Explaining the Seniors Card

JD: Kaye, have a look what I’m holding in my hand?

KF: It’s a Seniors Card!

JD: Now I’m a bit confused because there are some things I can do with my Seniors Card and some things I can’t. Can you update me please?

KF: No. You can’t buy a TV with it and expect the government to pay. No, they’re very generous at the moment, John, but not that generous. So, what is a Seniors Card? It’s a free discount card provided by state and territory governments, that’s the important point here, and it gives you savings on goods and services, including fantastic transport concessions and participating business discounts.

JD: You’re right. Because I have seen in certain shops, “Seniors Cards welcome”.

KF: Exactly John, but because it’s a state and territory government card they all have their own agenda, their own way of doing things. So, if you live in WA, you would need to be 63 to get that card, in ACT 62, and every other state and territory, you need to be 60. So there’s just little different rules going on here. The hours that you cannot work above change as well. Most states and territories say you can’t be in paid employment for more than 20 hours a week. Interestingly, Victoria says more than 35, which is kind of a full-time job.

JD: Is that just recently, or has that always been the case?

KF: Long time. The important thing is, through YourLifeChoices website, we’ve got all the details spelled out for everyone, including links through to the different states.

JD: Would even I be able to understand it?

KF: That’s a tough one. It’s very clearly spelled out. You do need to apply and the deal is don’t wait until you’ve retired to apply, don’t wait until you’ve turned that age.

JD: I seem to recall getting this. Without even asking for it, the one in Victoria, it just arrived in the mail.

KF: Could have happened back in the day.  But things have changed young man. So, go to YourLifeChoices website, we’ll put the link up on the podcast page and shoot people through to the different states, the different rules and the application online is pretty straightforward. I think the most interesting thing, apart from different business discounts and there’s some rippers in there, is the allowances on transport. For example, Victoria, they send you a Myki card, so that’s like a New South Wales Opal card – your public transport card. But your travel is at 50 per cent of the going rate. So you put your money on that card, you’re only charged 50 per cent, you’re getting free transport at the weekends, and you get travel vouchers from the government. You can do the regional rail lines travel and all of that. So, the transport allowances are very generous. And then there are certain discounts for interstate travel, if you’re lucky enough to be able to travel interstate. How much does it save you? I think if you bother to use each state’s online directory, you could actually save hundreds, at least hundreds of dollars a year.

JD: It’s worth doing the research.

KF: Also when you go interstate, pull out your Victorian card or New South Wales card and simply ask, do you give a seniors discount? Not every place has marked up that they do, but most people will acknowledge that. And in particular, when we’re all traveling again in hotels, most hotel chains love seniors because they’ll probably come midweek.

JD: Ah yes.

KF: And they’ll probably dine in house and there’s so many freebies that the hotel chains will use to acknowledge that.

JD: I never thought of that. That’s fantastic. I know Sydney ferries will honour my Victoria Seniors Card, no problem.

KF: They’re pure gold.

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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