AARP Membership: The Best $12 Young People Now Spend

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I first joined AARP because of the discount their members get buying British Airways tickets. I’ve stacked the AARP and Chase discounts during BA sales to buy very cheap tickets, which I’ve then upgraded to first class using points. The hotel deals are great, too. And most people don’t realize you don’t need to be old to join.

The Wall Street Journal covers a trend in younger people joining AARP to take advantage of discounts, as effective methods of saving money become more focal in an era of inflation.

A rite of passage for those 50 and older, an AARP membership also is drawing younger folks determined to get discounts to cope with inflation. They shamelessly flash their cards at restaurants, often confusing the wait staff and amazing and embarrassing their friends and family.

…An AARP spokeswoman said the organization is seeing a definite uptick in younger members but won’t share specific member demographic data.

According to AARP, “Anyone 13 and older can join online and receive many of the same deals [as older Americans]. “It’s never too early to sign up!” according to AARP’s website.

Hotels have AARP rates. Some restaurants offer 10% discounts – they don’t actually check your age, and will extend those discounts with an AARP card.

BoardingArea’s Zach Abel (Monkey Miles) has become something of a TikTok star, and his video about AARP discounts was highlighted in the Journal. Apparently 150,000 people joined AARP off his TikTok.

@zacharyburrabel #stitch with @holterman I eat deals for breakfast, lunch, and a very early bird 4pm dinner #travel #travelhacks #traveldeals #aarp ♬ original sound – zacharyburrabel

AARP costs $12 for the first year (with auto-renewal), you get to pick a free gift, and a second membership in your household free.

aarp discount helped book british airways first class

And they promote hotel discounts up to 15% (can be better or worse than AAA); AT&T (up to $10 off per line per month, I’m an AT&T customer anyway), Avis deals, and Denny’s discounts (actually there are 21 restaurant chains that ‘officially’ offer discounts though many more may do so). There are numerous others as well.

Do this today. To be sure, you’re buying a coupon book, but a much less expensive one than an Amex Platinum card with different merchants and you can come out orders of magnitude ahead. At just $12 it is a great investment for many of you to make.

(HT: @crucker)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. I would never give AARP a DIME to continue to harm Americans, especially retired Americans. The organization has become lost and doesn’t care about retirees anymore.

  2. I did this in college, way back when, and used it to great effect. They had some kind of associates status then as I recall. Used to get great looks in hotels and other places, but it was all within the rules.

  3. AARP is an ad partner of Zack’s – promo posts

    Wonder if it’s a partner for Gary as well

    Might explain the over coverage – not so relevant with the BA discount gone

  4. @Greg – without the AARP discount I’d be much less interested, but the discount came back last month, it turns out it was an IT glitch not early removal of the offer

  5. Yeah, no way. The group lobbies for horrible policies. I’m not going to support them just to get some discounts.

  6. Why would you give money to a group that actively lobbies against the interests of most Americans in exchange for some minor discounts? Don’t do it.

  7. Aarp’s recommended their members get 8 covid booster shots and you still endorse them. What does that say about you?

  8. “Unlock a world of savings and benefits with the AARP membership explained in ‘AARP Membership: The Best $12 Young People Now Spend.’ A savvy investment for the young at heart, offering not just discounts but a passport to a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle.”

  9. Jeez what’s with all the vaguely worded AARP hate? Ready like Russian or Republican bots, so I assume it’s aligned with the anti-American infowars crowd?

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