Is AAA Worth It? (2024)

If you’re a frequent driver and want access to a number of discounts, AAA might make sense. But if you only drive on occasion or can afford to cover roadside services as they arise, you may want to skip it.

Anna Baluch
Written byAnna Baluch
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Anna BaluchInsurance Writer
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  • MBA from Roosevelt University

Anna leverages her personal finance and insurance knowledge to create educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions.

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Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
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Updated July 18, 2024

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If you get stranded on the side of the road, AAA — also known as Triple-A — might come in handy. Whether you’re dealing with a dead battery or a flat tire, its roadside assistance service can help. However, you have to buy a membership to take advantage of it.

Here’s a closer look at what you can expect from AAA so you can decide if it’s worth it for your situation.

Quick Facts
  • AAA membership costs vary by location and tier but can range from $38 to $170 per year.

  • Towing is free for five to 200 miles, depending on your AAA membership plan.

  • AAA may be worth it if your insurance company doesn’t offer roadside assistance coverage.

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Pros and cons of AAA membership

Founded in 1902, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is a national nonprofit organization made up of AAA clubs around the country.[1] In exchange for a membership fee, AAA members can enjoy a number of AAA benefits, including its well-known roadside assistance service. As a member, you’ll receive coverage on the road, regardless of whose vehicle you’re driving.

Just like any other product, AAA roadside assistance comes with benefits and drawbacks for drivers, including:

Pros
  • 24/7 roadside assistance

  • Three membership plans to choose from

  • Various discounts and membership perks

Cons
  • The classic plan provides little benefit

  • Costs vary by local club

  • Cheaper roadside service options are available

Is AAA worth it?

Whether AAA is worth joining depends on your particular lifestyle, driving habits, needs, and preferences.

You may find Triple-A worthwhile if you:

  • Drive frequently

  • Go on road trips or drive long distances

  • Have an older car with diminished value

  • Can’t afford roadside assistance during emergency situations

  • Want access to exclusive member discounts and other perks

On the other hand, you may want to hold off on AAA if you:

  • Don’t drive often

  • Have roadside assistance coverage through an insurance company or financial institution

  • Can afford roadside services and emergency service costs on your own

  • Don’t travel very often and don’t need travel-related discounts

How much AAA membership costs

Factors like where you live and the coverage you choose affect the cost of AAA membership. If you’re interested in joining AAA, it’s a good idea to contact a regional motor club near you to get an exact quote. 

The three membership tiers and their prices are as follows:

Membership LevelAnnual Cost
Classic$38–$90
Plus$60–$140
Premier$120–$170

Membership plan benefits

The bread and butter of AAA is 24/7 roadside assistance. As a member of Triple-A, you’ll receive assistance quickly, at any time of the day or night. Its roadside assistance services include minor mechanical repairs, battery jump-starts, spare tire replacements, tow truck services, and emergency fuel delivery.[2]

A car lockout service, as well as extrication and winching, is also part of the free roadside assistance offerings. Here’s a look at the roadside assistance benefits that come with AAA plans:[3]

ServiceClassic PlanPlus PlanPremier Plan
TowingUp to 5 milesUp to 100 milesUp to 200 miles
Fuel deliveryAt pump priceFree fuel deliveryFree fuel delivery
Vehicle lockout serviceUp to $50Up to $100Up to $150
Home lockout serviceNoneNoneUp to $150
Identity theftMonitoringMonitoring$10,000 identity theft insurance
Flat tire repairIncludedIncludedIncluded
Battery serviceIncludedIncludedIncluded
Bicycle coverageIncludedIncludedIncluded

AAA discounts and extras

In addition to roadside assistance, AAA offer several other benefits.

As a member of AAA, you can enjoy automotive-related discounts to help you lower the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle. You may save money on a CARFAX vehicle history report, NAPA Auto Parts, and fuel purchases through Shell.

Also, AAA partners with more than 7,000 auto repair shops in North America with Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified or factory-trained technicians. If you join AAA, you can get at least 10% off repairs at any of these AAA-approved auto repair shops.

Best and Worst Roadside Assistance and Service Plans

Best and Worst Roadside Assistance and Service Plans

Travel discounts

If you travel frequently, AAA’s travel discounts can be a good way to reduce travel costs and save on car rentals and hotels. These include discounts with popular car rental companies, such as Dollar, Thrifty, and Hertz. You can also save on hotels through Triple-A’s preferred partners, which include Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and MGM Resorts International.

Additionally, AAA offers travel assistance for trips that meet certain criteria. This can cover lost tickets and baggage, emergency airline and hotel reservations, cash and money transfers, medical referrals, and more.

Other perks

In addition to auto-related discounts and travel discounts, AAA provides extra perks. Note that some are only available in certain locations with higher-tier plans. Several examples of the most popular perks include:

  • Home and business discounts at retail stores like The UPS Store, Penske Truck Rental, HP, Samsung, and T-Mobile

  • Discounted passport photos

  • Free personal notary service

  • Reimbursement toward home locksmith services

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*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

AAA vs. insurance roadside assistance

AAA is just one option for roadside assistance. Many auto insurance companies also offer roadside assistance as an optional coverage or as part of a standard car insurance policy. The insurance company and its insurance products will determine what’s included, but in most cases, you won’t get many of the perks AAA offers to members of its Classic, Plus, and Premier plans.

To make the best choice, get quotes from your local AAA auto club and several of the best car insurance companies. If you get roadside assistance through your insurance company, you may spend less up front and can enjoy a one-stop shop or the convenience of using one company for claims and roadside assistance. However, AAA may offer perks and discounts that you simply won’t find through an auto insurance policy.

AAA membership FAQs

Learn about shopping for quotes, and check out the answers to common questions about AAA membership.

  • What is the best AAA membership to buy?

    Your budget, driving habits, and preferences can help you find the ideal AAA membership and best value. The Classic membership may make sense if you’re a low-mileage driver, whereas Plus is likely a better fit if you drive daily. Premier, the most popular membership, can give you extra protection if you’re constantly on the road and tend to travel long distances.

  • Does AAA offer a Costco membership discount?

    No, AAA doesn’t offer a discount on a Costco membership. However, it does offer other discounts to places like The UPS Store, The Parking Spot, T-Mobile, NAPA Auto Parts, and CARFAX.

  • How can AAA save you money?

    AAA can help you save money on roadside assistance services that you might need during an emergency. These include towing, fuel delivery, car battery jump-starts, and more.

  • How much does AAA membership cost?

    The price of AAA membership depends on your ZIP code, location, and the level of coverage you choose. AAA prices can range from $38 to $170 per year.

  • Can you gift AAA membership to a friend or family member?

    Yes, you can purchase a membership for a friend or family member. All you have to do is visit a local auto club or contact AAA’s Membership Service Center.

Sources

  1. AAA. "AAA History."
  2. AAA Northwest Ohio. "AAA Membership Benefits Guide."
  3. AAA. "AAA Membership."
Anna Baluch
Anna BaluchInsurance Writer

Anna Baluch is a Cleveland-based personal finance and insurance expert. With an MBA from Roosevelt University, she enjoys writing educational content that helps people make smart financial decisions. Her work can be seen across the internet on many publications, including Freedom Debt Relief, Credit Karma, RateGenius, and the Balance. Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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