Is AARP Worth the Cost?
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Personal Finance
AARP is $16 per year and offers discounts as benefits: http://aarp.org/benefits-discounts/
AARP memberships also offer other perks.
For example, if you’re married, your spouse will automatically get a free membership. If you’re single, you can sign up for AARP’s dating site. Members receive AARP Magazine, which has articles on everything from travel to personal finance.
AARP offers discounts for insurance, travel, and retail:
- Rental cars: Members get a discount with several traditional rental car companies, as well as a 30 percent discount on Zipcar memberships.
- Hotels: Your membership will get you up to 20 percent off at several hotel chains, such as Days Inn and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, as well as up to 35 percent off from Endless Vacation Rentals.
- Travel: You’ll get access to the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia, which posts members-only flight deals, plus you’re entitled to a discount at Park Ride Fly USA for off-airport parking.
- Cruises: The AARP Travel Center offers discounts on select cruises by companies including Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar and Grand European Travel.
However, if you’re thinking of joining AARP just for the travel discounts, you should know that there are many senior discounts that don’t require membership. For example, Best Western offers a 10 percent discount to anyone 55 years or older. If you’re 62 or older, you’ll get a 15 percent discount at Marriott locations.
Some airlines, including Southwest, offer senior fares. A few flight deal sites also post travel deals for seniors, such as OneTravel, CheapOair and Travelation. However, make sure the discounted fares, whether you find them through AARP or elsewhere, are the lowest available for your chosen flights.
Other discountsIf you’re diligent about flashing your membership card, you can easily earn back your membership fee. Some examples on savings:
- 15 percent off lunch or dinner at participating Outback Steakhouserestaurants Monday through Thursday, and 15 percent off weekend lunches.
- A free doughnut with the purchase of any large or extra-large drink at Dunkin’ Donuts.
- 10 percent off at McCormick & Schmick’s.
- 45 percent off the price of membership to Angie’s List.
- 5 percent off plans and 30 percent off accessories at Consumer Cellular.
You can read the full list of discounts by checking out the AARP Member Benefits Guide.
However, many establishments and businesses offer senior discounts, no membership required. For example:
- AMC Theatres: A 30-60 percent discount (depending on the day) for moviegoers 60 and older.
- Verizon Wireless: The 65 Plus Plan comes with 200 anytime minutes for $29.99 a month for customers 65 and older.
- Kohl’s: Customers 55 and older get 15 percent off in-store purchases on Wednesdays.
You can find plenty of sites that track senior discounts. Among them:
- Brad’s Deals
- Senior discounts at Free4Seniors.
- Gift Card Granny’s list of senior discounts.
Wherever you’re shopping, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they have a senior discount and how old you have to be to qualify.