The AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays is a new cashback credit card emphasizing travel-related bonus categories like airfare, hotel stays, and rental cars. Cardholders also get accelerated cash back on dining out, though this is not a requirement.
In our review, you can learn more about the features and benefits of the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays, which also identifies the ideal cardholder. By reading on, read on if the Barclays AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard deserves a place in your wallet.
Who should apply for Barclays AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard?
Although it may appear that only AARP members should be eligible for the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard, this is not the case. However, AARP members may find the AARP branding, the ability to apply awards toward AARP membership, and the chance to support the AARP Foundation appealing.
Despite its name, this card is not a travel rewards card affiliated with a specific loyalty program because it is concentrated on collecting cashback in travel-related categories. It can still make sense for frequent travelers who want to receive bonus cash back on travel expenditures like an airline, hotel stays, and rental vehicles.
This card probably wouldn’t make sense if you wanted extra cashback on regular expenditures like groceries or gas, as it doesn’t give bonus rewards in those categories. However, it does have a bonus category for dining out, which could be useful if that’s a regular expenditure category for you.
AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard: The Pros
- After making $500 purchases within the first three months, receive $200 in cash back.
- If you travel and eat out frequently, this card’s bonus categories may match your spending and make it simpler to earn extra cash back. It provides 3% cash back on travel-related expenses (flights, hotels, and rental vehicles), 2% cash back on dining out, and 1% cash back on all other expenditures.
- Cardholders can exchange cashback benefits for items, AARP memberships, gift cards, bank deposits, and statement credits. Assuming that each reward is worth one cent, 100 cashback rewards would be worth one dollar, and 1,000 rewards would be worth ten dollars.
- You have a $0 annual charge, so you can concentrate on getting worthwhile cash back rather than attempting to cover a yearly expense.
- Although this is an AARP credit card, membership is not required to apply. The advantages and features of this card are available to everyone who qualifies.
- This card offers a 0% introductory APR on debt transfers for 15 months (after which it increases to 19.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% (varying)) if it makes sense for your financial circumstances. After that, depending on your creditworthiness, the interest rate rises to the standard variable APR.
- It makes sense that you may use this card to make purchases while traveling overseas without worrying about a foreign transaction fee because it focuses on travel. This can enable you to reduce your travel expenses.
- Each new AARP credit card acceptance from Barclays will result in a $10 donation, and Barclays will also donate 1% of all qualified purchases made with AARP-branded credit cards.
- The finest travel credit cards frequently come with high-end perks like annual trip credits or free access to airport lounges. No premium benefits are available with this card to improve your travel experiences.
- As a cashback credit card, this card lacks the trip redemption choices you might anticipate from a credit card with a travel focus. However, as cash is accepted almost everywhere, having cashback as a redemption option means you can spend your rewards on anything.
- If Barclay’s contributions to AARP sound fascinating, keep in mind that certain restrictions exist. The last day for charity contributions is March 31, 2022. Additionally, the 1% matching gifts only apply to certain electronic and telecom purchases, which might not correspond to your purchasing patterns. Additionally, there is a $1 million annual cap on gifts.
Utilizing the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays on purchases that fall under its bonus categories is the greatest method to earn cash back with it. This card provides 3% cash back on the airline, hotel stays, and rental cars and 2% cash back on dining out.
You would receive credits worth $160 if you spent $2,000 on flying, $2,000 on hotel stays, and $2,000 at restaurants. In contrast, the same $6,000 spent in non-bonus categories would only result in incentives worth $60.
Increase Your Redemptions
Cash back from the Barclays AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard can be redeemed for gift cards, bank deposits, bill credits, AARP memberships, and goods. Since each cashback incentive is worth one cent, 10,000 rewards would be $100.
Bank deposits and bill credits will often make a lot of sense on this card, while the optimal redemption choice may depend on your situation and goals. Because cash back or statement credits can be redeemed for most things, including the other redemption options, these two options give you a lot of versatility.
You could, for instance, use the extra money to buy a gift card or pay for any other items or expenses after exchanging incentives for a bank deposit or statement credit. This method of using your rewards gives you more possibilities for your cash back.
How good is the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard?
The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard can be an excellent card to apply for if you’re interested in getting a new credit card and it fits your spending patterns and lifestyle. With 3% cash back on the airline, hotel stays, and rental cars in addition to 2% cash back on dining out, this credit card is geared toward travelers. The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard can be an excellent choice if you travel regularly and like to eat out.
Do you need a specific credit score to apply for the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard?
To be eligible for the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard, you usually need a solid or outstanding credit score. That would imply that a minimum acceptable score of 670 FICO or 661 VantageScore is likely required.
Which credit cards does the AARP offer?
These two rewards credit cards are provided by AARP in collaboration with Barclays:
- AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays: Except for Target and Walmart, cashback credit cards were focused on common expenditure areas like transportation, drugstore purchases, and medical costs.
- AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard: Cashback card focused on travel that offers additional points for booking reservations at restaurants, hotels, and rental cars.
It is advisable to research credit cards to find alternative options if the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard is not a good fit for you. Start by comparing the AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® as alternatives.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a cashback card, but if you combine it with a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you may join a travel rewards program. This means you can redeem your cash back for travel-related expenses, such as flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and transfers to travel partners, using the 3% cash back you receive on dining and drugstore purchases and the 1.5% cash back you get on all other transactions.
Similar to the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard, the AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard has additional earning categories. Except for Target and Walmart, this credit card offers 3% cash back on gas and drugstore purchases, 2% cash back on medical expenses, and 1% cash back on all other transactions. The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard might not be the best choice if these bonus areas fit your spending patterns more closely.