Many people are familiar with AAA, the roadside assistance service that’s been around since 1902. More than 61 million people are members today.
But many may not recognize several membership benefits that are unrelated to auto emergencies. In part, this may be due to the fact AAA is actually an umbrella for dozens of regional motor clubs, each of which might offer different benefits.
While some of the following AAA membership perks may not be available in your area, they should nonetheless get you investigating what your regional club does offer — and that you’re already paying for.
1. Driver education
2. Retirement planning
AAA has long been known for offering road maps, but in some places, that service may even extend to your road map to retirement.
For instance, the AAA Washington club, which serves Washington state and northern Idaho, offers free retirement planning webinars on subjects including when to file for Social Security and tax strategies. Expert advice is also available.
3. Travel planning
AAA can also help you plan and book your next vacation, even if it doesn’t involve a road trip.
Whether you want to research hotels and flights on your own or work with a AAA travel agent, AAA Travel is available through the national website.
4. Long-term care insurance
AAA groups can also offer different types of insurance — car and motorcycle insurance are unsurprising ones, and you may have heard about homeowners insurance too.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your local auto club may partner with groups that offer more specialized things like long-term care insurance, which helps with nursing home costs.
5. Passport services
AAA passport services can also help you secure your international travel quickly. Your local AAA branch can help with passport-approved photos and getting a passport as soon as possible.
This service isn’t free and is separate from the government’s fees for applying, but it can make the process smoother and minimize your risk of errors or delays.
6. Bicycle service
Hey, bikes are a kind of vehicle too.
Depending on where you live and where you’re riding, AAA might be happy to dispatch a truck to drop you and your bike off somewhere safe or where you can get bicycle service.
“If a bicycle breakdown occurs away from a normally traveled road or street, such as on a field, creek, river bed or beach, or logging or Forest Service road, service will only be provided if the bicycle can be moved by the member to a normally traveled road,” says AAA Washington, which offers this benefit at no extra cost.
7. Shopping and entertainment discounts
Your AAA membership likely makes you eligible for a variety of discounts much like an AARP membership does.
While the categories and specific retailers and services will vary by region, you might be looking at discounts on everything from auto parts to gift baskets and even for sporting events and theme park or concert tickets.