Mexico really takes care of its retiree population. Not only can you get access to various discounts on things like airfare, bus tickets, movie theaters but you can also get as much as 50% off your property taxes in Mexico.
If you’ve never heard of this program it is called INAPAM and its 100% free. Read the full article to understand who can apply, how to apply, and what discounts you can get. Plus some other special circumstances that no one talks about.
INAPAM is an acronym for Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores. It’s a government initiative, but the real benefit is its discounts on purchases like airfare, medicines, doctor’s visits, and even utilities. Several retailers and government agencies have partnered with this program throughout Mexico and offer Mexico’s resident’s age 60 and over various excellent discounts.
Who Can Apply?
To apply you have to be over the age of 60. But there is a restriction. The program is only available to legal residents and Mexican nationals and not tourists. The way to prove your legal status in Mexico is through an alphanumerical number you can get when you get residency in Mexico known as a CURP. It’s kind of like a social security number in the U.S. It’s unique to you, and it’s one of the required documents you’ll need to present to get an INAPAM card.
How Do You Apply?
The process or “tramite” in Spanish is usually done at the nearest DIF office in Mexico. DIF offices in Mexico handle all social service programs like INAPAM cards and other social programs for retirees in Mexico.
However, it’s important that you know that after the COVID-19 pandemic, many DIF offices were forced to close due to a shortage in staff and many of these services were put on hold. If you had your INAPAM card before 2019 you were grandfathered into the program, but if you tried getting yours in 2020 you probably already know it was almost impossible. In 2021 things seem to have improved, and I know several people who have gotten their INAPAM cards recently.
But again, I think it’s also important for me to let you know that some of these people had to wait for 2-3 weeks from the moment they applied until they received their card. Usually because the local offices rand out of physical cards to print out. This happens a lot in Mexico, the waiting game in government offices. Practice your patience because you’re going to need it in Mexico.
Where Do You Need To Go?
The Mexican government’s website gives you the different INAPAM service centers throughout Mexico where you will need to go once you have all your documents in order. Click here to see the directory.
You can start the process for your INAPAM in the DIF office nearest you, however the INAPAM card is valid nationwide.
On the right part of the page, you’ll see links per state.
Once you find your local office, its worth calling to see if they can issue INAPAM cards at the moment. Because as I mentioned earlier, some offices can run out of physical cards. Although, a call to your local office doesn’t guarantee you’ll get someone on the phone.
If you’re interested in hiring a facilitator to help you get your INAPAM card, you can access our list of recommended facilitators in Mexico through our Mexico Relocation Course.
How To Claim Your INAPAM Discount:
In a lot of cases you might get the senior discount at various retailers without having to show your INAPAM card because often enough people assume certain ages when they give you a bill. In some cases, all you have to do is ask. Depending on what store you are in, or what you are trying to purchase, a clerk might just give you the discount if you look the part and they have a discount to give you.
However, for other retailers, you’ll need to ask for a discount as you make a purchase. In the case of Aeromexico, you have to make your flight reservation in person at one of their service centers for them to verify your eligibility.
If you’re taking the ADO bus, you can make the reservation online with your INAPAM discount. However, before you board, someone might want to verify your INAPAM card and name. (see example rate below)
In most cases, you’ll have to make a purchase directly with a retailer in person to receive the discount. Most companies don’t have the sophistication of adding this type of discount when purchasing tickets or buying a service online. In some cases, you might not be able to find any information about a discount online and should ask when you are making a transaction.
For example, when you fly with Aeromexico, you get a substantial 15% off. However, to receive the discount, you’ll have to book with an agent over the phone or at one of their service counters throughout Mexico.
I’d even suggest asking your doctor or specialist if they accept your INAPAM card in exchange for a discount. Most doctors in Mexico don’t have any of this information online but are happy to provide a discount to INAPAM cardholders.
Interested in Retiring in Mexico? Check out our 9 Reasons Mexico is Popular with Retirees.