Many countries, including Australia, offer certain benefits to senior citizens. Those benefits can be anything from discounts on medications to discounts on travel, dining, or other fun activities. They serve as a sort of thank you to senior citizens and an acknowledgment of the hard work that they have done throughout their lives. The senior citizen discount card in Australia is known simply as the Seniors Card.
What are the rules for eligibility for Seniors Card
Each Territory or State in Australia distributes Senior Cards to its own eligible residents. There are three main qualifications that you must meet in order to receive one. The first is that you must be at least 60 years old. The second is that you must not still be working on a full-time basis. The third is that you must be a resident of that State or Territory.
Although those are the three primary eligibility requirements, other requirements vary slightly from one Australian State or Territory to the next. For example, in Tasmania you cannot qualify if you work more than 20 hours per week. However, in Western Australia you are allowed to work up to 25 hours per week and still qualify for a Seniors Card.
Your Australian Seniors Card entitles you to a lot of different shopping benefits throughout the country. For example, Seniors Card holders can get 5% off Avis car rentals. Your Seniors Card can also help you to enjoy shopping discounts at your favorite stores, and even meal discounts in many different restaurants across Australia.
Your Seniors Card also entitles you to certain benefits while traveling. For example, previously, only Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or Pension holders could enjoy GSR discounts, but their policy has now been expanded to include all Seniors Card holders. You can enjoy travel on the Great Southern Rail (GSR) for as much as 25% off. That can allow you to spend part of your retirement touring some wonderful areas. You can travel on the Overland, Indian Pacific, or Ghana, all while enjoying discounted fares.
Although each Territory or State in the country issues its own seniors cards, a card issued in one Territory or State is usually honored in most establishments that accept Seniors Cards in other parts of the country. Many restaurants, stores, hotels, and other establishments will post signs on their windows or doors saying that they accept Seniors Cards.
Not only should places in other parts of Australia accept your Seniors Card, but now Australian Seniors Cards are also accepted in New Zealand. You can use your Seniors Card in any establishment where New Zealand’s SuperGold Cards are also accepted.
Specific Information on Where You Can Use Your Seniors Card
If you are not sure whether you can use your Seniors Card at a specific establishment, it’s best to call ahead of time and ask. You can also check the establishment’s website for information on Seniors Card discounts.
Another good option is to check your State or Territory Seniors Card website for a listing of establishments that offer Seniors Card discounts. For example, Western Australia’s Seniors Card website offers a directory that you can search. That directory is located at http://www.communities.wa.gov.au/seniors-card/Pages/Find-a-discount.aspx. The Tasmanian Seniors Card website offers a search function, as well as a downloadable directory in .pdf format. Visitor Centres can also offer printed copies of the directory. That information can be accessed at http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/cdd/programs_and_services/seniors_card/for_cardholders/find_a_discount. Other Australian Territories and States offer their own search tools and directory assistance.
Replacing a Seniors Card
Your Seniors Card will never expire. However, if it becomes lost, stolen, or damaged, you may need to replace it. You may also need to get a new card if your name changes for any reason, such as a marriage or divorce. Another possibility is that your address may change, requiring you to update your account information. Although, you may not need an entirely new card, unless you have moved to a completely different State or Territory. It depends on the rules in your specific State or Territory.
Luckily, all of the States and Territories in Australia have procedures in place to help you update account information, replace lost Seniors Cards, and perform other actions relating to Seniors Card services. So, you should simply contact your Seniors Card office for more information. Visit http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/government/seniors-card/seniors-card-offices for a listing of Seniors Card offices across Australia.