So I may send this one out early. I am currently quarantined at home and extremely bored. So I figured I would type up another Saving Sunday post.
Today's post is going to cover AARP Rewards. (https://www.aarp.org/rewards) This is a free program for anyone of any age to participate in. Sadly, AARP revamped their program at the end of last year. Previously everyone got treated the same in the program. With the new changes there is not much good to the program without an AARP membership. I will discuss the program with and without a membership.
When you sign up for the program you receive the ability to earn points. You can redeem them for instant wins, gift cards, or services. There are a several ways to earn points through the program. These include taking quizzes, watching videos, receiving newsletters, and attaching fitness trackers. There is a max of 7,500 points per day that can be earned. I personally like to watch videos and earn my points. Sometimes I just let them play while I get ready in the mornings. My Fitbit is also attached because I use it for my insurance so I get to double dip and receive points here also.
So without an AARP membership you will be limited to what you can redeem the points for. You will have the ability to try and win the daily and weekly instant gift cards. I have won several of these! They are usually small dollar amounts like $5 or $10. There are several sweepstakes usually going on at the same time that you could also enter each day. I feel like it is my way to gamble without spending any money. If I win awesome but if I lose I'm not out anything and I try again the following day. I have won Amazon, Safeway, Sephora, Whole Foods, Macy's, and Uber gift cards and some others. I have yet to win the weekly instant win. Those gift cards range from $50-$100. I will keep trying and hopefully win one soon.
Now on to the better deal of having the AARP membership and using AARP rewards. I paid $16 for a yearly membership. AARP will send you numerous emails about all the great discounts your membership will get you. I have found that hotels are actually cheaper without the AARP membership. There is little benefit outside the AARP rewards for myself to have the membership. With the membership you will have access to purchase discounted gift cards through the program. I am able to purchase one $100 Carnival Cruise Line gift card each month for the cost of $90. I know it's only a $10 savings but it's a $10 savings. I personally only purchase the Southwest and Carnival gift cards but there are always several restaurants and stores available.
This is all great to receive the discounted cards but it gets better. Each month I am also able to exchange my points for points only gift cards three times per month. Meaning I pay nothing! Just this month I was able to redeem points for two $15 Uber gift cards. So I got $30 in gift cards just this month and all I did was pay for the yearly $16 membership months back. All I was.out this month was my time earning the points. Shown in the picture below I could get an Uno card for 18,125 in points. If only we had one of those restaurants around here!
To date I have received $215 dollars worth of gift cards that I have won or redeemed points for. This does not include the cards I purchased at a discounted price. It does require some time spent on the participants end but if you have time to burn, then this program could totally be worth it. I enjoy getting free things and will continue to use this program daily. Plus if you listen to the videos or the read the newsletters you will learn a few things about money, retirement, health, or anything else going on in the world that AARP wants it's users to know about it.