What Is the AARP?

Updated December 10, 2018
happy senior couple

If you join AARP (formerly known as American Association of Retired Persons) you will have access to endless benefits, discounts, and resources. You can become a member if you are 50-years-old and over, whether you're working or retired, and with its reasonable membership fee, it is definitely worth checking out.

What Is AARP?

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has over 38 million members. It is dedicated to helping empower people 50 and older to choose how they live their life and how they can improve their quality of life as they age.

AARP Perks

The AARP membership includes:

Benefits and Discounts

The following are just some of the hundreds of discounts, benefits, services, and resources that the AARP membership offers:

  • Advocacy on important issues such as social security, affordable health care and prescription coverage.
  • Health and wellness discounts on eye exams, eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc.
  • Insurance plans including health, life, auto, home, business, and pet.
  • Travel discounts on cruises, flights, hotels, resorts, car rentals, etc.
  • Restaurants, retail and grocery store discounts.
  • Financial and retirement resources.
  • Entertainment discounts at movie theaters and at Ticketmaster.
  • Family caregiving discounts.
  • Work resources and even a job board to search for a potential job.
  • Community events and volunteer information.

The complete list can be found at the AARP website.


You will also receive a subscription to the very popular AARP The Magazine which is the nation's largest circulation magazine. It is a lifestyle publication that focuses on aging issues and also offers a variety of valuable information on such topics as:

  • Money - investments, savings retirement.
  • Health and fitness - tips and trends.
  • Food and nutrition - healthy eating, recipes.
  • Travel - tips on where and how to travel.
  • Relationships - family issues, grandparents, caregiving.
  • Information for consumers - advice and practical information.
  • Entertainment news and celebrity interviews.
  • Book and movie reviews.
  • General interest topics - trends and timely topics.

Other Resources

A few other resources you will have access to include:

  • Books and Free Downloads which include E-books, print books, and free downloads on your favorite topics. Plus, members save 40% on select popular titles, including AARP tech guides.
  • AARP Bulletin offers timely insights and in-depth analysis important to Americans 50-plus on topics including health, Medicare, social security, finances, and consumer protection.
  • Free Rewards Program where you learn, earn, play, and save. Sign up for free to earn reward points toward savings on gift cards and more, just by completing fun and enriching activities at aarp.org.

Membership Costs

To join AARP, the cost is $16. If you decide to sign up for multiple years, you can get a nice discount. For example:

  • If you join for one year but enroll in their auto-renew option, the cost is $12.00 per year. (25% discount)
  • If you join for 3 years, the cost is $14.34 per year. (10% discount)
  • If you join for 5 years, the cost is $12.60 per year. (21% discount)

The Value of Being a Member of AARP

There is substantial value in the benefits, discounts, and resources that AARP has to offer. A few other beneficial perks to note include:

  • It is actually most beneficial for those who have just turned 50-years-old and want to take advantage of the perks AARP has to offer. Typical senior discounts without a membership start at age 55, 60 or 65.
  • You are also able to enroll your spouse or partner for free.
  • You should use your AARP card frequently. It will benefit you more if you use it more. Navigate the website and learn how to utilize your membership to its fullest.
  • It will be well worth it to join. What you save in discounts will more than pay for your $16.00 annual membership fee.

Alternatives to AARP

There are alternative organizations that typically offer discounts similar to AARP. Some also engage in political advocacy regarding key issues to seniors. A few of these organizations include:

American Seniors Association (ASA)

The ASA refers to themselves as 'the conservative alternative to AARP'. ASA offers 50+ seniors benefits in travel, home, auto, security, health, and wellness. The price is $15.00 per year.

Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)

You will receive exclusive benefits, discount and important information on Medicare, social security and government with AMAC. The price is $16.00 for one year.

Christ Above Politics (CAP)

CAP is a faith-based, non-political alternative to AARP. They offer benefits and discounts as well. Their membership packages start at $15.00 per year.

Is AARP Right for You

If you are unsure about joining, you can always do further research to see if AARP is right for you. Navigate the website, read their publications and evaluate the benefits. You can always try it for a year and simply see how it goes. The process for joining is quick and simple and you'll be reaping the benefits for years to come. If you have any questions, you can call 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.

What Is the AARP?