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Membership Cards That Save You Money

By Mark Riddix

There are so many things today that are just not worth what you pay for them. They are advertised as items that will help you save money but end up costing you in the end. Fortunately, there are actually some things in life that are worth a lot more than what you paid for them. Today, I would like to take a look at a few club memberships that may charge a small fee but can really help you save in the long run.

Listed below are a few membership cards that are definitely worth the money:


AAA stands for the American Automobile Association. The company has been around for over 100 years and can save you money on just about anything. AAA discounts save money on automotive services, financial services, travel services, insurance, dining, and entertainment. A membership costs under $65 a year. I cannot tell you how many times I have found AAA’s service a godsend. AAA has been useful for everything from changing a tire to saving money on concert tickets. A AAA membership card can even be used to get a discount on hotels and sporting events.

Warehouse Club

Everyone should be a member of some type of discount warehouse club. Membershi- only warehouse clubs charge an annual fee to members for the privilege of buying discounted goods in bulk. Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale Club are all dream locations for bargain hunters. The d├ęcor and environment may not be as nice as your local grocery store, but the savings are great. Besides, where else can you buy a giant jar of pretzels that will last you a whole year?

Grocery Store

There was a time when you needed to clip coupons to save money at the grocery store. That was before the invention of the discount membership card. You can get a discount on everyday items while shopping by joining your local grocery store’s membership program. In my area Giant, Safeway, and Superfresh all require customers to use discount cards to purchase items on sale. Some of these cards can be used at local gas stations to save money on gas. Best of all, many grocery store discount cards are free!

Amazon Prime

If you use the Internet a lot, chances are good that you shop at Amazon quite a bit. Amazon sells books, clothes, movies, video games, sports equipment, groceries, toys, and electronics. Amazon is the number one e-commerce site in the United States. Shipping costs can add up pretty quickly if you want to buy an item from Amazon and get it in a reasonable amount of time. An Amazon Prime membership lets you get free two-day shipping on every item that you buy and next-day shipping is just $3.99. An Amazon Prime membership is just $99 a year. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you are a regular Amazon shopper!


One of the best things about getting older is joining the American Association of Retired Persons, also known as the AARP. If you are 50 or older, you are eligible to join AARP. AARP members save money on everything from dining to health insurance. The savings even extend to cell phone service, Internet service, legal services, and travel packages. All of these benefits are available for just $16 a year. Who knew that getting older meant bigger savings?

What memberships do you have that you think are worth the money?

(Photo credit: freiheitskampfer)

Mark Riddix
Mark Riddix is the founder and president of an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers and is the author of the book, Your Financial Playbook.

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  • http://liverealnow.net Jason@LiveRealNow

    Amazon has been known to charge more for some Prime items, effectively charging a second premium for the service.

    AARP has moved away from senior services. Their main product is the contact information of their membership. They are a marketing organization masquerading as a service org.

    • http://buylikebuffett.com/ Mark Riddix

      I didn’t know that about the Amazon prime service. I think that AARP still has some pretty good deals.

  • http://www.NatureExposure.com Debbie Flanigan

    As a member of way too many membership cards with overlapping services, I am rethinking many of them come renewal time. I have already dropped AARP. My 19 year membership in AAA ($79.00 annual fee to cover my husband and I) was a real disappointment when I needed to use towing for the first time and discovered that my plan only covered 3 miles! Apparently, I had not read the fine print to opt for that upgrade in additional premiums to cover greater distances than that. I have not used travelers checks in years, no longer utilize trip tickets due to auto GPS units and google maps. State maps are often free at lots of locations, but AAA charged me $24.95 for an atlas. I have not had to produce my AAA card number, in years, to get the hotel discount when I make reservations, or produce it upon checkin. (On a side note: Always ask for the room rate, THEN ask for the AAA rate. You will be surprised how many hotels will give you both right away, or tell you the first quote WAS the AAA rate.) It is so much easier to just write out the checks for all those memberships we have held for years, but the economy dictates that we take the time to examine them all for what services they actually do supply that are of benefit to us currently.

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