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AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays review

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A surprisingly strong travel card for eligible AARP members.

  • Get this card if you’re an AARP member and you want to earn solid rewards on travel purchases
  • Pick something else if you’re not an AARP member or you want to enter into a travel rewards program.
  • Apply with a good credit score of 670 or higher.

$100

Welcome offer

Up to 3%

Cash back

$0

Annual fee

16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$0
Welcome Offer$100 cash back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days
Rewards3% cash back on airfare, hotel stays and car rentals
2% cash back on restaurant purchases
1% cash back on all other purchases
Purchase APR16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% variable
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74% variable)
Recommended minimum credit score670
IssuerMastercard
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Review by


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.

Expert review

The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays is a travel cashback card exclusively for AARP members. It has no annual fee, earns 3% back on eligible travel purchases, including on airfare, hotel stays and car rentals. It earns 2% back on restaurant expenses and 1% back on all other purchases. The AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays comes with a $100 signup bonus after you spend $500 in your first 90 days of card membership. You’ll also get a 15 months 0% intro APR on balance transfers, reverting to a variable APR of 16.74%, 20.74% or 25.74%.

For a no-annual-fee general travel card, this is quite impressive, especially given that one of the top-performing tiered cashback travel cards on the market – the American Express® Gold Card – also earns 3x miles on travel but comes with a $250 annual fee (Terms apply, see rates & fees).

That said, this card still lacks the punch you might find with heavy-hitters, such as the Amex Gold Card or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It has a smaller welcome offer, for example, and doesn’t feature the same reward flexibility and value you’d find on those cards. It also comes with a potentially high APR, depending on your credit score.

Still, this is a great opportunity for AARP members who want to earn strong cashback rewards without paying an annual fee. If you’re eligible and want a straightforward rewards card, this is an option worth considering.

How to apply for the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays

You can apply for the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays by doing the following.

  1. Go to the Barclays website and click on Credit cards at the top navigation bar.
  2. Click on the Cash back icon to filter the card list.
  3. Scroll down to the AARP Travel Rewards and click Learn more.
  4. Click on Apply now to start the application process.
  5. Fill out the requested information and click Submit.

What credit score do I need?

You should apply for the AARP Travel Rewards card with at least a good credit score of 670 or higher.

AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays benefits

  • Rewards. Earn an unlimited 3% cash back on eligible airfare, hotel stays and car rentals, and an unlimited 2% back on restaurant purchases. 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 Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays drawbacks

  • Potentially high APR. This card’s APR starts at 16.74% variable, which is typically the average for credit cards on the market. Depending on your credit score, your APR can start as high as 25.74% variable.
  • Limited redemption options. Despite being a travel rewards card, you can only earn cash back with this card.
  • For AARP members only. You’ll need AARP membership to apply for this card.
  • Balance transfer limitations. You’ll have just 45 days to transfer your debt if you want to take advantage of the card’s intro offer. Most cards offer 60 days.

Compare travel rewards credit cards

Check out other cards that earn rewards for travel, to see how this card compares.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on all other purchases
$250

Rose Gold is back

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $1,000 plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries with this popular travel card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
75,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, 5x points on directly-booked flights on up to $500,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on other purchases
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500 based on Finder's valuation, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays reviews: What do customers say about Barclays?

Barclays currently sports an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 2001. It has earned a little more than 1,200 customer complaints, with almost 550 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.

Bottom line

If you’re an AARP member looking for a simple and surprisingly strong travel cashback card, the AARP Travel Rewards Mastercard from Barclays is a great pick for the price.

If you want a way to turn those rewards earned into actual travel awards however, you’ll want to compare other travel credit card options.

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