When my husband and I decided to take a long road trip this summer visiting every state, the two main issues that immediately arose were safety and finances. I suggested purchasing AAA to help both situations without knowing too much about it. So I set out to determine what exactly AAA is and if it’s worth it.
AAA Membership Benefits
Here’s what you’ll get with your membership:
Roadside assistance. If you’re a AAA member, you automatically have roadside assistance any day of the week at anytime. This includes battery replacement, a battery boost, towing, vehicle lock-out service, tire service, one-day free car rental, fuel delivery service, emergency repair, and mechanical first aid, which is if your car needs a minor adjustment. If your car goes off road, you can call AAA to help you get back on course.
The last thing you want to think about is getting your car stolen or being in an accident when you set out on the road. But it’s something you need to be prepared for. Luckily, if you’re traveling by car and more than 100 miles away from home and your car is stolen or you have an accident, AAA can help. They will reimburse you for a car rental, transportation home or to your destinations, meals and lodging up to $600.
The good thing about being a AAA member is you’re covered in any car whether you are the driver or not.
Discounts. Besides help on the road, AAA can help your bank account with discounts that are changing every day. You can find discounts while traveling from hotel chains such as Hyatt Hotels, Best Western, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Westin, St. Regis, Marriot, and many others. Save up to 20% on Hertz car rentals and 10% off on Amtrak tickets.
In addition to travel discounts, you can also save while shopping. Get 10% off from Target (by visiting AAA.com/target, not at retail stores), 20% off at 1-800-flowers.com, up to 30% on Dell, and up to 40% off on Sirus/XM Radio.
Other discounts include:
- 10% off your food bill at Hard Rock Café
- 24% on prescriptions at participating pharmacies
- 30% off on eye exams and eyeglasses at Lenscrafters
- 10% off on Payless ShoeSourse
- 7% off NAPA Auto Parts
- up to 20% off Penske Truck Rentals
- 20% off CarFax vehicle report
- Free or discounted phones from AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Jitterbug
AAA Costs and Considerations
AAA Credit Card. AAA members used to be eligible to apply for the AAA credit card which offered double points on gas, groceries, and pharmacies. However, that card was eliminated last year. (Instead, you can look into the Pentagon Federal Gas Rewards Card for 5% cash back on gas.)
Cost and What to Consider. A Basic Membership is $57 and an additional $12 for a spouse. Before you purchase a membership, ask yourself how often will you really use the service. If you’re traveling often, it very well may be worth it. Be sure to also know what your car insurance already covers. Many times your car insurance may already offer road side assistance and other features that AAA gives.
AAA also offers great discounts at several stores, restaurants, and hotels, but be aware if you are already eligible for these discounts. Discounts at these same places can be offered to teachers, students, government workers, military, and even through an alumni association. Often travel credit cards you are enrolled in can also give you these discounts as well.
Have you ever purchased a AAA membership? Was it worth the cost?