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.
(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
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