AARP Review [2024]: It’s Not Just For Seniors Anymore

SAVING & SPENDING - BUDGETING & EXPENSES
AARP membership offers individuals access to a wide range of exclusive benefits, including discounts on travel, health services, and entertainment.
Updated April 18, 2024
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You might associate AARP with getting older, especially if the invitations welcoming you to join AARP have started to appear in your mailbox after you turn 50. Rather than toss the invitations, consider joining AARP. Membership in the organization offers many perks and discounts, which even younger adults are starting to take advantage of.

Learn more in this AARP review, which examines the organization, its mission, and whether AARP membership is worth the cost (we think it is).

AARP Benefits

  • Huge discounts on travel, groceries, prescriptions and more
  • Access to financial planning resources and health tools
  • Join AARP and get 25% off your first year

In this AARP review

Key takeaways

  • We recommend joining AARP due to the low cost of membership — $16 per year — and the many benefits, including travel discounts.
  • AARP advocates for issues important to older adults aged 50 and over, such as Medicare and Social Security.
  • Anyone aged 18 and over can become an AARP member, but some discounts and programs are limited to older adults.

AARP: Is it worth it?

Pros Cons
  • Low annual membership fee
  • Anyone 18 or older can join
  • Offers discounts on travel, restaurants, healthcare, rental cars and more
  • You can add a spouse or partner for free
  • There’s a lot of info to look over to get the full benefit of membership
  • Political advocacy may not align with your views
Our verdict: Joining AARP is definitely worth it. The annual membership cost is low, and the benefits are extensive. While some of the AARP benefits are restricted to adults aged 50 and older, there are still plenty of discounts available that make AARP membership a worthwhile investment for all ages. Plus, you actually get two memberships for the price of one — you can add a spouse or partner to your membership for no additional cost.

What is AARP?

AARP is the largest non-profit, nonpartisan organization in the U.S. focused on issues impacting people aged 50 and older. The organization started as the American Association of Retired Persons, founded in 1958 by retired California teacher Ethel Percy Andrus.

AARP's original mission was to help provide health insurance coverage for retired teachers. Medicare wasn’t available until 1966, and no other programs provided health insurance for retirees 65 and older.

Today, AARP still advocates for adults over 50 on issues such as healthcare, age discrimination, affordable prescription drugs, financial security, affordable housing, and long-term care. But its almost 38 million members also benefit from discounts on travel, restaurants, entertainment, insurance, and more.

When can you join AARP?

Although invitations to join AARP don’t start appearing in your mailbox until you get closer to age 50, you don’t have to wait until then to join the organization.

AARP membership is open to anyone aged 18 or older. If you are under 50, you are considered an associate member, but you still have access to most of the discounts and benefits of membership (exceptions: age-restricted insurance products and those that may be restricted by law or contract).

AARP member costs

AARP membership costs just $12 for the first year, with automatic renewal at $16 per year thereafter. There are also discounts if you prepay for a membership for multiple years. The multi-year memberships cost $43 for three years and $63 for five years.

One of the most significant benefits of AARP membership is that you get a free second membership for someone in your household, such as your partner or spouse.

AARP benefits

AARP membership has a plethora of benefits. There are so many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to read through.

As an AARP member, you can score discounts on everything from groceries, restaurants, and travel to resume services and car insurance. The organization also has tools to help you learn how to manage your money.

There are certain AARP benefits that people join the organization just to access. If you are curious about how to save money with an AARP membership, here are the most popular AARP benefits that make membership worth the cost for many people.

Travel

Travel discounts are among the most popular perks of an AARP membership. AARP has its own Travel Center, powered by Expedia, where you can search for flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, and more.

Here are some examples of travel discounts you could get with an AARP membership.

  • $65 to $200 off British Airways round-trip tickets
  • Up to $200 onboard credit on select Holland America Line cruises
  • Up to 30% off base car rental rates with Avis and Budget

Restaurants

AARP members can also save up to 15% when they dine out at select restaurants that partner with AARP. Discounts include national chain restaurants like Bonefish Grill, Cinnabon, and Papa John's as well as restaurants that are local to your area.

Here are some examples of the restaurant discounts you could get with an AARP membership.

  • 10% off at Bonefish Grill
  • 10% off at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • 25% off your first DoorDash order of $15 or more

Entertainment

If you like to go to concerts or amusement parks, you can also get discounts on entertainment with an AARP membership. Members can also get discounts on national and local entertainment venues. Discounts apply to everything from television streaming services like Paramount+ and Book of the Month Club membership to theme parks like Walt Disney World and Legoland.

Here are some examples of the entertainment discounts you could get with an AARP membership.

  • Up to $60 off Walt Disney World theme park tickets
  • Concert and sporting event tickets with no service fees through All Savings Tickets
  • Up to 25% off at LEGOLAND Florida

Health care and insurance

In line with AARP’s original mission to provide affordable health insurance, members have access to various health insurance options from dental and vision coverage to pet insurance.

Membership also includes healthcare discounts for prescriptions, eyewear, and virtual fitness classes.

Here are some of the health benefits you get with an AARP membership.

  • Discounted dental insurance through Delta Dental
  • Discounted vision plans through VSP
  • 10% off monthly premiums for Fetch Pet Insurance

Other insurance benefits with AARP include:

Medicare coverage

For seniors aged 65 and older, AARP offers several Medicare coverage options through a partnership with UnitedHealthcare.

Those options include a Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C plan, that provides Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (outpatient care and doctor visits) coverage plus additional benefits like dental, hearing, and vision coverage. Monthly premiums for AARP’s Medicare Advantage coverage are as low as $0.

AARP also provides Medicare Supplement plans, or Medigap insurance, for out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered under Medicare Part A or B, such as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.

For seniors who have Medicare Part A and B or a Medigap plan, AARP provides a Medicare Part D prescription plan with monthly premiums as low as $41.60. (Note these plans are not available if you have a Medicare Advantage plan because those usually include prescription coverage.)

Life insurance

AARP provides life insurance products through a partnership with New York Life Insurance Company. Life insurance offers financial security for your loved ones when you pass away. It can help your beneficiaries pay your outstanding debts and cover the costs of your funeral and burial.

Through New York Life, AARP offers:

  • Term life insurance coverage up to $150,000 that ends at age 80
  • Up to $50,000 in permanent life insurance coverage with no premium increases
  • Guaranteed acceptance life insurance up to $25,000 in coverage with no premium increases

Other note-worthy benefits

AARP offers so many discounts and benefits for its members that it can be hard to keep track of them all.

Here are a few more noteworthy benefits of an AARP membership.

  • Car insurance through The Hartford which can save you an average of $577 on your premiums
  • Other insurance products through The Hartford such as homeowners, renters, motorcycles, boats, and more
  • Roadside assistance through Allstate starting at $5.50 per month
  • Resume assistance through TopResume
  • An online job board
  • 15% off Lifeline medical alert service
  • Free online workout videos
  • Shopping discounts at national retailers and local stores
  • An auto buying program through TrueCar that can save you at least $100
  • Fuel discounts through Exxon Mobil
  • Discounts on cell phone plans through AT&T; and Consumer Cellular
  • An AARP Perks browser extension that can save you money when you shop online
  • Real estate benefits by Anywhere where you can receive $300 to $7,200 when you buy or sell a home

The Hartford Benefits

  • Switch to the AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford2today
  • Customers save $5771on average
  • 4.8/5 rating for Customer Claims3

How to get started with AARP

Signing up for AARP is an easy process, and you don’t even have to have an offer code mailed or emailed to you to get started. Here are the steps you need to take to sign up for an AARP membership.

1. Go to the AARP website and click on the Join Today button. If you have ever been an AARP member in the past, you would click Renew to access your account.

2. If you received an AARP membership offer code through the mail or email, you would enter it along with your name, birthday, and address. You don’t need this code to join AARP, but you may miss out on the freebies the organization is giving away for new members without it.

AARP screenshot

3. If you have a spouse, partner, or someone in your household you want to give the free secondary membership to, provide their first and last name. You’ll then need to provide your email address and a password for your account.

AARP screenshot

4. AARP offers three membership options: one year, three years, or five years. The longer you sign up for, the cheaper your membership will be per year.

AARP screenshot

5. After you choose your membership term, you’ll be asked to enter your credit card and billing address. Then, you are officially an AARP member and will soon receive your AARP membership card in the mail. AARP also gives you the option to receive your membership card and AARP publications electronically if you prefer.

AARP screenshot

FAQs about AARP

Is AARP worth having?

Yes, AARP is worth having. The many perks and discounts you get with an AARP membership are well worth the annual membership fee of $12 to $16. You’ll easily recoup your membership fee simply by taking advantage of a few discount offers.

Is AARP reputable?

Yes, AARP is a very reputable organization. It has been around since the late 1950s. In addition to the discounts on health insurance, travel, shopping, and dining out that it provides for its members, the organization also actively advocates for the interests of seniors aged 65 and older.

Are there any cons to joining AARP?

There are few cons to joining AARP. However, you may not want to become an AARP member if you don’t agree with the organization’s mission and political advocacy for issues impacting seniors like Medicare and Social Security. The funds the organization raises through its membership are used for its advocacy work.

Which is better: AAA or AARP?

It’s hard to say whether AARP is better than AAA or vice versa. Both AARP and AAA are membership clubs that provide members with discounts, insurance, and more. AAA is primarily known for its roadside assistance and car insurance products.

AARP provides auto insurance coverage through The Hartford at up to 10% off premiums. Membership to AARP is more affordable than AAA, which costs between $65 and $125 per year. There are no restrictions to holding memberships to both AARP and AAA, but because of its advocacy work, AARP may be a better choice for adults over 50.

AARP review: bottom line

AARP has been advocating for older adults for over 60 years. But AARP membership isn’t exclusive to older adults. Anyone aged 18 and older can join and access the many discounts that an AARP membership offers.

AARP members get discounts on travel, shopping, healthcare, insurance, and more. With an annual membership fee of $16, you’ll most likely recoup your membership cost by just by taking advantage of the many perks and discounts that AARP offers its members.

Plus, if you are an adult 50 or older, you may like to know that your membership helps AARP advocate for issues impacting you and other older adults.

AARP Benefits

  • Huge discounts on travel, groceries, prescriptions and more
  • Access to financial planning resources and health tools
  • Join AARP and get 25% off your first year

Author Details

Danielle Letenyei Danielle Letenyei is a professional writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her interests include budgeting, travel, credit cards, insurance, and creative side gigs. She hopes her work on these topics can help others navigate the intricate landscape of personal finance.

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