Credit Card Companies and Banks That Pay Special Attention to the Retired

Once your working life is over and you have reached retirement age a great many things change, but that is especially true of your financial situation. Some people are lucky enough to find themselves in a very rosy situation if they have been planning for retirement for years as all financial planners advise and indeed more and more people over recent years have had the foresight to prepare for retirement and plan to add an additional source of income other than Medicare.

Whatever you situation you may be looking at finding a new bank and /or a new credit card that better suits your new lifestyle. Perhaps you intend to travel more now and would like a credit card that offers travel rewards. Or you simply want to find a bank that better caters to the needs of retirees than the one you use right now. Whatever the case, the good news is that there are banks and credit cards out their that are very senior friendly.

Senior Friendly Banks – Bank of America

The Bank of America offers a number of specialty accounts including a Seniors Checking that offers discounts on almost all the bank’s services including no fee travelers checks, interest on checking account balances and many of the fees you would normally associate with a checking account are waived. The Bank of America website also offers a complete online retirement center which offers advice and articles about all kinds of topics related to retirement including savings tips, estate planning and even information about other special discounts retirees can receive all over the country.

Senior Friendly Banks – Sun Trust

The Sun Trust Select 50 Checking Account offers a lot of benefits for those headed towards retirement as well as those who are already there. Apart from offering a checking account with reduced fees Sun Trust also offers an extensive retirement planning resource to help those who are still working better prepare for their impending life change.

Senior Friendly Banks – Bankers Trust

Bankers Trust also offer a Seniors Checking option that comes with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements, free checks and membership to The Secure Lifestyles Club which offers discounts on travel and dining as well as to special financial planning seminars and even wellness presentations. Many physical branches of the bank also employ an on-site Secure Lifestyles representative who is on hand to assist seniors with any of their financial needs.

Senior Checking at Local Banks

Many local regional banks also offer special seniors checking and savings account and do not always advertise them very extensively. If you have a checking or savings account at one of these types of banks the next time you are there ask them if they have a seniors product they can offer to you now that your circumstances have changed.

Senior Friendly Credit Cards

The last few years have seen more seniors get into credit card debt that they have difficulty getting out of. But as a recent Newsweek survey found these seniors are not using their credit cards to pay for golf vacations and getting into trouble. Often they are resorting to credit cards to pay for prescriptions and other health related services not covered by Medicare and also for basic day to day living expenses.

Most financial planners advise that seniors should try to pay off all their existing credit card debt before they retire and then consider replacing the credit cards they have with products that are better suited to their new lifestyle.

Senior Friendly Credit Cards – AARP Rewards Visa from Chase

The first notable thing about this senior credit card offering is its very generous rewards program. For the first six months of credit card membership cardholders earn a whopping 5% cash-back on every purchase they make. After that period ends rewards are earned at 1% on most purchases but still at 3% on all travel related purchase. There is no limit to the amount of cash-back that seniors can earn and there is no annual membership fee attached to the card either. 0% APR is accessed to credit card balances for the first 12 months of card membership and the 13.24%-16.24% APR that is charged thereafter is fairly reasonable compared to other credit cards.

Senior Friendly Credit Cards The Citi Executive / AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard

There are of course a number of seniors who have spent the last decade or so planning for their retirement and have the funds available to indulge in some of the travel plans they have been putting off to work. This newer MasterCard offering is a great credit card for them, especially if they plan to take a trip abroad.

In Europe there is a credit card system in place called the chip and pin system. Designed to add an extra layer of security whenever a credit card holder swipes their card at an automated checkout or even at cash registers they are prompted to enter a PIN number before the transaction can be approved (the pin is recognized by – you guessed it – a little microchip built into the card). This pin and chip system is already in widespread use and many European countries plan to make it standard as soon as possible.

The difficulty for US travelers is that if a chip and pin system is installed where they are trying to use their credit card their chip less card will usually not work. It can still be used if run manually by a cashier on a different machine, but as the ticket machines in many rail and bus stations are automated it can be a real pain. The Citi Executive / AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard can operate as a chip and pin card though so it makes getting around a little easier. There are no foreign transaction fees either, which can save about 3% on every purchase made abroad over using a credit card that still charges those fees, and most do.

There is also an excellent travel rewards program attached to the card, rewarding points at the rate of one mile per dollar spent but double miles are earned when using the card to pay for American airlines flights. Cardholders also receive a free baggage check on such flights and access to AA club lounges at the airport.