AAA Membership Will Help Millions Save Money this Holiday Season

Orlando, Fla., September 9, 2009

Finding budget-stretching shopping discounts, travel deals and cheaper gasoline prices are just some of the ways AAA will help consumers this Fall and Winter 

While the worst of the recession may now be in the rearview mirror, many families are still searching for creative ways to stretch their holiday budgets this year.

Whether these expenditures involve gift-giving, travel or dining out, there are a variety of ways AAA can help its more than 51 million members financially this holiday season.

Rather than trying to save money by searching local shopping malls for a bargain, eating at fast food restaurants, and haggling with telephone operators for a decent hotel rate, AAA members can simply reach into their wallets for instant savings. They are also protected in several ways from major automotive-related expenses. And, they can go online to AAA.com to access various tools and products that will aid them this holiday season. If a family member or friend is not already a member of AAA, membership makes a great money-saving gift too. To join, go to AAA.com.

Six ways AAA helps consumers stretch and protect their holiday budgets

  1. Before they reach into their wallet for cash or a credit card, millions of AAA members pull out their membership card. AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program is available at more than 164,000 locations in North America. Deals include discounts on meals, hotel rooms, themed attractions, car rentals, movie tickets, apparel and footwear, vision care, prescriptions and auto parts. Members also save online with well-known general merchandise retailers, as well as with many of the Internet’s best known and trusted specialty stores on items such as jewelry, floral arrangements, books and other media, and luggage. Visit AAA.com/discounts for a complete list. Last year, members saved an estimated $2.1 billion via the Show Your Card & Save program.
  2. When holiday plans include travel, seasoned travelers know to call or visit a AAA travel agent or go online to AAA.com/travel. AAA Travel Agency services are available to members and non-members, although members are entitled to special benefits. AAA, which operates the largest leisure travel agency network in North America, is able to provide access to unmatched travel values via its industry partnerships with leading travel providers, including the best tour and cruise companies, a wide range of hotel operators, numerous themed attractions and special destinations. In the current economy steep discounts, as well as free upgrades and extras are not uncommon, but holiday travelers should seek up–to-the-minute information for the best deals.
  3. AAA members don’t need to search all over town for the best prices on gasoline. Many members and non-members go to www.aaa.com/triptik for information on local gas prices updated as frequently as four times per day. AAA’s special relationship with the nation’s leading provider of retail fuel price information – Oil Price Information Service – makes this information available on AAA’s trip mapping and planning tool. This is also the ideal place to plan your holiday road trip. You can find hotels, restaurants and other points of interest. Plus, you can plot your travels to avoid toll roads if you wish. AAA maps and AAA TourBook® guides are also available free to members at their local office.
  4. A definite holiday budget buster can be an unexpected breakdown or major car repair. As a free public service, AAA inspects auto repair shops around the country and only approves those that meet and continually maintain high professional standards for equipment, customer service, cleanliness and training. To search for a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop nearby, visit AAA.com/repair. AAA recommends all motorists have their vehicles thoroughly inspected by a qualified technician at least once each year; especially if they are contemplating a long road trip. Regular inspections and maintenance can help consumers avoid major repair expenses, or the frustrating inconvenience of an automotive breakdown.
  5. When it comes to paying for all those holiday items, members can use a AAA credit card and reward themselves at the same time. The AAA WorldPoints® card allows members to earn points redeemable for cash, merchandise, gift cards, travel and more. Or, they can use the AAA Cash Rewards card that pays back 1 percent of total net retail purchases and there are no tiers to meet in order to get the best return possible. Cardholders not only get some of the best rewards available, the added benefits include no annual fee, reduced foreign transaction fee, and zero fraud liability.
  6. Should their vehicle fail them during the holiday rush, AAA’s legendary emergency road service is just a phone call or email away for members. Basic membership includes free towing from three to five miles (depending on local club policies) to any destination. AAA Plus members are entitled to 100 miles of free towing in any direction. Unlike most road service plans, AAA membership provides coverage for any vehicle they are driving or riding in. Experienced drivers know the expense of a tow alone will frequently pay the full cost of a one year membership in AAA. In addition, the motor club’s unique abilities as a roadside problem solver means members are not left alone to find a repair shop, arrange their own towing, secure a rental car or even make hotel arrangements should their holiday trip be disrupted. Last year, AAA responded to more than 29 million calls for roadside assistance.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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