At what age do you qualify for senior discounts? I recently had a heated discussion with a friend of mine who says you aren’t a senior until you’re 65. Now in her mid-fifties, she was offended that she could be called a “senior.” I hated to break the news to her.

So, when are you considered a senior? It depends.

The first time AARP The Magazine arrived at our house announcing we had reached the half-century mark, I winced. But AARP membership does have its bright side. Senior discounts for restaurants, retail shops, concerts and other entertainment offered through AARP can really soften the blow.

Aside from AARP deals, many restaurants offer free drinks and discounts if you’re 50 or older. So do some grocery stores, department stores and even cruise lines. It’s a big discount world out there – if you ask and know where to look.

This month, we’ve researched some of the top restaurant discounts. You can get a full list with more details at The Senior List.

Keep in mind that each restaurant location must be participating in the brand’s senior discount program. Some are franchise-owned and have the right to opt out of the corporate program, so it’s best to ask your server before placing your order. For restaurants offering discounts through AARP membership, you usually have to show your AARP card.

Restaurant Deals and Discounts for Those Age 50 and Older

Free for AARP Members:

Dunkin’ Donuts — free donut with purchase of a large or extra-large drink

10% off at the following restaurants:

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • Carraba’s Italian Grill
  • Chart House
  • Claim Jumper Restaurant & Saloon
  • Krispy Kreme (varies by location)
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Rainforest Cafe

Deals and Discounts for People 55+

Free drink at KFC and Whataburger with purchase of a meal

15% off —

  • Denny’s — Must show AARP card. Locations may vary.

10% off —

  • Chili’s
  • Dairy Queen (participating locations)
  • Fuddruckers (any senior platter)
  • IHOP
  • TCBY

Up to 20% off —

  • Jack in the Box

25% off on Wednesdays —

  • Uno Pizzeria

Deals for People 60+

10% off at:

  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Burger King
  • Einstein’s Bagels
  • Gatti’s Pizza
  • Shoney’s (participating locations)

Up to 15% off at:

  • Applebee’s (with Golden Apple Card)

Discounts Vary by Location at:

  • Bennigan’s
  • Bob’s Big Boy
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • CiCi’s Pizza
  • Golden Corral

Dining Discounts for Age 65+

  • Boston Market (discount varies by location)
  • Taco Bell — 5% off; free beverages
  • White Castle — 10% off

Next Month: Travel Discounts

Travel Discounts for Seniors