- No membership fees
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers
- High rewards rate
- $100 initial rewards bonus
- No intro APR on purchases
- Balance transfer fee
- Foreign fee
- Requires good/excellent credit
The Verdict: You might know that AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, but you probably don’t realize the AARP Rewards Credit Card stands to help qualified applicants of any age save money on everyday expenses. More specifically, the AARP Rewards Card is available to people with good credit or better, regardless of AARP membership (which costs $16 per year). And it offers 3% back at gas stations and drugstores, 2% back on medical expenses and a 1% base earning rate to supplement the $100 initial bonus that you’ll receive for spending at least $500 within 90 days of account opening. That’s a pretty good deal, especially when you consider that the total package would net the average person roughly $945 over the first two years of use.
The AARP Card’s generous rewards and lack of an annual fee make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a low-cost way to save on everyday expenses. And you can learn more about why that’s the case below.
Transfer Fee: 5% (min $5)
- Earn a $100 Cash Back Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.
- Earn 3% Cash Back on Gas and Drug Store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart); 2% Cash Back on Medical expenses; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
- There’s no limit to the amount of rewards you can earn. And they never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.
- Redeem rewards for an AARP membership for yourself or as a gift. Options start at $16 in rewards.
- You can redeem rewards for cash back and more at BarclaysUS.com.
- 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.
- Barclays will donate $10 for every new account; and 1% of eligible purchases to AARP Foundation
- More Details & Reviews About AARP Rewards Credit Card
- $100 Initial Bonus: You will receive $100 if you can spend just $500 during the first three months your account is open. Most of us could meet that threshold with utility payments alone. So this bounty is well within reach.
- Up To 3% Cash Back On Purchases: You will earn 3% cash back on purchases made at gas stations and drugstores, 2% back on medical expenses and 1% back on everything else.
- No Annual Fee: Paying an annual fee can make sense for high-spenders who can more than make up for what they pay with rewards earnings. But forgoing this burden also saves you $21 relative to the average credit card, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. It may also allow you to keep your account open for longer than you would otherwise, thus saving you undue hassle and benefitting your credit score.
- 3% Foreign-Transaction Fee: This aspect of the offer is a major bummer for retirees who suffer from wanderlust that can’t be satisfied by domestic travel alone. If that describes you, you’ll want to leave your AARP Rewards Credit Card at home before heading abroad in order to avoid spending 3% more than necessary on every purchase that you make. A no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card, in contrast, will save you 1.49% relative to the average card, while enabling you to save up to 9% on currency conversion.
- 5% (min $5) Balance-Transfer Fee: You don’t want to transfer a balance to the AARP Rewards Card solely because of this 5% (min $5) transfer fee. People with good credit can get longer 0% terms on balance transfers for less money, and it’s as simple as that.
Other Things To Consider
- Redemption Variety & Restrictions: The cash that you earn with the AARP Card can be redeemed for a statement credit, a bank-account deposit, gift cards or merchandise. Redemption also requires a minimum of $16.
- Below Average Regular APR: A 18.99% (V) interest rate isn’t cheap in absolute terms, but it is below the 19.73% average for credit cards that require good credit for approval. That’s nice to know in case you ever slip up, but it’s still best to approach this card with the mindset that you will always pay your bill in full.
- Percentage Of All Purchases Donated To Charity: AARP will donate $10 for every new account to the AARP foundation, along with 1% of eligible purchases. This is no way diminishes your ability to earn rewards, so it’s nothing but a nice touch.
- 24/7 Live Customer Service: Anytime you have a question about your account, day or night, you’ll be able to speak with a real, live customer-service representative. That’s always nice to know.
Compared To The Competition
Options are an important part of making your wallet happy, so we took the liberty of comparing the AARP Rewards Credit Card to other leading credit cards in terms of six fundamentally important categories. Hopefully this will clarify the best choice for your needs, whether they involve rewards or financing. You can check out the results below.
AARP Rewards Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
|Bonus Offer||$100||N/A||75,000 miles||N/A|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 3% Cash Back||2% Cash Back||2 - 5 miles / $1||1.5 - 5% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A||0% for 15 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: 5% (min $5)
|0% for 18 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% intro fee ($5 min) for each transfer in first 4 months, after that 5% ($5 min) for each transfer
|N/A||0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days (5%, min $5 after)
|Regular APR||18.99% - 27.99% (V)||16.24% - 26.24% (V)||17.49% - 25.49% (V)||16.49% - 25.24% (V)|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|