6 awesome cards and concessions older Australians should apply for

From Medicare through to Seniors cards, here are 6 great cards that make living in Australia cheaper and better for older Australians. Sure, some of these cards have eligibility requirements, but take a look at what’s on offer (including Citro’s new card, available to all our members).

Most of us know Australians over the age of 67 are eligible for the Age Pension.

But Australia also offers 6 great cards with concessional benefits for older Australians.

Yes, some of these cards have eligibility requirements – along with residency, assets or other tests – but nearly all of these cards make living in Australia as an older person cheaper and better.

The bonus? Many of these cards now offer a digital version so you can store them on your smartphone rather than weighing down your wallet.

Vital card #1: Medicare card

A Medicare card gives you (mostly) free healthcare in Australia.

Medicare cards allow us to access bulk-billed medical services, public hospitals, surgical services, prescription medicines, vaccinations, cancer screening, eye tests, pathology tests, imaging and scans.

There is now a Medical Costs Finder online tool to help people work out the additional costs that aren't covered by Medicare for specialist services.

A Medicare card does NOT usually pay for things like:

  • ambulance services
  • dental care
  • glasses or contact lenses
  • hearing devices
  • elective or cosmetic surgery.

People often like to have private health insurance on top of Medicare to pay for things that aren’t on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Get a digital Medicare card

Read 8 surprising benefits of your Medicare card - there's also some surprising benefits to holding an Australian passport, including subsidised medical care in some overseas countries.

Vital card #2: Seniors cards

The different state and territory governments in Australia offer everyone over 60 - or in some cases 65 - who no longer work full time this concession card.

The cards aren’t usually income-tested but might have other eligibility criteria such as age or working hours.

The Seniors Card benefits you’re entitled to vary depending on which state or territory you live in.

These cards usually offer discounts on public transport, rates, bills and sometimes special commercial deals.

You can find out more about the Senior Card benefits (and how to get a digital card) at:

Vital card #3: Citro Card

The new Citro Card doesn’t have any eligibility or income requirements and is available to all Australians aged over 40.

It’s a free debit Visa card that is linked to your bank account to give you a range of rewards benefits, such as cashback, for Citro members.

Anyone can become a Citro member for free - you simply sign up to Citro's weekly email newsletter.

For those who want Citro Card benefits, you need to first download the app on your iPhone or Android.

From there, you verify your identity through a process called Know Your Customer and your Citro Card is sent in the post up to 7 business days later.

You link your Visa debit Citro Card to your preferred bank account and pay using your digital wallet or plastic card to get benefits and rewards from Citro partners. Spending at Citro partners will earn cashback that you can choose to spend or splurge at a time that suits you (and you don't have to use it at the time of purchase).

These rewards are outlined in Citro's weekly newsletter, app and website.

Vital card #4: Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)

Since September this year, the income eligibility for this card - which is only for people who are at least 67 - has increased.

Many self-funded retirees may now be eligible for this valuable concession card that offers:

  • Cheaper medicine and prescriptions
  • Ambulance, dental and eye care
  • Public transport concessions
  • Lower property, water, electricity and gas bills.

Single people who earn less than $95,400 a year and couples who earn less than $152,640 can apply for this card.

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply for this card on Services Australia.

Get a digital CSHC

Read more about 12 amazing benefits for older Australians.

Vital card #5: Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)

People 55 and older are sometimes eligible for this valuable concession card, which gives similar benefits to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

Th PCC gives people:

Find out if you are eligible to apply for the PCC on Services Australia.

Get a digital PCC

Understand more about the Age Pension on Age Pension 101

Vital card #6: PBS Safety Net Card (PBSSNC)

Qualifying for this card usually happens if you need to buy a lot of medicines.

It's available for concession holders, but also general patients who spend more than $1647.50 a year on PBS medicines.

People with one of the existing concessions get more generous benefits, but all Australians who need to buy lots of drugs can also qualify.

Once you spend a certain amount, you can apply for this card that will give you free medicine or - if you're a general patient - highly subsidised medicines at a cost of just $7.70.

From January 2024, concession card holders and non card holders can qualify for this card if you spend more than

  • $277.20 for concession card holders
  • $1,647.90 for general patients.

If you spend more on drugs than these limits, you can also claim a refund by completing the patient claim for refund Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) form.

Find out if you are eligible to apply for the PBS Safety Net Card on Services Australia. Read more about the PBS Safety Net Scheme.

Generally, if you've spent up to the PBS Safety Net threshold, you can take your completed prescription record form to your pharmacy who can issue you with a PBS Safety Net card. The PBS Safety Net card is for use during the remainder of the calendar year.

Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.

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