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Why you should join the Automobile Association to save ££££’s on hotels

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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.

AA Breakdown

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.

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

For 12th November, 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 £39 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 at the time of 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.

PS. As per the comments, Hilton require you to enter a scheme ID code when booking which, to save you calling the AA, is 428

best hotel loyalty promotions

Hotel offers update – June 2024:

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

Want to buy hotel points?

  • Hilton Honors is offering a 100% bonus when you buy points by 23rd July 2024. Click here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 25% to 50% mystery bonus when you buy points by 24th July 2024. Click here.
  • World of Hyatt is offering a 20% bonus when you buy points by 1st July 2024. Click here.

Comments (43)

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  • Nigel the Pensioner says:

    Nice loophole – join for £39, cancel after 13 days and card still arrives, undated. Get £27 refund!Discount for life! Best for USA hotel bookings…..

    • Lee says:

      Indeed. Although you are entitled to a full refund within 14 days they say 12 is for insurance.

  • AlanC says:

    Who is eligible for the Government rate in UK Hilton’s? PR11PN for Public Sector often more expensive.

  • Richmond_Surrey says:

    I had this card then I bought travel insurance. Wasn’t sure why it was sent to me and I remember it didn’t have expiration date. Unfortunately, I have no idea what I did with it. Can’t find it in usual places, where I put cards not in use.

  • J says:

    Thanks very much for highlighting this! I just saved £2.06 on a one night reservation. At that rate my future AA membership renewal fees will probably be offset by future room savings. 🙂

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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