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The AARP is a great many things—nonprofit, advocate, even publisher. However, for many of its members, it’s also a source for a wide variety of discounts.

For older Americans, receiving that first solicitation letter from the AARP is something of a rite of passage. Taken poorly, it’s a sign that you might not be the spring chicken you once were. Taken well, it’s a statement that you’re now a person of age, experience, and wisdom.

But AARP—once known as the American Association of Retired Persons, but now under the banner of the acronym alone—isn’t just for seniors, or even generally older people.

Oh, it’s main purpose is to advocate for Americans aged 50 and older. The nonprofit homes in on issues such as fixing Social Security and promoting affordable health care, housing, and transportation. But its membership isn’t limited to those near or in retirement—indeed, you can become an AARP member as young as 18 years old.

Why would you? Well … the discounts.

AARP discounts help people save on everything from prescriptions and eyeglasses to flapjacks and resort stays. So today, I’m going to discuss a number of AARP discounts and other benefits that can save members money.

AARP Membership Discounts


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Remember: While AARP is an interest group dedicated to seniors, you can join AARP as soon as you’re 18 years old. And doing so unlocks a bevy of discounts at hundreds of locations, including hotels, car rental shops, restaurants, and theme parks, as well as for hundreds of services, including home security, auto insurance, and health care.

Today, I’m going to share a small but wide-ranging sample of some of the best member benefits.

1. LensCrafters


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LensCrafters has 931 stores across 49 states and D.C. (sorry, Wyoming), and all told, the company boasts that it has provided “quality vision care to more than 9 million people in 41 countries.”

LensCrafters’ AARP discounts, which are provided by EyeMed, cover several eyecare wellness services and products:

— Exam copay: $55 for AARP members; $50 for AARP UnitedHealthcare members (participating locations only)

— Lenses: 50% off (valid on multiple pairs; cannot be combined with other discounts)

— Non-prescription sunglasses: 30% off (valid on multiple pairs; cannot be combined with other discounts)

— Frame-only purchases: 15% off (cannot be combined with other discounts)

— Conventional, disposable, and premium contact lenses: 10% off (participating locations only)

2. Outback Steakhouse


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If you want an onion blossom, you can go to any number of steakhouses. But if you want the original Bloomin’ Onion, you need to make your way to Aussie-inspired Outback Steakhouse. The steakhouse chain has 1,000-plus locations in 23 countries on four continents, including 673 locations spread across 44 states.

It’s also home to one of a couple dozen restaurant discounts offered by AARP.

Whether you’re in the mood for a full steak dinner or just feel like filling up on onion petals, your AARP membership card can get you a 10% discount off your entire check (excluding alcohol). This discount also can apply to online pickup orders. To do so, select “Pay at Restaurant” while checking out; the full price will be shown when you place the order, but once you show your membership ID at pickup, the discount will be applied.

Related: 12 Senior Discounts That Will Save You Money

3. Denny’s


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Denny’s might be known as America’s diner, but while the lion’s share of its 1,573 restaurants are indeed scattered across the U.S., you can get yourself a Grand Slam in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, and several other countries. It serves breakfast all day—and given that many of its restaurants are open 24 hours, “all day” isn’t just a figure of speech.

AARP members can enjoy a 15% discount at Denny’s, though the restaurant and AARP are at odds over how they can be used. Denny’s explicitly says that the discount is only applicable to dine-in at participating locations, where you’ll have your membership card scanned. But AARP says the discount applies to both dine-in and pick-up (you can just mention your membership number over the phone).

Calls placed to several local Denny’s locations failed to clear this up—some said they would accept AARP membership over the phone, but others didn’t. So if you do want to try your luck with pickup orders, make sure that before you do, you ask your local Denny’s whether they’ll honor the discount that way.

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4. Papa Johns


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The popular Papa Johns pizza chain has grown from a single location—where founder John Schnatter baked pizzas out of a converted broom closet—to a global mega-chain sporting 5,000-plus locations in 45 countries and territories worldwide.

Whether you prefer a classic cheese pie, The Works, or a pineapple pizza to spark a fight among friends, your AARP membership can make your order more affordable. Members enjoy a 20% AARP discount on regular menu prices for online orders. (Just note that the discount can’t be combined with other promotions.)

Related: Say Goodbye! These 10 Things Are Fading Out of Existence

5. Avis Car Rental


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Avis Car Rental is one of the world’s largest car rental services, boasting 5,5000 locations in over 165 countries—including the U.S., where it has available rentals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Avis offers several AARP member discounts and perks, including one of the biggest price reductions among all AARP discounts:

— Up to 30% off base rates for rentals

— Up to 35% off base rates for rentals when choosing the Pay Now option

— 3% credit that can be applied to future rentals (12-month limit)

— Free upgrade on compact through full-sized car rentals (based on availability)

— No additional charge to add a second driver

Related: Best Vanguard Retirement Funds for an IRA

6. Budget Rent A Car


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Budget Rent A Car (which, by the way, is owned by the same parent company that owns Avis) is another massive rental giant with more than 3,000 locations worldwide. And it offers several AARP travel discounts and benefits, some of which are similar to Avis’:

— 30% off the company’s base rates at participating locations in the U.S. and Canada by using a special discount code

— 3% credit that can be applied to your next rental (12-month limit, available at participating locations)

— Free upgrade on compact through full-sized car rentals (subject to availability)

— Unlimited mileage on most rentals

— No additional charge to add a second driver

— Protection ensuring AARP members are responsible for only up to $5,000 in out-of-pocket costs in the event your car is damaged

— Complementary primary liability coverage for U.S. travel up to $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident, and property damage coverage of up to $10,000  (participating locations)

Depending on the timing of your travel, you might also get lucky and be offered a limited-time AARP member exclusive deal. As of this writing, Budget offers a $10 discount for AARP members who spend at least $175. But the deal isn’t permanent.

Related: 14 Best Apps That Give You Money for Signing Up [Free Money]

7. Prescription Discounts


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You can enjoy exclusive deals on prescriptions via AARP, too, thanks to the AARP Prescription Discounts program, which is provided by pharmacy-care firm Optum Rx.

To be clear: Prescription discounts are also available to non-AARP members. However, AARP members receive bigger savings and enjoy additional benefits.

The program is run through the AARP Prescription Discount Card, which you can use at more than 66,000 participating pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, and Kroger. And these wellness discounts are applicable to home delivery. You can use the card for over-the-counter medications, too, but only if you have a prescription.

You can use the discount card whether you have insurance or not, but it cannot be used with insurance. So you’ll need to ask your pharmacist which option (card or insurance) will provide better savings.

Related: 9 Monthly Dividend Stocks for Frequent, Regular Income

8. National Hearing Test


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The World Health Organization estimates unaddressed hearing loss costs the global economy $980 billion each year. Unfortunately, there aren’t any surgical or medical treatments for hearing loss from loud noises. But, based on the severity, you can often improve hearing through hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, or personal sound amplification products.

The National Hearing Test was created to help people decide whether or not they want to get a full-scale hearing evaluation. This independent hearing screening is scientifically validated and can be done over the phone without leaving your home. The test is free for AARP members once a year. Membership is verified online.

Related: 7 Best Wealth + Net Worth Tracker Apps [View All Your Assets]

9. AARP Movies for Grownups


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AARP Movies for Grownups began as a way to battle ageism in the entertainment industry. The selected films spotlight people in the movie industry (actors, writers, directors) who are age 50+ and the movies are geared towards adult audiences.

But it has since expanded to provide nationwide in-person community movie screenings. And in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, it added free online movie screenings with real-time chat.

Forget entertainment discounts—this is completely free entertainment. This easily ranks among one of AARP’s best and most unique benefits.

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10. Hilton Hotels & Resorts


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Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s flagship brand, has more than 600 hotels across six continents. While these hotels aren’t considered “luxury,” they’re certainly upscale, and they typically offer a full-service experience.

They’re also very friendly toward AARP members, offering:

— Up to 10% off the Best Available Rate

— Up to 17% off the Best Available Rate when you book at least seven days in advance

— Up to 40% off the Best Available Rate when you book even farther in advance

— Late checkout (subject to availability)

— Free parking (at select properties)

— 20% off the Stay Longer in Paradise package, which provides free parking, resort credits, and extra time at certain properties in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, and more (at select properties)

Related: Best Schwab Funds to Hold in an HSA

11. Vacations By Rail


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Vacations by Rail offers more than 400 independent train trips, escorted rail trips, luxury rail trips, and rail-cruise combinations. Tours are available throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Asia.

Whether you want to stay in the country and visit our awe-worthy national parks, head north for the scenic Banff rail, or take a romantic trip through Paris and London—there’s something for everyone.

The company offers AARP members a 5% discount on worldwide rail vacations, tours, and select train tickets—an average savings of $175 per person. An AARP membership also gives you access to exclusive offers and customization options.

Related: How to Get Free Money Now [15 Ways to Earn Money]

12. Ancestry


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Have you ever wondered where you came from? No, not the “birds and the bees” talk—where your ancestors originated. Well, Ancestry holds an extensive collection of online family history records, provides historical insights, and can help you connect to living relatives.

An AARP membership can give you 30% off an All Access or World Explorer Subscription for your first year:

— World Explorer provides access to all U.S. and international records on the website and lets you see all public family trees.

— All Access comes with everything in World Explorer, as well as more than 100 million articles on Newspapers.com Basic, and historical military records on Fold3.

You don’t have to be a new member either. If you’re an AARP member who already has an Ancestry account, you can receive the discount when you renew your subscription for an additional year.

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Drip pricing is a misleading way of showing a lower price to consumers upfront only later to find out the final price is far higher. Surcharges, convenience fees, taxes, required upgrades, and more. We cover examples of drip pricing tactics and ways to combat them.

 

Related: Stop Shrinkflation! 10 Products Affected + Tips to Save Money

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Shrinkflation is the deceptive practice of making products smaller instead of raising costs to cover any rise in the cost of producing that product. We cover several examples of shrinkflation and tips to save money.

 

Related: 9 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks for Frequent, Regular Income

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The vast majority of American dividend stocks pay regular, reliable payouts—and they do so at a more frequent clip (quarterly) than dividend stocks in most other countries (typically every six months or year).

Still, if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “it’d sure be nice to collect these dividends more often,” you don’t have to look far. While they’re not terribly common, American exchanges boast dozens of monthly dividend stocks.

 

Related: The Best Fidelity ETFs for 2024 [Invest Tactically]

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If you’re looking to build a diversified, low-cost portfolio of funds, Fidelity’s got a great lineup of ETFs that you need to see.

In addition to the greatest hits offered by most fund providers (e.g., S&P 500 index fund, total market index funds, and the like), they also offer specific funds that cover very niche investment ideas you might want to explore.

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Hannah Kowalczyk-Harper has been a professional writer since 2016 and has worked with WealthUp (formerly Young & the Invested) since 2019.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she was still immersed in words through previous roles as a library specialist and teacher. Her background in education helps her take complex topics and turn them into easy-to-understand text.

Hannah holds a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. When she isn’t writing, Hannah is usually found playing with her niece and nephew, traveling, or brewing more coffee.