AAA Hotel Discounts: Are They Worth It? [2020]

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AAA’s inventory includes more than 27,000 hotels across the world and at these properties, you can get special discounts to help save you some on your travels.

But how much are these AAA Hotel Discounts and is it worth booking the AAA rates?

In this article, I will take a look at some sample bookings from major hotels like Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, etc. and show you what type of savings you can expect. I’ll also show you when it might not be worth it to book the AAA price.


AAA memberships overview

Before jumping in too deep about the different discount rates, I think it is a good idea to provide a refresher on AAA memberships.

The memberships can differ based on where you are located (which state) but you may find three different levels of memberships ranging from about $5 to $10 per month. (You can see the prices below for the state of Texas.)

AAA memberships are probably most well known for the benefits they offer when it comes to things like roadside assistance but they also can get you discounts on many forms of travel. You can find discounts for car rentals, cruises, and various forms of entertainment like Universal Studios or Disney. So be sure to look into the AAA savings that extend far beyond hotels.


What are the AAA Hotel Discounts?

You can expect to receive a discount anywhere from 0% to 20% off the standard hotel rate when you book the AAA rate. 

I wanted to put this discount to the test so I did a lot of test bookings for various hotel programs and found the following discount rates:

  • Hilton: 0% to 10%
  • Hyatt: 0% to 5%
  • IHG: 3% to 10%
  • Marriott: 0% to 20%
  • Choice: 5% to 10%
  • Best Western International: 10%

I made sure that I compared the same type of nights to each other based on the cancellation policy.

For example, I compared the advanced purchase AAA rate to the advanced purchase standard rate. Therefore, the percentages above should give you an accurate break down of the range of discounts I found for my sample bookings. 

If you want to view the specific prices of the sample bookings then keep scrolling down and I have all of those prices broken down. I chose various hotels around the country just to mix things up so the selection was completely random.


Cheaper non-AAA rates?

One of the biggest surprises that I found is that sometimes you can get cheaper rates by booking the standard rate or the member rate.

The standard rate is the normal rate that you would book a room at that does not have a discount attached to it. This is usually the main price displayed on the hotel’s booking page (you might see something that states “prices starting at X”).

The member rate is the rate you get for being a member of the hotel’s particular loyalty program.

So for example if you signed up for Hilton Honors, you would be eligible for the Hilton Honors rate. You don’t have to have elite status to get this rate — all you have to do is sign up and be a member so it is an easy and free way to save. 

Most of the time, the member rate was somewhere between the AAA rate and the standard rate. But in some cases it was the same price or even cheaper than the AAA rate so again just be on the lookout for that. It would be a really bad decision to book a discounted rate that is actually more expensive.


How to book AAA rates

It’s really easy to book the AAA rates.

Whenever you search for a hotel room, you should look for a special drop-down menu that says something like “special rates.”

From there, you should be able to select AAA and then the rates that display should show you the AAA rates. This is where you may also see other types of discounts such as senior discounts and AARP discounts. Sometimes this is also where you can select to book with points.

To proceed with booking, you may be required to input your AAA number.

Also, it is possible that a hotel will want to see your AAA card whenever you check in so if you want to make sure you don’t run into any issues then have your card on hand. I’ve seen a lot of reports where people have never been asked to show the AAA card but I personally don’t like taking risks like that so I would make sure to have it. 


Hilton AAA discounts

Something to consider when it comes to Hilton AAA discounts is that you can save even more with the Hilton MVP discount codes. You need to belong to some type of sports organization but it is very easy to qualify so check that out if you are really into savings.

Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Downtown Las Olas Area

  • Regular price: $236
  • AAA price: $212
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City

  • Regular price: $153 (Hilton Honors rate $148)
  • AAA price: $145
  • Discounted rate: 5%

Here is a good example of the member price falling right in between the regular price and the AAA price.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Minneapolis- St. Louis Park at West End

  • Regular price: $197 (Hilton Honors rate $193)
  • AAA price: $197
  • Discounted rate: 0% (Possibly a negative discount)

This booking is one of those situations where the discounted member rate is below the AAA price!

Homewood Suites by Hilton Oklahoma City-Bricktown, OK

  • Regular price: $144 (Hilton Honors rate $139)
  • AAA price: $133
  • Discounted rate: 8%

The Porter Portland, Curio Collection by Hilton

  • Regular price: $169 (Hilton Honors rate $163)
  • AAA price: $152
  • Discounted rate: 10%


Hyatt AAA discounts

Out of all of the hotel programs that I tested, Hyatt had the lowest discounted rate. I don’t know if it was just the properties I found, but the discounts were very unimpressive — usually falling below 5%.

Hyatt House Charlotte/Center City

  • Regular price: $218 ($211 member rate)
  • AAA price: $211
  • Discounted rate: 3%

Hyatt Place Las Vegas

  • Regular price: $169
  • AAA price: $167
  • Discounted rate: 1%

Hyatt Centric Brickell Miami

  • Regular price: $297
  • AAA price: $297
  • Discounted rate: 0%

Grand Hyatt Seattle

  • Regular price: $297 ($290 member rate)
  • AAA price: $297
  • Discounted rate: 0% (Possibly a negative discount)

Again, here is another instance of a potential “negative discount.”

Hyatt Regency New Orleans

  • Regular price: $279
  • AAA price: $266
  • Discounted rate: 5%


IHG AAA discounts

The IHG bookings were pretty solid and usually when I found a member rate it was between the regular price and AAA price or it was even with the AAA price. So when it comes to IHG, I would feel pretty good about the AAA discount prices.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phoenix Downtown – Ballpark

  • Regular price: $342
  • AAA price: $334
  • Discounted rate: 3%

Holiday Inn Express El Paso-Central

  • Regular price: $169 ($160 member rate)
  • AAA price: $153
  • Discounted rate: 10%

Hotel Indigo: St. Louis – Downtown

  • Regular price: $149 ($141 member rate)
  • AAA price: $141
  • Discounted rate: 5%

Kimpton: Nine Zero Hotel

  • Regular price: $435
  • AAA price: $391
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites: Atlanta Downtown

  • Regular price: $209
  • AAA price: $199
  • Discounted rate: 5%

Marriott AAA discounts

My Marriott bookings showed me one of the largest discounts at 20%. I’m pretty sure this is the higher end of the AAA discount so you can’t expect to find it very often but it was good to find a 20% discounted rate in the real world.

Salt Lake City Marriott City Center

  • Regular price: $289
  • AAA price: $260
  • Discounted rate: 10%

Residence Inn Miami Beach South Beach

  • Regular price: $429
  • AAA price: $347
  • Discounted rate: 20% 

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

  • Regular price: $209
  • AAA price: $188
  • Discounted rate: 10%

Courtyard San Francisco Union Square 

  • Regular price: $329
  • AAA price: $296
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/loop

  • Regular price: $199
  • AAA price: $199
  • Discounted rate: 0% 


Choice Hotels

Most of the Choice Hotels I found had a 10% discount which was pretty consistent.

Clarion Hotel Nashville Downtown – Stadium

  • Regular price: $196
  • AAA price: $186
  • Discounted rate: 5% 

Comfort Suites – South Austin

  • Regular price: $134
  • AAA price: $149
  • Discounted rate: 10%

Cambria Hotel Omaha Downtown

  • Regular price: $129
  • AAA price: $116
  • Discounted rate: 10%

Comfort Inn & Suites

  • Regular price: $194
  • AAA price: $175
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

Comfort Suites Alamo/River Walk

  • Regular price: $199
  • AAA price: $179
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

Best Western International

Best Western Plus Lawnfield Inn & Suites Mentor Clevland 

  • Regular price: $129
  • AAA price: $116
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

Best Western Plus Blue Angel Inn Pensacola, Florida

  • Regular price: $139
  • AAA price: $125
  • Discounted rate: 10% 

Final word

As you can see the AAA discount can range dramatically and in some cases you might receive 20% off your hotel stay. In other cases though the discount savings are not so clear cut. You may only be saving a couple percentage points and in a few cases you might even be better off booking the standard hotel rate, especially if you are a member of that elite program. 

So I think it is worth looking into AAA discounts but you definitely should check to see if the AAA discount is actually saving you money.

UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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