AARP Credit Card from Chase Review: Get Valuable Rewards Without the Annual Fee - And Give Back [2020]

A unique no-annual-fee card that’s not only for older adults, but any eligible applicant who wants to earn lucrative rewards and contribute to charity.
Last updated Jun 12, 2020 | By Ben Walker

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For the savvy spender, cashback credit cards can offer huge benefits. You can earn bonus cash back on every purchase you make and redeem your rewards however you want, whether it’s for travel, gift cards, or more. With the AARP Credit Card from Chase, you’re rewarded 3% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This AARP Credit Card review will give you a closer look at the only AARP-branded credit card on the market and help you see whether it’s a good fit.

Simple Cash Back Rewards

AARP Credit Card from Chase

AARP Credit Card from Chase

AARP Credit Card from Chase

Benefits

  • $100 cash back sign-up bonus
  • 3% cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • Purchase protection
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • No introductory APR
  • Has foreign transaction fee

In this AARP Credit Card from Chase review:

Who should get the AARP Credit Card?

AARP is a nonprofit organization that aims to help better the lives of adults 50 and older in the U.S. As such, the AARP Credit Card has been designed to offer specific benefits and rewards that may appeal to an AARP member.

Although an AARP full membership is for individuals older than 50, you don’t have to be 50 or older to apply for the AARP Credit Card. In fact, you don’t even have to be an AARP member. Any eligible applicant can apply and take advantage of the rewards program and benefits offered with this card. The cash back can be beneficial for anyone who likes to earn extra rewards on everyday purchases, though there are also two exclusive benefits to the AARP partnership.

In addition to travel, gift card, and cash deposit redemptions, you can also redeem cashback rewards to join AARP or renew your membership. This includes using rewards to gift AARP memberships to others. Even better, for every restaurant purchase you make with your AARP Credit Card, 10 cents will be donated to the AARP Foundation in support of Drive to End Hunger.

The rewards earning potential with the AARP Credit Card could be valuable for anyone, but the specific AARP benefits might make the most sense for current and prospective AARP members.

Card basics

Card type Cash back
Card issuer Chase
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus Earn $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Reward rate 3% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee 3%

AARP Credit Card benefits and perks

The best AARP Credit Card benefits and perks include:

  • A generous welcome offer: You can earn $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee: With a $0 annual fee, it’s easier to focus on earning rewards instead of offsetting an annual cost.
  • Lucrative cashback rewards: Earn 3% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Multiple redemption options: Cashback rewards can be redeemed for direct deposits into eligible accounts, statement credits, gift cards, flights, hotel stays, and more. You can also redeem your rewards to join or renew your AARP membership.
  • Purchase protection: With Chase purchase protection, your eligible new purchases are covered for 120 days from the purchase date against damage or theft for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warranty protection: Qualified purchases have their eligible warranties extended by an additional year.
  • Charitable contributions: Every time you make restaurant purchases with your eligible card, Chase will automatically donate 10 cents to the Drive to End Hunger campaign from the AARP Foundation.

Drawbacks to the AARP Credit Card from Chase

  • No Chase Ultimate Rewards: The AARP Credit Card is issued by Chase, but it does not earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This means you won’t have access to the Chase travel portal or Chase transfer partners, though you can still use your cashback rewards for travel.
  • Foreign transaction fee: If you’re looking to travel with this card, be aware of the 3% foreign transaction fee. This causes all purchases abroad to carry a significant added charge that would quickly add up.
  • No introductory balance transfer offer: This card wouldn’t be a great choice for balance transfers as it does not offer an introductory balance transfer offer.

Earning and redeeming cash back with the AARP Credit Card

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the AARP Credit Card.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $717

Year two earnings: $616

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome offer, and the annual fee.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn rewards with the AARP Credit Card from Chase is to use it on dining expenses and purchases at the gas station. There aren’t many credit cards that offer 3% cash back at both gas stations and restaurants, so this card offers a lot of value in those categories. Of course, you can still earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Categories Rewards rate
Gas stations and restaurants 3%
All other purchases 1%

Maximizing your redemptions

As you use your AARP Credit Card to make purchases, you’ll earn cashback rewards in the form of points. The AARP Credit Card offers a variety of redemption options so it’s easy to pick and choose how you want to redeem points. Typically, the travel redemption option will hold the most value.

When you redeem your points for statement credits, cash deposits, gift cards, and AARP memberships, they’re worth 1 cent per point. So 10,000 points would equal $100. However, when you use points to book flights, hotel stays, car rentals, or cruises through the Chase Travel Center, your points are worth about 10% more (actual value is .0112 cent per point). So 10,000 points used for travel would equal $112.

This may not seem like much, but if you’re interested in redeeming points for travel, the extra 10% bonus could really come in handy. If not, you can always get the normal redemption rates for cash, gift cards, and AARP memberships and renewals.

Note: The points you earn with the AARP credit card are not Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You cannot transfer AARP credit card points to other Chase cards or use them in the Chase travel portal.

AARP Credit Card FAQs

Is the AARP Credit Card a good deal?

Because the AARP Credit Card has a $0 annual fee and an excellent 3% rewards rate in common categories like gas stations and restaurants, it can be a good deal for most people. For AARP members, the option to redeem cashback rewards toward your AARP membership renewal can also be helpful. If you don’t need a card to earn rewards from purchases at gas stations and restaurants, or you aren’t interested in AARP benefits, this may not be the right card for you.

What is the best credit card for older adults?

The AARP Credit Card from Chase is a great option for older adults because it has a $0 annual fee and you can redeem its rewards to join or renew your AARP membership. The 3% cash back from gas stations and restaurants can help you earn those rewards quickly.

If you want more freedom with your rewards earning, the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $0 annual fee and allows cardholders to earn 3% cash back from the category of your choice (dining, drug stores, gas, home improvement/furnishings, online shopping, or travel) each month. For frequent travelers and diners, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card offers a $0 annual fee and 3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming services.

What credit score do you need for the AARP Credit Card?

You would likely need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the AARP Credit Card from Chase. This would require a credit score between 670 (good) to 800 (excellent) or more. However, these aren’t published rules, and the final decision is up to Chase.

Can retirees get credit cards?

Even though retirees may no longer have full-time employment, they can still apply and be approved for new credit cards. What you list for total annual income on credit card applications can include:

  • Spouse’s income or somebody else’s income that is regularly used to pay your expenses
  • Any money that is regularly deposited into your account for you to use
  • Self-employment income
  • Income from full-time, part-time, or seasonal employment
  • Interests or dividends
  • Retirement income
  • Public assistance

Does AARP have a credit card?

The AARP Credit Card from Chase is the only AARP-branded credit card available. It’s issued by Chase in partnership with AARP.

Other cards to consider

The AARP Credit Card provides terrific value from hefty rewards earning, a $0 annual fee, and specific AARP benefits. Still, the cashback credit card that’s worth it is the one that best fits your spending habits and way of life. For some, the Chase Freedom Unlimited may be a better option.

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you don’t have to worry about bonus categories, such as gas stations and restaurants. It has a $0 annual fee, and you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. You can also earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

For even more unlimited cash back, the Citi Double Cash could be an ideal choice. There’s no sign-up bonus, but it has a $0 annual fee, and you can earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay.

Simple Cash Back Rewards

AARP Credit Card from Chase

AARP Credit Card from Chase

AARP Credit Card from Chase

Special Offer

Earn $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • 5% cash back grocery store purchases for the first year (up to $12k)
  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases
Citi Double Cash Card
Citi Double Cash Card
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee