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If you’re looking to earn a good cashback rate at restaurants and gas stations, the AARP® Credit Card from Chase could be exactly what you need — and the great thing is that you can apply for it whether or not you’re an AARP member. Plus, the annual fee is $0.
This card is issued by Chase, so you should know your Chase 5/24 status before applying. If you’ve been approved for five or more credit cards (from any issuer) within the past two years, you probably won’t get approved for any card issued by Chase.
Now, let’s look at what the AARP® Credit Card from Chase has to offer and where it falls short.
In this article:
- Where the AARP® Credit Card from Chase stands out
- Additional AARP® Credit Card from Chase benefits
- Where the AARP® Credit Card from Chase falls short
- Compare it with the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- The bottom line
Where the AARP® Credit Card from Chase stands out
Cash back for restaurant and gas station spending. 3% cash back rewards on purchases at restaurants, 3% cash back rewards on purchases at gas stations, 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases.
Options for redeeming your rewards may include cash, an AARP membership, gift cards, travel and more. In most cases, each point will be worth $0.01 — or 100 points will equal $1. However, when you redeem for travel (including airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and cruises) by calling the Chase Travel Center at 855-234-2538, your rewards are worth about 10% more. According to the rewards program agreement, 100 points redeemed this way have a value of $1.12.
Additional AARP® Credit Card from Chase benefits
Sign-up bonus. Earn $100 bonus cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. There are bigger bonuses available on other cards, but this one has a decent value and should be easy enough to earn if you put the bulk of your spending on this card within the first three months of opening the account.
Charitable donations. Whenever you make a purchase at a restaurant using the AARP® Credit Card from Chase , $0.10 will be donated to the AARP Foundation in support of the Drive to End Hunger.
Where the AARP® Credit Card from Chase falls short
Foreign transaction fee. Leave this card at home if you’re traveling outside the United States. It charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars on each transaction.
Looking for a card with no foreign transaction fee? Check out our top picks here.
No 0% intro APR. Maybe you don’t need an intro 0% APR period if you’re not planning a big purchase or balance transfer. But there are competitive cashback cards on the market that offer an intro 0% APR on purchases, balance transfers or both.
Points can’t be transferred for Ultimate Rewards. If you pair a Chase card, such as the Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer rewards from the cashback card to either Sapphire card and then redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, getting more value per point. Sadly, you can’t do that with the cash back you earn using the AARP® Credit Card from Chase .
No benefits specifically for seniors or AARP members. Even though this card is co-branded by Chase and AARP, there aren’t any rewards or perks specifically for seniors or AARP members, except for the ability to redeem cash back toward your AARP membership.
Compare it with the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Another card with a $0 annual fee that offers good rewards on restaurants is the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Let’s see how the two stack up:
|AARP® Credit Card from Chase||Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card|
|Regular purchase APR||17.99% to 24.74% Variable||15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)|
|Rewards||3% cash back rewards on purchases at restaurants, 3% cash back rewards on purchases at gas stations, 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases||3% cash back on dining; 3% cash back on entertainment; 2% cash back at grocery stores; 1% cash back on all other purchases|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn $100 bonus cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars||None|
If you value cash back at the gas station, the AARP® Credit Card from Chase wins out. But if you feel cash back at the grocery store would be more helpful, you probably want the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is also the better choice if traveling abroad, thanks to its foreign transaction fee of none.
For those looking for a higher cashback rate on dining, there’s also the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers 4% Cash Back on dining; 4% Cash Back on entertainment; 2% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through Jan 2022. It charges an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
The bottom line
For a card with a $0 annual fee, the AARP® Credit Card from Chase offers a good cashback rate at restaurants and gas stations. If you want a card that rewards you in those categories, this is a solid choice.
However, this is essentially a stand-alone card. Don’t assume that because it’s issued by Chase that it pairs with the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem in the way some other Chase cards do, because it doesn’t. If you want that capability, you should consider the rotating 5% Chase Freedom® or the flat-rate Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
See additional details for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
It’s also probably smart to note that if you don’t spend a lot on restaurants and fuel, you might get more out of a card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which lets you earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
All that said, the AARP® Credit Card from Chase is good at what it does. It combines two popular spending categories, and is a worthy rival to similar cashback cards. But if you’re not sure it’s what you need, check out our guide on the best credit cards for restaurants for a wider range of options.
The information related to the AARP® Credit Card from Chase and Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.