After age 50, birthdays aren't necessarily welcome. But there's one birthday gift that's worth accepting: senior discounts!
An AARP membership card, at $16 a year per person—and free for a partner or spouse—can open up a lot of discount doors. Seniordiscounts.com offers a membership card for $12.95 annually; it promises exclusive, members-only discounts in addition to the numerous discounts you can find on the site for free.
A recent search among a number of Web sites turned up some interesting offerings (see below). You may need to show proof of age or join a free loyalty program to qualify, and other limitations may apply. The discounts sometimes were not offered by every vendor in a national chain. But be bold and ask anyway.
• Auto parts. Pep Boys gives consumers 55 and up a discount of 10 percent on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
• Clothing and accessories. Members of Ross Dress for Less's Every Tuesday Club age 55 and up get 10 percent off on—you guessed it—Tuesdays. Belk's discount, for age 55 and up, ranges from 10 to 20 percent, on the first Tuesday of every month.
• Education. Many college and universities offer seniors low-cost and free classes, sometimes for credit. Call your local college or check whether a local institution participates in the Bernard Osher Foundation's Lifelong Learning Institutes, which offer college-level classes specifically for seniors.
• Flowers. Senior discounts sometimes—but not always—trump coupon codes. AARP members can choose to shave 20 percent from their 1800Flowers.com order, or to drop $20 off a minimum purchase of $79.99 (a 25-percent cut at that price point). FromYouFlowers.com takes off 20 percent for those who call (800) 383-8853 and ask for Discount 484.
• Haircuts. Customers age 65 and up at Smart Style, the in-house hair salon at Walmart, get 10 percent off all services and 20 percent off all products every day.
What's the biggest, best, or most unusual senior discount you've found? Tell us here. We would like to know the details for an upcoming article in Consumer Reports Money Adviser. We're particularly interested in hearing about senior discounts from local stores or service providers (such as doctors, dentists, and veterinarians) that aren't traditionally known for offering senior discounts.
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