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Does AARP help?

I just got a letter asking me to join AARP. Are there features that are helpful to members traveling abroad? I don't think I want to sign up if I only get a newsletter.

Posted by
1818 posts

I've been a member of AARP for a long time and it hasn't given me one iota of help when traveling. It does occasionally give you a discount at hotels in this country if you don't have any other discount coming. A neighbor has auto and home owners insurance through AARP. The quarterly magazine is interesting but there are other things to read.

Posted by
1178 posts

Save your money....no benefit at all..have let my membership expire and can not tell a loss

Posted by
3318 posts

Kathleen,
AARP, in my opinion, is just a great big marketing organization. Ok, they do a little lobbying but not very much. Having said that, however, check out the cost for a 5 yr. membership. $63 or thereabouts. In five years you will save much, much more than that just on domestic hotel rates. Not any real advantage abroad. TC

Posted by
6045 posts

I've been a member for years and I do usually buy the multi-year membership because it averages out to much less/year. I've only used it for US hotels but I do a lot of traveling domestically and it does pay for itself. If you have AAA, then it really only helps at hotels that do not have AAA discounts, otherwise the discount is the same for both. There are occasional restaurants and sights that offer an AARP discount but they're not everywhere. As far as traveling abroad - no, it hasn't helped.

Posted by
1994 posts

I joined because of the medical evacuation policy that I carry. For years I have carried a policy with Medjet Assist. AARP saved a lot on the cost of that policy.

Posted by
5308 posts

Good point, Sherry. I was thinking more about free coffee at Denny's and discounts at Motel 6. But I re-up every 5 years.

Posted by
2766 posts

I joined AARP 19 years ago just to get hotel discounts at Outrigger Hotels in Hawaii. I also saved over $500 a year on the cost of my combined car and household insurance and before getting a policy from Hartford I was getting that coverage from a college friend who became an insurance broker. He said he could never match Hartford coverage costs and attributed it to their massive pool of customers via AARP. I just recently traded in my Sprint cell phones (2) for ones from Consumer Cellular which is advertised in the AARP magazine and gives a discount to AARP members. CC was recently rated as one of the best cell phone services by Consumer R........ I enjoy reading their magazine and not an issue goes by where I do not learn something very important.

Posted by
10260 posts

Good points made above savings with AARP not only domestically, but some that translate to Europe travel.

Posted by
41 posts

Thanks to all. I guess I should take some time and read the fine print to uncover benefits that are beyond the stereotype. Or maybe I was just in denial when they contacted me. What! I'm eligible?!!!

Posted by
13962 posts

Discounts in Europe are for over 60's or over 65's, depending on the country, with proof of age. In many places, the discounts are only for EU citizens or just that country's. Some places will give the senior discount anyway if you ask for it. Spain is a notable exception, the discount is for any nationality.

Sometimes there are lower prices on trains that are available all seniors. The prices may not be as low as the non-refundable tickets, but they do have more privileges.

Posted by
6543 posts

I'm sorry to say but the AARP is just a ultra liberal political action committee. They do nothing worthwhile other than to have a nice magazine. And they do support politicians running for office that I don't believe in.

I've been traveling for many years just using senior citizen discounts. I've also been known to say AARP member when making computer reservations and never been checked for a card..

There are just other ways to get discounts without having to join them.

Posted by
5008 posts

Since you can get an AARP card at age 50, it is no proof of senior status. It's not an international organization, so I would expect no recognition overseas.

Posted by
2347 posts

It is rather rude of them to remind you that you're now 50.

I don't belong. I did just notice one hotel here that I was booking was $5.00 less with AARP. That was about 2%. Not much of a discount.

Posted by
20625 posts

" I've also been known to say AARP member when making computer reservations and never been checked for a card." Yea, I have a real low opinion of AARP but that doesn't prevent me from taking advantage of any discounts they have arranged. In my neck of the woods, we call that red neck integrity.