Join the Automobile Association and save ££££’s on hotels!

I have an Automobile Association (AA, not to be confused with American Airlines!) membership card in a drawer at home. This may not seem surprising, except that I don’t own a car.

My AA subscription is still a good investment, however.

If you book hotels with the major international chains, you will usually see ‘AAA’ offered as an optional tick box on the booking page.

‘AAA’ stands for American Automobile Association. Whilst you are unlikely to be member of the AAA, many roadside assistance groups with similar names are affiliated to it. This includes the AA in the UK.

If you need proof of this, when you select the ‘AAA’ or ‘AA’ rate at a Starwood hotel you see the following message:

“Automobile Association (including AUTO CLUB, CAA and ARC Europe) members receive a discounted rate. Proof of membership must be shown at check in.”

Turn over your UK AA membership card and you will see the logo for ARC Europe.

The AA website even has a page dedicated to the benefits of its ARC Europe tie-up.

(Not every chain mentions ARC Europe in its descriptions of who qualifies for the AAA rate but I would not expect you to have any trouble elsewhere as long as you have your yellow AA card.)

AA Breakdown

Let’s take the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane as a random Starwood example.

For 7th February, the ‘SPG Member Exclusive’ cancellable rate is £323 per night.  The AAA rate, fully cancellable, is £314 per night. You save £9 per night.

If you book a lot of rooms with international chains, you might want to look into joining the AA.  Here are a few tips:

AA membership cards do NOT have an expiry date on them

The cheapest AA breakdown policy is £29 which you could recoup in one booking

You will need to give a car registration number when applying – use a friend or family member who has no AA coverage if you don’t have your own car

You don’t need to give an AA membership number when booking a hotel. This means there is no need to rush out and join the AA today. It is easier to wait until you are booking a hotel where AA seems to offer a decent saving and then joining at that point, as long as you have enough time to receive your membership card before the stay.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

£50 off £100 Radisson / Park Inn / Park Plaza spend for BA Amex cardholders
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  1. Simon Schus says:

    OT, but car-related. I read the AMEX Platinum Charge card insurance benefits as I’ve got a domestic car rental coming up. I assume that the insurance still covers UK car rental, and I can decline all additional insurances when picking up the car (it is a free car rental, using the 900 Hertz points from Accor last year).

    • the real harry1 says:

      only if you decide it covers your risks

      generally: yes

      but certain rental cos would make you pay the whole value of a written off rental car & your insurance from Amex may not cover that

      • Simon Schus says:

        Interesting. I had assumed that the rental company would take advice from their insurance company as to the cost of major damage, and that AMEX would pay if within the maximum values.

        • Simon Schus says:

          (including a car write-off if the rental company’s insurers deemed appropriate).

      • Why do you think full value of a write off would be excluded harry? (accepted there is a £50k limit)