If you’re not a member of AAA, someone you know probably can tell you just how handy it is to pick up the phone and place a single call for help when you run out of gas, lock yourself out of your vehicle, or wreck your car.
Although it might seem like only those behind the wheel should take advantage of AAA membership, it a makes sense for most travelers to carry the card. A basic membership, which costs roughly $50, can save you hundreds of dollars every year via discounts on almost everything. With a Plus or Premier Membership, which cost between $79 and $119 per year, respectively you may be able to save even more.
Here are the best benefits and discounts included with AAA membership.
AAA Membership Benefits
All memberships include a free Hertz Gold membership, discounted rental car rates, identity theft monitoring, and referral to AAA-approved auto repair facilities. Other offerings vary according to membership level, but the basic breakdown is as follows:
- Towing benefits for up to 7 miles
- Emergency fuel delivery, but you pay for fuel
- Vehicle locksmith service up to $50
- Towing benefits for up to 100 miles
- Emergency fuel delivery with free fuel
- Vehicle locksmith service up to $100
- Towing benefits for up to 200 miles on the first tow, 100 miles thereafter
- Emergency fuel delivery with free fuel
- Vehicle locksmith service up to $150
Great AAA Membership Discounts
In addition to the services provided by your membership, a range of travel-related benefits are also available.
1. Rental Cars
Whether you’re renting a car for business or pleasure, your AAA membership can give you access to discounts on rentals from Hertz. Per the AAA website, members save up to 20% on domestic rentals or up to 25% on international Hertz car rentals for leisure or business travel. Additional drivers can be added at no charge, as long as they are also AAA members who meet rental qualifications. To take advantage of the discount, reservations can be made via AAA.com, at a AAA office, or at Hertz.com or a Hertz rental office.
All AAA members are eligible for the “Hertz Gold Plus Membership” for free, which enables you to receive immediate service at more than 40 airports worldwide via a special AAA “members only” line. Also, at more than 1,000 locations, the Hertz Gold Plus Membership allows you to simply show your drivers license in order to pick-up the keys to your car, rather than waiting in line and filling out paperwork.
As part of the Gold member benefits, AAA members also have the ability to claim 600 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Bonus Points, after their first Gold rental, which is enough for one free rental day. This benefit is available to all AAA members, regardless of membership tier.
2. Concierge Service and Global Travel Emergency Assistance
AAA Premier members have access to concierge services when traveling on a domestic or international trip 100 miles or more from their primary residence. Via the concierge, members receive assistance with ticketing to events, booking a limo or car service, golf tee times and reservations, gift basket and floral delivery arrangements, and shopping and health club referrals, among other perks.
Premier members also have access to 24-hour global travel emergency assistance. If you have an accident or other emergency situation while traveling 100 miles or more away from home (within the U.S. or internationally), you can call to find out information on the closest medical providers, pharmacies, or to be put in touch with emergency medical transportation providers. The service can also help you make arrangements for lost tickets or emergency cash transfers.
3. Travel Accident Insurance and Trip Interruption Benefits
If your trip is delayed due to an accident, mechanical breakdown, car theft, unexpected illness, injury, or severe weather, and you’re a AAA Premier member, you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 for covered out-of-pocket expenses, including meals and accommodations, and/or a rental car to continue your trip. The benefit also provides up to $500 to help get your car back home if you are unable to complete your trip.
Travel accident insurance is also available to AAA Premier Members when airline, cruise, bus, or train tickets are purchased through AAA Travel. The insurance covers up to $300,000 in the event of the loss of life, limbs, sight, speech, or hearing and is underwritten by BCS Insurance.
4. Lockout Service
All tiers of AAA membership are entitled to vehicle lockout services. If get locked out, a AAA service representative will come and attempt to gain access to your vehicle. This service is free for all members.
If, however, a locksmith were required to gain entry to your vehicle, services up to $50 are covered for AAA Classic membership, services of up to $100 are covered for Plus members, and services up to $150 are covered for Premier members. Premier members also have access to home lockout service, with up to $100 toward locksmith services if the locksmith picks or drills the lock to gain access to your home from the outside.
This service is limited to the member’s primary residence and excludes all other buildings or locked areas, so while you can use the service to get into your home, you wouldn’t be able to use it to get into your garage or tool shed on your property. This service also provides up to $100 for the cost of re-keying, changing locks or making a new key, but only when the lock is drilled or if the keys are lost or stolen. This service can only be used once per year per household, and any charges over $100 are at the expense of the AAA Premier member.
Whether you find yourself on business trips or romantic weekend getaways, it doesn’t get any better than free food. Although deals vary from state to state, many national restaurant chains offer AAA discounts:
- Hard Rock Café, 10% off
- McAlister’s Deli, 10% off
- Omaha Steaks, 15% off purchases of $59 or more
- Papa John’s, 25% off regular-price menu items
- Rainforest Café, 10% off on retail merchandise
- Dave & Buster’s, 10% off
- Medieval Times, up to 25% off
Whenever you’re traveling, ask your server if the restaurant offers any discount for AAA members. You never know which restaurants may decide to participate in the program.
6. Apparel and Retail
Your membership also entitles you to discounts at major retailers where you can save on everything from clothes to flowers and gardening equipment. If you’re shopping at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, just show your AAA member card in order to receive the applicable discount. If you’re shopping online, you may need to call to ensure the discount is valid and to find out what the specific coupon code may be. Some of the discounts include the following:
- 1-800FLOWERS.com, 20% off
- adidas Outlet Store, 20% off
- Eddie Bauer Outlet Stores, 10% off
- Harry and David, 15% off
- New York & Company, 20% off
- Payless ShoeSource, 10% off
- Plow & Hearth, 15% off
- Reebok Outlet Stores, 20% off
- Brooks Brothers, 15% off
- Naturalizer, 15% off
If sailing away to a tropical locale like Oahu, Hawaii sounds up your alley, AAA Travel can help you get discounts on select cruises. There is no charge for personalized trip planning, but a processing fee may apply to airline or train reservations. Cruise lines offering discounts include the following:
- Carnival Cruise Line, up to $200 per stateroom onboard spending credit on select sailings
- Celebrity Cruises, up to $75 per stateroom onboard spending credit on select sailings
- Cunard, up to a maximum of $300 per stateroom onboard spending credit on select departures during specific booking windows
- Holland America Line, up to $50 per person onboard spending credit on select sailings (maximum 2 per stateroom)
- Oceania Cruises, $100 per stateroom onboard spending credit on select sailings
- Princess Cruises, onboard value booklet (valued up to $325) and a reduced cruise deposit per person during specific booking windows
- Royal Caribbean International, choice of complimentary Spa Treatment per stateroom in balcony and above categories on select sailings
Using your AAA membership can save you as much as 15% off your hotel reservation. Many websites either have an option where you can reserve with your AAA member number, or you can choose to reserve via phone or directly from the AAA website.
- Starwood Hotels & Resorts, save up to 15%, plus enjoy complimentary parking at participating airport hotels.
- Hilton Hotels, save 5% or more at participating locations
- Best Western, save 10% or more on room rates
- Marriott, save 5% or more, plus special “weekend savings” that vary from property to property; call to inquire
- MGM Resorts International, save 10%
AAA offers discounts for various entertainment venues nationwide:
- BODIES The Exhibition, $5 off adult admission
- Cinemark Theatres, up To 35% off
- Medieval Times, up to 25% off
- Regal Entertainment Group, up to 30% off
- Universal Orlando, $20 off admission plus various discounts on food and merchandise
- Universal Studios Hollywood, $15 off general admission
- Busch Gardens, up to 30% off
- Cinemark movie tickets, up to 25% off
- Regal movie tickets, up to 35% off
- Water Country USA, up to 30% off
- Madame Tussauds New York, up to 15% off on admission, concessions, and merchandise
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not, save $4 on adult and child tickets
- Ticketmaster, deals on select 4-packs and 2-for-1 tickets
10. Health and Wellness
Your health and wellbeing are essential parts of life. AAA offers discounts on everything from glasses to workout attire to keep you feeling and looking your very best.
- P90X workout DVD program, 25% off
- FitReserve, 20% off monthly memberships
- TRX Trainers, 25% off
- Vitamix, 15% off
- Weight Watchers, Join for Free
- Connect Hearing, 40% off hearing aids
- Glasses.com, 25% off orders of $200 or more plus free lenses
- LensCrafters, up To 30% off
- Pearle Vision, up To 30% off
- LasikPlus, save $800 on Lasik surgery
- Sears Optical, up to 30% off
- Target Optical, up to 30% off
- 1-800 CONTACTS, $10 off $200
Of course, don’t forget about the amazing benefits AAA is known for. There’s nothing like the peace-of-mind that comes with membership in a service provider that has your back when you’re on the road. The extra perks and discounts are great, but the important thing is that you’re covered while you’re behind the wheel. It’s great to save money on cruises and hotels, but it’s even better to know that help is just a phone call away when you’ve been in an accident or you get in trouble on the road.
How do you use your AAA membership? Are there any other perks that you regularly use?