Home Travel AAA Membership Offers More Than Roadside Assistance, You Can Save Money On Travel!

AAA Membership Offers More Than Roadside Assistance, You Can Save Money On Travel!

by joeheg

AAA. It’s a name synonymous with travel. Most people associate them with the roadside assistance they provide, but they also provide many other services, some travel-related and others that seem to have nothing to do with automobiles.

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For me, my first knowledge of AAA was their  TripTik®  maps. When we were going on a road trip, we’d tell AAA where we were going and they’d give us a road map with a route highlighted. For an obsessive planner, this was heaven. I remember looking at these things way before I could drive.

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Times change and as you know, getting a map to your destination is now as easy as looking at your car’s GPS or pulling up an app on your phone.

Even though we no longer need the maps, I still have my membership and have no intention of getting rid of it. I use my AAA card for several other purposes:

HOTEL DISCOUNTS

This is the primary reason I keep my AAA card. For the times when I’m paying for a hotel room instead of using points, I’ll usually book the AAA rate. Almost every hotel chain offers discounted rates for AAA members. These rates might not be the absolute lowest prices but I’ve found them to be within a few dollars of the best discounts. The reason I’ll pay a little more for the AAA rate is that, in most cases, their prices don’t require you to prepay for the room and you can cancel right up to a day or two before your trip with no penalty.  I never want to pay for a hotel when I book, often many months in advance.

Here’s how the prices often breakdown. This example is for a weekend trip at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, but this situation tends to be the case everywhere:

The AAA rate is $161 a night. That’s $10 cheaper than the Honors member rate and $18 less than rack rate.

RENTAL CAR DISCOUNTS

While I almost always use AAA discount rates for hotels, my membership is also one of the many ways to get a discounted rental car. I use Autoslash to find the best rates and AAA is one of the many discounts they’ll search for you.

PARKING DISCOUNTS

We use off-site parking at Orlando Airport. Our current favorite, FastPark&Relax, provides a 15% discount for AAA members.

The best way to get rewarded for parking with us is to become a Relax for Rewards Member. Sign up today and each time you park with us you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for Free Parking whenever you need it. Points will add up quickly and rewards start accumulating automatically. We also honor many membership discounts including AAA and AARP, and we offer veterans and active military receive special discounts as well. Please present your identification to our Fast Park Guest Ambassador upon exit and they will discount your ticket. Multiple discounts cannot be applied to a single ticket.

ATTRACTION TICKET DISCOUNTS

I’ve written previously about using my employee perks with Tickets At Work to get discounted tickets to amusement parks. Here are the prices when I previously looked for discounted tickets to Dollywood.

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  • Regular Price – $84.15
  • Tickets At Work Price – $81.75
  • AAA Price – $68.99

That’s a $30 savings on two tickets with AAA over the retail price and $25 less than the next lowest price I found.

HERTZ BENEFITS

AAA members get several benefits with Hertz. Getting the young renter or additional driver fees waived could save you large amounts of money on a single rental since the young renter fee can be up to $30 per day.

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If you currently have a SiriusXM subscription, there’s no reason to pay for it in a rental car anymore.

HARD ROCK CAFE DISCOUNTS

When traveling, we tend to visit Hard Rock Cafes more than we probably should. It’s a place where we know what we’re going to get and sometimes that’s exactly what you want.

AAA Members save 10% off the purchase of food, non-alcoholic beverages and merchandise at all company-owned Hard Rock® Cafes and Rock Shops® in the United States & Europe, and at participating franchise locations across the globe. Offer excludes tax, gratuity, limited-edition and charity merchandise, separately ticketed and group events, and cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions. Valid AAA Membership card must be presented at time of purchase, maximum of up to six (6) people per membership card. No cash value, void where prohibited by law.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The offers I mentioned above are ones I use on a semi-regular basis. When writing this article, I was shocked at how many things AAA membership provides that I didn’t know about. Besides travel-related discounts, they offer insurance, banking, home loans, car purchase programs and other services. AAA also has a shopping portal where you can earn AAA Dollars that can be applied to your AAA membership renewal (I’d rather just get cashback, thank you).

Classic AAA membership costs $68 per year (that may vary with geographic location; AAA runs different programs by region) and an additional member costs $24. Between the hotel discounts, parking discounts and dining discounts, I’m sure I break even. That means I get the security of having roadside assistance for free, although several people pointed out that roadside assistance is also a perk of the Sapphire Reserve card.

If you’re not a AAA member, they do have a referral link (CLICK HERE) where you can get $20 off your renewal (so you’re not saving now but you will save when you renew for next year). If you use our link, they’ll also give me a credit on my renewal (We always appreciate it if you use our links because that helps us keep the lights on here at YMMV headquarters).

If you have an AAA membership, what’s your favorite perk from having the card? Let us know.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

8 comments

IHG Brings Back The Rewards Club Points Sale - Your Mileage May Vary October 10, 2018 - 6:01 pm

[…] to get an $80 room is a horrible deal. I booked our rooms for Wednesday and Thursday night with the AAA rate and used reward points for Friday and Saturday night, thereby getting the best value for both […]

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IHG Rewards Club Points Are On Sale (Easy Way To Save On Luxury And Economy Hotels) - Your Mileage May Vary November 22, 2018 - 8:00 am

[…] to get an $80 room is a horrible deal. I booked our rooms for Wednesday and Thursday night with the AAA rate and used reward points for Friday and Saturday night, thereby getting the best value for both […]

Reply
Nancy August 11, 2019 - 9:54 am

I grew up on TripTiks! I’m a big fan of AAA. The hotel discounts can be substantial. I booked one hotel night in NYC on cash using an AAA membership, and the discount on that one night alone more than paid for my AAA membership.

Reply
Sean August 12, 2019 - 2:13 am

You missed the benefit for small biz owners…
Free notary service

Reply
How Families Can Afford to Travel, AAA Benefits, New Hawaii Routes and More - Miles For Family August 16, 2019 - 9:00 am

[…] These AAA Benefits—Who Knew?: This article by Your Mileage May Vary is a good recap of the benefits of an AAA membership. On the few occasions when I book a hotel with […]

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DaninMCI August 16, 2019 - 10:46 am

Discount passport photos and international drivers permits are the main reason I use AAA. They also offer free and discounted travel books depending on your level of membership.

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beachmouse January 20, 2021 - 2:18 pm

We use them for auto and home insurance. They’re willing to write a competitively priced homeowner’s policy in my part of Florida and it’s nice to have a policy with a ‘big name’ rather than going the Akbar and Jeff’s Insurance Hut route down here to get a decent price. I think we get something like a $50 credit on the insurance policy for being AAA members, bringing the original membership cost down more.

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Samir April 6, 2021 - 2:07 am

So AAA isn’t what it used to be. For a simple jump start is was many hours before they got to me and in one case, they didn’t. I’ve been a premiere member for over a decade, but will be cancelling. It seems something has changed at the company in the last few years and they’re not the same reliable service anymore. Better to just call on your own and pay when the time comes.

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