Introduction to the AARP Credit Card From Chase
The AARP is the largest non-profit organization in the US that is dedicated to empowering Americans who are aged 50 and older. The organization was founded back in 1958 and in the years since it has swelled to more than 38 million members.
Membership to the AARP is cheap at just $16 a year, and it can help members to access some seriously attractive discounts on insurance and a host of other products.
Best of all, active AARP members also get access to the AARP Credit Card from Chase. Chase is renowned for offering high-quality cards that are packed with features – but how does this option stack up for AARP members?
Here’s a closer look at the features and terms surrounding this card, and whether or not it might be the right option for you or whether you should pass it up for one of the many alternatives on the market.
Becoming an AARP Member
This is a relatively simple process and interested members can learn more about it on the AARP website. The process can be completed online and should not take too long, enabling you to apply for the AARP Credit Card from Chase.
While you do not have to be a member to apply for the card, there are certain benefits to doing so. You can elect, for example, to pay for your AARP membership directly from the Cash Back bonuses that you generate.
The Sign-Up Bonus
This credit card offers cardholders an attractive sign-up bonus. After having registered for the card, cardholders will receive $100 cash back after having spent $500 on purchases in the first three months. This is an excellent opportunity and if you have a big ticket item that you have been looking to purchase, it can make sense to do this after having registered with the card.
Once you have successfully qualified for the sign-up bonus, you should receive it around six to eight weeks later.
The Annual Fee
You will also be delighted to learn that there is no annual fee associated with this card. This is a really great bonus when compared to some other alternatives on the market which have high and recurring annual fees. This absence of an annual fee means that the bonuses you earn aren’t eaten away and you can feel their full benefit.
The AARP Credit Card from Chase also helps you to offer your support for the Drive to End Hunger. Every time you make a purchase at a restaurant using the card, Chase will donate ten cents to the AARP-led foundation. This helps you to do good while enjoying a meal.
The APR varies depending on your creditworthiness, starting at 18.49% and going up to 25.24%. This is quite a significant range and you’ll want to ensure that you try your best to get the lower APR by boosting your credit score.
In terms of APR, this is pretty standard when compared to competing cards that are available on the market.
Foreign Transaction Fees
When you’re traveling you might want to leave this card at home, given that there is a 3% foreign transaction fee on each transaction in U.S. dollars. This is quite a significant amount and given that there are lots of credit cards on the market that offer fee foreign transactions, you’ll want to use this card domestically.
There are a huge range of rewards available to cardholders, and these come together to make this a powerful card that could be a viable option for many people aged over 50 across the US.
To begin, cardholders can look forward to receiving a whopping 3% Cash Back rewards on purchases made at restaurants. If you dine out often, then this is certainly a great option and it can really help you to make the most of your purchases.
Likewise, if you travel often then you will also receive 3% Cash Back rewards on purchases that are made at gas stations. This is a significant amount and when combined with the returns on restaurant purchases, makes this a truly mighty card in terms of Cash Back rewards.
Cardholders also receive a 1% Cash Back reward on all the other purchases that they make with the card, making this a good general card to use from one day to the next. Aside from the attractive welcome bonus, cardholders also enjoy Zero Liability Protection.
Aside from these key benefits, cardholders can also look forward to a range of supplementary benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and emergency card replacement. These help you to have peace of mind when shopping for products and you can rest assured that your big ticket purchases will be protected for as long as possible.
Cardholders also enjoy enhanced security, given that EMV chips are included within the card. This technology is considered to be much more secure and helps cardholders to shop with confidence and use their card while on the road.
Terms and Conditions
As with any card, it is very important to ensure that you read through all of the necessary terms and conditions to get all of the information that you need. You will find that the better your understanding of these terms, the more you will get from the card itself.
Being able to understand the terms means that you will be an empowered consumer who can really get the most from the card and know how to maximize the returns that you get on the purchases that you make.
Late and Returned Payments
Cardholders will find that if they make late or returned payments, they will witness fees as high as $35. This high fee can make a serious dent in any savings that you were hoping to make with your card, so you should be sure to diligently manage it.
What’s more, cardholders also incur fees for cash advances, balance transfers, and foreign transactions. This means that you should be careful when using the card in order to ensure that you are getting the very best from it.
According to customer reviews and experience, the customer service is excellent. There are a range of channels that can be used to access customer support including a phone line, secured email via your account, or even via Twitter.
All of the support is timely and helpful, and many people praise the polite and prompt service that they receive. It is worth noting, however, that online chat is unavailable and that if you were hoping to use this method you will not be able to.
The applications for both Android and iOS are held in high regard, praised for a slick UI and UX that helps to facilitate for a smooth experience.
Through the Chase online account, you are able to redeem your rewards in a variety of categories. Gaining access is simple and you’ll find that the platform works very well regardless of the device type that you are using. From here you can manage your rewards and configure your preferences.
Who Is This Card For?
Obviously, this card is really useful for AARP members who travel often via car and eat out at restaurants. If the card is used in these instances, you will find that you can quickly generate a huge amount of Cash Back rewards and use this to put towards other purchases.
Given that the card is targeted towards those people over 50, it can really help people to enjoy their retirement years and extend the life of their nest egg.
The welcome bonus means that you should think carefully about whether this is the right card for you or not. You have to spend $500 dollars within the first three months in order to unlock the $100 reward. If you are not sure you’ll make it, then you might want to consider another option.
There are, also, competing cards on the market which offer favorable welcome bonuses depending on your specific situation. This is why you’ll want to carefully dig into all of the terms and conditions that you can.
If you do find, however, that your spending is spread across a range of diverse categories, this might not be the card for you. If that is the case, there are alternatives available on the market which will help you to maximize your Cash Back rewards.
The Bottom Line
This is a great card for members of the AARP who drive often and eat out a lot. If this fits with your lifestyle, then you may find that this is the card that is the best for you.
The range of supplementary benefits mean that you can shop with confidence and benefit from excellent service, and we also appreciate the charitable contributions that are made by Chase on your behalf. This helps you to do good and enjoy your own life while also helping to enrich that of others.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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