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North Hills Monthly

Discount Can Help Seniors Save on a Wealth of Items

Dec 31, 2018 07:42PM ● By Kathleen Ganster

A senior student attending class at La Roche College.

While most may grumble about growing older, there are also advantages—cost saving advantages. Many businesses, ranging from restaurants to hotels to educational services, offer discounts for senior citizens. 

The definition of “senior” varies from place to place, but some businesses offer discounts for those as young as 50. Others may list 60, 62 or 65 as the age requirement.

The most well-known senior discount membership is AARP—you can join AARP as soon as you turn 50, and the discounts are numerous. Visit 

www.aarp.org/benefits-discounts/member-discounts for more information. Depending on the services that you use, the savings can significantly outweigh the minimal membership fee. You can even watch for discounts on an AARP membership! 

Some businesses may simply require that you ask for a senior discount while others will require a photo ID for verification. Most business will have their age requirements and the amount for the senior discount posted on their websites. It pays—pun intended—to take a few minutes to check it out before visiting. 

Here are some other senior discounts:

Education

• La Roche College offers one class a semester at a significant cost savings for seniors 55 and older wanting to audit a class through their Lifetime of Learning program. https://www.laroche.edu/Academics/Registrar/Lifetime_of_Learning

• CCAC offers two free classes a semester for those 65 and older through their Senior Citizen Program. Students can enroll either for credit or audit. Visit www.ccac.edu for admissions requirements. 

Recreation and travel

• Venture Outdoors offers free classes for those 50 and older through their Venture Outdoors Again program. They also offer discounts for their yearly membership fees for those 62 and older. https://www.ventureoutdoors.org/activity/age-based-trips/venture-outdoors-again-50

• Allegheny County Parks offers discounts for recreation services including season passes for the swimming pools, skating rink and ski slope for those 60 and older. 

• The National Park Service has lifetime senior passes for those 62 and older for entry to national parks and federal lands. For a one-time fee, the Lifetime Senior Pass allows free access to over 2,000 national parks and federal lands. Purchase the pass onsite rather than online for more savings. You may also receive discounts on such services including camping, fee services and bookstores. Visit www.nps.gov.

• The Pennsylvania State Parks also offer senior discounts for those 62 and older including reduced camping and swimming fees. For more information: www.dcnr.pa.gov/Pages/search.aspx?searchBox=senior+citizen+discount.

• Local venues including the Pittsburgh Zoo, the National Aviary, the Heinz History Center, Kennywood, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Carnegie Museum (after 3 p.m.) offer discounts varying with the venue. 

• The Gateway Clipper Fleet offers a 50 percent discount for those 55 and older for their Three Rivers Sightseeing Cruises Monday through Friday. The tour offers a 60-minute overview of the city and the three rivers, which is especially great if you have out-of-town guests.

• Another great place to take visitors is Mt. Washington, where those 65 or older can ride the Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela Incline for free. Guests must have a Port Authority senior citizen card or a Medicare card to receive the pass. Seniors may also ride PAT buses and the T for free with the same pass.

• Many school districts offer a “Gold Card” for residents 60 and older. In Hampton Township, for example, those with a Gold Card can attend any district-related events for free including athletic events, plays and musicals. Residents can apply for a Gold Card at the District Administration Building with a photo ID. 

• Several local movie theaters including Cinemark and Cranberry Cinemas offer discounts for those 60 and older. Again, visit their websites for more information.

• Amtrak offers discounts for seniors 65 and older, including a 10 percent discount on most rail fares on most trains. They also offer a discount for cross-border trips to Canada. https://www.amtrak.com/seniors-discount

Food and shopping

• Seniors can save on car rentals, hotels, restaurants and other admission fees. For example, most McDonald’s offer guests 55 and older discounted coffee and beverages. Arby’s, Burger King, Subway and Wendy’s also offer discounts, just to name a few. Again, visit their websites or call to verify discount requirements. 

• Kohl’s offers a 15 percent discount for those 60 or older on Wednesdays. This discount can only be used in-store. https://cs.kohls.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/101/~/age-specific-discounts

• Goodwill stores also offer discounts for those 55 and older. The discount varies depending on store location and may apply only on certain days.

• Other department stores will also offer senior discounts–check with each location. 

• Many independently owned stores such as Harvest Valley Farm Market & Bakery and East End Coop offer senior discounts on certain days of the week.

Other services

• Sports Clips offers a discount for haircuts for those 65 and older. 

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers a discounted subscription rate for those 65 and older. 

This is just a very limited number of discounts available for seniors—it is easy to do a bit of research online or by calling to see what discounts may be available. When in doubt, just ask at the venue: the savings could be significant.