AARP is a non profit organization that those over 50 can join as members, and has become a powerful advocacy group championing issues relevant to the over 50’s. Previously known as the American Association of Retired Persons, it dropped the name in favor of simply AAPR, in recognition that members are not necessarily retired. The organization is also open to international members.
There are benefits to becoming a member of the AAPR, including discounted products and services, and a monthly magazine. The organization also has a financial services sector that offers the AAPR Visa credit card, issued by Chase. The card also has some great benefits, particularly in the introductory period.
AAPR Visa cardholders receive a massive 5% cash back on all purchases for six months. After this period the cash back is reduced to 3% on all eligible travel purchases and 1% on all other purchases. Points accrue at the rate of 1 point per dollar spent, and can be redeemed in a variety of ways. Points can be used for AAPR membership fees which are currently $16 per annum; for gift cards; cash; or statement credits.
The card has a generous 12 month introductory APR of 0% on both purchases and balance transfers, before reverting to the variable APR of 13.24% – 19.24% dependant upon credit. Cash advances attract an APR of 24.99% and overdraft advances 13.99%. The penalty APR of 29.99% will replace the introductory rate if any minimum payment is made 60 days late. Fees applied to cardholders are 3% or $5, whichever is greater, for balance transfers; 3% for foreign transactions; and 3% or $10 for cash advances.
Charitable contributions go to the AAPR Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger. A donation of $1 is made for each new account opened and an additional $0.03 for each purchase made. Additionally cardholders are eligible for price protection. This guarantees if they have purchased an item which they then see advertised elsewhere within 60 days then the difference in price will be refunded to the card, up to a value of $250.
Cardholders also receive an extension of up to one extra year on manufacturers’ guarantees, and purchase protection for 60 days. This covers items which are stolen or damaged within that period, up to a value of $250.
The biggest benefit is to cardholders who purchase a large ticket item within the first six months, thus receiving the advantage of an interest free purchase combined with 5% cash back. If an item was purchased at $2,000 when the card is opened not only would the cardholder receive $100 cash back but could earn interest on the $2,000 for 12 months before paying the balance off in full.
The AAPR Visa card is definitely worth considering for the over 50’s as it does offer some benefits worth having. It certainly represents a great deal for those who can rack up the spending in the first six months to gain the 5% cash back, which is definitely one of the most generous reward schemes in the market.