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AARP Credit Card From Chase review

AARP Credit Card From Chase review

Published: October 26, 2018
Published: October 26, 2018
Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 2.1
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.5
Rewards Flexibility: 4.1
Features: 0.0

In a Nutshell:

With a high cash back rate on gas and restaurant purchases for no annual fee, the AARP credit card could be a great card to rotate into your wallet for your driving ventures.

Rewards Rate

  • 3% cash back on restaurants and gas station purchases
  • 1% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
$100 if you spend $500 in the first 3 months

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$285

APR
17.99-24.74% (variable)

Pros

  • No limit on the amount of cash you can earn
  • Cash doesn’t expire
  • Redeem cash as a bank deposit or statement credit or for gift cards or travel
  • No blackout dates or restrictions if you redeem your rewards for travel

Cons

  • Cash can only be redeemed in increments of $20. However, you can redeem gift cards for as little as $5

Other Notable Features: $0 fraud liability, fraud alerts, purchase protection, extended warranty, emergency card replacement, 10 cents donated to the Drive to End Hunger each time a card is used at a restaurant

Retirees who count on the nonprofit lobbying group AARP for senior discounts and retirement advice will appreciate the senior-friendly features offered by this cash back card for AARP members.

The AARP card, which offers strong rewards on categories such as gas and restaurant purchases, is an ideal choice for post-retirement road trips. However, don’t expect a huge windfall from this relatively basic cash back card. Its modest sign-up bonus pales in comparison to most competitors. It also offers fewer card benefits than most rewards cards these days, making it less-than-ideal choice for cardholders who prefer to rely on just one card.

Big rewards for road-based vacations

If you plan on spending a good portion of your retirement traveling by car around the country, you’ll appreciate the road trip-friendly bonuses included in the AARP card’s rewards package. Cardholders are awarded a 3 percent bonus for every dollar spent on gas station purchases and an equal bonus on restaurant purchases. With gas prices relatively high, this is a big benefit — particularly if you travel frequently or drive an extra-large vehicle such as an RV. Like most rewards cards, the AARP card also awards 1 percent cash back on general purchases.

A special perk for community-minded cardholders

If a 3 percent bonus on restaurant meals isn’t generous enough to persuade you to dine out, the AARP card also packs another feel-good incentive for using your card at restaurants. Each time you use your card to eat out, AARP pledges to make a 10-cent donation to the nonprofit’s Drive to End Hunger fund. Though it applies to each person on your bill, this feel-good benefit still seems small. But if enough cardholders regularly dine out using their AARP card, that extra 10 cents for every meal could turn into a considerable force for good.

Fair sign-up bonus

The AARP card includes a modest sign-up bonus for new cardholders: You get $100 in cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months. While you can find many cash back cards with better sign-up incentives, at least the AARP card requires a low threshold to earn its bonus.

Missing perks

In addition to a smaller bonus, the AARP card also offers limited perks. For example, the AARP card doesn’t offer online applicants a 0 percent promotion on purchases or balance transfers, nor does it offer car rental insurance, which is usually standard on rewards credit cards.

Why get the AARP Credit Card?

  • You spend a significant amount of money on gas and restaurant purchases and would benefit from the card’s triple rewards rate.
  • You appreciate a card that gives a portion of the card’s earnings to charity.
  • You’re an AARP member and want a card that supports the organization.

How to use the AARP Credit Card:

  • Use your card for all your gas and restaurant purchases in order to earn the maximum amount of cash back.
  • Spend at least $500 roughly $167 a month in order to receive the card’s $100 signup bonus.
  • Avoid paying interest by paying off your card in full each month.
  • Use a different card to pay for a car rental. This card doesn’t offer car rental insurance.

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