares and dividends or employment?
    Or both

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 11, 2016

      Hi Jann,

      Thanks for your question.

      The income test includes adjusted taxable income and a deemed amount from account based income streams.

      This means the tax-free component of your superfund is included in the incomes test.

      Income from rental property / shares and dividends is also counted, but is deemed at 1.75% per annum for your first $49,200 of your financial investments.

  4. Default Gravatar
    Rita | June 13, 2016

    Cost effective way to re-write will when on disability allowance/support?

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