5 Things to Know About the AARP Credit Card

Offering 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, the AARP Credit Card has potential for those who like to eat out (and to drive there).

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Nerdy tip: AARP's credit cards are switching issuers. The Chase-issued card described in this article will be replaced in 2021 with a suite of cards issued by Barclays. Holders of the existing AARP® Credit Card from Chase will get a new card in September from Barclays. Here's what to know about the new Barclays-issued AARP credit cards.

The AARP® Credit Card from Chase offers good rewards on dining and gas, even if you're not among AARP’s key demographic of Americans age 50 and older. This is especially true given the card's $0 annual fee.

But depending on where you do the bulk of your spending, other cards may be better fits or offer more flexible rewards.

Here are five things to know about the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

1. The card’s bonus categories are a useful pair

Chase AARP Rewards Platinum Visa Credit Card
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For consumers who spend a large portion of their budget on dining out and gas, this card earns rich rewards: 3% cash back on restaurants, including both sit-down service or fast food, and at gas stations. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

It's not easy to find a no-annual-fee card that offers 3X back in both of those spending categories — but there are some exceptions. The Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card, for instance, earns 3 points back at restaurants; on gas and transit; and at supermarkets, as well as 1 point back on everything else. However, to get the card, you'll have to join Navy Federal Credit Union, meaning you'll have to meet certain eligibility requirements first.

Or, if groceries are a bigger slice of your budget than gas is, you could opt for the $0-annual-fee Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It pays 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), plus 1% on all other purchases.

2. The rewards you earn aren't Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Because the AARP® Credit Card from Chase is a co-branded card, the rewards you earn aren't Chase Ultimate Rewards®, which means you can't combine them with points from other Chase cards or transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® for a higher redemption value.

3. There is a modest sign-up bonus

The card comes with a sign-up bonus: $100 Bonus Cash Back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening*.

That's not bad, but several alternatives feature much higher sign-up bonuses, including all of the aforementioned cards — the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card.

4. You don’t have to be an AARP member to apply

Anyone can apply for this card, regardless of age or AARP membership status. You also can use your rewards to pay for your $16 annual AARP membership fee.

5. A portion of your restaurant spending goes to charity

Every time you use AARP® Credit Card from Chase at restaurants, 10 cents is donated to the AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger campaign. Chase says it has helped raise over $10.7 million since 2011, or the equivalent of of 3.5 million meals for older Americans. For those looking to support AARP’s mission of empowering people as they age, this charitable feature is a key differentiator and one you can’t find on another card.

Information about the AARP® Credit Card from Chase has been collected by NerdWallet and was not supplied or reviewed by the issuer of this card. 

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