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How to get the most from a free bus pass

Your Life
Sunday 01 October 2017

Once you reach the official state pension age you are entitled to apply for a free bus pass in England. The qualifying age in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is currently at 60.

In order to receive your pass you must submit an application to your local council.

Once you receive your card, you can travel on any local bus. However, do be sure to check with your council the terms and conditions. Depending on where you live, there may be restrictions to using your card during off peak hours only.

The bus pass is certainly a nice perk to gain, but in order to make the very most of it we have a few ideas on how you can maximise your travel opportunities. Plus how to take advantage of other discounts and offers that are available to you now that you have come of age.

1. Visit family and friends
It’s easy to get stuck into a routine and miss out on spending time with those who are closest to you. Now that you have the added advantage of free travel, pencil in the time to visit your nearest and dearest; even if it’s just to pop in for a quick chat and a cuppa.

2. Grab a free coffee
Freshen up your day by meeting with a friend for coffee. Socialising is not only fun, it’s one of the secrets to living young! Supermarkets like Booths and Waitrose often include cafes to visit, plus you can grab yourself a free hot drink if you sign up to an in-store loyalty card.

3. Go back to school for less
Well, university actually. If you happen to have a university on your route then you could look into receiving a grant or sign up to a free course.

4. Join an exclusive movie club
Cinema chains like the Odeon and Vue have discount clubs for select age groups. This can include money off your cinema ticket, drinks and hot food. Perfect for a rainy day.

Find out about Odeon Silver Cinema for over 55s.

Check out the Vue’s Seniors Cinema Club for over 60s.

5. Retail therapy offers
Be sure to ask at your favourite high street retailers if they offer exclusive discounts if you’re over 60. For instance, Boots and B&Q both have dedicated advantage schemes. 

6. Enjoy a pub lunch discount
Diamond Club members are entitled to exclusive discounts at over 100 pubs and carveries throughout the UK. The card works on a point earning system where you accumulate points at every visit that go towards money off meals. You’ll even receive a complimentary free drink on your birthday.

Page last updated: Thursday 20 February 2020