This is not a sponsored or requested post. I just like the American Automobile Association (aka AAA).
Mr. BFS and I have been members of AAA for 4 years so far. I am not a fan paying for something that you may or may not use, like warranties and insurances, but it’s cheaper to be insured in some cases than risk the worst happening with no backup. Specifically for us, I don’t drive much at all, BUT Mr. BFS drives all over town (and sometimes the state) for sports officiating. At about $10 a month, AAA membership is cheap peace-of-mind for me while he is on the road.
AAA Benefits that Matter to Us
If you’ve ever looked into AAA, you may have noticed a super long list of benefits for members. I am sure that there is someone that appreciates and uses all of them, but here are the benefits that I care about the most (we are on the Member Plus Plan – not basic but not Premier either):
- Free towing four times per year up to 100 miles
- Free fuel if we run out of gas. They provide more than enough to get to the next available gas station.
- Battery service with unlimited jump starts. You can use the towing benefit if your car still won’t start.
- Flat tire service. If you have a spare, they will change the tire for you. I actually would suggest learning to change a tire yourself and saving yourself about an hour of waiting. But we have had to use this as you will see below…
- Minor mechanical first aid. If they can help, they will. This is not insured but it may help you get to your mechanic.
- Free identity theft monitoring
- Vehicle lockout services
- One Carfax vehicle history report per member
- AAA discounts
AAA Benefits that We’ve Used
- Free towing – In the last 4 years, my car has needed one tow due to a broken belt. Our Prius has need to be towed 3 times…all because of electrical issues of some sort. I think low-tech wins the towing wars…but the Prius makes 50% better mpg.
- Free fuel – We ended up using this a few weeks after getting AAA! We ran out of gas in Kansas on the way to a curling tournament…50 miles between gas stations…
- Battery service – I’ve needed two jump starts…yeah, I wait too long to buy new batteries.
- Flat tire service – We change our own flats, EXCEPT that one time when two of our tires popped at once thanks to debris in the road. AAA put on our spare and even quick-patched the less blown tire so we could drive the 3 miles slowly to a Discount Tire.
- Minor mechanical first aid – One of my batteries was not accepting a jump because of crud build up. The guy they sent used a Diet Coke to clean the stuff off, tested my battery, jumped it, and sent me directly to O’ Reilley’s Auto Parts for a new one.
- Free identity theft monitoring – I signed up and like the fact that it is being monitored all the time.
- Vehicle lockout services – We have used this for one car so far…a friend’s while we were hanging out. I love the fact that AAA covers me, not my cars. That means that I’m covered even as a passenger with other people. 🙂
- AAA discounts – This has saved me about 10-15% per fix at my mechanic’s every time. I’ve also used it at two hotels. I think it’s close to covering about one year’s membership by itself and could work more for me if I remembered it all of the time…
Are you a member of AAA? Why or why not? Does something else you have cover most of this?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 a year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, a rental home, and professional pet sitting. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. This all gives me the time to be with my aging family members, the flexibility to stay close with my friends and family, and it should help if we finally get pregnant too! Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!