A few months back, I got a letter in the mail from AAA reminding me that it is time to renew my membership. I have been a AAA member since 2007. My car broke down and I needed a tow. I signed up and got a tow in the same call. When it was time to renew, I had to think hard about whether or not it was worth the annual $57 cost.
While I got AAA so I could tow my car, it turns out I use the hotel discounts much more often than anything else I get from AAA. I find that I save, on average, $10 per night when using a AAA discount. I spend about a even nights every year in hotels I pay for (including weekends), so that is a savings of about $70. Right there, I already covered the cost.
When looking for hotels, remember that AAA is not always the cheapest, but it usually is. I was at a wedding last year and found that the AAA rate was lower than the wedding rate by about $20 per night. I have also seen deals where AAA is more than other offers. Just do your homework and make sure you make the right choice.
Getting your car towed is expensive. My AAA plan gets me towing services, tire changes (I can do that myself), jump starts (I can do that if I can get to another car), lockout service (never used), and gas if you run out (never happened to me).
I have actually only used AAA roadside assistance once, for the tow the day I signed up. I guess here, I am really just paying for peace of mind. You never expect your car to break down, but it can happen.
I enjoy getting my free maps, travel guides, and travel info from AAA. I have planned weekend getaways, road trips, and other short vacations using information products provided to AAA members for no extra fee.
I once planned a weekend getaway to Disney World and used AAA for a discounted travel package. It doesn’t come up all that often, but it is useful enough when I need it that I do get some value from the travel services.
I get a total value of at least $70 per year that I can pin down. The value of other services is just a bonus on top of my AAA travel discounts. I find that I get more value than the cost, so for now I am going to keep renewing my membership.
What about you? Do you have AAA? Is it worth the money? Share your thoughts in the comments.