In Mexico, if you make it to 60 years old and you’re a citizen or have a Residente Temporal Visa, the Mexican government will issue you an INAPAM Senior Citizen Discount card.
This card is a “magic ticket.“ It is a federal program administered locally by “DIF” (Desarrollo Integrál de la Familia)and will get you discounted prices for a bus service, prescriptions, many parks and cultural sites, restaurants, and other places. You will need to check the website of the state that you live in to see where it can be used, because there are differences from one place to another, and the list is expanding all the time. According to the INAPAM website, now many clinics, labs and hospitals also take part in the program. Some dentists honor it and sometimes it works when getting eyeglasses. The official list even includes preferential treatment in government offices that offer services to the public.
The primary requirement for the INAPAM card is that you are 60 years old (or more). To prove that, your right to be in Mexico and where you live, you need the following documention:
- Your passport
- Your visa or certificate of naturalization (Mexican citizenship)
- Comprabante or proof of address. This can be any of the following, and they do NOT have to be in yourname - the document just has to show your address:
- CFE (electricity) bill
- JAPAY (water) bill
- Telmex (telephone) bill
- Gas bill
- Predial (property tax receipt)
- A bank statement with your address
- Two color front-facing photos, infant size or infantil (2.5 cm by 3 cm)
You are required to bring one copy and the original of all documents, but government red-tape being what it is, it is smart to bring two copies of each. Then, if there is an unexpected need for another copy, you will not lose your place in line to go get another copy.
Generally speaking, your card will get you discounts on interstate luxury buses to entry fees for museums, galleries, and national parks. At 50% off, the savings on long-distance bus trips can be substantial. Some bus lines limit the number of “INAPAM seats” available on a bus, and in some places, a “Bus” card is required to receive the discounted fare (a Bus Card can be obtained using your INAPAM card and the requisite ID). The card can also get you discounts on prescription drugs at pharmacies in most of the “big box” stores, and some cities even discount property taxes and water bills. The following is a list of some places where the card works its magic:
- 50% off on inter-city bus travel (though some lines limit the number of senior seats to two).
- 50% off on city buses.
- Free or reduced entrance to museums and archaeological sites.
- A discount on property taxes after an inspection.
- A discount on your water bill.
- Discounts at many, many stores—some offices will give you a booklet listing them when you apply for the card. The discounts tend to run 5-15%.
- Discounts in some pharmacies—usually 5-10%.
- Discounts of 25-50% on tickets to such high-value events as the Festival Cervantino, the Jalisco Symphony and concerts at Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
- Discounts at some movie theaters.
- Discounts—usually about 10%—at many restaurants, including some well-known Mexican chains like VIP’s and El Porton. You should ask at every restaurant.
- Steep cuts at some hotels.
Want more details? The horse’s mouth is here. For a list of where you can obtain them, go here. But, ask local gringos, first. Often, you can get them at city offices that may be nearer to you than the location of the offical state office.
If you’ve celebrated 60 or more birthdays and are living in Mexico, getting the INAPAM card is worth the effort.