AAA Credit Card Review
The strong AAA name recognition is just one of the appealing elements to the AAA credit card. As you will find with a little research, this is a very solid card for frequent travelers. Yet at the same time, it is easy to imagine using the card for other reasons. This is a very strong all-around card, but that doesn’t inherently mean it will be the right card for your needs. While there are some considerable benefits touted with this card, there are also elements that may prove to be more than some people can stand. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a solid all-around card, there are several potential benefits to this card that you are going to want to keep in mind.
A tiered reward system is one of the first things to note with this card. While the good will likely outweigh the bad for many people, there are still several things you need to consider with this card in particular. To be sure, for many people, this card is a strong representative of everything you would expect from AAA. This Visa credit card has been praised as one of the strongest choices for those who would consider themselves to be low spenders. At the same time, there are certain inflexible elements with the AAA credit card that many people would describe as frustrating.
AAA Credit Card Basics
Founded nearly 120 years ago, AAA has become a powerhouse in the world of travel organizations. They have members all throughout North America. Their reputation for travel assistance and travel expertise has made them a preferred choice for many motorists and other travels throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond.
It makes sense then that the company would have their own credit card. As far as credit cards go, the AAA card is considered by many to be a cut above the rest. There are a number of pros and cons to this card. You can very easily make the case that the pros outweigh the cons to a meaningful degree. You can start with the fact that applying for this card is very easy. Good credit is expected, but it doesn’t have to be flawless either.
While this card is definitely best for AAA members/customers, there is an argument to be made that just about anyone can take advantage of what this card has to offer. This is definitely a good example of a credit card that wants to be everything to everyone.
Pros And Cons of AAA Credit Card
The fact that you only need fair credit to get this card is one of the first benefits to keep in mind. Not only does this card have the potential to appeal to those with fair credit/low spending habits, but it doesn’t seem to penalize you for being either of those things. The lack of foreign transaction fees is a good example of what we are talking about. The AAA credit card benefits greatly from being a very straightforward card for those who apply.
No foreign transaction fees is also a good example of the card mirroring the values of the company that issues it. This means that when you are using your card while abroad, you won’t be hit with any extra fees. Again, this is a very straightforward card in every regard.
The point structure for this card can certainly be seen as a benefit. This is particularly true of anyone who uses their AAA credit card for AAA-related purchases. You can earn three points for every dollar you spend on AAA purchases or travel expenses. You can earn two points for any purchases made that are related to gasoline, grocery stores, or drugstores. Finally, you can earn a single point per dollar spent on any other purchase. Obviously, the point system favors those who purchase a number of services and products from AAA. This can strike you as frustrating, but you will find that this applies to most company-specific credit cards. The one point you get for every dollar spent on anything else isn’t particularly impressive on its own. However, it does have some strength when combined with the other tiers on the reward system.
The perks and points for frequent travelers is definitely a nice element to this card. At the same time, if you are looking for a card that will give you a ton of points for spending a lot on gasoline, you may want to look for a different card.
The points themselves can be redeemed in a variety of ways, which is certainly nice.
Further Pros And Cons Of AAA Credit Card
Naturally, the AAA credit card is particularly beneficial to anyone who plans to use it frequently. In fact, if you can rack up $500 within the first ninety days of your account, the card will reward you with a bonus $150. That may sound like a lot of money, but it really breaks down to spending about $6 a day. If you aren’t going to put at least that much on the card, you may not want to consider this card in the first place.
The lack of an annual fee is also pretty appealing. When it comes to credit cards, we would generally suggest looking for cards that don’t come with such costs. That may sound challenging, but the truth of the matter is that more cards are chucking out the fees than ever before. Barring that, a lot of cards are set up in such a way that a frequent user can cover those fees without too much difficulty. In the case of the AAA credit card, they have opted to just eliminate the annoying fee altogether.
Also, there are major benefits waiting for anyone who uses this credit card in conjunction with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program. This is a rewards program with a ton of benefits for BoA customers. If you get this card, the benefits are going to increase to a significant degree. To the point where it is our recommendation that if you are indeed a member of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Program, this is almost certainly going to be the credit card for you.
At the end of the day, the worst thing you can say about this card is that you can’t transfer your points to airline miles. This may strike you as odd, since we are talking about AAA. Nonetheless, this is a limitation that you should keep in mind, if you are looking for a card that will yield at least a couple of free tickets in a given year.
Additional Considerations With AAA Credit Card
0% for a full twelve months on your balance transfers is yet another perk associated with this card. We can see why the AAA credit card has a considerable element of loyalty among its members. While it is not uncommon for cards to give you spectacular benefits in the first year, only to dry up after the time has passed, the AAA card has long-term appeal that is easy to see. Unfortunately, there is indeed a transfer fee. This can be a deal-breaker for some, but we would still argue that the card has more good than bad to offer.
The 3% transfer fee aside, the interest rate potential is also alarmingly high with this card. While the card is often given to people with only fair credit, their interest rate can wind up being in the 25% range. To be sure, you will want to know exactly what will be expected of you, before signing up for this card.
One big thing to keep in mind? While there are obviously more benefits with this card for AAA members, remember that AAA membership is not required to apply for and utilize this particular credit card.
Note that your points can accumulate to a great degree. At the same time, don’t lose sight of the fact that this credit card will eliminate your points after five years. That is a pretty good window of time, but it should be appreciated, nonetheless.
Overall, while there are some issues with this card, and while the card is ultimately not for everyone, the good still outweighs the bad with this AAA credit card. That may not necessarily apply to everyone, but this is a good all-around card for most. If you are in the market for a credit card that goes well with steady traveling, while also giving you little rewards for the other things in life, then this should be one of the first cards you consider. The inability to use this card to get free airline tickets is a little disappointing, but that may not be a deal breaker for you.
What we like about this card is that it works well for a wide range of situations. It is also backed up by one of the oldest and most respected travel companies in the world. That alone should at least give you the motivation to see if this card is right for your needs.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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