You Can Save Money on Hotels With an AAA Membership

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It’s no secret that Emily and I love having Big Travel with Small Money.  But did you know you can also have Big Travel with Small Money as an AAA member?

AAA Hotel Rates

AAA Membership Can Get You Big Travel With Small Money

AAA Membership

Link:   AAA Membership

Most folks may not realize that an AAA membership is more than help with flat tires.  You can also get travel discounts.

You can get discounts on:

Emily and I renewed our AAA membership because the $48 annual fee is worth paying to get the discounts.  Some readers use their AAA membership to save on car rentals.  There are lots of ways to save on car rentals, so Emily and I use our AAA membership to save on hotels instead.

You get the discount by selecting the AAA rate from the hotel website.  When buying a room in person, you can show your AAA card.

Hotel Discounts

Your AAA membership rate can sometimes save you money, get you better cancellation policies, or include breakfast.

1.   Chicago

Let’s say you are attending Frequent Traveler University Advanced in Chicago.

You could stay 1 night on September 27, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and pay ~$172, including taxes.  But it’s a non-refundable advanced purchase rate.

However, as an AAA member, you would also pay ~$172, but it’s completely refundable!  So if your plans change, you could cancel your reservation.

AAA Hotel Rates

You Can Cancel an AAA Rate Without Penalty

 2.   Maui

Let’s say you wanted to spend the night of September 13, 2014 in Maui.

For 1 night at the Hyatt Regency Maui with breakfast, you would pay ~$380, including taxes.

AAA Hotel Rates

You’ll Pay More Without an AAA Membership

But the AAA member breakfast rate is only ~$312, a savings of $68 ($380 Hyatt Bed & Breakfast Package – $312 AAA Breakfast Rate).

AAA Hotel Rates

With an AAA Membership, You’d Save ~$68 Per Night

The cancellation policy for the Hyatt Regency Maui for the Hyatt Bed & Breakfast package and the AAA Breakfast rates are the same.  While the AAA rate usually has a better cancellation policy, it isn’t always the case.

If you don’t include breakfast in your rate, you’d save $34 (~$380 Hyatt Bed & Breakfast rate – ~$346 Hyatt Daily Rate.

AAA Hotel Rates

I Can Eat $34 Worth of Breakfast, but Can You?

As an AAA member, you would pay ~$283, a savings of $63 (~$346 Hyatt Daily Rate – ~$283 AAA Discount rate).

AAA Hotel Rates

Even I Can’t Eat $63 Worth of Breakfast!

Stay Credits and Points

You get stay credits to get you closer to elite status and earn hotel points when paying an AAA member rate, unlike other discounted rates such as Pricelinehotels.com, and TravelPony.

So you could stay October 11, 2014, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego on an AAA breakfast rate of ~$364, $40 less than the Hyatt Daily Rate ($404 Hyatt Daily Rate – $364 AAA breakfast rate).

And you’d earn Hyatt points and stay credits towards Hyatt Platinum or Diamond elite status.

AAA Hotel Rates

You Can Enjoy a Night in Sunny San Diego With Breakfast

Bottom Line

You can get travel discounts with an AAA membership.

The $48 annual fee is worth it to me to save money.  Some folks use their AAA membership to save on car rentals, but Emily and I use our AAA membership to save money on hotels.  Sometimes AAA rates include breakfast or have better cancellation policies!

And unlike other discounted rates, an AAA rate earns hotel points and hotel stay credits.  So you can earn hotel points and stay credit while having Big Travel with Small Money.

Where do you use your AAA membership to save money?

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15 responses to “You Can Save Money on Hotels With an AAA Membership

  1. I’ve saved a lot of money by buying tickets ahead of time to major attractions like theme parks (not just Universal) and the San Diego zoo. I used to buy movie tickets from AAA too until I found Costco had them for less.

  2. Mine just expired…it doesn’t cost us 48.00 though, renewal is 128.00 for 3 drivers (!?!) hardly worth a few bucks in savings…. I used it,and loved it last year in Disney world, the Dolphin hotel give 10% discount on restaurants with it,for a family, it was a big savings over a week…. but I don’t think I’ll renew unless I see a good deal (like 48.00)

  3. A lot of outlet stores also give a discount when showing your AAA card as well. Never hurts to ask. Used mine at a Simon outlets last week in MA.

  4. We have AAA for a good 7 years and yes it costs $128 a year. I have it for what it is (e.g. I can get towing service, roadside assistnace if my car broke down on the road), but the discount never hurts. It did save me some money here and there with booking hotels and attractions. However the AAA discount rate is not always the best, most of the time I can find better deal by digging a little deeper or at a different site but nonetheless AAA rate is definitely better than rack!

  5. Along with the AAA discount, I just wanted to mention that many people out there work a job for a city, county, state or federal agency. These folks are entitled to government discounts at the majority of hotels. I’ve been working for the County of San Diego for many years yet it amazes me how many people I work with never take advantage of hotel discounts when offered right on site. The discounts don’t just beat AAA but usually blow away senior rates as well. If you are wondering if they ask for government ID, not always, but when they do, you better be able to present it or get ready to pay the current rate at check in. Certainly take advantage of this perk if you qualify or you are throwing away $$$.

  6. I usually find that “Entertainment Rate” is usually better than AAA rate. Often this is 50% off rack rate. Also 99% of the times hotels never ask to see your AAA card, because the discount is dismal. There are promo codes on flyertalk and elsewhere that usually get you better than the AAA rate.

  7. Another trick is to make friends with hotel staff when you stay there and you could usually qualify for “Friends and Family ” rate within the same chain and that is is almost always better than any other rate.

  8. But, does AAA beat the Hyatt Elite rate? I don’t think it does…

  9. @Kent

    Fed employee here.

    The reason why most federal employees do not use the Government Rate while travelling for leisure is that certain hotel chains forbid the use of Government Rate for Leisure travel. Certain chains, such as Choice Hotels, have the right to ask for official travel papers. Falsifying travel orders can lead to termination. Other chains also don’t credit your loyalty account of government stays.

    I do know that Marriott and Hilton do allow Government Rate to be used for leisure travel. Both of those brands also credit your account too.

  10. I just save $81 on a 5 day car rental in Buffalo, NY. Originally I made a reservation through Budget using costco discount for $233. Went to AAA website and look through the promo codes for Hertz, found a better deal with AAA, cost came out to $152 for the same 5 days I’m renting plus I get free additional driver with AAA & hertz. One great thing about car rental is that you can always cancel your reservation usually 24 hour before the pickup date. I recommend people to always check car rental 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week before pickup date, you might find a better deal 🙂

  11. Watch out with AAA, they share your personal information with a lot of companies. I was a member for many years and enjoyed the discounts but in this day and age you have to be very careful with your personal information and AAA likes to share it with a lot of companies.

  12. the 2 times i really needed AAA (broke down in middle of 6 lane highway -philly and again in unknown area of va) theyeither came and said u can drive the car–engine cracked or never came with tow truck ..so i have been very hesitant to re-join..from my poor customer no-servicer..

  13. I’ve been a AAA member for years, but, to be honest, I’ve never used their discount for hotel stays. It just seems like, every time I’ve checked, I’ve been able to get a better deal through Hotwire, Travelocity, or a similar site. Even on Travelocity when I’m looking at the exact same hotel (not using hidden rates like on Hotwire). I’ve never been able to figure out why that is. But you may have opened my eyes about the cancellation policy … it’s possible that the rate wasn’t changing, but the benefits were. I’ll have to pay more attention to that in the future.

    My biggest money saver with AAA is at car repair shops. At my local shop I’ve gotten a straight 10% discount (or maybe it was higher?) due to AAA membership. That was well more than $48.

  14. Another decent discount offered for AAA members is a 10% discount on Amtrak. The best thing about the AAA discount on Amtrak is that you can still get the 10% off on holiday blackout dates when points can’t be used. One option for popular holiday travel dates is to combine the 10% off AAA discount with paying using bank rewards points like Barclay Arrival miles – you won’t have to redeem as many Arrival Miles and still get to travel for free during one of the major holiday travel dates.