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Update: Chase confirms that points earned with the Chase AARP card can NOT be transferred to travel partners, even if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold.
Many of us in our hobby focus on earning miles and points to get Big Travel with Small Money. But some folks prefer cash back!
Thanks to Million Mile Secrets readers for letting me know about the Chase AARP card. It earns unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% cash back on everything else. And it has NO annual fee.
And I’ve confirmed with Chase that you do NOT have to be an AARP member to apply for the card!
Plus, you’ll get a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points ($100 cash back) after you spend $500 on new purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
This could be a very good deal for folks who want to earn cash back without paying an annual fee. Let’s see how it compares with other cash back cards!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Chase AARP Card
ANYONE can apply for the Chase AARP card. You don’t have to be an AARP member, or retired, or over 50. Folks on MyFico Forums report getting the card without an AARP membership, and the Chase representative I spoke with confirmed this as well.
With this card, you’ll get:
- $100 cash back after you spend $500 on new purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account
- 3 points per $1 you spend (3% cash back) at restaurants and gas stations (unlimited)
- 2 points per $1 you spend (2% cash back) on airfare and hotels when you book through Chase’s toll-free travel redemption number
- 1% cash back on everything else (unlimited)
- NO annual fee
Note: This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so it’s NOT good to use when you travel overseas.
I usually reach for my Sapphire Preferred card to earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at restaurants abroad. And because it doesn’t tack on that fee. But you might prefer to use a Capital One or Discover card for cash back without the fee.
Emily and I don’t earn a commission for the AARP card, but we’ll always tell you about the best offers. And this is a very good deal!
This is the only card I know of that gets 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations with no limit on the amount you can earn!
There are other cards that earn 5% cash back in rotating categories that include restaurants and gas stations, like the Chase Freedom or Discover IT cards. But the bonus is limited to a maximum of $1,500 in spending per quarter, or $75 cash back.
And you can choose restaurants or gas stations (but NOT both) as a 3% cash back category with the American Express Simply Cash business card. But only up to a maximum of $25,000 in spending per year.
You can read my post about the best cash back cards for restaurant spending. And here’s a list comparing all the cards:
|Card||Cash Back at Restaurants||Cash Back Limit||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Sign-up Bonus|
|AMEX SimplyCash Plus||• 3% cash back at U.S. restaurants if you choose this as your bonus category||• up to $50,000 in spending per 12 billing cycles||No||2.7%||Earn up to $500 in statement credits. Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $5,000 or more on qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership and earn an additional $250 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more on purchases within the 1st year of Card Membership.|
|Chase Ink Cash||• 2% cash back at restaurants||• up to $25,000 in spending each card anniversary year||No||3%||• 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($300 cash back) when you spend $3,000 within 3 months|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||• Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide||No limit||- $95 (Introductory annual fee of $0 the 1st year)||No||• Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
• 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their 1st purchase within 3 months
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus||• 2X points (2.1% cash back if redeemed for $100+ travel purchases) on dining and all other purchases||No limit||$89 annual fee waived the 1st year||No||• 40,000 Arrival miles ($420 in cash back when you redeem for travel) when you spend $3,000 within 3 months|
|Citi Double Cash||• 1% cash back on spending and 1% cash back on payments||No limit||No||3%||No|
|US Bank Cash+||• 5% cash back at fast food restaurants if you choose this as 1 of your bonus categories||up to $2,000 in spending each quarter||No||3%||No|
|Chase Freedom||• 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter (sometimes includes restaurants)||• Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate||$0||3%||• Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening|
|Discover It||• 5% cash back on rotating categories including restaurants|
• Earn 5% cash back at chain restaurants when you buy gift cards in other categories such as online shopping, home improvement, and gas stations.
|up to $1,500 in spending each quarter||No||No||$50 cash back after your 1st purchase in the 1st 3 months of opening your account|
|Fidelity Visa||• 2% cash back on all spending||No limit||No||2.7%||No|
|Chase AARP||• 3% cash back on restaurants and at gas stations||No limit||No||3%||• 10,000 points ($100 cash back) when you spend $500 within 3 months|
Remember, gas stations often sell more than just gas! You can buy gift cards to other stores, and some sell Visa and MasterCard gift cards. 🙂
This could be a good card for you if you spend a lot at restaurants and gas stations, and prefer getting cash back to earning miles and points. Or if you want a Chase card with no annual fee.
Keeping fee-free cards open for a long time helps develop your relationship with the bank, and could improve your credit score.
Note: You don’t have to redeem your points for cash back. There’s also an option to redeem for gift cards, travel, or merchandise.
The Chase AARP card is open to everyone, NOT just AARP members or folks over the age of 50.
You’ll get a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points ($100 cash back) after you spend $500 in new purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account. And you’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations.
Emily and I don’t earn a commission from this card, but we’ll always tell you about the best offers! And thanks to our readers for letting us know about the card!
If you like cash back, this a good deal! I still prefer earning miles and points for travel.
But I’m tempted to get this card just to see the reactions I’d get when paying the bill at restaurants! “Wow sir, you look GREAT for your age!”
Thank you! Traveling keeps me young! 🙂