I have had a AAA Membership for YEARS because the value we receive in benefits far exceeds the cost for the Membership. I have compared all 3 of their plans and for the difference of additional cost vs benefit, the Classic Membership is just right for us! The cost per year for myself, my Husband and my 2 adult children is $142. I continue to cover the cost for the kids because it is a cheap gift that gives ME peace of mind that they have help if they need it.
For them, it’s mostly just about the roadside service. Flat tire and the bolts won’t come off, towing…..so much towing. Lol! They will assist if you are locked out, have a flat, your battery is dead, or you run out of gas. Did I mention towing? I laugh about this, because it seems like we have used a ton of towing as the kids worked through car issues growing up. You never want to find yourself or your children stranded somewhere in a stressful situation with no help. Roadside coverage is so worth it to me.
I mostly use the Travel Benefits. Discounts on hotels, and rental cars, cheap Passport Photos, discounts on attractions or services, Tour Books and maps, and the use of a Travel Agent.
If you didn’t read my post about our Travel Agent, Elizabeth, here is a link on how she helped save our vacation this year:
Before travel was available through the internet, I booked all my airline tickets through AAA. I would pick up my paper tickets and cardboard boarding passes at their office. Times have changed. Now you can make most of your reservations online yourself and either print the tickets or scan them on your phone. Crazy. I still use a Travel Agent for some of the big stuff. Elizabeth has navigated huge airfare savings for us to Europe, and helped us plan 2 group tours we took with Trafalgar. She gathers all my documents together and even helped me file a travel claim. A good Travel Agent is a great resource.
Identity Theft Protection
Free Identity Theft Protection was a pleasant surprise to me. This year we experienced a scary episode. There was a possibility that someone was trying to fraudulently use our personal information. We went through the process of locking everything down tight and then looked into Identity Theft Protection. I was checking into a program through one of the banks we use that would have cost about $10/month billed monthly on our statement. But just before signing on, a lady at work suggested I check out the AAA Identity Theft program.
They have multiple levels of Protection Plans; Free Essential Coverage, Enhanced Deluxe or Superior Platinum. For me the Free Essential Coverage provided enough coverage and is free if you are a member. . If I had signed onto the bank’s plan for 12 months at $10/month that would have been $120. Just another way of saving money with my AAA Membership. They are always adding new perks or discounts, so read your mailings and check out their website to see what new things they may have added that you might be able to take advantage of.
I have also saved a lot using AAA Discounts on hotels and can still get the Hotel Reward Points. If you are reserving online, there is usually a box to enter your Group Code during the reservation process. Sometimes they will show several options for room rates on hotel websites and AAA will be one of the options listed there. Simple.
When we fly out on longer trips, it is much cheaper for us to use the Airlines Parking and shuttle in to the terminal than the on-site airport lots. The AAA Discount takes $1 day off the Internet Reservation Rate or $3 day off the Drive Up Rate. And it saves us $4 a day over the on-site airport parking rate.
Triptiks, Maps, Tour books and Travel Brochures
Hopefully you read my post: Building Your Travel Toolbox
AAA offers all types of printed maps, tour guides and vacation planning materials. It is an important asset for me when I am in the trip planning stages of any trip. If I want a printed Brochure with all the current cruises or land tours, they have them. If I need a Map or Triptik Route for a driving trip, they have them. If I want a Tour Book for a specific area that I am visiting, they have them. You can either stop in and request copies at the office, or order them online to be shipped to your home. No charge for Members!
Get the App
AAA offers a Mobile App with these features:
- Maps and directions
- Find Discounts
- Find Hotels and Restaurants
- Book a Rental Car
- Direct Request of Roadside Assistance
- Find AAA Aproved Auto Repair facilities
- Find the cheapest gas prices near you
- Adds a scanable AAA Membership Card to your Wallet
We have saved on everything with AAA from Carnival Cruises, onsite vacations at Disney World and Universal Studios, Guided Tours and local Hotel stays. I like to equate those trip savings to more money I can spend on the fun stuff like dining out, enjoying more activities or buying some souvenirs. And when you book a trip through AAA, besides the discounts, sometimes there are some extra perks. Maybe it is a travel bag filled with goodies or a free excursion, you usually get some sort of a bonus that is worth more than the $25 trip booking fee.
This year I am proud to say that my Daughter even booked a cruise utilizing her AAA Discount. Yay! Oh yes and used the towing. Lol!
I like to know that if I am paying for any kind of Membership, I am getting my money’s worth of benefits in return. My feelings are the more features we use, the more it pays for itself. The AAA Membership is definitely worth having.