Panama Pensionado Discounts – One Way You Can Live for Less in Panama

Panama’s Pensionado discounts are one of the many ways you can live better for less in Panama.   These discounts are available to all Panamanians who meet certain age restrictions. If they are female, they must be 55, and if they are male, they must be 60. Pensionado discounts are also called Jubilado discounts.

Regardless of age, foreigners can take advantage of the discounts listed below if they have a Pensionado Visa.

If you have any other Visa, you must have a permanent visa and meet the age requirements to get the Pensionado (Jubilado) discounts.

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Panama’s Pensionado Discounts

The discounts and advantages of the pensioner’s visa are quite numerous.  Look at all the ways you can save money:

  • 50% off on recreation and entertainment such as movies, theaters, sports, etc.
  • 50% off hotels Monday through Thursday (30% off on weekends)
  • 50% off passports
  • 30% off public transportation like buses, trains, and boats
  • 25% off airfare to anywhere in the world!
  • 20% off restaurants (15% off fast food)
  • 25% off electrical, telephone, and water service
  • 20% off doctors and specialists
  • 20% off prosthetics and other personal assistance devices
  • 15% off hospitals and private clinics
  • 15% off dental and optometry services
  • 10% off prescription medications
  • tax-free importation of household goods, up to $10,000
  • tax-free importation of a vehicle, or tax-free purchase of a local vehicle (there are still fees to import a car)

There are many reasons to consider Panama as a place to relocate to. The Pensionado discounts are certainly one of them!

How to Qualify for the Discounts

To qualify for the Pensionado discounts, you must have a permanent residency visa. If you have the Pensionado Visa, you qualify at any age for the discounts. To get the Pensionado Visa, you will need $1000 per month in lifetime income, like a pension, or $1250 if you are married.

If you get one of the other visas, like the Friendly Nations Visa,  but you will need to meet the age requirements and have a permanent visa to qualify for the Pensionado discounts.

You qualify for the discounts once you get your permanent Visa.

However, if you have grey or no hair, you are usually given the Pensionado discount without asking at pharmacies.

At other places, you may need to ask for a discount, or they will ask to see your permanent Visa card or Cedula (national ID card) to verify your age and qualifications.

To get the 25% discount on utility bills, the utility will need to be in your name, and you will need to show your Visa card when you apply for service.   Remember that your water bill is only $100 a YEAR, which is probably much less than what you pay now.   I get 25% off my electric bill too.   Because I live in an area where I don’t need air conditioning, my electric bill is usually less than $25 per month. If you live near the coast where you need air conditioning, the savings can really add up.

I save about $600 annually on airfare using my Pensionado discount.  You can get a discount on any airfare originating in Panama. It’s easier to work with a Panama travel agent than to contact the airline.  The travel agent will request a copy of your permanent Visa.  You cannot get the Pensionado discounts with just a temporary Visa.

Within a few years, the Pensionado discounts could basically paid for the cost of getting a Visa!

How to Get a Pensionado Visa?

The process of applying for and obtaining a Visa is relatively easy. You will need a Panamanian attorney to guide you through the whole process.  You will need a national criminal report and proof of lifetime income if applying for the Pensionado Visa.   Getting your permanent Visa will take about 3-6 months, and will cost about $1,500 and $2,000, depending on which attorney you use.  During the Panama Relocation Tours, you will meet a reliable and affordable Panamanian attorney who has helped many of our tour clients get their visas quickly and easily.


Occasionally, I have had trouble getting a discount at hotels.  But being persistent will usually get me a discount.

Be aware that some restaurants play tricks by advertising their regular price and then their special price next to it to avoid giving the Pensionado discount.  The discount does not apply to specials. Other restaurants honor the Pensionado discounts.   There are many different restaurants to decide who you want to give your business to.  Restaurants are only required to offer a Pensionado discount on your entree, not on your entire bill.

panama restaurant meal
$8 meal in Panama

Who Pays for the Discounts?

These discounts come right off the profits for these businesses.  They are not reimbursed by the government or anyone else.  So, be selective when asking for Pensionado discounts.

I never ask for a Pensionado discount when I go to a Mom & Pop-type restaurant where the whole meal is only $5.00. The meal is so affordable already.  Be selective about asking for the Pensionado discount.


ACODECO is Panama’s Consumer Advocate organization. If any establishment refuses to give a Pensionado discount to someone qualified and can prove it, then you can report them to ACODECO, who will fine the company.

Just mentioning ACODECO will usually get you the discount you are eligible for.

Live Better for Less in Panama!

Come see how amazing life is in Panama!

Even without the Pensionado discounts, the cost of living in Panama is lower.

Join us for an all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tour to discover the perfect place to live in Panama. You’ll learn how to move to Panama the RIGHT WAY!

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Charles F. G. M Ooms says

    Thanks a lot very useful information. As because of Covd-19 we are not progressing wirh our application and are still in Europe waiting for the country to reopen, could you advise if it would be recommendable to start the process of aplicaiton for the reitrement visa by mailing the oridinal apostiled docs in Spainsh to a lawoffice? Or do you need to be in physically the country?

    • Jackie Lange says

      because the documents you need to get a Visa are time sensitive, it would be better to wait until Panama’s borders open to start gathering the documents and the application process.

  2. [email protected] says

    Ola! Are the tours currently on hold until the borders reopen? I’ve made up my mind to retire there. I would like to take the tour next summer 2021. I teach school so want to get through the year, then will need to quarantine I’m sure if I’m even allowed to come in to Panama. Since I have all summer off it would seem to be a good time for the tour. Thanks so much.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Panama’s borders open October 12th. But our tours are on hold until we determine that it is safe to do a tour again and that we can reserve hotels and restaurants. We are probably going to start doing private tours before we start doing group tours again.

  3. PanamaJim75 says

    A question on obtaining travel benefits via the Pensionado program:

    In the above article, it states: “You can get a discount on any airfare which originates in Panama but you will need to work with a travel agent. The travel agent will request a copy of your permanent Visa.”

    Are the pensionado discounts “only” available through travel agents? Or can one work directly with the airlines, particularly the Panama-Based airlines?

    And, am I correct in assuming that one must work with a Panamanian travel agency only, to receive the pensionado discounts? I don’t imagine a US travel agency would know a thing about them.

    Many thanks for your help. The Guide is an INVALUABLE resource! Wish we had discovered much, much earlier — it would have saved us LOTS of money on residency.

    • Jackie Lange says

      the travel agent needs to be a travel agent in Panama

      The airlines will not work with you unless you are calling from Panama, on a Panama cell phone, and calling their Panama office — usually ONLY in Spanish.
      You’ll have to fax (not email) a copy of the front and back on your credit card, front and back of your visa or cedula.

      It’s much easier to use a Panama travel agent.

      • Isa says

        Hi Jackie,
        I wish that I had found your Website earlier since most of the expats here in my region don’t share information.
        Now, I am aware of the Pensionado benefit due to your Website. Greatly appreciated.
        Could you please tell me whether:
        – there is any discount for home internet service
        – airfare discount applied only to Panama based airline or to other airlines like Turkish Air?

        Best regards,

        • Jackie Lange says

          Hello Isa. The Pensionado discounts do not apply to internet service. The discounts do apply to any airline, including Turkish Air. The best way to get the discount for airfare, is to contact a Panamanian based travel agent.

  4. Rafael Chavez-Alcorta says

    Hello Jackie,
    Due to contractual obligations and debts of my business, I could not retire until the end of 2024. We currently live in Phoenix AZ, but of Latin American descent (fluent Spanish)
    We have done a lot of research and Panama (Boquete and surroundings) is first on the list.
    My question is how far in advance it would be necessary to obtain the online guide to start all the paperwork and if the guide provides the same information that would be obtained by doing the tour.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Thanks for your interest in the Complete Panama Relocation Guide. It does contain the same information that you’d get on a tour minus actually seeing the various areas, seeing rentals, and meeting expats who live in the area. We keep the Guide updated often, so you can buy it now so you can start learning immediately. If there are changes to the information, you’ll get an email with details.

  5. Timothy Smith says

    When it comes to discounts involving the government, as in those for importation of household goods, or an auto, there seems to be a “bait and switch” going on. I am importing household goods and an automobile. I’ve engaged an agent to receive these.

    It seems Customs hasn’t heard about anything going on in the rest of the government. I have a Pensionado Visa and have been here a year.
    Now Customs wants me to “re prove” my status, my pension,etc. Seems the Panamanian government doesn’t believe it’s own paperwork!

    • Jackie Lange says

      Timothy. Sorry to hear about your problems. If you used the international movers we recommend you would not have these problems. They have moved hundreds containers of household goods to Panama and never ever had a problem.

  6. Harry Bhakta says

    Are you located in USA or PTY?

    And what is your WhatsApp number.? To speak with you directly.
    Thank you

    • Jackie Lange says

      Our administrative offices are in Texas. Jackie, the owner of Panama Relocation Tours, lives in Panama. You can reach us at 972-496-4500 (not whatsapp)

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