AMAC vs AARP – who is better? Today, we are going to overview the benefits of both to hopefully guide you in the right direction.
As a little peek into what you will find below, AMAC and AARP are very similar in terms of their benefits. With this in mind, we think that there are two key criteria to consider when choosing between one or another association:
- Your specific needs. For example, if you often stay at Best Western hotels, AARP would be a better choice. In contrast, for insurance, AMAC could meet the needs of most people.
- Their political leanings. This actually matters to many people, and you may care about the political side of things as well.
Below, we will have a look at both of these criteria.
As far as politics is concerned, we aim to provide an unbiased overview of AMAC and AARP. What you will read below politics-wise is not based on our subjective opinion – rather, the information presented is from third-party sources or the associations themselves.
Our goal is not to make you lean toward one association or another, nor is it to provide you with a comprehensive overview of AMAC’s and AARP’s stances. We will merely give a general overview to help you figure out what to expect.
What Is AARP?
Officially a non-profit and non-partisan organization, AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) was founded in 1958 by Ethel Percy Andrus. Her bio on the AARP website reads:
Ethel Percy Andrus was born in the 19th century and helped transform the 20th. The indomitable woman who would go on to found AARP was born in San Francisco in 1881 to parents who instilled in her and her older sister, Maud, a love of learning and a progressive spirit. Those characteristics would drive her throughout her 85 years, from her days as a young teacher and a high school principal to later in life, when she made it her mission to improve the lives of older Americans.
AARP primarily aims to support American seniors age 50 or up, although younger citizens have access to a more limited set of benefits as well. Senior assistance is provided through educational materials, research, consumer advocacy, employment opportunities, and not only.
On its website, AARP writes:
AARP is doing amazing things to make life better for today’s 50-plus population and generations that follow. In the face of constantly changing realities, AARP is a champion for social change. We help people navigate ageless realities — financial well-being, health, how to contribute to society and local communities, and how to fully enjoy life.
Political views and leanings of AARP
AARP is officially a non-partisan organization and claims not to support any political campaigns or candidates.
The AARP Board of Directors, the National Policy Council, other volunteer leaders and designated staff shall not take part in any public political or partisan activity that may be construed as AARP’s endorsement of political parties, government officials, or candidates for any federal, state, or major municipal office.
However, conservative sources consider that AARP has left political leanings. Aside from that, AARP has been accused of supporting the Democratic Party. Among other things, Washington Examiner writes:
In the 2008 and 2010 elections, campaign contributors who listed AARP as their employer gave 90 percent of their money to Democratic candidates, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Over the years, AARP has resisted Republican reform efforts as well, such as the proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (2017) and President George W. Bush’s plan to replace Social Security with private accounts (2004). But it should be noted that AARP also supported President Bush’s and Republicans’ Medicare prescription drug plan (2003).
At the same time, USA Today wrote in August 2020 that AARP does indeed maintain a non-partisan stance:
The claim in the post has been rated FALSE. AARP maintains a nonpartisan stance, which is also required by law. While individual employees are allowed to make donations, AARP does not have a PAC or make any political donations and the majority of its highest ranking officials — including the CEO — also do not donate.
Likewise, Reuters writes in regard to allegations that AARP has endorsed Joe Biden or donated to Planned Parenthood:
Thousands of social media users have been sharing a post saying the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) endorses the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential elections and gives financial support to Planned Parenthood. The AARP, which describes itself as a nonpartisan organization, has not said it endorses Biden, and official documents submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) show that it has not given money to Planned Parenthood.
As a verdict, Reuters writes:
AARP has not declared endorsement for Biden and does not fund Planned Parenthood.
Note that this is based on official statements by AARP.
AARP appears to have an anti-firearm stance and pursues more stringent gun control. In 2012, The National Rifle Association published a list containing 506 names of “National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies”. AARP was among them. However, the list of anti-gun lobbying associations dated August 20, 2014, no longer contains AARP, though the association still maintains its views.
AARP has also been sharply criticized for its executive compensation and benefits. In 2014, AARP CEO Addison B. Rand received $1,698,289 of salary. Overall, in that year, AARP spent $8,694,890 on compensation of its directors, officers, and key employees.
What Is AMAC?
The Association of Mature American Citizens represents Americans 50 plus. AMAC is centered on American values, freedom of the individual, free speech, and exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, rule of law, and love of family, with benefits at all levels. AMAC plays a vital role in helping build the services that will enrich the lives of America’s seniors. AMAC Action, a 501 (C)(4) advocates for issues important to AMAC’s membership on Capitol Hill and locally through grassroots activism.
AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens) is a conservative competitor of AARP.
AMAC positions itself as a “conservative alternative to other 50+ organizations”. The organization was established by the late Daniel C. Weber in 2007. Regarding AMAC’s views and goals, Weber’s about page reads:
When AMAC came to life, conservative principles were in retreat. The freedoms of speech, religion, and assembly, right to keep and bear arms, limited government, lower taxes, solvent federal coffers, sustainable social security, disability and health care, appreciation for national security, border security and the private sector, as well as insistence on public accountability – were under intense pressure. Dan was undeterred. He leaned into those fights, never flagged.
Today, a dozen years later, AMAC is the fastest-growing conservative group in America, helping seniors through advice, advocacy and countless direct benefits. AMAC boasts two million members, battles for America’s freedoms, traditions and ideals every day, has given a voice to conservative seniors, and is on course to help preserve the best about America for generations to come.
Dan Weber supported the use of oil and gas in the United States and said in 2014 that the federal government needs to reconsider its “green agenda”.
The U.S. sits on what is perhaps the biggest cache of oil and gas in the world, yet we cry poverty. It’s about time we use the resources God gave us to pull ourselves out of the hole we are in.
It’s not only about jobs. Indeed, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 2.6% and for five years in a row has ranked number one in job creation in the U.S. due entirely to the million barrels of oil a day it is producing on private lands. But consider the fact that if we were to fully develop our vast national resources, it would have a profound, positive impact on the economy in general.
Weber concluded that “oil and gas exploration and recovery are safer for the environment than ever before” and will “save our bacon as far as economic growth is concerned”.
Unlike AARP, AMAC opposes the Affordable Care Act and supported its repeal and replacement in 2017.
In February 2017, AMAC announced that its members would boycott the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony if it turned into “a Trump bashing affair”, in Washington Examiner’s words.
AMAC Benefits VS AARP Benefits
When it comes to benefits for seniors, AMAC and AARP are very similar. Political issues aside, you should make sure that the association you apply to offers the perks that you specifically need.
Below, let’s have a brief overview of AMAC & AARP memberships along with their benefits. There are hundreds and hundreds of perks with each association, so we’ll only be giving you a general overview of what you could expect.
With that said, all in all, AMAC stands out with pretty strong coverage of insurance plans, financial services, and health services. In contrast, AARP may be better in terms of shopping & groceries and travel, though it also has a wide array of benefits in banking, finance, health, and insurance.
AMAC Benefits Overview
First we’ll break down AMAC’s benefits, eligibility, and pricing.
AMAC eligibility & price
You must be aged 50 or up to be eligible for a full AMAC membership. Individuals under the age of 50 may join as associate members, but they won’t have access to the full suite of AMAC benefits.
An AMAC membership also includes a spouse, so a husband and wife need only to purchase one membership to enjoy AMAC benefits.
Seniors may purchase a membership for 1, 3, or 5 years, and there also is a lifetime membership option. Longer memberships save you money in the long term.
AMAC member benefits
The full list of AMAC benefits is available on the AMAC website.
We have included some examples of AMAC benefits below:
Insurance & health
- VSP Individual Vision Plans. Save up to 60% on a pair of digital hearing aids, up to 25% on lens enhancements, and more.
- Travelers auto & home insurance. Auto & home insurance from Travelers is available at discounted prices for AMAC members.
- United of Omaha Life Insurance. United of Omaha Life Insurance offers up to $25,000 in life insurance with no medical exams.
- Liberty Home Equity Solutions reverse mortgage. Available to people aged 62 or up, a reverse mortgage allows seniors to essentially convert their home equity into cash without selling it.
- Guaranteed Rate mortgages. With Guaranteed Rate, AMAC members save up to $1,290 on mortgages.
- Retirement Jobs. Retirementjobs.com allows AMAC members to search for jobs throughout the US at no charge. Members also get 50% off a one-year premium membership.
Travel & Lodging
- Emergency Assistance Plus. Among other things, Emergency Assistance Plus provides coverage for emergency medical transportation. AMAC members save 30% off the broad market rate.
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. AMAC members save up to 20% when booking with Wyndham.
- AMAC Car Rental. AMAC members get exclusive rates for car rental. Car rental is mediated by Car Rental 8.
- Omaha Steaks discount. AMAC members get free shipping and an extra 10% off their entire order at checkout.
- Papa John’s discount. AMAC members save 25% when ordering at papajohns.com.
- Long John Silver’s discount. Discounts for AMAC members range from 10% to 20%, depending on the location.
AARP Benefits Overview
Next, we’ll go over benefits provided by AARP.
AARP membership eligibility & price
AARP membership terms are a lot like what you get with AMAC, though there are some subtle differences (mostly cost-related).
For more info about the AARP membership, read its FAQ.
Full membership is available to people aged 50 or up, though younger individuals may apply for an Associate membership. Associate members get access to AARP benefits that aren’t age-restricted.
Once Associate members turn 50, they automatically become full members.
When it comes to pricing, the AARP membership can be purchased for 1, 3, and 5 years. No lifetime options are available. The standard annual rate is $16, but with auto-renewal enabled, your first year for the 1-year plan will cost $12. 3- and 5-year memberships offer more savings, though they are more expensive than their AMAC counterparts.
AARP memberships allow you to add a secondary member – such as a spouse – to your account for free.
AARP member benefits
You may find a full list of AARP member benefits here. As mentioned earlier, AARP offers similar benefits to AMAC, though it also has partnerships with companies that don’t have any deals with AMAC.
Here are some examples of AARP benefits and discounts:
Insurance & health
- AARP MyVision Care through EyeMed. Members have access to plans starting at $4.38 per month.
- AARP Dental Insurance Plan through Delta. The AARP Dental Insurance Plan includes individual or family coverage for common dental procedures.
- AARP Auto Insurance Program through The Hartford. AARP members save $449 on average with the AARP Auto Insurance Program.
- AARP Health Savings Account through Optum Bank. AARP members get 20% off monthly maintenance fees, no monthly fees if aged 65 or older, and tax advantages.
- High Yield Savings through Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Members earn 0.10% higher than the stated Annual Percentage Yield at marcus.com for 24 months.
- AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Low- to moderate-income AARP members can receive free tax preparation assistance from an IRS-certified volunteer.
Travel & lodging
- Best Western Hotel & Resorts discount. Members get 5% to 15% off at over 4,000 Best Western hotels worldwide.
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts discount. AARP members save 10% off the best available rate.
- Park Ride Fly USA parking discounts. Members save 12% on reservations made at Park Ride Fly USA’s 150 off-airport parking locations nationwide.
- Bonefish Grill discount. Members save 10% on food and non-alcoholic beverages at Bonefish Grill.
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill discount. AARP member-guests of Carrabba’s Italian Grill save 10% on food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Landry’s Seafood discount. Landry’s offers 10% off food and non-alcoholic beverages to AARP members.
Groceries & shopping
- Walgreens senior benefits. Walgreens offers exclusive cashback rewards to myWalgreens members, among other things.
- Wolferman’s senior discount. AARP members save 20% on baked goods at Wolferman’s.
- Personalization Mall discount. Members save 15% on personalization gifts – such as cutting boards – at Personalization Mall.
AMAC VS AARP – Which Association To Choose?
So which is better – AMAC or AARP?
In the end, choose a membership based on:
- Your political views and how well the association matches them.
- Your lifestyle choices. More precisely, consider the locations you shop or dine at, watch movies, or whatnot.
AMAC and AARP offer comparable benefits. Politics aside, where they differ is which companies they have partnered with to offer membership perks.