It’s a funny thing, really. AARP has been around since 1958. Yet, it still continues to be a valuable resource for people who like to live with choice.
AARP’s mission is to: “empower people to choose how they live as they age.” It focuses much of its considerable influence to lobby on issues affecting aging, and the elderly. AARP sells paid memberships and markets insurance products, as well as other services to members.
At this writing, membership is just $16 a year. You can lower this to $12 if you opt in for an auto-renew plan. Plus there’s more—you can add a spouse or partner for free.
But of course, we’re still wondering if it’s worth it. It is possible to join if you’re below 50, or over 50. In other words, is it time to race over and sign up now?
Or, shall we wait and think about it?
In many conversations, one of the greatest benefits that stand out is: travel discounts.
Let’s explore these in detail.
AARP has partnered with Expedia to offer the AARP Travel Center by Expedia. This center works just like the standard site, but you’ll find items that are eligible for AARP discount as you search for flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and other activities.
You can save quite a bit on air travel, especially on British Airways. AARP has partnered with BA to create an AARP British Airways discount page. ON it, you’ll find ways to score a $65 discount on all round-trip economy tickets, and a $200 discount on all business class tickets.
When you think about it, this savings would cover your AARP membership fee for 4 years.
Renting a car? Why not get up to 30% discount on car rentals? Companies offer valuable discounts include Avis, Budget, and Payless. Some offers include free vehicle upgrades, discounted GPS rates, and no cost for adding additional drivers.
You’re not just saving money on flights…get ready for big savings on hotel chains. Members can whip out their AARP card to snag up to 15% off at hotel chains including Best Western, Hilton, Radisson, and Wyndham.
Whether you’re traveling and eating out, or exploring your hometown—dining out at a discount is a rewarding experience. Many restaurant chains offer 10% to 15% discounts with your AARP membership. Amongst these are: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Rainforest Café, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Corner Bakery Café, Denny’s, and Outback Steakhouse.
AARP isn’t just about travel rewards. You can travel in the comfort of a movie seat or theatre spot. AARP members can save on entertainment purchases at Regal Cinemas and Ticketmaster. With Ticketmaster, you can slash the cost of entertainment by up to 40%. Offers also include attractive savings such as 2-for-1, 4 packs, and special event pricing with tickets under $40.
But, as attractive as these travel discounts are…it’s not the only value you can get with AARP benefits and discounts.
The AARP list of member benefits may make your eyes pop.
Benefits include discounts for clothing and accessories; flowers and gifts, groceries, dental and health insurance plans. Some of the participating chains include Tanger Outlets, 1-800-Flowers.com, The Chocolate Factory, Harry & David, and Simply Chocolate.
Some of the surprising benefits include:
Eyewear and Vision Exams
The AARP Vision Discounts are provided by EyeMed. This enables members to get exclusive discounts at participating providers. Additionally, membership offers discounts on complete pairs of glasses at Glasses.com, LensCrafters, and Target Optical.
Discounts and benefits are offered with HearUSA.
Check out benefits and options with Delta Dental Insurance.
Depending on your lifestyle and interests, you may find these benefits far outweigh the cost of a yearly membership.
While we’ve been focusing on individual rewards, there is something else that many members find valuable.
AARP magazine offers helpful senior-friendly tips, insights and advice. This ranges from how to prevent scams to how to manage senior health issues. Interviews with people like Annette Bening explore issues of graceful aging. Getting insights directly from AARP is something many people find useful and informative.
If you’ve been curious about AARP membership, ask your friends and family. Each person may have a different perspective to share. Perhaps ask a golfing buddy. Or consult with a friend in your yoga class. Each one will have a special story that could help with your the decision to check out AARP membership.
The big idea: AARP membership offers travel benefits and discounts for people of all ages.
With big savings on flights, rental cars, restaurants, and hotels—you could be taking advantage for your travels. In a very short time, you’ll recoup the cost of the annual membership. To answer the question, yes, AARP is really is worth joining!