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Money Management


Senior Discounts vs the Best Discount

by Laura Varela / August 9th, 2021


Aging has its perks, in the form of some outstanding discounts. For example, the cost of an annual senior pass to the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands is $20 and gives adults age 62 and older access to 2,000 parks and recreation areas.
 
But senior rates aren't always as good as discounts available to the general public, so it pays to check out your options. Here are six categories worth exploring to see if a senior discount will actually get you the best deal.
 
Tourist attractionsBefore you take the senior rate, compare it with discounts you might receive from online sources. For example, CityPASS offers as much as 50% off the combined prices of admission to popular attractions in 13 major North American destinations. You occasionally can find better deals by visiting Groupon.
 
Checking accountsRead the fine print. Some credit unions and banks offer senior checking accounts that offer perks like free personal checks but check the minimum balance amount first. If your balance falls below that amount, you could end up paying higher maintenance fees than a regular checking account.
 
HotelsCompare hotel chain, AARP, and other senior discounts with what you might get through discount travel websites and apps such as Expedia, EveryLodge and Hotels.
 
Phone plans--You might meet the age criteria for a plan offered by your wireless carrier, but first compare the offer with those available to everyone, taking into consideration your actual usage. For example, a senior discount might include 200 minutes talk time and charge extra for text messaging and a data plan, whereas a plan that costs less and is available to everyone offers unlimited talk and text plus two gigabytes of data.
 
Rental carsYour AARP discount can help you pay up to 30% less for Avis and Budget car rentals, but first check the deals you can get through an online deal aggregator such as Hotwire, which can be 30% lower than the discounted rates offered through Avis and Budget.
 
Double upConsider pairing discounts with discount gift cards. Visit websites such as CardCash, GiftCards, GiftCardGranny, and Raise to purchase gift cards you can use to pay for goods and services at discounted rates, for example in movie theaters and restaurants.

 

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