Are you a card-carrying AARP member? If so, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re taking advantage of the many perks of being a member of the club.
You probably know that your AARP membership benefits include discounts on an array of products from home and car insurance, to tour packages, to home security systems, and yet you may not realize how many — and what a wide variety — are on offer.
“The benefits I use religiously are the discounts,” says AARP member Carol Gee, a retired higher education instructor and administrator in Atlanta. For example, she recently booked a hotel for a trip with her husband to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. She was quoted a rate of $229, but saved $35 with her AARP card. “We were upgraded to a suite at that rate, which was really very nice,” she says.
AARP membership perks extend far beyond travel discounts. Make sure you aren’t missing out on these savings or any of the many other pluses of being a member.
Here are 16 things that being an AARP member enables you to do:
- Find free financial advice. As you move toward or into retirement, taking care of your money is essential. As an AARP member, you can print or order free financial publications with detailed advice on topics such as carrying mortgage debt into retirement, dealing with age discrimination, investing with IRAs, reinventing your career, and when to claim Social Security.
- Save on car insurance. Your years of driving experience help make you a better driver. When you sign up for the AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford, you can get rewarded with lower premiums. Also, enjoy a discount for the next three years when you complete the AARP Smart DriverTMCourse. Just send The Hartford a copy of your certificate or update your policy online to receive a credit on your car insurance premium.
- Cut the cost of home insurance. Get a discount through the AARP® Homeowners Insurance Program from The Hartford. The program offers valuable coverage for your personal property, and protection against personal liability. A range of options are available to meet your needs — whether you own a house or condo, or you’re a renter. Save even more when you bundle your home and auto policies.
- Get dental and vision insurance.As you age, it’s more important than ever to take good care of your eyes and oral health. The AARP® MyVision Care provided through EyeMed offers AARP members a choice among three vision insurance plans. These include comprehensive eye exams with minimal copays and deep discounts on lenses and frames. AARP also offers dental insurance, administered by Delta Dental, that features large dentist networks, limits on out-of-pocket costs, and guaranteed acceptance for AARP members.
- Improve your hearing. Hey, have you heard? It’s also important not to neglect your ears. The AARP® Hearing Care Program offers an in-person hearing test, custom fitting for hearing aids, a 20% discount, plus an extra $200 off a pair of hearing aids. You even get a free three-year supply of hearing aid batteries.
- Pay less for prescriptions. About 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and 20% take five or more. The cost of these medications adds up, so why not save? The AARP® Prescription Discounts offers savings to AARP members and their spouses and dependents on drugs not covered by your current prescription insurance or Medicare Part D. The savings average up to 61%.
- Entertain yourself while waiting in line. You don’t have to let apps and games drain your bank account a buck at a time. AARP offers free online games for members, from backgammon to daily jigsaw puzzles, from mahjongg to solitaire. Some games are available to anyone, while others are for AARP members only. The bonus? Online games can help keep your mind sharp.
- Read the AARP magazine. As a member, you receive AARP The Magazine, which offers practical, usable advice on topics important to readers aged 50-plus. This includes info on health, money, and wellness. Recent topics include exercising without breaking a sweat, raising funds fast, and cutting your grocery bill by having a garden. Gee says she loves getting the magazine to learn about topics like scams targeted at older Americans, along with the latest info on Medicare and Social Security benefits.
- Bury your nose in a book for less. Are you a book lover who can’t always find what you want at the library? The AARP Bookstore offers AARP members 40% off select titles when ordered directly from the publisher. You can also get ebooks and free downloads.
- Supercharge your rewards earnings.Loyalty programs from airlines, credit card issuers, and retailers are a great way to live large and get more for your money. AARP offers several ways to maximize your rewards. You also can link your AARP membership card to your Walgreen’s Balance Rewards account to earn 50 points for every $1 you spend in the store.
- Earn while you learn. When you join the free AARP Rewards for Good program, you earn rewards points for using designated online tools, quizzes, and webinars at aarp.org. You can then redeem your points for deals and offers from local retailers, participate in live auctions on everything from iPads to gift cards, and enter sweepstakes for the chance to win prizes. AARP members earn 50% more points.
- Stretch your dining and entertainment dollars.You may already know that AARP has deals with restaurants that allow members to trim the fat from their restaurant bills. Most participating restaurants offer AARP members 10% to 15% off their total. Restaurants that offer discounts include Bonefish Grill, McCormick & Schmick’s, and Outback Steakhouse. Want to see a show after dinner? Get 20% off select Cirque du Soleil shows and 15% off select tickets for Arena and Under the Big Top touring shows. You can also get $9.50 tickets online for Regal movie theaters nationwide.
- Save more money when you shop. AARP members also can get an array of other discounts to keep more money in their wallets. For example, show your AARP card at Tanger Shopper Services and get a free coupon book with over $1,000 in discounts that can be redeemed at a variety of outlet stores. You can also get free printable coupons good at grocery stores, drug stores, and other retailers from Coupons.com.
- Protect your pet with health insurance. Fido and Muffy cheer you up, crack you up, and maybe even motivate you to exercise more. AARP allows you to keep your furry family members healthy with up to a 10% member discount on pet health insurance (when you enroll online) plus a $35 prepaid Petplan Visa® Prepaid Card you can use at your next vet visit.
- Pay less for airport parking, rental cars, and hotels. Get 12% off for off-airport parking with your AARP card at more than 100 locations when you book in advance. AARP offers members a variety of savings on lodging and car rentals.
- Tour the world for less.As an AARP member, you can travel light (on your wallet) with discounts on vacations. Here are a few examples: AARP membership includes $50 to $100 off per person on small group cultural immersion tours from Collette Explorations. You also get $100 off per person on guided vacations, including river cruises to Europe, from Grand European Travel. If you want to see the world by train, you can get 5% off worldwide rail vacations and train tours from Vacations by Rail. Get $100 off per couple on services from Liberty Travel.
While this may seem like quite the list, there are plenty more perks where these came from. If you haven’t done so already, download the AARP Now mobile app, which lets you easily access your member benefits right from your smartphone. And don’t forget that you can add your spouse or partner to your AARP membership at no cost. That’s an easy way to double the bang for your buck!
What’s your favorite benefit of being an AARP member? Are there discounts or perks you didn’t know about that you now plan to use? Comment and let us know.