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Are AARP Benefits Worth the Money?

Get ready for an unbiased look at AARP Benefits. After this quick read, you’ll have a better idea about the value you get from AARP Benefits.

retiree on tablet

The cost is just $16 per year to join AARP but can be lower with introductory offers and signing up for multiple years.


Looking through the company website’s full list of benefits would take you a while. So it lists key features separately, including:


●       Restaurant discounts

●       Job board

●       Money management help

●       Entertainment

●       Wireless plan savings

●       Travel benefits

●       Resume assistance

●       Community events


*The key AARP Benefits page also states that you can add a spouse / partner for free.

AARP Benefits (examples for restaurants):

Does McDonald's offer an AARP discount?


No, but the following diners do offer discounts:


●       Moe’s Southwest Grill 10%

●       Denny’s 15%

●       Outback 10%

●       Hershey’s Ice Cream BOGO scoops

●       Papa John’s, various specials


The list is much longer, plus you can search for cafes in your local area to see when more are added to the AARP list.

discount sale

*Trustpilot rates AARP Benefits low. 1.6 stars. We’ll get to a few of those reviews in a moment.


What about when you need a getaway?

AARP Benefits (examples for travel):


●       10% off at Holiday Inn Club Vacations

●       Hilton Hotels & Resorts up to 10% off

●       5% off Vacations By Rail

●       30% discount Budget and Avis car rentals

●       $20 off annual ZipCar membership


Saving $200 on a European river cruise for a couple is smart if it only costs $16 a year for this particular AARP Benefit.

cruise ship

Even if you’re staying in the U.S., 30% off a rental car can come in handy. These benefits are clearly worth a low yearly fee to be a member of AARP.


*Many consumer advisors warn people to be aware of memberships that overlap. Example - AAA Auto and AARP can overlap in various ways. Check current membership benefits before paying for new ones.


Back to those reviews we promised.

Trustpilot’s AARP Benefits Complaints

Keep in mind, everyone’s experience with companies can vary. These are just things that can pop up with any company interactions.


  1. Aggressive marketing - AARP direct mailers even after subscribers already renewed

  2. Bad customer service was noted multiple times

  3. Unhappy with partner companies AARP endorses

  4. Unavailability of discounted gift cards they promote

  5. Members say they receive spam emails after joining (AARP acknowledges they share user data, as they have a form to opt out)


If we looked hard enough, we would find negative reviews for any organization or service. AARP Benefits are no exception. Even Trustpilot itself has negative reviews!


Now, can AARP help connect people nearing retirement?

AARP Benefits (examples for community events):

Community involvement has never been more important. The pandemic revealed how unhealthy isolation is for people. Connection is on par with healthy diet and exercise when it comes to happiness, good health, and longevity.

Here is how AARP helps connect people:


  1. Virtual community center

  2. Local workshops and seminars

  3. Volunteer as driving instructor

  4. Mentoring opportunities

  5. Train to be a tax aide


Volunteering is a great way to connect and feel good about how we spend our time. One note, though. Many people are surprised how hard it is to volunteer in general.


It seems that getting a job is easier than offering to help organizations for free! A good tip is to talk to a volunteer already involved instead of sending emails to a black hole. The volunteer can likely get you signed up faster.


What about one of the most expensive senior items?

AARP Prescription Benefits to Consider

“With the AARP Prescription Discount Card (provided by OptumRx), AARP members and their families can save, on average, 61% on FDA-approved generic, brand name, or specialty drugs, your current prescription insurance or Medicare Part D plan fails to cover.  Must be a member of AARP to access benefits. AARP boasts acceptance by 66,000 pharmacies nationwide.” -TheSeniorList


Know this. I saw a few issues where AARP Benefits were equal to what a company already offered. So be aware of discounts you may be missing at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart pharmacies - without being a member of AARP or any other outside program.


Chew on these medical facts to help judge if AARP might be of assistance with drug costs as we age.


  1. U.S. prescription drug prices are over 2.5 times higher than those in other similar high-income nations.

  2. Number of 2009 prescriptions dispensed was about 3.95 billion. In 2021, the number had increased to 6.47 billion.

  3. Nearly 3 in 10 American adults who take prescription drugs say they have skipped doses, cut pills in half, or not filled prescriptions due to cost.

  4. Personal healthcare expenditures in the U.S. have more than doubled since 2000.

  5. 89% of adults 65 and older report they are currently taking prescription medication. Compared to three-fourths of 50-64-year-olds (2019).


Those troubling facts show how crucial it is to have quality health insurance and solid financial plans for paying for medical costs not covered by Medicare and supplemental insurance.


If AARP Benefits help reduce prescription costs in your unique situation, the yearly subscription could be well worth the small fee.

More AARP Benefits and Summary

We listed Trustpilot reviews of AARP. You can likely find more at Google Reviews and Yelp.


Some websites also do their own reviews. However, many are affiliates and get paid a commission when you click on their links. These sites are mandated to be transparent about affiliate relationships on products and services they review. Look for those disclaimers.


An example of an AARP review is at WellKeptWallet. Their disclaimer is at the top of the article.


One item we noticed in their review of AARP Benefits and features.


Claim: “If you’re looking for fun games to keep your mind sharp, check out the Games section of the AARP website.”


Truth: Scientific studies have failed to show conclusive proof so-called brain games results match the hype.


Many AARP Benefits are worth the cost. Many though are also free resources you can easily find across the web.


What this organization does is organize those resources in one place. Making them easier to access and utilize. As for whether you will get enough use from the membership to justify the yearly cost, well, that depends on your situation.

Family eating at restaurant

Everyone dines out so those AARP discounts can add up if you’re already dining at eligible restaurants. Furthermore, if you take medications, those costs are expected to keep growing in the foreseeable future. It’s wise to investigate any program that offers relief from out-of-control medication prices in the U.S.

Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, LLC, a registered investment advisor.




























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