Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today



Contests and

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Books Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


Save a Buck:

For ‘Return Protection,’ Check Your Credit Card

Returning merchandise to a retailer isn’t as easy as it used to be. Some online stores have a no-refunds policy, and traditional stores are putting up more roadblocks. Sellers can set up any return policy they want, says Edgar Dworsky, editor of the online guide They can refuse to accept returns longer than two weeks after a purchase, charge a restocking fee or insist an item be returned unopened with its packaging intact.

Out of luck? Not necessarily, if you made the purchase using one of several credit cards that offer “return protection”—a benefit that most people don’t even know they have.

If you have a Gold, Platinum or World MasterCard, you can be reimbursed up to $250 per item if you tried to make a return within 60 days of purchase and were unsuccessful. The Chase Sapphire card covers up to $500 per item (with an annual limit of $1,000) that retailers won’t take back within three months. American Express cards also provide this benefit, as do American Express Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred credit cards, refunding up to $300 per item with a $1,000 annual limit.

You don’t necessarily have to pay an annual fee to get this protection. MasterCards from some issuers, such as Citi, have no annual fee, nor does the Chase Sapphire card. Some Amex cards do charge fees, but the Hilton HHonors does not. Call the number on the back of your card for details.

Joan Rattner Heilman writes on good deals and where to find them.


Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits HomeServe

Members can protect their homes with comprehensive repair plans from HomeServe.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.