Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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

Hotel offers update – September 2022:

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?

  • World of Hyatt is offering a 30% discount when you buy points by 30th September 2022. You can buy here.

Comments (44)

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

  • Lee says:

    For some chains example Hilton you will require the code for your location. For Hilton this is 428. Other chains may vary.

    You also get a discount from moto service areas on food and drink

    Also 10% off at Halfords.

    Just be aware that if you cancel even in the first 14 days they will still charge you the insurance premium which is £14 for the cheapest package.

  • Greenpen says:

    I do not know about the expensive hotel chains but the plethora of cheap motels in the USA will give you the AAA discount just by asking for it as you check in.

  • JPa says:

    I have also used the AA credit card as proof of membership in the US (they don’t really have any idea what a UK membership card looks like and probably assume you have to be a member to get the credit card.

    In shopping malls you can get discount vouchers with it. Other restaurants etc will also take it.

  • Y says:

    Are u suggesting for £39, u can get a ‘lifetime’ AA card that is usable for hotel discounts?

    • Lee says:

      There is no date on the card. That is what he meant – therefore nobody knows when it expired.

      • Shoestring says:

        Easy enough to get it for £25 after discounts

        • Lady London says:

          Depending which volde site you keep checking throughout the year has been able to be achieved lower than that

          I’ve also had an RAC card accepted in the USA when a Marriott hotel surprised me by actually asking to see it when I;d booked the AAA rate online.

        • Lee says:


  • Brighton Belle says:

    Why does putting the AAA code in actually increase the price?

    Hilton Bankside 30/03/2019
    cash £214
    AAA £237
    Senior £236

    • Lux says:

      More generally, consider joining the German ADAC – same or better benefits as AA and no cost escalator unlike the AA. Qualifies for same hotel benefits.

      • Bagoly says:

        Certainly true for discounts – there is even a Europe-centric site listing them at

        For roadside recovery do note that the ADAC free tow from motorway is a once-per-liftetime benefit – they require one to use the (overpriced, at least if one is near the eastern borders) garage they take you to, otherwise the benefit is withdrawn.
        Actually, I wonder whether the answer is to churn – perhaps we should now switch to the E.g. French organisation.
        And perhaps with a year away from ADAC we would find that it is a once-per-continuous-membership benefit.

        • Lux says:

          Very interesting, I didn’t know that.

          Re: payment, I paid from my EUR account – it can also be paid by credit card if your German is good enough / if you find an English – speaking operator.

        • Chris says:

          I am not sure where you heard about the free tow being a once in a lifetime thing.
          I had my car towed within Munich and they let me pick the garage, years ago they transported my motorcycle across town to a garage of my choosing.
          Of course the guys seem to have a thing going with some garages, but they let me pick the garage anyway.

      • Lady London says:

        ADAC was unable to debit my bank account – apparently they need to do a direct debit using IBAN but my bank said it wasn;t possible and it did not work. Should I change bank? Unfortunately ADAC was not willing to accept a continuous debit on a credit card nor even take the money on a one-off basis. I suggested I would phone them once a year with a card number and they couldn;t accept that either.

        Should I be changing bank? Which banks have people successfully used to pay ADAC subscriptions? I would really appreciate if someone could advise.

        • John says:

          You could try bunq or n26, Dutch banks which I’ve been told can be relatively easily opened by UK residents (for now)

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Revolut can be used to pay DDs in the Eurozone. Not in the UK yet though

    • Lee says:

      Are you comparing non-cancellable rates and cancellable ones? The cheapest will always be the ones you can’t cancel.

      As a rule the AAA rate is the cheapest at Hilton without using a corporate code on rates you can cancel.Occasionally the Hilton Honors Discount is similar.

      • Lady London says:

        Yes, at Hilton it’s always worthwhile checking the rate terms and not just looking at the money. Some are exceptionally generous and allow cancellation and late checkout for the same price as a noncancellable rate particularly in the USA.

    • @mkcol says:

      How did the public sector discount code PR11PN affect it?

      • Brighton Belle says:

        In my example I tried Public services code

        Hilton Bankside 30/03/2019
        cash £214
        AAA £237
        Senior £236
        PR11PN £214

        Cash is king, loyalty codes pay more.

        • Lady London says:

          not sure what vintage you are @BB but take a look at the senior rates esp in US… this is where conditions can be very beneficial and yet still flexible.

        • Stuart says:

          Public sector code includes breakfast too

    • Travel Strong says:

      Because £214 is a Hilton honours member pay-in-advance non-cancellable rate.

      £249 is the standard flex rate for that day.

      £237 is the AAA flexible, so a 5% discount.

      £236 is the honours member flex rate – so it is unlikely you will get any benefit at Hilton IF you already have status.

      However there’s the potential for discounts at locations you do not have status, especially in the USA, and especially if you do not want to commit to a non-flexible booking.

  • Carol Gibson says:

    I have AA through my bank account and use my debit card as my membership if I need the AA cover. I haven’t got an AA membership card. Can I still get the discount?

    • Lee says:

      Not unless you have an AA card. I have RAC via the Coop, but do not have an RAC card for example.You have nothing to show if asked. In reality they are unlikely to ask.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Will AA send you one if you ask?

      • @mkcol says:

        I’m pretty sure the answer is no, because with these policies you’re not a member of the organisation, it’s just that the organisation provides the rescue/recovery for you.

        • Lady London says:

          Correct. I tried it when my bank account gave me breakdown cover. They refused to send me a card on the basis that I was not a member – my bank had just purchased access to the services for me.

          Try volde-sites where offers do recur..

  • Andy Moore says:

    I get AA cover as part of my packaged Lloyds Bank Premier Account.

    Will this still work?

    • Lady London says:

      No. not unless you also get an AA card. see above – the general opinion is that you won’t.

  • RussellH says:

    The Moto discount is worth having 20% I think. Sometimes just asking for it works, usually just waving the card at the cashier is sufficient. Once I had my card swiped, and still got the discount, even though my membership had run out. I have had two free one year memberships and never continued it, but the second time around they sent a new silver membership card with the renewal letter

    • Lady London says:

      IMO that just seems to revert the ridiculously elevated Moto prices at motorway service areas back to something approaching the regular high street price. I avoid Moto service stations like the plague they are often also of poor quality and the general air is of “rip-off”.

      • RussellH says:

        I always assume that any motorway service area has rip-off prices, and sure, the 28% discount takes you back to something akin to ‘normal prices’. TBH I cannot see any difference in quality between one service area brand and another and I seldom buy more than tea or coffee and a newspaper. Sadly no discount on the newspaper!

        However, my partner insists that Welcome Break has the best gambling machines…

        • John says:

          If there’s an M&S simply food, they usually have the same prices as non-motorway stores, though some may think they are rip off already

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.