AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays review
A solid everyday cashback card for AARP members wanting to earn rewards on medical expenses.
- Get this card if you’re an AARP member and you want to earn rewards on gas and medical expenses.
- Pick something else if you’re not an AARP member or you want to earn rewards on a wider variety of purchases.
- Apply with a good credit score of 670 or higher.
Up to 3%
16.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74%
Purchase APR (variable)
|Welcome Offer||$100 cash back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days|
|Rewards||3% cash back on gas and drug store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart)|
2% cash back on medical expenses
1% cash back on all other purchases
|Purchase APR||16.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable)|
|Recommended minimum credit score||670|
Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
For a card with no annual fee, this is a terrific bundle of features. This is one of the few cards on the market that earns rewards on medical expenses, and it also earns an unlimited 3% back on gas. While this isn’t the highest rate for gas on the market, it is uncapped, which isn’t always the case for gas cards. The card also offers an impressive 15 months 0%% APR intro period, which has become a somewhat scarce feature as of April 2021.
How to apply for the AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays
You can apply for the AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays by doing the following.
- Go to the Barclays website and click on Credit cards at the top navigation bar.
- Click on the Cash back icon to filter the card list.
- Scroll down to the AARP Essential Rewards and click Learn more.
- Click on Apply now to start the application process.
- Fill out the requested information and click Submit.
What credit score do I need?
You should apply for the AARP Essential Rewards card with at least a good credit score of 670 or higher.
AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays benefits
- Rewards. Earn an unlimited 3% cash back on eligible gas and drug store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) and an unlimited 2% back on medical expenses. Earn an unlimited 1% back on all other purchases.
- Signup bonus. Earn $100 after you spend $500 on purchases within your first 90 days of account opening.
- Intro 0% APR on balance transfers. Get a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, reverting to 16.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable depending on your creditworthiness.
- Charitable donations. Barclays will donate $10 to the AARP Foundation for every new account and 1% of eligible electronics and telecommunication purchases.
AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays drawbacks
- Potentially high APR. The lowest APR you can get with this card is 16.74% variable, which is typically the average for credit cards on the market. On the top end, your APR can go as high as 25.74% variable.
- For AARP members only. You’ll need AARP membership to apply for this card.
- Balance transfer limitations. You’ll have just 45 to transfer your debt if you want to take advantage of the card’s intro offer. Most cards offer 60 days.
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AARP Essential Rewards Mastercard from Barclays reviews: What do customers say about Barclays?
Barclays has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2001 and currently sports an A+ rating. It has amassed more than 1,200 customer complaints, with 548 of these complaints closed within the last 12 months. Customers rate the bank a 1.11 out of 5, with many citing poor customer service as a reason for their low rating.
The bank has earned a 1.5 rating from Trustpilot as of April 2021, with customer service also a primary reason for many customer complaints.
If you’re an AARP member and want a card that offers a great rewards rate on gas and the opportunity to earn cashback on medical expenses, the AARP Essential Rewards Card is worth a spot in your wallet. It’s also a great choice if you need a balance transfer card.
If you’re not an AARP member or you want a card with rewards on more diverse everyday earnings, compare all credit cards to find one that suits your needs.