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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. It always pays to ask!

The PBS is about the only consistent discount, where concession card holders 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

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

Free Cash

Get $10 from 86 400! I’ve used 86 400 for a year now and they’ve been great. It’s fee-free banking and online only. Use the code S7VL6WF when you join free here to get your $10 after you use your card for the first time.

Get $5 from Up bank which I have been using for a while now. Get your $5 for joining in minutes.

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

If you want to try meal delivery options, EveryPlate offers 40% off your first box and $90 off HelloFresh with $40 off your first box, $30 off your second and $10 off each of your third and fourth. Marley Spoon offers $100 off, split across your first 4 boxes as $40, $30, $20 then $10.

The Ultimate Guide to Make and Save Money at Home

In this guide, I cover everything from ideas to make money at home, how to set up a business for under $100, what you can claim on tax, my top frugal tips for every area of the budget, how to create a budget and stick to it, over 100 frugal recipes plus tips on balancing it all, finding the time and ways to entertain the kids. Find The Ultimate Guide to Make and Save Money at Home here.

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    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 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

    Get More Ways to Make Money, Exclusive Discount and Freebies Sent to you!

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      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.

      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!

      Ways to Make Money on Centrelink

      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. My favourite four are Cash RewardsHoneyShopback and Swag Bucks. Basically, you join then add the extension to Chrome and download the ap. 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.

      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. 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.

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        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

        Terry Beaumont

        Saturday 1st of September 2018

        My husband needs to see an Opthomoligist, each visit is $200 plus, we cannot afford this, is there any kind of assistance for this kind of service?

        The Thrifty Issue

        Saturday 1st of September 2018

        Hi Terry, for most specialists, it is at their discretion whether they offer a discount or not. You would need to ask them directly.

        Andrew Renella

        Monday 11th of December 2017

        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.

        The Thrifty Issue

        Tuesday 21st of April 2020

        Thank you, Andrew. I am glad it has been useful.

        Julie Mcgregor

        Friday 4th of August 2017

        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. ?

        The Thrifty Issue

        Saturday 5th of August 2017

        Hi Julie, as stated it varies state to state. Some provide a concession, some do the registration part free but car owners still need to pay for the greenslip/insurance and road worthy certificates. Details for Queensland are linked to above and here https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/registration/concession/cheaper

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