AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays Review

It is not too often that you get unlimited cash back on travel, so take advantage of this card now / With no annual fee and a $200 sign up bonus, you should jump on this card.

Written by : Updated On: December 9
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The basics

Reward Rate:

Groceries

Travel

3%
Groceries

Restaurants

2%
Groceries

All other purchases

1%

Unlimited 3% back on airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals.

Unlimited 2% back at restaurants.

Unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.

Rewards never expire.

Key Features:

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR

0% on balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening for 15 months

Regular APR

16.99%, 20.99%, 25.99% based on creditworthiness

Signup Bonus

signup-bonus

$200 cash back after spending $1000 on purchases in the first 90 days following account opening

Redemption ways

signup-bonus

Redeem for cash back, AARP membership, and more at BarclaysUS.com

Our Verdict

Between the AARP Travel Rewards card and the AARP Essential Rewards Card, the travel rewards card is our favorite. Getting an unlimited 3% back on hotels, airfare, and car rentals is almost unheard of, and we love it. Not only do you get to support the AARP Foundation by simply using your card, you also get unlimited money back which can be used for a membership or cash back.

On top of the amazing perks, the current signup bonus offers 0% APR for 15 months and a $200 cash back after spending $1000, which more than speaks for itself. We think this is a great card for anyone wanting to consolidate and pay off debt without accruing interest.

Best Suited for:

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Foodie

If there is a new restaurant opening, you are there. You are all about the latest food fusion trend no one has heard of and putting it on the map. You love finding the best new restaurant but also like to go to your old standbys and earning cash back for all. And when you aren’t finding the best new restaurant, you are experimenting with recipes at home, so you also need a good card for reaping the rewards of grocery shopping.

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Always on the Road

Travel is your middle name. When you aren’t taking advantage of transit for your daily commute in the form of cabs, rideshares and trains, you are looking for a weekend escape. And if there is an opportunity to go somewhere, you take it. You are into earning miles, getting hotel upgrades, eating out and making sure your car is always fueled.

ProsCons
Unlimited earningsYou will likely want to be a member of AARP to get the full benefits
No annual feeNot a lot of value for grocery or gas purchases
Can use cash back to pay for AARP membership
Contributing to AARP Foundation

Hidden perks

The biggest perk to this card is that it offers unlimited cash back. Many cash back cards on the market have spending caps of around $1500 per quarter, but this one lets you earn as much as you’d like.

Beyond the basics

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% APR for 15 months on transfers made within the first 45 days after account opening

Cash Advance APR

26.49%

Foreign Transaction

None

Loan APR

None

Late Payment fee

Up to $39

Penalty APR

None

Credit Score Required

670+Good to Excellent

What we like about this card

The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard stands out for its travel-centric benefits. It offers competitive rewards for travel-related expenses, providing users with a generous signup bonus of $100 cash back after $500 spent on the card within three months and an impressive 3x points on eligible travel purchases, including airfare, hotels, and car rentals.

Moreover, the absence of foreign transaction fees makes it an excellent choice for international travelers. The card also provides flexibility in redeeming points, allowing for easy conversion to statement credits, making travel expenses more manageable. The additional 2% cash back on restaurant purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases means you are also covered for all your travel expenses.

 

Drawbacks and considerations

While the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard offers robust travel benefits, it might not be as appealing for individuals who don’t frequently travel. The rewards structure heavily favors travel-related spending, potentially limiting its value for those who spend more in other categories. Additionally, despite its travel perks, this card might not offer as many premium travel benefits compared to higher-tier travel credit cards.

 

Other Offers

Barclays will donate $10 to the AARP foundation for each new account. They will also donate 1% of eligible purchases to the AARP foundation.

Redeem your rewards for a membership for yourself or as a gift to someone else. Options start at $16 in rewards.

You are never held responsible for unauthorized purchases made on your account.

Enjoy complimentary access to your FICO score to monitor your credit profile each month.

How to decide if this card is right for you

Choosing the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard depends on your travel habits and financial preferences. If you’re a frequent traveler who often spends on flights, hotels, and rental cars, this card’s high rewards rate on travel purchases could significantly benefit you. Furthermore, the absence of foreign transaction fees makes it an advantageous choice for international trips.

However, if your spending is primarily outside of travel-related categories, or you don’t have a strong credit score, you might want to explore other cards that offer more diverse rewards structures or benefits tailored to your specific preferences.

 

Pair this card with:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

citi-Premier

This is an excellent cash back card, so we would recommend pairing it with a travel rewards card like the Capital One Venture card to start gaining points on travel. Use this card for everyday purchases to get cash back and use the Capital One Venture to book plane tickets or hotel stays with points.

Apply now: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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FAQs

Obtaining an AARP Mastercard typically requires a good to excellent credit score, as well as a stable income. Meeting the eligibility criteria, including having a credit score within a certain range, increases the likelihood of approval. However, the specific credit score required may vary based on individual circumstances.

The ideal credit score needed for an AARP credit card often falls within the good to excellent range, meaning a score above 670 is recommended. While specific score requirements can vary, having a higher credit score generally improves your chances of approval for the card. However, other factors such as income and existing debts also play a crucial role in the approval process.