The short answer is, it pays for itself (and then some) with all the discounts you receive.
The first barrier that people come across is the annual membership fee. For me, it costs $54. It’s really no different than paying an annual fee for a credit card but I believe the costs and benefits of annual fees need to be considered. In my case, I do not get reimbursed for my travel, so I’m looking for any discounts I can get. In general, the AAA discount at hotels is 10%. If you’re aiming for elite status, you could be saving upwards of $250. At this point, you’ll have received five times the value that you paid for.
While I put my AAA membership to good use, I’m quite sure that I don’t even use it to its full potential. Here’s a list of just some of the additional discounts and benefits you can get with a AAA membership:
- Hotel discounts: As mentioned above, save up to 10% on hotel stays at hotels like Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, Marriott, Holiday Inn, etc. Some AAA rates even include full breakfast for 2 in addition to the 10% discount.
- Discounted Theme Park tickets: Get discounted tickets to Disneyland, Disney World, Six Flags, Seaworld and more.
- Get SPG Preferred Guest Plus status: This status is sandwiched between Preferred and Gold. It’s only available to SPG AMEX cardmembers and automobile association members. This status is for life without any re-qualification needed. Click the link for more details.
- Car purchase discounts: Don’t like negotiating with car dealers? AAA members can receive a no-hassle experience plus members only pricing on the purchase of new, used or certified pre-owned vehicles.
- Car rental discounts and upgrades: Get X dollars off of weekly or weekend reservations and/or class upgrades. Find discounts on AAA.com or on a site like RetailMeNot.
- Restaurant discounts: Save 10% off your bill at restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, IHOP and Pizza Hut. There are others, of course. Apologies to the foodies!
- Shopping discounts: Save 20% at FTD or 5% at Sears.com. Click here to see more online shopping discounts.