Have you ever broken down on the side of the road? Or maybe you got into a fender bender and needed a tow to your favorite mechanic. No matter what, it’s nice to be prepared for these types of situations, and that’s where companies like AAA come in. But are the AAA benefits and membership worth it?
AAA Benefits: What’s Included In Your Membership?
First, let’s talk about what AAA is and what benefits you can get as a customer.
No matter what level of coverage you choose with AAA, you’ll qualify for the following perks:
- Roadside assistance: In other words, if you just need to jump-start your battery or get a flat tire changed, you’ll get this help for free and right where you are.
- Free towing (of up to 3-7 miles, this will depend on your location). Want to go to a mechanic outside of those miles? You’ll still pay less than what you’d pay a regular tow company.
- Free car key retrieval if you lock your keys in the car.
- AAA coverage no matter where you are or what you drive. AAA isn’t for your car, it’s for you. So if you’re a passenger in someone else’s car, you can still get service!
And, the best part of these benefits is that you can get help up to 4 times a year. I don’t know about you, but my car insurance wouldn’t let me make that many claims a year.
In fact, I was dropped from my insurance for making two claims. One month, my car was broken into, and the next month, I had to get a tow. Neither of these incidents were my fault, but my insurance company punished me for them. Had I been an AAA member, I wouldn’t have made both claims on my insurance. It can really come in handy if you have picky insurance.
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AAA Benefits Increase Based On Your Membership
While the basic membership covers all of the above, AAA does have two other options as well.
While the non-basic options are more expensive, they include…
- towing up to 100-200 miles,
- free fuel up (should you run out of gas),
- car rental for a day, and
- car retrieval if you get stuck in the mud or ice.
And, you can even cover bicycles/bicycle needs, depending on your location. So, if your bicycle has a flat, or you need roadside assistance for it, you can get it at no extra charge.
How Much Does An AAA Membership Cost?
The AAA membership cost depends on your location. You can get a free quote by entering in your zip code right on their site.
As an example, I entered in my zip code, and here are the yearly quotes for my area:
- Classic: $47 per person, plus a one-time administrative fee
- AAA Plus: $76 per person, plus a one-time administrative fee
- AAA Premier: $103 per person, plus a one-time administrative fee
In some areas, you’ll be able to choose monthly or yearly payments. But, in my area, I was only able to pay for the year. Each additional person could be added to my policy for $37 each.
The AAA benefits don’t just stop at roadside assistance. There are many other perks for AAA members.
First, AAA has auto repair shops that they work with to offer you discounts.
These shops meet AAA’s standards, and members can get 10% off repairs, plus repair guarantees for up to two years. If you’re looking for a repair shop, this is a great place to start. Of course, you can always go to the shop of your choice, but who doesn’t want to save a few dollars?
You’ll also get access to their full-service travel agency, as well as discounts on travel.
For example, AAA works with hotels like the Marriott, and you can get 10% (or more) off of their normal rates when booking with a AAA membership. And, should you ever need a rental car, AAA has you covered for less too. Many rental car agencies have AAA discounts.
Last but not least, AAA has other discounts with new partners all of the time.
As of right now, they’ve partnered with SimpliSafe to give their members a 25% discount on home security needs. These partners change out every few months or so, so check back in often to see if you can get a discount on something your family needs or were planning to purchase anyway.
Looking for all of the extra perks and discounts you can get as an AAA member? Check out their full list here.
Moving soon? No worries. AAA has 27 clubs in the U.S., and 8 in Canada, so you’re covered (almost) everywhere you go. And if you do move, all you have to do is call the AAA number on the back of your membership card, and they will transfer your info easily. There are no limits either. For example, if you’re a military family that moves often, you won’t be penalized for having to change clubs, no matter how many times you move.
Are The Benefits Worth It If You Already Have Car Insurance?
If you have decent car insurance, or use a credit card, you may already have access to roadside assistance benefits.
Before investing in AAA, I would check to see what benefits you already have with your current car insurance. However, if you only have liability, or if you don’t want to use traditional insurance claims for items like towing, the AAA benefits could be well worth the slightly lower cost each year.
Is An AAA Membership Worth It?
So, are the AAA benefits worth getting a membership for? I’d say yes. Although I have great car insurance, I’ve been an AAA member for 3 years (and counting) and it’s given me more peace of mind.
The other perks and discounts are a great way to save money too, although you’ll have to decide for yourself if they’re worth the yearly fee. But for my household, we’ll continue to be loyal AAA members for a long time.
Do you have a AAA membership? Would you say the AAA benefits are worth it? Tell us in the comments below!!
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a strategy consultant and course launching expert. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or crying over This Is Us, you'll find her teaching other mompreneurs how to scale their business without scaling their workload.