AARP Credit Card from Chase

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For the road warrior and frequent restaurant diner, this card offers robust rewards with minimal effort.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

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The AARP Credit Card from Chase offers sizable rewards for people who love to eat out and fill up at the gas pump. The 3% cash back rewards on restaurant and gas purchases is better than what most rewards cards offer. Plus, cardholders don’t have to jump through hoops to figure out the points system as there are no category spending requirements or limits on how much you can earn.

Review

If you want to sidestep costly fees and earn meaningful rewards on gas and restaurant spending, then take a peek at the AARP Credit Card from Chase, which ticks those boxes. Not only will you get 3% cash back rewards in these areas, but you will also get 1% cash back on everything else.

One of the major advantages is that there’s no annual fee, so you can enjoy this card without worrying about whether or not you’re earning enough rewards to compensate for the cost.

New cardholders also will get a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. This sign-up bonus is only available for people who do not own this credit card and have not received a bonus for this credit card in the past 24 months.

One unique and feel-good feature is that for each restaurant purchase you make on the card, Chase will donate $0.10 to the AARP Foundation in support of Drive To End Hunger. Not only will you benefit from spending, but you can also help a good cause.

Who should get this card

People who want a card that gives them above average points on gas and restaurants without an annual fee will love this card. You can park it in your wallet and not worry that you’re spending more on fees than you’re earning in points.

Although there are cards that offer better rewards and bigger sign-up bonuses, it’s not easy finding one that doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Advantages
  • Cardholders don’t have to pay an annual fee.
  • There are several valuable perks, including the price protection and extended warranty program.
  • A portion of your restaurant purchases goes to a charity fighting hunger.
Disadvantages
  • There are cards with more competitive points programs.
  • The sign-up bonus is average.
  • The APR leans toward the expensive side.

Fees and APR

    • There’s no annual fee.
    • The variable APR is on the high side, between 17.24% and 23.99% based on creditworthiness.
    • The variable balance transfer APR is also between 17.24% and 23.99%.
    • Cardholders who make late payments will be charged a late payment fee of up to $15 if the balance is less than $750 and up to $35 if the balance is $750 or more.
    • The balance transfer fee is either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    • If you use the card outside of the U.S., you will have to pay a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Extras, perks and using rewards

Cardholders will get free access to the purchase protection program, which covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

The zero liability program protects you from unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.

The complimentary extended warranty protection plan adds an additional year to the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty; this is good for eligible warranties of three years or less.

The points’ value changes depending on how you use them. You can choose cash back as either a statement credit or direct deposit into a savings or checking account, put them toward an AARP membership or use them to buy gift cards. Redeeming your points this way gets you $0.01 per point, which is $1 per 100 points.

Or you can choose to put your rewards toward travel through the AARP Everyday Rewards Program, which increases your points’ value to $0.0112 or $1.12 per 100 points.

How this card compares

Citi® Double Cash Card
Card Details
  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 months*

When it comes to rewards value, the Citi Double Cash Card ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards that charge no annual fee.

So why, you might ask, does this card not receive a higher score from Bankrate? There are a couple reasons, but the main thing dragging this card down is this: Because Citi Double Cash offers no sign-up bonus, it struggles to compete with many cards in this category.

Card Details
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

If you’re up for the challenge of tracking bonus rewards categories, Chase Freedom can give you some real cash-back bang for your buck. For travel junkies and road warriors, this card is ideal when paired with an eligible Chase card to reap maximum travel rewards on your spending.

If you don’t want to do the work, get a card that offers a flat cash-back rate better than what you’ll find here.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Card Details
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Credit Needed Good
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid, straightforward cash-back rewards card that’s ideal for cardholders who just don’t have the time or energy to track spending categories. It ranks among the very best cash-back credit cards we track.

There are other cards that offer better rewards, but the Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash back on everything is an excellent reward coming from a no-annual-fee credit card.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Card Details
  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.99%-24.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months

Depending on your spending habits, the no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express may ultimately give you better cash-back earnings with a rate of 3% at U.S. supermarkets (on spending up to $6,000 annually, then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on all other eligible spending.

 

 

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.