The pay-less perks of turning 60

— by Adrienne Wyper

Photo by Cotton Bro for Pexels


Some people may think it’s unfair that older people are offered money-off deals, at a time of life when they may be relatively well off, when younger people are struggling with the biggest financial challenges. But there are discounts for younger people, too, and bear in mind that companies create these offers for business reasons, not charity, so why not take them up?

Don’t feel embarrassed or that you’re not entitled – by availing yourself of a discount you encourage the organisation to keep offering it. If no one takes it up, it might disappear.

And bagging a bargain makes you feel good inside. Research shows that levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin increase when you’ve scored one.




A Senior Railcard, £30 a year, gets a third off train fares. If you buy it on the Trainline using the code “ilovetrains” it’s £21 (until 30 November or it’s been used 125,000 times).

With a Senior Railcard you can get a third off bus, tube in London by registering it to your Oystercard at a tube station. It also brings other discounts including 50% off theatre tickets. Live in London, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales? You qualify for a free bus pass when you turn 60. And in London, you can buy a 60+ Oyster card for £20 for free travel on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London, with some restrictions. At 66, you qualify for an Older Person’s Freedom Pass, and free travel.

For the rest of us, when you get your free bus pass is your state pension qualifying age: check it HERE.

In Wales, the Valleys Senior Railcard, £12.50 a year for over-60s, gives 50% off day returns on Cardiff and the Valley Lines network.

Some regional rail schemes confer discounts from the age of 50, such as Scotrail’s Club 50, £15 a year, with exclusive fares and discounts, and Greater Anglia’s Club 50, £20 a year, cuts 10 to 20% off Off-Peak and Advance fares on Greater Anglia or Stansted Express.

From 66, if you live in South Yorkshire, you can enjoy 50% off Northern trains services in South Yorkshire with the Travel South Yorkshire Senior Pass  – and it’s free!

Further afield, roam Europe’s rails with a Senior Interrail Pass at 10% off, from €232 for five days’ travel in a month.

Eurostar has – unspecified – special offers for over-60s, except travel to or from London.

Individual countries have over-60 schemes, too, such as Spain’s Renfe Tarjeta Dorada discounting up to 40%, for €6 a year, and Italy’s half-price Trenitalia travel.

National Express’s Senior Coachcard has 30% discounts on coach fares nationwide.


Photo: Cong Wang from Unsplash



Insurance companies often offer policies targeting over-50s, but they’re not always the best. When you get a general quote, the company asks how old you are anyway.

At 55, you’re eligible for equity release schemes, where you take out a loan on your property or sell part of it, but retain the right to live there until death. What you owe on the loan is repayable from your estate after you die. The interest ramps up quickly, but if you have no one you want to leave your home to, it could be an option. Get financial advice on this one.

Some banks offer special savings accounts for over-50s/over-60s. These usually don’t offer the best return. Shop around, comparing with standard savings accounts.

You can still get a mortgage at 60+ because the maximum age limit has been raised. When I took out my last mortgage, the building society would only give us a repayment period until state retirement age – now the upper limit is 85.

And if you have a personal pension pot, you can access the money from the age of 55 (rising to 57 from 2028). Seek expert advice on all matters pension-related. A good first step is to make a Pension Wise appointment.


Reading glasses photo: Claire Pepper


Health and wellbeing

From age 60, England-dwellers have free NHS sight tests, and prescriptions in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already have free prescriptions and over-60s in Scotland can get free medication for minor illnesses.

Specsavers offers 25% off glasses and lenses for over-60s, and Optical Express offers 20% off.

Leisure centres often offer discounted rates for classes, courses and memberships. And if you live in Wales, you can swim free in local authority pools.

In its Over 60s Rewards, the Boots Advantage Card gives you eight points per £1 spent, double what under-60s earn.


Valle Crucis Abbey photo: Cadw Wales


Going out

Many museums, galleries and heritage sites give money off entry. For example, the Tate galleries have discounted tickets for over-60s. Always keep an eye out for offers when booking online, or in person, or just ask.

English Heritage offers over-65s single membership for £63/yr (normally £69), £96 for couples (normally £120).

Historic Scotland offers over-65s membership from £42/yr (normally £59), £82.50 for couples (normally £103).

Cadw Wales offers over-65s membership for £45/yr, (normally £56.60). It’s £74.70 for couples (normally £83.10).

The National Trust offers 25% off membership for over-60s, if you’ve been a member for the last three consecutive years. Call 0344 800 1895.

National Trust Scotland offers over-60s membership for £45/year for the first year instead of £57.


Photo: Picturehouse Cinemas


Watch films on the big screen for a smaller price:

Odeon Silver Cinema, £3.50, with tea, coffee and biscuits thrown in

Cineworld CineSeniors, Wednesdays, tickets £4.50, tea, coffee and biscuits

Picturehouse offers three over-60 memberships: West End, London, and outside London, from £52 a year, which bags you five free tickets, and discounts on a host of partners.


Theatres may offer discounts; for example, Royal Shakespeare Company offers a 20% discount on Monday and Tuesday evening performances and midweek matinees, and there’s £20 off £66 midweek matinees at National Theatre.


And finally, there’s 10% off luxury fashion at Farfetch.


Adrienne Wyper is a health and lifestyle writer and regular TNMA contributor. 

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  Some people may think it’s unfair that older people are offered money-off deals, at a time of life when they may be relatively well off, when younger people are struggling with the biggest fi…