Barclays new AARP cards: $100 welcome bonuses but boring otherwise

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Barclays has launched two new AARP credit cards. Doctor of Credit had previously reported that Barclays would take over the Chase AARP portfolio and re-launch an AARP product. It turns out they have released two cards and both are as dull and boring as one could imagine retired life to be if one tried to make it as boring as possible. That said, these cards could make sense for a quick $100 bonus and/or for those focusing on cash back with no annual fees.

The Offers & Key Card Details

Card Offer and Details
AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard®

Card Type: Mastercard

Base
1%
Gas
3%
Other
3%

Earning rate: 3% drugstores and gas stations ⚬ 2% medical expenses ⚬ 1% everywhere else

Card Offer and Details
AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard®

Card Type: Mastercard

Base
1%
Travel
3%
Dine
2%

Earning rate: 3% airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals ⚬ 2% restaurants ⚬ 1% everywhere else

Quick Thoughts

The bonus of $100 on either card meets our general minimum bonus threshold to be included on our Best Offers page.

Apart from that, these cards could only be interesting for their 3% categories (given that you could easily open a card like the Citi Double Cash, the Fidelity Rewards Visa, or the new TD Bank 2% cash back card and earn 2% everywhere with no annual fee — there’s no need for a 2% “bonus” category). Perhaps the 3% categories could be useful for some, though they are mostly duplicated on other cards on the market.

While the $100 bonus on $500 spend is good for an effective 20% back on that spend, we frequently see checking account bonuses that don’t require a credit account and don’t add to your Chase 5/24 count that offer as much or more., so I’m not terribly enthusiastic about these. On the other hand, for someone who is a very low spender but looking to open a credit card or two, the bonus here is relatively easy to get.

Apparently existing Chase AARP cardholders will be switched over to the Barclays products in September. Hopefully, they’ll get to choose which version of the card to get in order to pick the most relevant 3% categories for their situation.These

H/T: Doctor of Credit

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