Complete list of things you can use your Australian health care/pension concession/senior cards for

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What help such as discounts can you get with a pension or health care card in Australia?

Each state in Australia has different concessions based on the type of card you have and it is not determined by Centrelink, rather it is at the discretion of local providers.

The PBS is about the only consistent discount, where concession card holders (those who have a pension card, health care card, senior card or DVA card) are entitled to a discount on medicine.

All other potential discounts on services such as transport, electricity, and rates are decided by the local providers and governments in each state which can make it tricky to know what you are entitled to. Often, you will need to ask your local providers, local council and anywhere you are seeking a discount from if they provide anything for your specific card in your state.

Here is a list of all concessions we have found for pension, healthcare, seniors or DVA card with links for each state at the end of the post for you to check your local area. Low income or healthcare cards do not get as many discounts or benefits as pension cards.

While you may not be eligible for all the discounts listed here, it pays to ask your providers if they will offer a concession based on your circumstances.

Some providers will reduce your fees, change your plan for a cheaper one, give a one-off discount or assist in other ways. The worst they can do is say no, which leaves you no worse off really.

This post covers anything I have found and includes a few affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure for that here.

A few immediate bonuses

These are not specific to your concession card but may help:

$100 from ING

If you sign up to an everyday account with ING (as a new customer) and change your pension to be paid into it, you can get a bonus $100. Use the code CNW116 when you sign up to get it.

$50 from Hello Fresh

You can get $50 from HelloFresh with this link. Order a box you like then pause or cancel so you don’t get charged further but you get some free food delivered to you.

Freebies

We created a full list of Australian freebies, sign up bonuses and discounts here. It has everything from transport to food, stationery to toys and more.

 




Some of my posts like 31 ways to save over $200 plus ways to make money, 10 ways to make $1,000 in a month and the top Australian online survey sites might help you and lastly, I have a free pdf you can download and share with 51 ways to make money from home.

Side note: This post was originally written in 2013, on KylieOfiu.Com, much has changed and while we try to keep it updated, things change frequently.

 

Medical discounts for concession cards

All Australian concession cards entitle you to a discount on health care and prescriptions. This includes ambulance fees in most states. You will be sent the bill then you ring with your details and it will be taken care of.
Optical discounts such as subsidised glasses.
Free hearing tests at certain locations.
Bulk billed doctors and dental work.
For children, check your eligibility for the $1,000 dental scheme for each child.
Ask your local health care providers or check with a pharmacist as they often know the options available in your local area.

Discounted electricity, land rates for home owners and water rates

Discounts on electricity, land rates and water rates for all concession cards, even low-income health care cards, are available in some states. You will need to check with your local council, electricity provider and water board.
It is not automatically entered into the system, you need to call and inform them or let them know when you sign up with them. Some electricity companies and councils also offer an energy audit to help with reducing the cost of electricity by offering tips, light bulbs, power boards, draft stoppers and other products.

Education discounts and payments for concession card holders

Fees at Tafe (CIT for Canberra) can be halved for eligible cards and courses. Apprentices and trainees are eligible for health care cards but not for half price course fees. Some preschools, primary and high schools offer discounted fees for pensioners if you ask plus there is a School Fees Allowance for children 15 years and under, usually paid directly to the school.

On top of this, depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for an extra payment from Centrelink for studying, for example:
Education Entry Payment (which may be changing in 2017/2018)
Pensioner Education Supplement (which may change in 2017/2018)
Payments for students and trainees



Movies and entertainment discounts

Most movie theatres will offer discounted tickets to all concession cards, but I found years ago that with the health care card it depended on who was on the counter.
Almost all shows, attractions and events have concession rates as well, although some of those concessions apply only to seniors, people on disability or veterans, not single parents or low incomes.

Free and discounted travel

Public transport can be used at a discounted rate for most states on all cards, some states health care cards alone are entitled to discounted transport. You are also entitled to 4 free train trips within your state to the border. You pay a booking fee still and if going past the border you pay the concession rate for the remainder of your trip in whichever states you travel.

Mail redirection and stamps

You are eligible for a reduced rate on mail redirection but only if the redirection is from a home address to home address, not PO Boxes. Australia Post also offers discounted stamps for concession card holders. You get 5 free stamps and up to 50 discounted stamps at a rate of 60 cents instead of $1, purchased in books of 5 for $3.

Registration and licences

Car registration is waived in most states with only the compulsory third party needing to be paid. As soon as you are on the pension, go into the registration office and update your details to have this applied.
Drivers licences are free in some states, as are licence renewals but not the actual driving test.
Pet registration is heavily discounted as well.

Banking for concession card holders

Numerous fee free banking options are available for holders of various concession cards. Just ask the banks, some even offer free money sessions to help you sort your finances. You can read about Catherine’s experience here.
Bonus saving accounts are offered for either those who save a certain amount it will be matched by the bank or those who get a loan, repay it and then apply for a saver account and save a certain amount will have it matched by the bank. You can find one program from NAB here.
Interest-free loans are available for certain items such as white goods or furniture usually through charities. You can find information about NILS here.

Rubbish removal

Some states or territories such as the ACT offer free rubbish removal to pension card holders. Some councils offer free pick ups as well for everyone.




Pension Day
Many hairdressers, some supermarkets, chemists, mechanics and other places that offer a service have a pension discount day. It is up to the provider if the discount only applies to seniors, veterans or all card holders.

Check the discounts you are eligible for with your pension, senior, DVA or health care card below:

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales – link to Pensioner Concession Card pdf
Northern Territory
Queensland
South Australia
Tasmania
Victoria
Western Australia

The total value of any of these concession cards has been placed at tens of thousands of dollars. The discounts can be significant. The reduced prescriptions and doctors appointments, free registration, reduced public transport and discounted energy rates are worth thousands on their own.

Do you have a concession card? What do you use it for? Have you ever added up how much money it saves you?

You might also like this complete list of Australian VIP/loyalty/reward cards which shows places that offer sign up bonuses, birthday discounts, as well as the buy 5, get your 6th free type deals. Every little bit helps!

If you are after some ways to make money, Octopus Group and SwagBucks have been two good online survey sites for many readers. We also have a free 21 Day Money Challenge where some readers have found over $20,000!

More ways to save money

To save money on groceries check out our eBook 26 Ingredients, as featured on channel 9. Only $4.95 and it contains over 100 recipes with a pantry of only 26 ingredients, many under $1 a serve! From gourmet breakfasts to delicious desserts, tips to use up leftovers and ways to make basics such as pasta, cordial and sweetened condensed milk.

Get $50 free from HelloFresh with the code KYLTRAV or use this link.

Check out our complete list of freebies here or Australian birthday freebies here.

 

 



41 thoughts on “Complete list of things you can use your Australian health care/pension concession/senior cards for

  1. Hi Kylie,
    I was just wondering if you’ve also heard of the ‘Savers Plus’ program offered via Brotherhood of St Lawrence? http://www.bsl.org.au/Saver-Plus
    One of the conditions of application is that you’re a concession card holder. I used the program to help start up an education savings fund, which paid out 100% increase at the end of 10mths towards the children’s education expenses. Well worth checking out if you’re eligible.
    🙂
    Catherine

  2. Because of my inbetween job/going full time to part time I’ve just become eligible for a health care card & was wondering what they could be used for! Great timing to find this. Sadly in QLD it doesn’t entitle you to concession public transport, which would be the most useful additional benefit for me.

    1. That’s unfortunate they don’t offer that. I do wish it we had the same concessions for all states instead of it varying so much.

  3. Hi Kylie,
    I tried getting remimbursed for my car registration using my Health Care Card and VicRoads wouldn’t do it. I paid my car rego about a week prior to receiving my Health Car Card.
    Just wondering where you got your info from? Perhaps it doesn’t apply in Victoria?
    Thanks
    Jean

    1. As it says in the article, each state is different. Sometimes it also depends on who you talk to on the day which makes it a little frustrating and inconsistent.

  4. Hi Kylie, My niece is in Melbourne visiting her Grandmother. She has a Western Australia Health Care Card as she is at Uni . She was using public transport today. When purchasing her ticket she asked if they accepted the WA healthcare card. Ticket person said yes. On the train an Inspector said she couldn’t and would be fined. He said the ticket person was incorrect. She is going to get a $275. fine and it will be a court case.
    So does that mean Melbourne don’t accept WA Health Cards. It doesn’t seem fair when she was tring to do the right thing.
    Can you help us on this Kylie Please.
    Thankyou.
    Joy

    1. Hi Joy,

      I have heard of some states not accepting other states student id’s, but not health care cards. I would look into objecting it, as she does have a concession, did ask the ticket person and was trying to do the right thing. Good luck. How awful.

  5. Pensioners in n.s.w. do not pay car rego (apart fro the CTP) why did I have to pay rego in queensland. Same for water rates, in nsw discount is $150, why $30 in queensland?

  6. As far as NSW Car rego, if a couple own two cars and both hold a pensioner concession card each, are they allowed to get free NSW rego on both vehicles? Thanks.

    1. Dave, you would need to double check with the RTA. If you own your car and your partner owns there, presumably you should both be eligible for concessions on your respective cars and I can’t find any information online to the contrary. It might help to go in separately/pay them individually as each Centrelink reference number will be applied individually, but I have known of others having issues when doing things together vs going in separately. It came down to the person on the desk knowing what to do. Good luck and if you can, let us know how you go with it please? Thank you!

    1. Check with your local optometrist. Otherwise, I highly recommend asking for your prescription including the pupillary distance (commonly known as PD) and ordering your glasses online. If you go to stores that offer ‘two for $199″ or similar deals, their glasses are exactly the same as glasses from places like Zenni Optical. I have been purchasing my glasses online for 5 years now at around $10 to $30 each, I have had them checked and they are exactly what I used to pay $500 for. I’ll do a post about it soon.

  7. Hi Kylie. We have moved from the UK to ACT, we got here at the end of August. I have received a health care card today and obviously have no idea about any of the concessions. We paid for our car rego, would we be able to get this back and whom would I go to and ask? In regards to public transport, is there a concession in the ACT for that as I have been using a my way card up until now. Again, who would I go too to find out that info? With the bills, I’m gathering I would need to speak to the electricity and gas people separately. Any help would be great.

    Thank you
    Kiran

    1. Hi Kiran,
      If it is a health care card specifically and not a pension card, then in the ACT you aren’t eligible for a discount – see this link https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/694/#!tabs-7

      In order to get public transport concession, you need to go to a MyWay Recharge Agent or Access Canberra Shopfront, show your health care card and request a concession one. This link https://www.transport.act.gov.au/myway-and-fares/mywayguide/concessions says Health Care Cards are eligible.

      As for electricity etc. check with each provider, call and ask.

      Also, depending on your situation, there are a few services available for discounted groceries with [email protected] and similar with those who have this card.
      All the best!
      Kylie

  8. I truely dont understand why each state is different, the federal government manage centerlink payments, or am I a bit dumb on where the money comes from. I also dont get it that home owners assets test limit is lower than non home owners, we had to endured the high interest rates of the eighties where a lot of people just walked away because it was just too damn hard. We went without holidays, dinners out etc ect just to hold onto our property, I was granted a part disability pension about a year ago now and because my husband’s superannuation and the bit we have saved is just over the limit my part pension has been stopped. There is absolutely no incentive in this country to save for a rainy day, renters dont pay rates, they dont have to maintain a property and all the expense that goes with it, I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY I’M BEING PENALIZED. The $200 a fortnight was a big help in paying for my medications. I usually don’t write on public forums but I’m annoyed, if an eighteen year old can walk out of school having put nothing into the system and get payments something is wrong with this country.

    1. Hi Veronica, it is frustrating that each state is different. Centrelink payments come from the federal government, however the concessions and businesses or government organisations invloved with those concessions are not run by the federal government, hence the differences. Registration, transport etc are done on a state level. Electrcity etc have different taxes, exemptions and rates in each state and aren’t government owned.

      It is difficult too, with the home owner vs renting and payments given as a result. I never understood why that is, as it is still a huge cost of living and I know many owners who after working hard their whole lives end up losing their home or living in poverty, they would have been better renting at that point.

      And I am sorry to hear about your payments being cut off. There is no incentive to save or improve when it is made this difficult. I hope it can be sorted for you quickly. Always appeal decisions.

  9. Hi I am trying to find information on concessions available on Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards in NSW.
    It would appear that different utilities ( electricity, water etc) and different councils also have different rules!
    Could you tell me if concessions apply on car registration costs.?
    Many thanks
    Christine

  10. Hi I am on a pension card have recently move from another state to nsw my car rego was renewed before I moved am I untitled to a refund on rego

  11. I no this is an old thread but heres hoping ill get a response still.
    I recently put 12 months nsw rego on my car
    But i just recieved my pension n pension card.
    Can i claim money back on it.

    And what steps to do so.
    Thankyou

    1. You just ring the transport department who can do most things online or over the phone there are a couple of forms to fill in once then it’s all done and you probably will get a discount but I didn’t when I got my senior card as it became part of my life the day I applied for the concession regarding der registration hope that helps anyone

    1. Hi Jennifer, no, they only accept pensioner or senior cards for concession. Check Groupon though, as they often have great deals for the theme parks.

  12. Hi
    I only just found out today that I can get free rego in NSW on the single parent pension . I paid a couple of months ago ( without knowing )
    Would I be eligible for a refund ??
    Do I just go in to the RTA ??
    Thanks for your help 🙂

    1. You could try. My ex mother in law got a refund a few years back by going into the RTA with her pension card.

  13. Just renewed my rego, with pensioners rate over $600 for a year in South Australia, I’d like to know how other states can get it for free.

    1. Generally, the rego aspect is free but the greenslip is still payable, so $600 would be about right in most states.

  14. Thought I’d add something.
    The NSW Dept of Environment & Heritage have an appliance replacement offer for people with certain concession cards.
    This will give you up to 40% off the price of selected fridges and up to 50% off the price of selected televisions.
    It’s a scheme to replace older appliances with newer energy efficient appliances and help the people on these concessions to lower their electricity bills.
    I replaced a fridge under the scheme a few weeks ago and it’s absolutely worth it.

    The scheme is here: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/households/appliance-replacement-offer.htm

    “To receive this offer you must:

    — be a NSW resident
    — hold one of the following:

    — Pensioner Concession Card
    — Health Care Card or Low Income Health Care Card from Centrelink
    — Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card
    — own a fridge 6 years old, or older, and want to replace it
    — own a plasma or cathode ray tube (CRT) television and want to replace it
    Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders are not eligible for this offer.”

  15. I have always had the disability pension card and just recently got my seniors card I didn’t think you could get your car registration free in Queensland I have always paid the full amount. I get a concession on there is that what you are talking about. ?

  16. Just found this page and am astounded by the concessions I could have claimed.
    As pensioners we manage ok but are by no means rich. Keep this information coming.
    Many thanks, Andy.

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