AARP® Credit Card from Chase
The AARP credit card from Chase is an excellent no annual fee card that has some great bonus categories for purchases. It may not be that well-known or come with all the bells and whistles that some premium Chase rewards cards offer, but it’s still a great cashback card that’s worth your consideration.
And while AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, you don’t actually need to be retired to become a member. You can join starting at age 50. But that doesn’t really matter because anyone can sign up for this card!
You can earn $200 as a sign-up bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account. For a no-fee card, this is a great deal. And the AARP card earns rewards at the generous rate of 3 percent back on all restaurant and gas station purchases. For everything else, you’ll earn 1 percent back. Your rewards can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, travel and more.
Although the AARP card is issued by Chase, it’s separate from the popular Ultimate Rewards program, so any points you accumulate can’t be combined with other cards, like the Freedom Unlimited or Chase Sapphire Reserve. But for a card offering this level of cash back, it’s still hard to beat.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the AARP® Credit Card from Chase offers and the value of the Chase AARP® Rewards points you earn.
Once you receive your card in the mail, you’ll be eligible for the AARP card’s sign-up bonus of 20,000 points, which is worth $200 in cash. All you need to do is spend $500 in net purchases in the first three months you have the card.
Now that you’re on your way to racking up rewards, you’ll earn a minimum of 1 percent on every purchase, and 3 percent back at gas stations and restaurants. While this card can earn a great deal of cash back and the sign-up bonus is solid, there are no additional bonuses for spending a certain amount each year. But due to the high rates of cashback in common spending categories, you can accelerate your earnings quickly.
What You Get
- Get 20,000 points worth $200 after spending $500 within the first 3 months
- 3% back at gas stations and restaurants
The rewards earned with the Chase AARP card do not expire, and you can redeem them whenever you like as long as you have at least 2,000 points (worth $20). However, if you close or cancel your card, you will forfeit any unredeemed rewards. Since there’s no annual fee, you can use this card as much or as little as you want, keep earning cash back, and not have to worry about deciding whether to keep the card or not.
What is the value of the AARP® Rewards Points?
In most cases, the rewards earned with the AARP card are worth one cent each. You can choose a statement credit, a deposit to your U.S. bank account, gift cards or travel. And while this is not a travel rewards card, per se, the value of your points is greatest if you use them toward travel purchases. You’ll get 1.12 cents per point if you use them toward hotel, airfare and more booked through Chase. The redemption values are fixed, so you’ll either earn one cent per point for cash or gift cards, or 1.12 cents per point toward travel.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles or points. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile or point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket by the number of miles or points the award flight costs. That amount is multiplied by the number of miles or points earned per dollar spent on everyday purchases to account for cards that earn more than one mile per dollar spent.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem AARP Points
The AARP card is part of the Everyday Rewards program, which is primarily a cashback program, though you’ll have a few other redemption options. Whether you prefer cash back or gift cards, you’ll always get one cent in value per point. If you have 10,000 points saved up, that’s worth $100. You can use that cash to pay yourself back for any purchase or activity, or you could redeem for gift cards.
To truly maximize the value of your points, you can redeem them toward travel booked through Chase. When you do, you’ll stretch the value of your points to 1.12 cents each, essentially getting 10 percent off your travel. Keep in mind that you’re still earning a fixed rate of return, so these rewards are worth the same for coach, business class or any hotel room, and they cannot be transferred to airline or hotel partners for award bookings. The points have the same value whether you book a first class flight to Bali or a downtown hotel in San Diego.
Atlanta–PittsburgEconomy classMiles price20,900pointsDollars price$209
San Francisco–WashingtonEconomy classMiles price64,000pointsDollars price$640
Los Angeles–HonoluluEconomy classMiles price71,000pointsDollars price$710
New York–RejkjavikEconomy classMiles price62,000pointsDollars price$620
Houston–NassauEconomy classMiles price53,500pointsDollars price$535
Boston–LondonEconomy classMiles price162,735pointsDollars price$1,713
Washington–ChicagoBusiness classMiles price69,500pointsDollars price$695
Seattle–WashingtonBusiness classMiles price139,400pointsDollars price$1,394
Orlando–Las VegasBusiness classMiles price49,000pointsDollars price$490
San Francisco–DublinBusiness classMiles price512,100pointsDollars price$5,121
Newark–Tel AvivBusiness classMiles price455,100pointsDollars price$4,551
Las Vegas–OttawaBusiness classMiles price147,300pointsDollars price$1,473
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays1 partner1 partner
While this credit card doesn’t directly partner with any hotels, you may be eligible for discounted stays as a member of AARP. You can get up to 10 percent off select hotels.
You can redeem your rewards for cashback at the fixed rate of one cent per point by way of a statement credit to your card or a deposit to your bank account. And don’t forget, your points are worth 1.12 cents each if you book your travel through Chase.
AARP points cannot be transferred to car rental agency loyalty programs, but you can redeem cash toward car rentals. You’re eligible for discounts of up to 25 percent off select car rentals through AARP.
You can redeem your rewards for gift cards through Chase at a rate of one cent per point. There are dozens to choose from!
Everyday Earnings with AARP® Credit Card from Chase
A rewards card is only good if you can earn rewards on your everyday purchases, and with the AARP card, you’re covered. Every purchase will earn a minimum of 1 percent back. If you go out to eat — whether fast food, fine dining, or somewhere in between—you’ll earn 3 percent back. This could include drinking establishments, too. Plus, you’ll earn 3 percent back every time you fill up your gas tank or make purchases inside the gas station mart.
- Car Rental
- All Other Purchases
Although this card offers great cashback rates, you don’t earn any extra cash for travel purchases. For airfare, hotels and car rentals, you’ll earn just 1 percent back. But don’t forget, AARP members are eligible for special travel savings when booking through Expedia.com.
While a great cashback card, the Chase AARP card does not come with travel benefits.
Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll be hit with a 3 percent fee for each transaction made outside of the U.S.
AARP members get special travel discounts with participating partners, including Expedia.com.
Earn Elite Status Fast
As mentioned above, this cash back card is not a true travel card. There are no automatic elite benefits and no amount of spend will elevate your hotel or airline status either.
Fees: the cost of Having AARP® Credit Card from Chase
One of the best benefits of the AARP card is that you never have to pay an annual fee. There’s no fee for the first, second or any subsequent year that you remain a cardmember, so you don’t have to worry about spending enough to justify keeping the card. Use this card as you see fit — and hopefully every time you get gas or go out to eat — to earn cash back every day and never pay an annual fee.
Additionally, the sign-up bonus worth $200 is completely yours to redeem. There’s no need to consider the value of the sign-up bonus compared to the annual fee as there isn’t one. You can redeem that $200 right away or save it for a bigger redemption down the road.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Fee
Up to $15 if the balance is less than $750; up to $35 if the balance is $750 or more
The AARP credit card is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the AARP Credit Card
While this is a very straightforward credit card, it has many great benefits. Two of the best are the nice sign-up bonus and the higher-than-average cashback rates for common spending categories.
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a 20,000 points sign-up bonus that’s worth $200 in cash or $224 in travel.
- Great Earning Potential: For every dollar spent at restaurants and gas stations, you’ll earn 3 percent cashback, as well as 1 percent back everywhere else.
- Easy Redemptions: Your rewards can be redeemed any time you like. You can get cash, put the money back onto your account as a statement credit or use it toward your next vacation. It’s totally up to you!
- No Annual Fee: That’s right, there’s no annual fee ever for this card. All the rewards you earn are essentially free. How can you beat that?
- Redeem for AARP Membership: You can pay for your AARP membership with points. Membership comes with a lot of perks, including discounts on a wide variety purchases like travel, dining, insurance, phone plans and more.
Should You Get the AARP Credit Card?
If you’re at least 50 years old, like to go out to eat and put gas in your car, you should consider this card. It’s really that simple because earning 3 percent cash back at restaurants and gas stations with no caps is a great return, particularly considering that those are purchases you probably make regularly. And with no annual fee, all the cash back you earn is yours with nothing to pay out of pocket.
While you can use your rewards toward travel purchases, this is not a travel card. There are better cards for that. The AARP card charges foreign transaction fees and doesn’t offer any of the common travel benefits that typically come with premium travel cards. So, if you spend a lot on travel or go abroad often, this wouldn’t be the card to use. But for your domestic purchases, especially at restaurants and gas stations, earning 3 percent back is an excellent benefit.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
When it comes to applying for Chase credit cards, you need to be familiar with the 5/24 rule. In short, for many of their cards, you won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards within the last 24 months. There are exceptions, of course, and the AARP credit card is one of them.
The good news is that your likelihood of approval for the AARP card is not dependent on how many card accounts you’ve opened recently. If you’ve opened five or more cards in the last two years, you could still be approved for this card. Keep in mind, however, that if you do sign up for the Chase AARP card, it will count toward your 5/24 total.
This is a loophole, but no, you don’t have to be an AARP member in order to get this card. And unlike the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, signing up for the AARP card won’t automatically enroll you in AARP membership. Keep in mind, however, that this card is targeted for AARP members, so you may later be solicited to join the club.
If approved, you’ll be rewarded with a 0% introductory APR for your first 12 billing cycles. As long as you make at least the minimum payment on time each month, you won’t be subject to interest charges on your card. After that, the interest rate will revert to the standard rate based on your creditworthiness.
This is good news if you need to finance a big purchase and need a few months to pay it off, you could do it with this card. Maybe you need a new fridge or the transmission needs to be replaced on your car. You can make that purchase with your AARP card and pay no interest for a full year (starting when the card was opened, not when the purchase was made).
A word of caution: If you are still carrying a balance after your 12th billing cycle, you’ll be required to pay interest on any remaining balance. No matter the amount, we highly discourage carrying a balance on any credit card as interest charges can compound quickly and negate the benefit of any rewards earned.
Yes! When you apply with Chase for this card and are asked to provide your annual income, Chase isn’t just asking about your salary. You’re allowed to provide the combined total of any income, such as government benefits like Social Security, interest or dividends from investments and retirement accounts, income from a side job or part-time job, alimony, child support and so on.
Of course, you’re not required to disclose certain income streams if you are not comfortable doing so. Just know Chase considers the total income figure you provide regardless of how you earn it.
Aside from their credit card, AARP has a separate rewards program called Rewards for Good. This free program is offered exclusively through AARP and is not related to the credit card rewards nor are the programs combinable.
Drive to End Hunger is a campaign launched by the AARP Foundation, Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet SS team driver) and team owner Rick Hendrick. As the name suggests, the mission of the campaign is to help stop hunger for those in need.
For the last few years, Chase has also been a participant in this cause. For each purchase made with your Chase AARP card at a restaurant, Chase will donate 10 cents to the AARP Foundation to support Drive to End Hunger. This was an initiative started by Chase and there’s nothing you need to do to support the cause, just be sure to use your card when dining out.
Compare the AARP Credit Card to Other Cards
While the AARP card is unique, it is similar to a few other lesser-known credit cards. The cards below all earn cash back, have no annual fee and earn a minimum of 1 percent cash back on every purchase. Let’s take a closer look.
- Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
$50 bonus offerRead Review
- Susan G. Komen® Cash Rewards Visa® Credit Card
$150 cash rewards bonus offer
- World Wildlife Fund Credit Card
$150 cash rewards offerRead Review
You’ll see, however, that there are some differences as well. The AARP card has the highest sign-up bonus, while the Amazon card has the lowest. Both the Pink Ribbon and World Wildlife Fund Bank of America cards are essentially the same, but with different co-branded partners.
Like other Bank of America cards, these two have a quarterly cap on the 2 percent and 3 percent bonus categories, but the AARP and Amazon cards have no caps. The AARP card has the highest bonus categories for gas and dining, while the Amazon card gets you 3 percent back on most Amazon purchases.
Further, the Amazon card gets 2 percent back at drugstores, while the Bank of America cards get 2 percent on grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Meanwhile, the AARP card has no 2 percent categories. Also, the Amazon card is the only one in this matchup that doesn’t incur foreign transaction fees; however, the three other cards in our chart have 0% APR as an introductory offer.
As you can see, these cards share similarities and have their differences. If you’re someone who dines out and spends a lot on gas, the AARP card is the one for you. If you’re an Amazon shopper, that’s obviously the card to get. And if you value cash back when grocery shopping, either Bank of America card will work for you. For all these cards, it really comes down to where you spend your money and where you can earn the most rewards.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the AARP credit card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Visa Signature card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 17.49% to 24.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- On eligible purchases, this card extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year on warranties of three years or less.
- Purchase Protection:
- The card covers your new purchases for 120 days against
- Return Protection:
- You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won't take back within 90 days of purchase, for up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The AARP credit card comes with all of Chase’s standard credit card security features.
- Account alerts:
- Through Chase’s website or mobile app, you can set up account alerts to be notified of large transactions, unauthorized withdrawals or when your payment is due.
- Monitoring Your Account On the Go:
- You can keep up with your account and transactions with the Chase Mobile App available through Apple and Android.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Like more and more credit cards, this card comes with chip technology that can be used at merchants in the U.S. and abroad that use chip-enabled terminals.
Chase offers a mobile banking version of their website, as well as a mobile app for Apple and Android so you can always monitor your account wherever you are. You can check your account balance, transaction activity, and even pay your bill straight from your smartphone.
- Mobile Wallet:
- This card can be set up on your smartphone to use with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
Depending on your credit worthiness, you may be approved for a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature card. The latter is Visa’s enhanced program that includes additional benefits beyond what is offered through Chase. Below are the Visa Signature benefits.
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Secondary coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Get up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $250,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- Call 1-800-VISA-TOW for roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jumpstart and gas delivery. A $59.95 charge will be added to your credit card for any services provided.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day. Service charges apply.