Although there are a number of senior citizen interest groups vying for your membership fees, AARP is by far the most well-known. However, does membership have its privileges in this case? Let’s look at the benefits that the liberal-leaning AARP provides in comparison to the conservative-leaning AMAC. It’s a match up, AARP versus AMAC. Let’s compare their benefits.
AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, although the organization now goes by only its initials. It was organized in 1958. It’s classified as a non-profit organization and has offices in all 50 states, D.C, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AARP has had its share of legal problems over the years, but there’s no doubt it still retains a considerable lobbying presence.
You no longer need to be retired to join AARP, nor are there any age restrictions. However, the bulk of the 38 million members are over the age of 50. Those that are under 50 have an Associate Membership, which excludes benefits that are age-restricted.
Membership fees are $16 per year. You have the option to cancel at any time. You can also sign up for multi-year membership plans at a discount. Spouses can be added to the primary membership policy at no extra cost.
AARP provides more than just six issues of AARP The Magazine and ten of the AARP Bulletins each year. The size and political strength of AARP mean that it can provide all sorts of benefits to its members. Hundreds of companies want to be associated with this powerhouse. The benefits are so good that many younger people join just for the retail discounts.
Home and Auto Insurance
Although AARP is not an insurance provider, various agencies have partnered up to provide members with discounts. You can save up to 20% on your home insurance policy with the Home Insurance Program from The Hartford. The Hartford also offers AARP specific renter’s insurance.
AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford is also 5% cheaper when purchased in conjunction with the homeowner’s insurance. The AARP Auto Buying Program can save you money when you are purchasing a vehicle. The AARP Smart Driver course can lower your auto insurance premiums. Should you buy it? See this comparison chart.
AARP MyVision Care through EyeMed has three different vision insurance plans available to AARP members. Delta Dental insurance guarantees you’ll be accepted as an AARP member. The AARP Hearing Care Program is there for your hearing needs with discounts. AARP Prescription Discounts covers prescription costs not covered by other policies or Medicare Part D.
Members also qualify for discounts for AARP Long-Term Care Options from New York Life and Short-Term Care Insurance from Medico. Through AARP, you can enroll in a variety of supplemental insurance plans if you are already enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
If you are an AARP pet parent, then the 10% member discount on pet health insurance and the Petplan Visa Prepaid Card will certainly appeal to you.
Travel and Entertainment Discounts
Membership gives you access to AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia, plus discounts on excursions, car rentals, airport parking, restaurants, and hotels. Presenting your AARP card will save you 15% at Denny’s or 10% at the Outback Steakhouse and other select eating establishments.
Regal movie theater tickets and refreshments are discounted throughout the U.S. with your membership. Get a 40% discount on books through the AARP Bookstore. AARP also has free online games to keep your mind sharp as you age.
Members receive discounts on clothing, flowers, cookies, popcorn, frozen food delivery, and more when presenting your membership card. Walgreen’s Balance Rewards loyalty card can be linked to your AARP card to earn you 50 additional points for every $1 you spend. Members can also get coupon books from Tanger Shopper Services and access to free printable coupons at Coupons.com.
UPS domestic and international shipping is discounted to AARP members. AT&T and Consumer Cellular provide discounts on specific wireless plans. SimpliSafe home security systems can be purchased at a discount.
Membership gives you access to AARP Job Board, which lists employment opportunities specifically for older adults. If your CV needs to be updated, you can take advantage of the free resumé review or purchase a discounted resume writing package and have an expert do it.
AARP Apps and Books
AARP also publishes apps and books, but you don’t have to be a member to utilize them.
- AARP Now News – FREE – An Alexa app that gives you top headlines and flash briefings. It allows you to curate your topics.
- AARP Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad – A book for “Americans seeking safety and stability in a time of wrenching economic change.”
- Ask AARP – FREE – An Alexa skills app that you can use to ask AARP questions about their stance on various issues, play memory games, get AARP news, etc.
- Raise Your Voice – FREE – A political by that allows you to easily contact your elected officials, get AARP’s stance on legislations, etc.
- The Roost – Free – An Alexa app published by AARP that connects you with “all things volunteer.”
AMAC stands for the Association for Mature American Citizens. Although it is a relative new-comer to the over 50 advocacy groups, having been founded in 2007, it has a vocal conservative voice. Currently, the organization is based in Lady Lake, Florida. Let’s continue this AARP versus AMAC comparison by focusing our attention on this organization.
Yearly membership fees are $16. Spouses can be added with no additional cost.
AMAC members have unlimited access to the official website and the bimonthly AMAC Magazine. Members can contact lawmakers and AMAC professionals through social media and by phone. Companies whose goals align with the conservatism of AMAC have partnered up to provide discounts and benefits for members.
Home and Auto
The Travelers Indemnity Company offers a discount for homeowners who are AMAC members. They also provide discounted auto insurance. AMAC Roadside Assistance is also available. Members Receive $100 off Vehicle Protection Plans through CarChex. AMAC also has driving classes that can help you lower your insurance premium.
National Care Dental has a variety of plans, including coverage for dentures and implants. The Dental Discount Plan has 133,000 offices across the US. AMAC members save between 20% to 60% on most dental procedures.
Careington offers discounts to AMAC members in its Key Vision Plan. It has 44,000 participating facilities in the country. Costs and savings will vary depending on location. National Insurance Carriers offers AMAC members discounted plans for the under 65 age group and short term medical insurance.
The AMAC Prescription Discount Card is available for use at 59,000 pharmacies. Savings vary depending on the medication and the pharmacy. A phone call to the MAC Senior Resources Network can help you find the Medicare plan that fits your needs, including Medicare Supplement policies from private insurance carriers, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
AMAC members can take advantage of exclusive discounts for Brookdale Senior Living services.
Travel and Entertainment Discounts
AMAC members can print out coupons for discounts at Friendly’s restaurants. Small groups are eligible for savings up to 40% on excursions through the Collette travel agency. AMAC members save 30% on medical travel insurance through AMAC Emergency Assistance Plus.
AMAC members can purchase discounted movie tickets and received discounts at Disney World, Six Flags, and select Broadway shows. Through AMAC Car Rentals, you can get reduced prices on car rentals and upgrades. With AMAC Explore, you can get discounted hotel bookings.
AMAC also has a range of online games to help keep you entertained and mentally active as you age.
Pure Talk USA will give you a free iPhone with your AMAC membership and the purchase of a $45 monthly plan. There is also an AMAC Talk, Text & Data plan available for $10 a month, which covers your AMAC membership for three years. Club Cellular will give AMAC members a 5% discount on rates and accessories.
AMAC membership gets you a free HD security camera and two months free monitoring with a new security system purchase from SimpliSafe. Office Depot has several discounts only for AMAC members.
AMAC Brand apparel, specialty foods and wine, gift baskets, and Omaha steaks all offer discounts. AMAC members save $6 for each $25 restaurant certificate purchased through Restaurants.com. Your AMAC Membership Card will get you 10-20% off your purchase at participating Long John Silver’s.
AMAC members can search for jobs at RetirementJobs.com without charge and receive a 50% discount to its one-year premium membership
AMAC membership gives you access to AMAC’s Social Security Report website and National Social Security Advisors to help you keep track of your SS benefits. PenFed Credit Union will cover your AMAC membership each year when you renew using its credit card. AMAC members can receive up to $12,000 cash back when buying or selling a home through Paragon Home Resources. AMAC members can get $1000 credit towards closing costs from Fellowship Home Loans.
AARP Versus AMAC Conclusion
So which organization should you support with your membership fee, AMAC or AARP? As you can see, many of the benefits are similar. Some AMAC offers are limited in their locations, so make sure your area is covered before deciding. It comes down which organization’s benefits fit your lifestyle the best, and perhaps, your political leanings.