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Complete list of Things you can use your Australian Health Care/Pension Concession/Senior Cards for

Complete list of Things you can use your Australian Health Care/Pension Concession/Senior Cards for

What Discounts and Help 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, it is at the discretion of local providers.

This is what makes it confusing for so many people.

As such, it always pays to ask.

Don’t be scared to simply ask your electricity, registration or other providers if your card gets a discount or concession rate.

The PBS is about the only consistent discount, where concession cardholders 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. 

Low income or healthcare cards do not get as many discounts or benefits as pension cards. But always ask and outline your circumstances!

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

To get you started, The Thrifty Issue has loads of freebies and discounts for you and you don’t need to use your card or prove anything.

Get $75 for Free from ING

ING has their $75 Orange Everyday sign-up offer on. They share different rewards at different times and right now you can get $75.

If you are a new customer of ING you can get $75 for opening an everyday account with them. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open an everyday account, put the promo code CNW116 in the promo box (you must use the code to get the $75 bonus), and complete all the steps below in the first month.
  2. Deposit $1,000 into the account such as your income or Centrelink payments
  3. Make 5 settled transactions
  4. Open a Savings Maximiser (current interest rate is 5.5%)
  5. Make a deposit into the Savings Maximiser

Then you get your $75 the following month when the promotion is running. Promotion periods vary. The current promotion runs until 31 March 2024.

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.

Discounts

Get your first box free with HelloFresh! Essentially, try them for free then cancel if you want to.

Get up to $180 off EveryPlate, split across your first 5 boxes with the code THRIFTYEPLATE. This offer is for new AND returning customers.

YouFoodz is more health-focused and offers up to $200 offer their meals.

Get up to $144 off Dinnerly (49% off your first order, then 30% off the next two.)

Marley Spoon offers up to $190 off 4 orders! That’s 53% off your first order, and 20% off your next three.

How to Survive on Centrelink

Ensuring you get all the discounts you can is one part of surviving on Centrelink.

There is so much more to it though. Check out all the articles on Centrelink here.

Or I have it in a handy eBook for $9.95.

Otherwise, keep scrolling as there is a lot in this article.

Mother kissing daughter. Text reads Centrelink Discounts – complete list of things you can use your Australian health care/pension/concession/senior cards for

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 the number on your bill.

They will request your proof such as your Centrelink number and details on your card.

Then it will be cleared so you don’t have to pay. Getting the bill can be a bit of a shock though.

Optical Discounts

Subsidised glasses apply in most areas, meaning discounted glasses and contacts.

At the least, we all get free eye tests through Medicare.

Check before you book your appointment if they offer subsidised glasses or prescriptions because not all do.

If they do not, go elsewhere because they likely won’t allow you to have your prescription to purchase glasses elsewhere either.

Free Hearing Tests

Certain locations offer free hearing tests.

When my kids were diagnosed with speech issues they needed hearing tests as well, to ensure hearing wasn’t causing the speech issues.

Other family members have needed tests as they age and all have been covered.

The complete list of everything you can use your health care card, pension card, seniors card for in Australia

Bulk Billing

Bulk billed doctors and dental work is another perk with a pension/healthcare card.

With bulk billing doctors, they can be harder to come by and often have a longer wait time than other doctors.

Recently, I was going to one doctor in my area at $80 to $130 a visit, only to discover later that a doctor 100m away bulk billed.

I switched and prefer the new doctor, have never had to wait to get in and the admin staff are amazing.

Dental work is rarely bulk billed but there are some places that do it, usually with a long waitlist as dental work is so expensive.

For children, check your eligibility for the $1,000 dental scheme for each child.

Ask your local healthcare providers or check with a pharmacist as they often know the options available in your local area.

Discounted Electricity, Land 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.

The rebate or concession amount varies from state to state.

Some electricity companies and councils also offer an energy audit to help reduce the cost of electricity by offering tips, light bulbs, power boards, draft stoppers and other products.

I am currently with Red Energy for electricity. They offer a $25 bonus when you join too.

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
Pensioner Education Supplement
Payments for students and trainees

Mother holding up baby. Text reads Centrelink Discounts – complete list of things you can use your Australian health care/pension/concession/senior cards for

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.

If you are a carer, be sure to get a companion card or similar as this gets you even more discounts.

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.

The complete list of everything you can use your health care card, pension card, seniors card for

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.

To be clear, it is the registration fee only, not the whole amount.

Many people get mixed up. All cars being registered also require insurance.

The cost of insurance takes up a large portion of the overall fees but only the registration part of the fee is discounted if at all.

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.

There are also plenty of fee-free bank accounts you can access even without a concession card.

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.

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 offer free rubbish removal to pension cardholders.

Some councils offer free pickups as well for everyone.

This is a great way to clear out your house as needed.

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 cardholders.

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.

Image of couple with son in a field. The female is pregnant. Text reads Centrelink Discounts – complete list of things you can use your Australian health care/pension/concession/senior cards for

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

More Ways to Save Money

Check out these articles too:
50 ways to live for free
How to stick to a budget as a single mum or single-income family
What to do when you are newly single
How to reduce your 3 biggest expenses
7 tips to manage finances when you have mental health issues
Where are the best Aussie giveaways and competitions?
How we cleared $90,000 worth of debt in 12 months (they started off unemployed)
43 ways for single mums to make money (or anyone who wants flexible income options)
12 ways to get coupons and discounts in Australia

Check out our complete list of freebies here or Australian birthday freebies here. Join The Thrifty Issue Facebook Group to discuss more ways to make and save money!

Given the interest in this article, I have added below things you can do to make money on the side, even if on Centrelink.

Remember to be transparent about your income with Centrelink otherwise if you are overpaid, you will have to pay it back.

Online Surveys – $2,000+ per year

Online surveys won’t make you rich and if they are the only thing you do with Centrelink payments, the amount won’t change your payments.

Most readers make $2,000 to $5,000 per year with the following:

Octopus Group: the highest paying online survey site in Australia. It’s free to join here.

PrizeRebel – Pays in USD, is free to join but not as many surveys as Swagbucks. Join PrizeRebel here.

I have a full list of online survey sites for Aussies you can read.

Get Cash Back

Cashback sites are easy to use. Basically, you join then add the extension to Chrome and download the app.

Then, whenever you shop online it will pop up with how much you can get back.

If you shop a lot, you’ll get more back. I have more cashback sites here but my favourite cashback apps are CashRewards, Shopback and Honey.

Rent Your Space Out

Got a spare garage? You can rent it to others for storage, to have their special car or anything else.

I rented mine to another mum in business who needed sewing space for $50 a week back in 2013.

You can list your garage, storage cage or other space on Spacer or try Gumtree.

Carparks and driveways are other options.

They can be used to store boats and caravans or if you live somewhere parking is expensive, you can rent it to office workers.

In recent places I have lived it’s been $50 to $100 a week for a car space.

Fiverr

Sign up to Fiverr and offer something such as creating videos, graphics, voiceover work or anything else you can do.

It’s that simple and no, you don’t have to only charge $5 though that is how Fiverr originally started.

You can choose how much you charge and upsell other services to make more money. 

This dad made almost $1,000,000 in a few years and this woman made over $1,000,000 in 6 years on Fiverr.

What started as a side gig for both resulted in them being able to quit their jobs.

Side Gigs

There are a lot of things you can do on the side to make money such as buy things to resell, freelance writing, tasks on Airtasker etc.

Read how to make an extra $20,000 this year or how I made $33,277.57 on the side one year.

We live in unique times, so while not everything in the articles I have linked to will be possible right now, there is a lot which can help.

Image of man and woman hugging in a greenhouse. Text reads Centrelink Discounts – complete list of things you can use your Australian health care/pension/concession/senior cards for

For more ways to make and save money follow us on social media:

The Thrifty Issue Facebook Page
The Thrifty Issue Facebook Group
The Thrifty Issue Instagram

Get a $75 bonus from ING. Image cash spread out on a desk with the instructions to get $75 from ING. Use the code CNW116 in the promo box Deposit $1,000 in the first month (e.g a wage) Make 5 transactions with your card Open a Savings Maximiser too and deposit in there within the first month Ends 31 March 2024

Get $75 for Free from ING

ING has their $75 Orange Everyday sign-up offer on. They share different rewards at different times and right now you can get $75.

If you are a new customer of ING you can get $75 for opening an everyday account with them. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open an everyday account, put the promo code CNW116 in the promo box (you must use the code to get the $75 bonus), and complete all the steps below in the first month.
  2. Deposit $1,000 into the account such as your income or Centrelink payments
  3. Make 5 settled transactions
  4. Open a Savings Maximiser (current interest rate is 5.5%)
  5. Make a deposit into the Savings Maximiser

Then you get your $75 the following month when the promotion is running. Promotion periods vary. The current promotion runs until 31 March 2024.

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Frank

Sunday 4th of February 2024

Hi.

I'm just about to receive a Commonwealth Seniors Card and can't (yet) seem to get information on whether it is suffuicient to receive a discount of course fees at TAFE (in Victoria).

You don't happen to know?

Cheers and thank you. I've signe up for your newsletter.

The Thrifty Issue

Monday 5th of February 2024

Hi Frank, that is fantastic you are looking at TAFE courses. From what I understand in Victoria some are https://www.vic.gov.au/free-tafe To confirm for whatever it is you'd like to study there is the TAFE and Training Line on 13 18 23 or email tafe.courseline@djsir.vic.gov.au You might also be eligible for other support if you are getting any Centrelink https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/payments-you-can-get-for-higher-education?context=60078

Thank you for the support and good luck with your studies.

linda

Monday 12th of December 2022

are strata fees discounted like rent assistance for people living in over 55's villages

Mark Ashby

Sunday 21st of August 2022

Hi Kylie I have been out of work for Awhile now and just received my healthcare card and have 2 rego’s due.I live in WA and would like to know if I can get A discount on my registration?

The Thrifty Issue

Sunday 21st of August 2022

Hi Mark, from what we have read for WA, it appears you need a pension card specifically. Ask when you go to renew registration though. Chances are, if you do get a discount it will only be for 1 vehicle though.

Suman

Monday 13th of July 2020

Hi, I have received my health care card two months ago and its valid until 2021.Now recently I have started a part time job. Am I still would be able to get concession by using it? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

The Thrifty Issue

Tuesday 14th of July 2020

It would depend on how much you make and if you are still eligible. You would need to check with Centrelink. Congratulations on the job though! Not easy at this time so that's fantastic :)

Sheeba Narain

Friday 2nd of August 2019

Hi, We have moved from the NSW to SA. I got my car registry done on Thursday and received my pension concessions card on Friday. We paid for our car rego, would we be able to get this back and whom would I go to and ask? Also what sort of concession do I get when I buy general medicines? Do I get discounts them as well or just prescription medicine? Any help would be great.

Thank you

The Thrifty Issue

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Hi Sheeba, you would need to check with registration in SA to see if you would get anything back. As for concession on medicines, it is only prescription. Thanks

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