15 AAA discounts you're missing out on
By Charlene Oldham/GOBankingRates
Many people associate AAA with roadside breakdowns and other car-related crises. However, AAA offers much more than emergency jump-starts or help when you've locked your keys in the car.
AAA is a nonprofit federation of affiliated motor clubs with more than 1,100 offices and 55.6 million members throughout the U.S. and Canada. Annual dues for a new primary membership range from $48 to $96, depending on the affiliate chosen. In exchange, members get access to a variety of AAA benefits, including 24-hour roadside assistance, free trip-planning tools, free identity theft monitoring, insurance services and a wide range of shopping, entertainment and dining discounts.
In fact, even long-time members might not be aware of all the benefits and discounts that come with using a card. So, if you've only called AAA for emergencies, or if you're considering investing in a membership for the first time, take time to review these discounts available to members.
1. Hotel discounts
AAA hotel discounts are among the most popular perks for members. Many national chains offer AAA discounts.
"For example, members save up to 15 percent at Best Western, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Marriott, MGM Resorts International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts," said Julie Hall, public relations manager in AAA's national office.
Independent hoteliers often provide AAA discounts, too, so it pays to check when booking accommodations.
2. Rental car discounts
According to a recent AAA survey, 56 percent of Americans are planning to take a road trip this summer, and they aren't necessarily putting the extra miles on their own cars.
"AAA members can take advantage of offers of up to 20 percent from Hertz, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental," Hall said.
Hertz is currently offering AAA members an additional discount of 15 percent off weekly rentals -- excluding dream cars -- through June 30, 2016.
3. Restaurant discounts
A wide range of restaurants offer AAA discounts. For example, AAA members save 10 percent on food, non-alcoholic beverages and merchandise at all U.S. and select international locations of the Hard Rock Cafe.
At Papa John's Pizza, AAA members can save 25 percent on regular menu prices when ordering online with a AAA promo code. And some locations offer as much as 33 percent off menu prices with another AAA code.
4. Restaurant certificates
AAA members can buy discounted restaurant certificates for local eateries through Restaurant.com.
Savings and selection vary by location. For example, in the St. Louis area, Restaurant.com offers certificates for dining establishments such as City Diner and Krieger's Sports Bar, where AAA members can get $15 in food for $6, or $10 in food for $4, as long as they make the minimum total purchase specified by the savings certificate.
5. Apparel discounts
It's not always necessary to have a promo code or printed certificate to unlock savings. For example, AAA members who show their cards in Payless ShoeSource stores can save $10 on a purchase of $40. At New York & Company stores, flashing your AAA card can save you 25 percent on your entire in-store purchase, while New York & Company outlets offer cardholders a discount of 10 percent.
6. Electronics discounts
AAA members have access to a wide range of discounts on everything from electronics to printer ink.
At HP.com, for example, AAA members are eligible to save 10 percent or more on list prices for select products, with savings automatically applied at the online checkout. AAA members also receive perks like free shipping, a 30-day return policy with no restocking fees, 15 percent off printer ink and access to a supplies loyalty program.
7. Cellular service and accessory discounts
Sprint customers can take advantage of AAA deals, including a recurring 10 percent monthly discount on eligible lines under select Sprint cellphone plans, waived activation fees of up to $36 and a 25 percent discount on accessories.
8. Business and personal services discounts
AAA members can save 15 percent on eligible products and services and 5 percent on shipping at the UPS Store just by showing their membership cards. For those looking to print business cards, manuals and other documents in bulk, FedEx Office offers AAA customers free shipping for online orders of more than $100.
FedEx Office also offers credits in the form of WOWPoints, AAA's online reward points program. The company, which rewards five WOWPoints for every dollar spent, is one of many participating merchants nationwide.
For every 100 WOWPoints accrued, a AAA member earns a dollar that can be redeemed with participating merchants.
9. Airport parking discounts
Family vacations are expensive enough without paying for airport parking.
"According to a recent AAA survey, more than one third of Americans -- 35 percent -- are planning to take a family vacation this year. Those traveling families can take advantage of savings up to 25 percent on near-airport parking at The Parking Spot," Hall said.
10. Rail travel discounts
AAA members can also save while riding the rails.
"Additionally, Amtrak is offering 20 percent off passenger rail fares with three-day advanced booking through June 12, 2016," Hall said.
11. Theme park discounts
The AAA survey found that 42 percent of traveling families are planning to visit theme parks this year.
"Members can enjoy up to 30 percent off Six Flags theme park tickets when purchased online, plus 10 percent off merchandise of $15 or more," Hall said.
12. Prescription discounts
A lesser-known AAA benefit is discounts on prescriptions, Hall said.
For example, members save an average of 24 percent on regular retail prices for prescription drugs not covered by their insurance plans. And they can save even more by choosing a generic medication when available. More than 59,000 retail pharmacies, including Walmart locations, currently participate in the program.
You might even be able to score discounts on pet prescriptions.
13. Flower and gift basket discounts
Several of the brands sold by 1-800-Flowers.com offer discounts, including one for 20 percent or $20 off your entire purchase of $79.99 or more, Hall said. Additionally, 1-800-Flowers fulfills orders for gift baskets from gourmet food and gift companies, such as Harry & David.
14. Paint discounts
PPG Paints stores offer 25 percent off paint and 15 percent off sundries to AAA members, Hall said. Through June, members are also eligible for up to 50 percent savings on retail paint prices.
15. Moving cost discounts
Penske offers up to 20 percent off one-way truck rentals with free unlimited mileage for reservations booked online. AAA members also get 12 percent off local rentals and moving supplies, Hall said.
Atlas Van Lines also offers savings on moving costs to AAA members.
Click here for a look at even more discounts.