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You Might Want a AAA Membership Even If You Don't Have a Car—Here's Why

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This story is part of CNBC Make It's One-Minute Money Hacks series, which provides easy, straightforward tips and tricks to help you understand your finances and take control of your money.

The American Automobile Association, or "Triple-A," is known for roadside assistance. But it also offers other discounts that can be worth the cost of membership, even if you don't own a car.

The cost of a basic annual membership varies by region, ranging from $38 to $74, and comes with many lesser-known perks that can save you money on things you might already buy, including discounts on shopping, restaurants and entertainment.

A membership will cover the costs of tow trucks, emergency refueling, battery jump starts and locksmith services in case you lock your keys inside your car. The Plus and Premier plans are more expensive, as they offer enhanced roadside perks, such as emergency car rentals and an extended towing range.

However, all of the plans will qualify you for AAA's other discounts. Here are a few highlights:

  • Up to 30% off Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott hotel rooms. However, the discount rates can vary, and are usually closer to 5% to 10%.
  • Up to 20% off the cost on Hertz, Thrifty or Dollar Car car rentals 
  • Over 30% off electronic brands like HP, Samsung and Dell
  • Up to 50% off prescription lenses, and 30% off eye exams 
  • Up to 50% off select theme park passes, and a discount of 20% or more on movie and theater tickets

AAA memberships are divided into U.S. regions, and each region might offer its own exclusive perks or discounts. For example, the AAA's Northeast region currently offers 30% off select printing services at UPS, 12% off Penske truck rentals and 15% off home security services.

Some AAA branches also offer driver's license renewal services to members, which is handy for anyone who needs to upgrade to a Real ID-compliant driver's license or state identification card before the May 2023 deadline.

Of course, whether a membership is actually worth the cost will depend on your spending habits. If these discounts apply to things you already pay for, then a AAA membership might be worth it for you, even if you don't own a car.

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