AARP card

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kdm31091
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AARP card

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:41 am

Can someone please explain the love and hype over this card? I see it over and over and...just not getting it. Most of the people who have it already have a Double Cash or some such, so they are getting 2% on every purchase. Many of them also have a gas card for 3% or greater. So an extra 1% on dining is really worth the HP and AAOA ding? Am I missing something?

Besides the whole psychological factor of a younger person using an AARP card. Yes, Chase doesn't forbid anyone from signing up, but AARP is intended for older folks. You don't even need an AARP membership for the credit card, but most people out in the real world associate AARP with an older person. So for me, walking around with such a card would be silly for an extra 1% in rewards. However, it seems I'm in the minority as the hype and love for this card is just nonstop. Anyone else baffled? Lol :rant: I get the whole "I want max rewards on every purchase", but spreading your spend around on 20 cards just doesn't lead to much in tangible rewards unless you are spending a ton.


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Re: AARP card

Postby Vermonster » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:55 am

As was mentioned elsewhere, it is the mentality of "leaving something on the table." We eat out significantly more than we used to. Mostly it is due to working 16 hour days and not wanting to spend 30min cooking at 9pm. But even then I can't see how 1% would make any difference in my life. $100 a week eating at restaurants would net a whole $52 extra per year. And that is just compared to a DC. A CSP can leverage points a lot better than straight cash.

But look at that again. For every $100 a week you spend, you get $1. It takes a full year to basically get a "free meal." People will obsess over 1% when simply eating at home one or two nights extra in a year will provide significantly better rewards. The extra bacon added to your burger, or the appetizer that you splurge on can wipe out weeks of rewards.

Unfortunately these people can not be reasoned with. It is a mental issue rooted in poor money management skills that lead them to MF in the first place. :cheers:
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kdm31091
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Re: AARP card

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:11 am

Vermonster wrote:As was mentioned elsewhere, it is the mentality of "leaving something on the table." We eat out significantly more than we used to. Mostly it is due to working 16 hour days and not wanting to spend 30min cooking at 9pm. But even then I can't see how 1% would make any difference in my life. $100 a week eating at restaurants would net a whole $52 extra per year. And that is just compared to a DC. A CSP can leverage points a lot better than straight cash.

But look at that again. For every $100 a week you spend, you get $1. It takes a full year to basically get a "free meal." People will obsess over 1% when simply eating at home one or two nights extra in a year will provide significantly better rewards. The extra bacon added to your burger, or the appetizer that you splurge on can wipe out weeks of rewards.

Unfortunately these people can not be reasoned with. It is a mental issue rooted in poor money management skills that lead them to MF in the first place. :cheers:


Besides the fact that I'm sure people purposely add on to their meals to get "more" of that 3% back. Sad.

I eat out plenty; I just don't think an extra 1% would add up to much, as you noted. You could get the same (actually better) value by skipping one meal out per week and stashing the money somewhere, then treating yourself at the end of the year.

I agree it is a mental issue to constantly chase after every extra 1% and obsess over it, ignoring other financial goals in the process. I have no doubt that many of those people have no savings. There was even one poster who claimed he was worried about a mortgage soon, yet proceeds to app for a new card almost every other week. He will pay for those "extra rewards" many, many times over in higher mortgage interest caused by the constant credit card apps. Most loan officers don't want to see someone applying for a card once a month. It's not really considered reasonable. Oh well.

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Re: AARP card

Postby CardAttack » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:47 am

Okay, I'll admit I'm one of those who chases the extra 1%, but not at the expense of meeting other financial goals. To me, it's sort of a fun little hobby. So, yes, I have the AARP card.

I will have met my key lifetime financial goals in Q1 2016 (barring any financial or real estate market meltdowns...).

So now I'm ready to loosen up a bit on my spending and also have more time to research deals on everything :)
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: AARP card

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:51 am

Some people just want to have credit they don't need, and others just want the bonus and don't consider (or are safe from) any bad longer-term consequences.

As to those who just focus on the 3%, I think there's a tendency (of which I've been guilty at times, too) for some to extrapolate a card's earnings far into the future. They may see that extra 1% as applying to every restaurant bill for the next 20 years...and may not factor in all sorts of things like 5% rotating categories, minimum spend on other cards, trying out travel cards, getting fed up with Chase and closing all accounts there, etc.
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kdm31091
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Re: AARP card

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:24 am

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Some people just want to have credit they don't need, and others just want the bonus and don't consider (or are safe from) any bad longer-term consequences.

As to those who just focus on the 3%, I think there's a tendency (of which I've been guilty at times, too) for some to extrapolate a card's earnings far into the future. They may see that extra 1% as applying to every restaurant bill for the next 20 years...and may not factor in all sorts of things like 5% rotating categories, minimum spend on other cards, trying out travel cards, getting fed up with Chase and closing all accounts there, etc.


Right, and it's also fairly unlikely that the card's reward structure will remain the same for 20 years. Things change. Reward programs get changed (usually for the worse), cards get discontinued, etc. 20 years is a long time.

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Re: AARP card

Postby yfan » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:18 pm

Vermonster wrote:As was mentioned elsewhere, it is the mentality of "leaving something on the table." We eat out significantly more than we used to. Mostly it is due to working 16 hour days and not wanting to spend 30min cooking at 9pm. But even then I can't see how 1% would make any difference in my life. $100 a week eating at restaurants would net a whole $52 extra per year. And that is just compared to a DC.

Even this is assuming there is no other rewards to take advantage of in many people's existing cards or by other means. I do eat out a bit, but I also cook at home. Anyway, I think I do a better job of maximizing rewards when I do eat out by doing the following:

  • Using BankAmeriDeals, Amex Offers, Citi Offers and the like. BofA has around 10% back (in addition to whatever cashback your card is getting) at some popular chain restaurants from time to time. Heck Amex Offers right now has $10 cashback on $200 Amex GC purchase, with no fees. For the amount of "I must spend because I gots tah have my rewards" folks do, this would be an easy 5%.
  • Use seasonal promos: My Orbitz Visa is running 3x rewards (that's 6% - the normal rewards is 2% flat in Orbucks) on all eating out until the end of the year. Easy.
  • I love PF Chang's and Costco almost always has PF Chang's GC's at 20% off ($100 worth for $79.99) - heck the week of Thanksgiving I even picked it up 25% off.

That's just what I do, and it's enough for the amount of time I eat out. For those not satisfied with even that, Discover has a bunch of restaurant gift cards for 10-20% off ($5 off either $25 or $50) if you use your rewards to buy.

If I were to get this AARP card, if I even ever used it, the extra rewards would be so insignificant that I could save that by eliminating a single Starbucks run throughout the year.

kdm31091
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Re: AARP card

Postby kdm31091 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:23 pm

yfan wrote:
Vermonster wrote:As was mentioned elsewhere, it is the mentality of "leaving something on the table." We eat out significantly more than we used to. Mostly it is due to working 16 hour days and not wanting to spend 30min cooking at 9pm. But even then I can't see how 1% would make any difference in my life. $100 a week eating at restaurants would net a whole $52 extra per year. And that is just compared to a DC.

Even this is assuming there is no other rewards to take advantage of in many people's existing cards or by other means. I do eat out a bit, but I also cook at home. Anyway, I think I do a better job of maximizing rewards when I do eat out by doing the following:

  • Using BankAmeriDeals, Amex Offers, Citi Offers and the like. BofA has around 10% back (in addition to whatever cashback your card is getting) at some popular chain restaurants from time to time. Heck Amex Offers right now has $10 cashback on $200 Amex GC purchase, with no fees. For the amount of "I must spend because I gots tah have my rewards" folks do, this would be an easy 5%.
  • Use seasonal promos: My Orbitz Visa is running 3x rewards (that's 6% - the normal rewards is 2% flat in Orbucks) on all eating out until the end of the year. Easy.
  • I love PF Chang's and Costco almost always has PF Chang's GC's at 20% off ($100 worth for $79.99) - heck the week of Thanksgiving I even picked it up 25% off.

That's just what I do, and it's enough for the amount of time I eat out. For those not satisfied with even that, Discover has a bunch of restaurant gift cards for 10-20% off ($5 off either $25 or $50) if you use your rewards to buy.

If I were to get this AARP card, if I even ever used it, the extra rewards would be so insignificant that I could save that by eliminating a single Starbucks run throughout the year.


Exactly. The sad part is is that most people with the AARP card have access to the options you listed, yet they ignore everything for the extra 1%. They're not hurting anyone or anything, so it's whatever, but I just find the love and hype for the card really puzzling.

Your point about a single Starbucks run is very true too...let's say that's $5 in rewards. To earn $5 at 3%, you have to spend roughly $167 dollars on dining. Ok, not a huge amount, but again, that same $167 on a double cash would get you $3.34 so not exactly a life changing difference. Cutting out a couple luxuries would easily eclipse the difference in rewards. That's why I don't understand the people with 20 cards putting one transaction on each card per month for "max rewards"...I mean yes, you are technically earning the highest percentage on each purchase, but at what point is it too small of a difference to appreciably matter? :confused:

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Re: AARP card

Postby Vattené » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:14 pm

It's actually sad to see how penny wise and pound foolish it gets. There are people that don't consider the larger financial picture, yet use rewards rates to convince themselves that they're being very logical and financially savvy. It's easy to dine out and earn 3%, and it makes for a convenient excuse to do something that you already want to do. It takes an ounce of discipline, but you're much better off cutting back even a little on the spending in the first place.

I don't follow MF with any regularity, so I'm sure everyone else here sees much worse than I do, but it happens in so many aspects of using credit cards. Here, I'll say something like "credit cards can be a good tool for emergencies," but I don't mean (and I don't think it's generally taken as) "they should be used to fund emergencies." It's a shortcut for saying credit cards give you access to a payment method if you find yourself in an emergency, for which you should have already established emergency savings (all the standard, boring financial advice of saving for emergencies). The money should already be there; the credit card just lets you pay when a debit card to an everyday checking account will not for most people. MF talk about credit cards for emergencies comes with much discussion about cash advance fees, BT terms, and APRs. Those shouldn't be big concerns if you're saving for emergencies in the first place. It just goes to show this is a mindset that applies to several things, not just a lot of people falling to one extreme of a convenience/utility vs. rewards spectrum.
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Re: AARP card

Postby yfan » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:52 pm

Vattené wrote:It's actually sad to see how penny wise and pound foolish it gets. There are people that don't consider the larger financial picture, yet use rewards rates to convince themselves that they're being very logical and financially savvy. It's easy to dine out and earn 3%, and it makes for a convenient excuse to do something that you already want to do. It takes an ounce of discipline, but you're much better off cutting back even a little on the spending in the first place.

Oh it's insane. It's justifying a $100 spend to earn a $3 reward. Well, ya still spent 97 bucks! Cook at home for a day or heck, just forego ordering the diet coke. You have all the saving right there and more.



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