This simple card is incredible for anyone on a fixed income and good credit. With no annual fee and small late-payment fees, you can easily reap the rewards on everyday spending without extra out-of-pocket costs—and you don’t have to be an AARP member to take advantage of this card.
The card caters to those who dine out a lot and want an easy-to-understand rewards system. And you can feel good about dining out, given that 10 cents of every restaurant purchase goes to feeding Americans older than 50. (Chase will donate a maximum of $1 million to the Drive To End Hunger in 2019.)
High rewards rates in popular categories
Automatic charity donations
Points are worth more when redeemed for travel
Foreign transaction fee
Ineligible for Chase Ultimate Rewards
Booking travel with points is inconvenient
- Low fees: Not only does this card have no annual fee, it also has lower late fees than most cards.
- High rewards rates in popular categories: If you spend a lot on gas and dining out, you’ll easily earn a lot of points.
- Automatic charity donations: For every restaurant purchase you make, AARP donates 10 cents to the AARP Foundation in support of Drive To End Hunger.
- Points are worth more when redeemed for travel: You can make the most of your rewards by using them to book travel through Chase.
- Foreign transaction fee: This isn’t the card you would use traveling outside of the United States. A 3% fee adds $30—enough for lunch for two—to $1,000 in purchases.
- Ineligible for Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. You can’t pool points with Chase cards earning the flexible and valuable Ultimate Rewards points; however, the cards that do earn Ultimate Rewards points also have annual fees.
- Booking travel with points is inconvenient: To get the most value out of your credit card points, you need to book with Chase travel—over the phone.
If you spend $500 within the first 3 months of opening the card, you receive 10,000 bonus points, which are worth $100 in cash back. That’s a decent cash bonus without an annual fee. Like most bonuses, expect to wait 6 to 8 weeks for 10,000 points, equal to $100, to be applied to your account.
You won’t qualify for the bonus if you had an AARP Credit Card from Chase within the last 24 months.
Earning Points & Rewards
The AARP Credit Card from Chase has a simple points-earning structure. You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent at restaurants and gas stations, and every other purchase earns 1 point per $1 spent.
Points generally don’t expire, as long as you keep up with your payments. Being over 60 days late on minimum payments can result in losing all your points. If you close your account in good standing, you’ll have 30 days to redeem points.
There’s a decent amount of flexibility in using the points you earn with the AARP card. Here are your options:
- Cash: Get cash direct deposited into your checking or savings account, or applied as a statement credit. A point has a value of 1 cent when redeemed for cash back.
- AARP membership: AARP membership gives adults 50 or older access to an array of discounts. You can redeem points at a rate of 1 cent per point for memberships of one, three, or five years, which cost between $12 to $63.
- Gift cards: You can redeem points for gift cards at 1 cent per point.
- Travel: You get 10% more value from redeeming points for travel via the Chase Travel Center phone number. The same 2,500 points you’d use to purchase a $25 gift card are worth $27.50 when used for travel, and you can use points to partially pay for travel. . Some bookings will have a minimum booking amount.
When looking at rewards cards, you’ll want to find programs where points are worth at least 1 cent. Based on that rule of thumb, the AARP Card from Chase provides several valuable options for using your points.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Achieve the sign up bonus quickly by putting all your dining and gas purchases on this card. For instance, if you spend $100 per month on dining and $150 per month on dining out, you’ll meet the $500 minimum spend in two months. Plus, you’ll get 3 points per dollar in both categories, totaling $15 for cash back. But if you really want the most from this card, you’ll use the points to book a trip through the Chase Travel Center phone line. If you decide to travel internationally, opt for a card with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
Because this card has no outstanding financing offers, this isn’t a good card to use if you carry a balance. Like most rewards cards, it has an above-average maximum APR, and any interest charges you incur will outweigh your rewards earnings.
Chase ranks No. 4 in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Out of 1,000 points, Chase scored 807, one point below the national average and 35 points behind No. 1 ranked Discover.
Chase scored better in comparison to other banks in overall online satisfaction, placing fifth. It outranked Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citi. Bank of America and Wells Fargo ranked higher in satisfaction with the mobile app.
In addition to standard security features, the AARP Card from Chase offers the following:
- Free emergency card replacement is available within 24 hours in the U.S. and Canada.
- Free credit scores come with the card and is available on the Chase website.
AARP Card from Chase’s Other Features
- Extended warranties
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
This is an inexpensive card for regular use with few surprises. In fact, the late fees are really low. They’re based on your balance, so if you’re late paying your balance of less than $750, the fee is $15. For balances of $750 or more, the late fee is up to $35, which is lower than the typical $38-$39 maximum late fee across the industry. The main fee to watch out for is the foreign transaction fee.