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October 30, 2008


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FYI--you do not have to be a member of AAA club to purchase the auto or homeowners insurance. I do not have the AAA sticker on my car but do have the AAA auto and home insurance.

I did not know AAA had home and automotive insurance. I will have to check it out!!!

They also partner with many retail outlets and offer savings that way.... for instance, I purchased a computer and monitor at Circuit City for around $900... there is a coupon on the AAA site for members to download that saves like 8% on all purchases over $250 at CC, so I saved about $80 on that purchase.... also many theme parks, restaurants, etc... offer discounts.

My wife and I both have newer cars with warrantees and roadside assistance, so we've never used them for car help, but the discounts alone are well worth the membership fee!

I'm pretty sure you have to be a AAA member as well in order to get insurance through AAA.

I just started my AAA membership last year and I've done well so far. I have DirecTv and last year they offered any current DirecTv customer $50 to agree to I think a 1 year contract and then are giving me another $50 at the end of the 1 year contract. So just that in itself has paid for my membership for 2 years !! And my insurance costs went down significantly as well !!

I got 30% off my eyeglasses at LensCrafters -- just by showing my AAA card, no coupon needed or anything (note: my Aetna discount would've also been the same 30% off). This would be great for someone that doesn't have insurance. The sales rep compared the 30% off (lenses + frames) vs. their current 50% off lenses deal and it turned out that the AAA 30% was better!

Ditto the retail outlets. I shop at New York and Company and you can get a 15% off in stores purchases. Sometimes they also have specials and I was able to get a 25% off discount.

Oh another way I saved money was on paint. I got 20% at the Duron store (works for Sherwin Williams too). FYI, Sherwin Williams and Duron sell the same paint but it's cheaper at Duron!

I have belonged to AAA twice in my life. Neither time did the membership pay for itself. At least for me. I'd use a 10-20% discount on something from time to time, but it never amounted to the cost of the membership. Their insurance was more expensive than what I get through Progressive. Ditto for my renter's insurance.

What I do really want is the roadside assistance. I do moronic things like run out of gas from time to time or lock the keys in the car.

However, Progressive offers the same roadside assistance for $5 per year. Five bucks.

That's been my experience. Obviously it has been worth it for others.

Be careful about using any auto insurer's roadside assistance. Most will keep a record of a comprehensive claim on your insurance record for 3-5 years. I write insurance with 6 companies and the ones who have roadside assistance all do this.

I live in NJ and we have POCONO mall nearly with around 110 outlet stores. Show your AAA card and get a brochure with discounts on almost 80% of the stores. We use it everytime we go there.

Another time it was Hertz car rental which was 50$ cheaper than other rentals by applying the AAA discount. Actually AAA customer service did the reservation. we didnt even call the Hertz.

Funny enough, we bought AAA so that my wife wouldn't end up stranded somewhere in her older car. This past summer, I've used it twice in my newer car, and avoided having to change tires myself in the 110+ Arizona heat!

We don't have the AAA insurance, but its definitely time for us to shop around, so maybe they will have the best deal.

It may sound obvious, but a word of caution; don't just automatically grab the AAA rate when you reserve a hotel, assuming it's the best. Make sure you uncheck that option and price it without AAA as well.

AAA is usually good for about 10% off the "regular" rate at places that honor it, but when you select the AAA option on most hotel websites, it typically blocks out any other pricing specials the hotel is running.

Without AAA, sometimes you'll see a pay-in-advance, no refunds special far below AAA rate. Or maybe you'll see a room at regular price, but with breakfast or parking included--sometimes these are worth more than the AAA discount, if you can use them.

I negotiated a really great deal by signing up for AAA. My car broke down and I was going to need a tow. I did not want to call my insurance because, as Fred said in the comment above, that stays on your record. (I always believed that. I am glad he confirmed it. :-) So I called AAA and asked if I signed up for their $99 one year plan and get an immediate tow of my car. They obviously don't want to do that cause no one would ever keep the policy, they would just sign up when they need a tow. She debated about it, talk to the manager and then eventually said yes. I got a one year membership and an immediate tow. A tow would have cost me ~$125 with a towing company. This won't work for everyone but it doesn't hurt to try.

I've had AAA since I started driving over 20 years ago. Being daddy's little girl, my dad never wanted me to change a tire on the side of the road.

I've had both the regular and Plus memberships. We used to live in a more remote area and towing under the regular plan only covered 5 miles. We upgraded to the Plus membership because of where we were and were grateful, our cars ended up being towed 50 + miles on more than one occasion.

Also, I've had a number of claims to report and they have all been handled well. Last year our travel trailer caught fire and we had our trailer and all of it's contents replaced in two weeks. Currently we have automotive and homeowners under AAA. The only thing we have covered elsewhere is our off road motorcycles.

I've shopped around for other insurance and when I tell the agent how much I'm paying for insurance and with whom, they ask if I've been a member for a long time because they can't even get close to what I'm paying a year.

I've been using the 30% discount at LensCrafters for years. They used to offer it on eye exams, too, but alas, that was discontinued.
Many tourist attractions offer a AAA discount ...
They've got a really attractive offer on DirectTV right now .. essentially $19.95 a month for 150-channel package for a year. The 2nd year is a $10 per month discount...
I'd be careful about using roadside assistance too much. Couple of years ago, I had a bad month -- had to have them out twice. Got a nasty letter from them for using the service too much.

AAA is just a good investment. It pays for itself in discounts. Tack the Denver Zoo onto the list. I think they discounted admission 25%.
I also remember them having something called triptiks. Basically they planned out your route for you and gave you free maps to get there. Can also go there for passport photos. I think they're free too with membership.
Happy Halloween FMF!

My local AAA office offers a discount card for Speedway gas stations, which is the station I use most often anyway. It’s a prepaid gift card, except you instantly get 4% off when you reload. I usually load it up with $50 and it only costs me $48 and I can use it to pay for gas, or anything in the store. I’ve also been able to get Cincinnati Reds tickets for half price.

I like the fact AAA Road Service is available in any car I drive or ride in. Not just my car. It saved me last week when my idiotic friend lost his keys at a concert and locked his extra set in the car. The cost is annoying until it's time to use it, then it rocks!

I bought AAA when my son went off to college, 16 hours away from home. It is the best money I've ever spent and I have never used it! My son has used it three or four times including once when his car slid off the road late at night. He called me hysterical, on the side of the road, in the rain, in the middle of nowhere. If I hadn't had AAA I don't know how I would have helped my baby. While I was trying to calm him down the tow truck showed up, pulled his car out of the ditch and he was able to drive away, safe and sound. I also bought it for my boyfriend when he moved back to New York. He had three flat tires along the way pulling a heavy trailer. That was also money well spent!

Wow, it's great to hear that so many AAA members have received value from the membership, even over and above the roadside assitance. I work for AAA. If you want more info about AAA member discounts available in your area (or at your next travel destination) go to www.AAA.com/discounts. A tool there will help you search. Thanks, FMF, for including AAA in your blog!

AAA routinely spends money lobbying against public transportation improvements. They promote a car-centric society that I believe is unsustainable. They even lobby against bike paths, for crying out loud.

If you care about the air, the environment, your children's future, any of that, please consider alternatives to AAA.

www.betterworldclub.com is one. They will match AAA's prices, but the finances is only one aspect of the decision. They donate to environmental causes and they also have a bicycle option. We all know how much money can be saved by ditching the car and using bikes and public transit.

There are other companies out there as well but please look into AAA's policies and causes they support before you make up your mind.

There has gotta be a better way to get roadside service. It's good to hear many people have had positive experiences reminiscent of the good ole AAA, but that was not my experience with them. Like Colin, I live in Arizona, where summer heat can exceed 115 degrees...in the shade--and who knows what it is in the full blast of the sun on an asphalt freeway.

First adventure came when we got AAA roadside service for a second-hand RV that SDXB (Semi-Demi-Exboyfriend) took it into his head to buy. Shortly after the great purchase, we blew a tire on the I-17 in...yes! heat in the 100s. We did not have a cell phone, and so I hiked off the freeway to a nearby bar -- by the time I got there, I was about to pass out from hyperthermia. Amazingly, AAA WOULD NOT COME AND HELP US! Why? Because they will not change tires on an RV -- a little detail their sales staff neglected to mention as we were purchasing roadside protection specifically for the RV.

I called the police -- they said to call the Highway Patrol, which has a motorist's assistance service. The bar didn't have a phone book, so I called a friend who called the proper agency. I hiked back to the freeway, where SDXB was down on the sizzling tarmac struggling with the jack the previous owner had left -- it didn't fit under the vehicle.

Thousands of cars passed by. Two cops passed by, showing not the slightest interest in helping an obviously distressed older couple. Finally, a very scary-looking guy covered in tatts pulled over. What should he have in the trunk of his junker but a huge floor jack! I don't know what we would have done if he hadn't stopped to help us. AAA sure didn't give a da*n.

Then the day came that I took my German shepherd for a hike in a nearby mountain park. Weather was OK at dawn, but it was getting bloody hot by the time we reached the parking lot...and of course, the water fountain didn't work. We had consumed all the water I carried with me. And also of course, my car battery was dead. I called AAA and an exceptionally arrogant tow truck dude showed up.

The shepherd did not like this clown (neither did I) and didn't want him near the car. I told him I would put the dog in the (very hot!) back seat so he could work on the battery, but, I emphasized -- more than once -- he was NOT TO TRY TO GET INTO THE CAR; instead I would have to be the one who tried to start the engine once the jumpers were hooked up. So what did he do? Before I could stop him, he threw open the door and jumped in the front seat. Of course, the dog went ballistic.

Luckily, MachoMan escaped intact. After we got the car started, he disconnected his equipment and shot off down the road. About the time he reached the park entrance, the car died again and wouldn't start. I immediately called AAA and asked them to send the guy back -- he wasn't more than five minutes away by then. They said he'd be right back.

"Right back" meant a wait of over 90 minutes in hundred-degree heat with no shade.

That was the last time I paid AAA for anything. Discount Tire has a roadside service. So does Qwest if you buy their cell phone service. So does my mechanic. Google "Roadside Service" in your area and keep a list of phone numbers. Before you head out on the open road, get your car and your tires checked.

Most folks DO NOT NEED AAA - cars are much more reliable and when I 'fired' AAA for failure to respond I have banked over $1,200.00 in case of an event.
AAA is too expensive - if they would go back to being just an roadside service company then they would be more practical for folks.

We are "gifted" AAA from my mother-in-law every year. We prefer it to "stuff" that we don't need or want and she feel that she is helping us save money (we generally DO save more than the cost of the AAA membership for what it's worth) and giving us peace of mind (although we have a 2009 car...).

I actually like the idea of gifting AAA. I haven't done it, but it's worked out well for everyone here. She gets us a gift and feels good about it. We don't have extra "stuff" and save money (so we like it as a gift).

AAA is too expensive.I'm pretty sure you have to be a AAA member as well in order to get insurance through AAA.First adventure came when we got AAA roadside service for a second-hand RV that SDXB took it into his head to buy.

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