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Over-50s discounts: how to save on rail, shopping and more

Greater Anglia has launched a rail discount card that promises big savings on train tickets for those aged 50 or over – and that’s not the only bargain you could score. The Club 50[1] card from Greater Anglia offers 20% off all off-peak and advance fares bought online – or a 10% discount on off-peak fares purchased at stations. In addition, cardholders can get 2-for-1 entry to top London attractions.

The card costs ?20 a year and the savings can be used on all Greater Anglia and Stansted Express services. But if you’re over 50, there are plenty of other ways to save money on travel, as well as entertainment, eating out and shopping. Which? explores some of the discounts available today.

Over-50s discounts for travel

In Scotland you can take advantage of the ScotRail[2] Club 50 card.

It costs ?15 a year and can get you 20% off advance and off-peak tickets bought online (or 10% off when purchasing tickets at a station.) Transpennine Express[3] has a Club 55 scheme which currently allows those aged 55 or above to travel on any off-peak route in the north of England from ?21 return and Scotland from ?31 return. The senior railcard[4] is available to travellers aged 60 or over.

It costs ?30 a year and offers a third off standard and first class anytime, off-peak and advance fares. National Express offers a Senior Coachcard[5] for people aged 60 or over. It costs ?10 a year plus ?2.50 postage and packaging and offers a third off standard and fully flexible fares to hundreds of towns, cities and airports across the UK.

Discounts for entertainment

Odeon puts on weekly Silver Cinema[6] screenings for over 55s up and down the country.

Tickets cost from ?3 and includes a free hot drink and biscuits to enjoy before you watch the film. Other cinemas like Vue, Empire and Picturehouse also run discounted silver screenings with hot drinks and biscuits – but you’ll need to be over 60 to take advantage. [7][8][9] Theatre ticket discounts are often available for seniors.

At the National Theatre[10], certain midweek matinees can be seen for less. You can get ?20 off Olivier and Lyttelton productions, ?10 off Travelex productions and ?30 tickets for Dorfman productions. There’s also a programme of free talks and presentations for seniors at the BFI[11] in London.

Eating out discounts for over 50s

The Diamond Club[12] offers over 50s dining discounts at more than 100 pubs and carveries across the UK, plus the chance to earn loyalty points to turn into vouchers for further savings.

Members can get take advantage of money off meals for themselves, and bring a dining partner (who must be over 50 too). You can sign up at a participating pub, over the phone on 0870 242 2223 or online[13]. Hungry Horse pubs offer a ‘Golden Years’[14] menu for diners aged 60 or over.

It offers two-courses for ?4.49 and the choice of adding a third for just ?1.50 extra.

Shopping: getting a bargain

The B&Q Club offers over 60s the chance to save 10% every Wednesday with Diamond Club membership[15]. To get this extra benefit, you’ll need to sign up in store and show some ID as proof of age. The Boots Advantage Card offers older shoppers extra perks via its More Treats For Over 60s[16] scheme.

You can earn 10 points for every ?1 spent on Boots-branded products and the No7 range – a bonus on the usual four points per ?1.

Health discounts for over 50s

Specsavers[17] offers 25% off glasses and lenses for the over 60s. The offer is available on glasses from the ?69 range or above and includes designer styles. At Boots Opticians, people over 60 with an Advantage Card can get 25% off glasses or prescription sunglasses, plus another pair half price through the More Treats For Over 60s[18] scheme.

Cheaper days out for over 50s

The National Trust[19] offers 25% off on membership for those aged 60 or over.

You’ll need to have been a member of the National Trust for five years out of the last 10 to qualify for the discounted rate. Over 60s also qualify for a 15% discount on membership with English Heritage[20], which offers entry to 400 historic sites across the UK. Single over 60s pay ?46 a year, compared to the ?54 standard adult rate.

A couple over 60 can sign up for ?70, a saving on the joint adult membership fee of ?96. Many museums will offer discounts for older visitors, so it’s always worth checking. The V&A Museum[21] in London, for example, offers over 60s a ?5 discount on membership, taking the cost to ?59 a year rather than ?64.

Other age-related perks

As well as hunting for discounts on days out, you should remember to claim the perks you qualify for at certain ages.

Once you hit 60, you can get free prescriptions[22] and NHS sight tests in England. In Scotland[23], Wales[24] and Northern Ireland[25], 60-year-olds qualify for a free bus pass, while in England access to a free bus pass[26] is linked to women’s state pension age[27] (even if you’re a man). If you live in London, you can travel for free on buses and tubes with a 60+ London Oyster photocard[28].

You won’t have to pay for a TV licence once you get to 75. Plus if you were born on or before 2 September 1929, you can get or renew your passport for free[29]. You may also be eligible for a range of benefits like pensions credit[30] and help with your heating bills[31].

Use a benefits calculator[32] to see what you’re missing out on.

References

  1. ^ Club 50 (www.greateranglia.co.uk)
  2. ^ ScotRail (www.scotrail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Transpennine Express (www.tpexpress.co.uk)
  4. ^ senior railcard (www.senior-railcard.co.uk)
  5. ^ Senior Coachcard (www.nationalexpress.com)
  6. ^ Silver Cinema (www.odeon.co.uk)
  7. ^ Vue (www.myvue.com)
  8. ^ Empire (www.empirecinemas.co.uk)
  9. ^ Picturehouse (www.picturehouses.com)
  10. ^ National Theatre (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk)
  11. ^ BFI (whatson.bfi.org.uk)
  12. ^ Diamond Club (www.diamondclubcard.co.uk)
  13. ^ online (www.diamondclubcard.co.uk)
  14. ^ ‘Golden Years’ (www.hungryhorse.co.uk)
  15. ^ Diamond Club membership (www.diy.com)
  16. ^ More Treats For Over 60s (www.boots.com)
  17. ^ Specsavers (www.specsavers.co.uk)
  18. ^ More Treats For Over 60s (www.boots.com)
  19. ^ The National Trust (www.nationaltrust.org.uk)
  20. ^ English Heritage (www.english-heritage.org.uk)
  21. ^ V&A Museum (www.vam.ac.uk)
  22. ^ free prescriptions (www.nhs.uk)
  23. ^ Scotland (www.transport.gov.scot)
  24. ^ Wales (www.gov.uk)
  25. ^ Northern Ireland (www.nidirect.gov.uk)
  26. ^ free bus pass (www.gov.uk)
  27. ^ state pension age (www.which.co.uk)
  28. ^ 60+ London Oyster photocard (tfl.gov.uk)
  29. ^ get or renew your passport for free (www.gov.uk)
  30. ^ pensions credit (www.which.co.uk)
  31. ^ help with your heating bills (www.which.co.uk)
  32. ^ benefits calculator (www.gov.uk)

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