AAA® Member Rewards review
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AAA® Member Rewards card Overview
If you’re often going places, then you can potentially get a lot out of the AAA® Member Rewards card. While it doesn’t offer premium travel perks, we love that it’s an all-rounder—you’ll get bonus rewards for not just travel and AAA purchases, but also on everyday spending at grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations and wholesale clubs.
With additional features like an introductory APR on balance transfers and a competitive welcome bonus, the AAA credit card rewards cardholders handsomely for no annual fee.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- Need at least 5,000 points for cash or AAA voucher redemption
- Points expire after 5 years
A deeper look at the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 3X points on qualifying travel and AAA purchases; 2X points on gas, grocery, drugstore and wholesale club purchases; 1X point on all other purchases
- Welcome offer: $200 statement credit if you spend at least $1,000 in the first 90 days
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0 percent for 12 months
- Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent (variable)
Current welcome offer
Get a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days—an offer that’s on par with other annual fee-free credit cards around. The spending requirement can be met easily if you time your card application with a big purchase or spend around $334 every 30 days.
Many travel rewards credit cards offer welcome bonuses in the form of points or miles instead, but a statement credit is a fantastic alternative because you won’t have to worry about expiry dates and you know exactly how much the bonus is worth.
One of the best things about AAA credit card rewards is that you’re not restricted to travel redemptions. You’ve got great rewards options, ranging from cash back, statement credits, gift cards, air travel, car rentals, hotel stays or AAA vouchers.
With no limits to the points you can earn or rotating categories to monitor, this AAA credit card makes it effortless to grow your points balance. You’ll earn a solid 3X points on eligible travel and AAA purchases. Examples of qualifying travel include flights, hotels, car rentals and cruise packages. Not all AAA purchases will earn you extra points, though, so always check the fine print to avoid disappointment.
Everyday spending on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases will land you two points, and you’ll get one point per dollar for all other purchases.
While we love AAA’s range of rewards options, we’re less thrilled that points expire after five years. You’ll also need to accrue a minimum number of points before redemption. For example, you’ll need at least 2,500 points for air travel redemption, 3,500 points for gift cards and 5,000 points for cash and AAA vouchers.
Once you’ve got enough points, you can receive cash in the form of a statement credit, a check or a direct deposit if you have a Bank of America checking or savings account.
How much are points worth?
According to AAA’s website, 50,000 points can be redeemed for a $700 AAA voucher compared to $500 in cash rewards.
The redemption value for other reward options varies based on the type of reward and the number of points redeemed. For example, 3,500 points can be redeemed for a $25 gift card, which gives a value of 0.7 cents per point. When redeemed for travel, points are worth one cent each.
Other cardholder perks
While AAA credit card benefits won’t compare to premium travel credit cards, what it does offer—an introductory APR on balance transfers, no foreign transaction fee and FICO score access—will please most credit card users.
Intro APR on balance transfers
Particularly useful if you’ve got a balance on another credit card, the 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers for 12 months can save you plenty on interest charges. Note, you’ll need to make the transfer within 60 days of account opening, and the interest rate will revert to the regular APR of between 13.99 percent and 23.99 percent variable once the introductory period ends. A balance transfer fee of $10 or 3 percent of each transaction is required, whichever is greater.
Visa acceptance and no foreign transaction fees
Regular travelers will appreciate the convenience of a Visa card’s worldwide acceptance and that transactions abroad won’t attract the usual 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
Account features and protection
While it’s somewhat standard these days, it’s reassuring to know you won’t have to pay for fraudulent transactions with the $0 liability guarantee. You can elect to receive text or email alerts to be notified of suspicious transactions. You’ll also have access to your FICO score free of charge, which is handy for fraud protection and building credit.
Managing your account can be done easily with mobile and online banking.
Maximizing AAA member benefits
Combining the use of your AAA credit card with your AAA membership benefits can really maximize the value of your spending. For example, members can save 15 percent on Hertz car rentals but also receive 3X points per dollar for paying with an AAA credit card.
Rates and fees
The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, but a late payment will attract up to a $40 fee. A returned payment, on the other hand, adds up to a $29 fee.
The 0 percent introductory APR for balance transfers lasts for 12 months, then a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent. The balance transfer fee is $10 or 3 percent of the amount transferred, whichever is greater.
How the AAA Member Rewards compares to other travel rewards cards
The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card℠ is another no-annual-fee option to consider if you’re a regular on American Airlines. You’ll get 2X AAdvantage miles on grocery store and American Airlines purchases, but redemption is limited to travel rewards.
Another option is the Discover it® Miles. It comes with a simple flat-rate structure of 1.5X miles for every dollar on all purchases, and you can redeem miles as a statement credit to pay for your travel purchases.
Best cards to pair the AAA Member Rewards card with
If you want to redeem cash rewards for any amount at any time, then pairing your AAA credit card with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card could be the answer. You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash bank on all purchases for no annual fee, plus there’s a cash bonus of $200 if you spend $500 in the first three months.
Another pairing option for flexible cash back is the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers an unlimited 1 percent cash back as you buy, plus another 1 percent back when you pay for your purchases. It comes with an 18-month 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers (14.74 percent to 24.74 percent variable APR thereafter).
Bankrate’s Take—Is the AAA Member Rewards card worth it?
The AAA Member Rewards card is ideal if you’re a regular traveler but want the flexibility to earn and redeem more than just travel rewards. With a solid welcome bonus, a low introductory APR on balance transfers and decent rewards on everyday spending categories, it’s a fantastic all-rounder for no annual fee.
The information about the AAA Member Rewards Visa and American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card℠ has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.