‘I’m an expert – here are 10 freebies and discounts available for over 60s right now’
When my Mum turned 60 last year, she felt a bit blue. Age is a privilege, but can be scary for some. To try and cheer her up, I put on my MoneyMagpie hat and decided to look for all of the perks, discounts and freebies available for the over 60s.
I soon found loads of stuff online, sites like “Over 60s Discounts” make accessing this information even easier than ever and I didn’t even need to pick up the phone.
The free and discounted travel has been my mother-in-law’s absolute favourite. She lives in town and hates driving so got rid of her car a few years ago.
Travel is another area that over 60s can make a saving
Feeling that the world is her oyster, without all the hassle and expense of driving and parking, it has seen her really exploring.
Free Bus Pass
The free bus pass scheme has slightly different rules for each country in the UK. Those in Scotland, Wales and Ireland can apply for one when they turn 60. In England, you need to be the state pension age to apply.
The exception here is if you live in London, when you can apply for a free bus pass when you’re 60. Remember, you usually cannot use your bus pass in other parts of the UK, for instance, you cannot use a bus pass bought in England in Scotland. Always check restrictions before travelling.
The pass previously provided free travel at any time. However, it is now available for off-peak travel only in most areas. We recommend you check your local authority website before travelling (if you have a Disabled Person’s Bus Pass, you can still travel any time). Off-peak travel is any time between 9am and 11pm Monday to Friday and all day at weekends.
Over 60s in England and Wales can buy a Senior Coachcard for £15 (plus £3 P&P) for a third off all National Express coach fares. You can also bag extra discounts with £15 anywhere returns on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays if you book three or more days in advance.
A Senior Railcard is £30 per year (or £70 for three years). It gives you savings on a wide range of tickets, including many First Class, Standard, Advance tickets and off-peak bookings – except for journeys made during morning peak-time tickets in London and the South East/ Network Rail area.
Always check with the service provider about Railcard restrictions before booking your tickets, as exemptions can and do change from route to route and at different times.
You can buy a Senior Railcard online, at any staffed National Rail ticket office, or call 0345 3000 250.
Over 60s can also benefit from savings from TfL
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Book tickets online
Using sites like Raileasy or Red Spotted Hanky can knock up to 80 percent off your train tickets. So, if you don’t travel by train frequently enough to justify a Senior Railcard, make sure you look online for rail discounts. Buying in advance also reduces the price of a ticket by quite a lot – but make sure you opt for a refundable ticket option, just in case you can’t make the journey for any reason.
Save on London Travel
Residents of London over 66 can buy a Freedom Pass. This encompasses free off-peak travel on trains, tubes, trams, and buses in London (that means after 9am weekdays, anytime at weekends and bank holidays). If you were born before April 6, 1950, you’re automatically eligible.
Those born on or after October 6, 1954, have to wait until they reach the age of 66. The Freedom Pass website has an eligibility checker to find out exactly when you can claim your pass. Remember: Older Person’s Freedom Pass and 60+ card is ONLY valid after 9am on weekdays and at all times at weekends and Bank Holidays.
In the meantime, if you are over 60 you can get a 60+ London Oyster Photocard which means you can travel free on TfL services from 9am weekdays and anytime at the weekend and on bank holidays.
If you are over 60, lots of restaurants offer an early dinner discount for over 60s. Look for special offers like a ‘5pm dinner deal’ to take advantage of. Also, remember to check Groupon for local dining discounts and your Nectar Card or Tesco Clubcard for deals – you can often trade your points for money off vouchers at selected restaurants.
If you regularly go out to eat, consider signing up for Tastecard, too. It’ll give you two-for-one or 50 percent off deals in loads of your local independent and chain restaurants.
Every Tuesday, all those who are 60 years old and older can bag 10 percent off their shop, with no minimum spend, at Iceland and The Food Warehouse.
Theatre and cinema discounts
Check your local theatres for concessionary rates for over 60s. You could also look for cheaper cinema tickets, too. Many cinemas have ‘silver screen’ matinee showings – for example, the ODEON Silver Screen offers discounted viewings at quieter times from only £4 per ticket (online booking) or £5 a ticket (in person).
The first place to look for these discounts is directly with the theatre or cinema. For example, the National Theatre offers £20 off midweek matinees for the over 60s. The Royal Shakespeare Company has a 20 percent discount available for the over 65s on all seats for Monday and Tuesday evening performances and all midweek matinees.
You may find your local newspaper or radio station offers entertainment discounts for the over 60s, too – so it’s well worth checking them for information.
Adult Education grants
Keep learning your whole life to stay sharp and curious. Your local council will run lots of workshops, lectures, and classes for you to try. Check out other lifelong learning centres too, like the University of the Third Age.
Many of these courses are free for over 60s. However, if you need to pay course fees, check if there’s a concession for over 60s – or talk to your local council about getting an adult education grant to fund some or all of the course costs.
You can read MoneyMagpie’s full guide for over 60s here.