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AAA Membership, Yay or Nay?

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
6,731
So DH had to have his car towed (dead battery) a couple of weeks ago, and we're considering getting AAA. We've always blown it off in the past, but we're getting older now and lack of worry is starting to be appealing.

But I don't really know how AAA works; do they tow you wherever you want? The brochure says "to safety". What does that mean?

Are the discounts that they claim (restaurants, car rental, etc) any good?

Do they show up for towing any quicker? Are they any more careful than standard tow guys? Or am I fine just calling whoever shows up in my iPhone map under "towing"?

I'd appreciate hearing about everyone's experiences, thank you! :wavey:
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
FI has AAA. I don't. It has gotten us discounts on hotels sometimes.

I think FI likes it for ease of mind. My battery died last year and I walked to the nearest store (about a block away), bought one, and installed it myself!
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Yay...I use it all the time but not for flat tires---bc I lock my keys in the car frequently :oops:

They will jump a dead bettery or bring you a new one. Tow you (how far and how many times depends on what plan you have---the plans get better when you renew it the 2nd year). They will tow with flat beds for no addtitonal cost (alot of cars need flat beds and cant be towed traditionally or if you pop morenthan 1 tire you need a flat bed). They can diagnose minor problems and fix them on the raod. Bring gas when you run out. They will open a locked door. You can use your card on ANYONE's car so if you are out with a friend and there is a problem you can use it.

In addition, you can save alot of money with your auto insurance for having it. They offer discounts for a huge amount of other places too (for example you can buy cheap movie tickets there and use them at your local theatre, discounts to 6 flags amusement parks, restaurant discounts, etc...). There are ALOT of places that say "show us your AAA card and get a discount" believe it or not. They help when planning trips. And you can renew your drivers license when the time comes.

We have AAA even though we both drive new cars. Its worth the small fee. I get my moneys worth and ALOT more :)

Edited to add: if your DH had AAA the car would not have needed towed bc of the dead battery. they would have jumped it on the spot or brought you a new one if it couldnt be jumped!
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
6,731
slg47|1314230680|2998628 said:
FI has AAA. I don't. It has gotten us discounts on hotels sometimes.

I think FI likes it for ease of mind. My battery died last year and I walked to the nearest store (about a block away), bought one, and installed it myself!
Sig, you rock! :appl: We've done that before, but this particular battery is a special type, not something we wanted to tackle. I say "we", but I mean DH; I am not sure what color wire goes where, myself. :rolleyes:

Did your FI use AAA for anything? How'd it go?
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,407
iLander|1314230529|2998622 said:
So DH had to have his car towed (dead battery) a couple of weeks ago, and we're considering getting AAA. We've always blown it off in the past, but we're getting older now and lack of worry is starting to be appealing.

But I don't really know how AAA works; do they tow you wherever you want? The brochure says "to safety". What does that mean?

Are the discounts that they claim (restaurants, car rental, etc) any good?

Do they show up for towing any quicker? Are they any more careful than standard tow guys? Or am I fine just calling whoever shows up in my iPhone map under "towing"?

I'd appreciate hearing about everyone's experiences, thank you! :wavey:
they are well worth the $$$. we pay a $85 membership fee per yr and they'll tow our car up to 100 miles.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
iLander|1314232285|2998668 said:
slg47|1314230680|2998628 said:
FI has AAA. I don't. It has gotten us discounts on hotels sometimes.

I think FI likes it for ease of mind. My battery died last year and I walked to the nearest store (about a block away), bought one, and installed it myself!
Sig, you rock! :appl: We've done that before, but this particular battery is a special type, not something we wanted to tackle. I say "we", but I mean DH; I am not sure what color wire goes where, myself. :rolleyes:

Did your FI use AAA for anything? How'd it go?
haha I had lots of coaching over the phone :) i was determined to do it though!

I think he has used it once or twice? nothing major...
 

qtiekiki

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,880
There are different types of membership that offers different mileage of towing, and additional miles are extra fees. If you don't do lots of road trips, then the basic membership is sufficient. We need to get a membership. I used to have membership when I was in college. At that time, I didn't use it much for the other discounts. Not sure how good of a discount you get on other hotels, but the choice hotels' senior rate is better than the AAA rate. I think it's good to have for peace of mind.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,763
Since we have AAA for homeowners and cars, we actually got our membership for free for as long as we have them. I am glad we're not actually paying for it separately bec I can think of one time in 6 years we've used it.
 

iLander

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
6,731
lbbaber|1314232171|2998665 said:
Yay...I use it all the time but not for flat tires---bc I lock my keys in the car frequently :oops:

Thanks for the info! :wavey: I am seriously considering this. . .

I did want to mention that if someone has your spare car key, and it's a sound key (with a beep tone), they can open your car with your cell phone! Just call the person with the key, hold your phone up to the car, have them beep their key next to the phone, and it should open your car! Try it at home first, doesn't work with all cars.
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
I think it really depends. We have access to USAA and I've found that the discounts, roadside service, etc are just as good as AAA and I don't pay as much for it in my auto insurance.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I think that it's a really good option, and that it does provide a lot of peace of mind. I don't have it yet, but this thread has reminded me to sign up, which I've been meaning to do. :)
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,978
Yay!

I :love: :love: :love: their maps.
 

Allison D.

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
2,282
Honestly, I don't see why anyone would be without it. To me, $85 for a Plus membership (which will tow to anywhere you designate within 100 miles, or get you out of a scrape like ran out of gas/locked out, etc) is CHEAP for peace of mind. I can't speak for all, but I'm DEFINTELY worth the $85 to me. ;))

I've used my card to help my friend's bi-polar mother get gas about 70 miles from home (OVER THE PHONE!) when she ran out of gas, and I've had to use the tow a few times over the years.

My favorite AAA story: About 8-9 years ago, I was travelling on a 4-lane highway at 5:30am on my way to the regional airport 40 min away in Manchester, NH to catch a 7am flight to DC for a weekend visit with a friend. Car didn't feel right from the outset of the jaunt, and about 10 minutes from airport, it DIED (alternator crapped out). I called a cab to come pick me up on the highway to get me to the airport, and I called AAA to deal with the car. While waiting for the cab, I gave AAA my information and arranged to have them pick up my Isuzu and tow it to the dealer near my office about 70 miles away.....they assured me 'no problem'. I barely made the flight on time, and when I landed at 8 am in DC, I got a confirmation call that not only had AAA already picked up the car, they'd already dropped it at my dealership, too. Totally priceless.

I've used it to get hotel room discounts, gas card promos, and restaurant discounts. It's more than worth it, and it's one thing I'll never be without. It's not just about covering the cost of the tow; it's even more about getting help from a REPUTABLE and trustworthy source when you might be in a vulnerable position. Can't put a pricetag on safety.
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
We'd never had it and decided to get it this year. Our car is high-mileage, so I wanted the peace of mind.

Our dog became ill last year and needed a variety of medications. All of his meds had to be paid out-of-pocket and the only real discount we could get was through AAA. We used a family member's membership to get a discount and it saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of about 6 months.
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Yay!! I had a bad habit in college of leaving my headlights on and coming out of class to a dead car. They always made it out quickly to assist :) I like having the peace of mind honestly and the hotel discounts don't hurt :)
 

PinkTower

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
1,129
I have it. We upgraded to AAA plus a few years ago. My mother learned the hard way that the short distance towing is not enough in rural areas, so we upgraded then, too. There are other companies. My inlaws have one by Mobil, and I think something is included on many insurance policies. Still, I go with AAA. I have their credit card, and my mother had their cellphone.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,822
Yay. I have used it several time and it has been a real life saver. It gives me peace of mind, especially driving around with my kids. And when I have needed help, it made it so much less stress just calling the 800 number on my card instead of having to call someone random from a phone book..
 

Jennifer W

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
1,958
iLander|1314235656|2998754 said:
lbbaber|1314232171|2998665 said:
Yay...I use it all the time but not for flat tires---bc I lock my keys in the car frequently :oops:

Thanks for the info! :wavey: I am seriously considering this. . .

I did want to mention that if someone has your spare car key, and it's a sound key (with a beep tone), they can open your car with your cell phone! Just call the person with the key, hold your phone up to the car, have them beep their key next to the phone, and it should open your car! Try it at home first, doesn't work with all cars.
I did not know this! Thanks, I'm going to try it tonight when I get home, because I have been known to...misplace my key. (Or as my husband put it, I'll have "has anyone seen my carkeys" carved on my tombstone...)
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
I decided against it b/c my car insurance will tow. Seemed like a waste only to use for discounts.
 

cookies

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
706
I don't have AAA, because my car insurance includes free roadside assistance. It is great. Since I got the policy, I had one flat tire and one dead battery. Each time the towing truck came within 15-20 minutes after I called the insurance company. They actually never towed my car. They just fixed the problem on spot (changed my tire, jump started my car), which was very convenient for me. I think each free tow has an upper limit of 75 miles or something like that.
 

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,763
Allison D.|1314237823|2998790 said:
I've used it to get hotel room discounts, gas card promos, and restaurant discounts. It's more than worth it, and it's one thing I'll never be without. .
I have seriously never remembered to use it for any sort of discount. The only real "perk" I've used it for was for a triptik thing when we drove down Hwy 1 from Portland to LA a couple years ago.
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
7,790
I have had AAA literally since I started driving. My card actually says I have been a member for longer than I have been alive because
I had a card through my mom as a kid.

It is well worth the money. Get the plan that allows you to be towed for 100 miles. One tow if four years and it pays for itself, not
to mention all the other benefits.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
9,296
We do not have AAA --- for $2/month I had it added to our car insurance policy instead. We have had the car towed and the insurance roadside assistance (Geico) was GREAT. Super friendly, fast service. I was impressed with the professionalism of the tow truck driver. He took us to the location of our choice (with us in the tow truck too) even though it wasn't the closest. I also got a follow up call from the insurance making sure we were okay and asking if we'd need anything else. We are NOT limited in the number of times they'll come out.

$24 per year and great service. I'm quite happy to keep the roadside assistance with them.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
NewEnglandLady|1314238627|2998805 said:
We'd never had it and decided to get it this year. Our car is high-mileage, so I wanted the peace of mind.

Our dog became ill last year and needed a variety of medications. All of his meds had to be paid out-of-pocket and the only real discount we could get was through AAA. We used a family member's membership to get a discount and it saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of about 6 months.
Interesting! How did you think of using AAA for Bo's meds? I love having the piece of mind that AAA offers and we've used them over the years for various things. Pet meds hasn't been one of them though. That's really cool.
 

JewelFreak

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Yes, really cool about the dog meds! I don't think my vet offers that, but wow!

We've had AAA plus for years & don't need it often -- but the times you do, it's VERY nice to have. DH's car ('63 Maserati), being an Italian car, decides to take a siesta occasionally at awkward times. Has to be transported on a flatbed, which would cost us tons more than the annual AAA fee.

One time I went shopping w/a friend & when we got back into her car, it wouldn't start. Used my AAA card to get somebody there & tow it for her free. That was very handy too. The cost of membership is peanuts vs. not having that convenience when you need it.
 

eleguin

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
246
I think having roadside assistance (whether thru AAA or somewhere else) is essential. AAA is an inexpensive way of getting peace of mind when you're on the road. We've called them to jump start dead batteries and provide lock-out assistance a number of times.

One plus is that the AAA membership ties to the person, not to the car. Last week DH and I were passengers in my cousin's car when he got a flat tire in the middle of the pouring rain on a highway. DH called AAA using his membership and they changed out the tire for us with no problems.
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
TooPatient|1314286405|2999241 said:
We do not have AAA --- for $2/month I had it added to our car insurance policy instead. We have had the car towed and the insurance roadside assistance (Geico) was GREAT. Super friendly, fast service. I was impressed with the professionalism of the tow truck driver. He took us to the location of our choice (with us in the tow truck too) even though it wasn't the closest. I also got a follow up call from the insurance making sure we were okay and asking if we'd need anything else. We are NOT limited in the number of times they'll come out.

$24 per year and great service. I'm quite happy to keep the roadside assistance with them.
Ditto! I had AAA in college (older car battery and terrible with locking keys in) and you should ask before signing up how many times you are covered for. They will only come out a certian number of times in one year- maybe 4 or 6- and I hit that one year between my car and using it for a friends car once and they told me they wouldn't come out unless I paid for everything upfront. And I did have trouble with them once when I broke down on a rural highway; the call center lady was obviously not local and she couldn't for the life of her find my road even though I gave her a mile marker, direction, next town, current county...and she wouldn't call a tow truck until she had a cross street listed- lady, it's a rural two lane highway, I can see the farmhouse up ahead and smell the cows next door there are NO CROSS STREETS. I found my own tow truck.
 

movie zombie

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Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
For some reason, we don't ever think to use AAA's TripTik service. We do ask for the AAA rate when booking hotel rooms though, and that's been great.
 
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