The American Association of Retired Persons, commonly known as AARP, is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that claims almost 38 million members. The organization is known for its lobbying work on behalf of retirees, including healthcare, employment and retirement benefits issues, and protections for the elderly. AARP also provides valuable information to members, as well as coordinating a wide range of benefits for retirees.
If you’re 50 years old or older, you have reached AARP age and are eligible to join AARP — although you can join as an associate member if you’re under age 50. The AARP membership cost is usually $16 per year, but you can find various discounts when you sign up for more than one year. Read on to learn about the types of AARP membership benefits and AARP discounts you can tap into if you join as a member, even if you don’t qualify for senior citizen discounts yet.
AARP Health and Wellness Benefits
AARP has negotiated a range of discounts and benefits related to health and wellness. First, the group has created its own insurance and benefit plans available to members. AARP insurance plans include:
- Dental insurance through Delta Dental Insurance Company
- Hearing care through HearUSA
- Vision care through EyeMed
- Prescription discounts through OptumRX
- AARP Medicare-eligible plans through UnitedHealthcare
AARP also offers other discounts from other providers, including discounts on glasses through Glasses.com and hearing aids through HearUSA. Members receive additional bonus rewards when shopping through Walgreens.
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AARP Insurance Perks
In addition to AARP health insurance benefits, AARP members also benefit from discounts on other types of insurance. For example, AARP provides discounts for:
- Car insurance policies sold by The Hartford and Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill
- Home insurance from The Hartford
- Property and casualty insurance from Real Legacy Assurance Company
- Life insurance policies from New York Life
- Pet insurance plans from Petplan
AARP Travel Discounts
Many of AARP’s discounts are for having fun. In addition to AARP Travel, which aims to help members discover new travel ideas, AARP has negotiated discounts with a variety of companies in the travel industry to stretch your budget further. Specific benefits include:
- Car rentals: AARP has negotiated discounts with Avis, Budget Car Rental, Budget Truck Rental, Payless Car Rental and Zipcar. The discounts vary by company and range from 5 percent off to up to 43 percent off an annual Zipcar membership.
- Transportation: Companies that offer discounts for travel for AARP members include British Airways, Collette, Grand Canyon Railway, Vacations By Rail and AARP’s Travel Center powered by Expedia.
- Hotel stays: AARP’s portfolio of hotels that offers its members discounts includes 10 percent off at Best Western, Choice Hotels, La Quinta Inns and Suites and the Wyndham Hotel Group. It also includes 25 percent off at TripBeat, Endless Vacation, properties around the world.
AARP Entertainment and Restaurant Discounts
Your budget can be tight if you’re living on Social Security. Whether you’re looking to keep costs down while you’re traveling or looking for fun night out, AARP still has your back even if you’re not quite old enough for senior discounts. AARP members receive discounts for Cirque du Soleil and on movie tickets through Regal Entertainment Group. You also receive special benefits when booking tickets to other events through Ticketmaster.
If dining out is more your style, showing your AARP card saves you money at a plethora of restaurants including Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Denny’s, Landry’s Restaurants, McCormick & Schmick’s and Outback Steakhouse. Or, if you’d rather have your groceries delivered, you can receive discounts from Schwan’s Home Service and Silver Cuisine from BistroMD.
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AARP Shopping Discounts
Your AARP membership earns you a free coupon booklet for Tanger Outlets. AARP has also negotiated discounts for lots of different gift stores online. You can get a 20 percent discount when you order from retailers including 1-800-Baskets, 1-800-Flowers, Cheryl’s, Harry and David, Simply Chocolate, Stock Yards, The Popcorn Factory and Wolferman’s. If you’d rather buy your gifts in person, you can take advantage of a shipping discount through the UPS Store.
AARP Financial Planning
AARP members can also take advantage of a range of financial products available to members. For example, only AARP members can use the AARP credit card from Chase, which offers 3 percent cash back on restaurant and gas station purchases and 1 percent on other purchases. The AARP Foundation has a tax assistance program to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers prepare their tax returns. AARP also has a partnership with Charles Schwab Foundation to offer financial planning training.
AARP Phone Discounts
AARP has negotiated several AARP phone benefits for members to lower your phone bill. With AT&T, you receive a 10 percent discount each month and 15 percent off certain phone accessories. Consumer Cellular offers AARP members a 5 percent monthly discount and 30 percent off certain accessories. If Cricket is your provider of choice, your membership gets you $20 off online purchases of wireless phones.
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