AAA Member Rewards Credit Card Review: Is It a Good Cash Back Card?

AAA Member Rewards Credit Card Review: Is It a Good Cash Back Card?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is an excellent everyday card, and a solid travel option for low spenders. While the top airline and hotel cards may offer better sign-up bonuses, those often require spending thousands of dollars.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards members earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase
  • Intro APR of 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then 13.99%-23.99%
  • Easy to earn sign-up bonus
  • Valuable earning rate for cash back

Cons

  • Other travel cards offer higher sign-up bonuses
  • Rewards are for cash back and AAA purchases only, can’t transfer to airlines to maximize value
  • No intro purchase APR offer
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Quick facts

  • Sign-up bonus: $200 statement credit after you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR of 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then 13.99%-23.99%. Applies to any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account
  • Unlimited earning rate: 3% cash back on eligible travel and AAA purchases; 2% back on gas, grocery store, wholesale club and drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards members earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase.

AAA credit card review: Our thoughts on the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Regardless of whether you’re an American Automotive Association (AAA) member, the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is an excellent choice for your wallet.

This card allows you to earn 3% cash back on eligible travel and AAA purchases; 2% back on gas, grocery store, wholesale club and drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else.

These rates are better than what several competing cashback credit cards provide in similar categories. Though other rewards credit cards may offer comparable earning rates with larger sign-up bonuses, those cards tend to come with annual fees and bonus requirements which involve high amounts of spending in order to qualify.

Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards members will get the most bang for their buck with this card, as you can earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase, depending on which tier your spending falls into. Note that while this card is co-branded with AAA, you don’t have to be a member to apply. That means the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is available to anyone who meets its minimum FICO requirements. Excellent/Good credit is required.

Who is this card best for?

The AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is best for people who don’t spend heavily on their credit cards and would prefer not to pay an annual fee, but still want to earn cash back on their purchases.

This card is great for frequent travelers and of course, for AAA members. With $0 foreign transaction fees and 3% cash back on eligible travel and AAA purchases, this card is made for travelers who want a high-earning, straightforward everyday card.

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Sign-up bonus

With the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card, cardholders can earn a $200 statement credit after you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

Though other top travel credit cards may offer sign-up bonuses ranging in value up to $600-plus, those cards typically charge an annual fee and require you to spend at least twice as much in order to qualify for the bonus.

For a no-annual-fee card, this is a strong and attainable sign-up bonus, since the $1,000 spending requirement is relatively low. In sum, if you’re a low spender who wouldn’t qualify for larger bonuses anyway, the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a great solution.

Earning rate

At the base level, the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns you 3% cash back on eligible travel and AAA purchases; 2% back on gas, grocery store, wholesale club and drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else.

However, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn 25% to 75% more cash back on every purchase, based on the qualifying combined balances in your Bank of America® deposit and/or Merrill® investment accounts.

Depending on the status of your bank account, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members will fall into one of three tiers: Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors. Gold membership receives a 25% cashback bonus, Platinum receives a 50% bonus and Platinum Honors receives a 75% bonus.

Effective rewards rate

Preferred Rewards tier
Combined balances
AAA purchases and travel
Gas, grocery, drugstore and wholesale clubs
All other
NoneN/A3.00%2.00%1.00%
Gold$20,000 - $49,9993.75%2.50%1.25%
Platinum$50,000 - $99,9994.50%3.00%1.50%
Platinum Honors$100,000 - $250,0005.25%3.50%1.75%

Your tier is based on your qualifying combined balances in your Bank of America® banking and/or Merrill® investment accounts.

Redeeming rewards

You can redeem your AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card points in a number of simple and valuable ways. Note that redemption values begin at 2,500 points for air, 3,500 points for gift cards and 5,000 points for cash and AAA rewards vouchers. Points expire five years after the month they were earned, or at the time of the account closing.

  • Gift cards: You have the option to redeem your rewards for a variety of gift cards. The actual redemption value for these is based on the amount of points you’re redeeming. Note that you’ll need at least 3,500 points in order to redeem for a gift card.
  • Travel: You can use your points to redeem for flight purchases through the Bank of America travel portal. The number of points you need to redeem for an air reward will be determined at the time of redemption and you can redeem for an unlimited dollar value on your ticket. Note that redemption values begin at 2,500 points for air travel.
  • Cash back: The current redemption value for a cash rewards check or deposit into a checking or savings account is 1% of the amount of points redeemed. Cash rewards will be issued for a U.S. dollar sum in the form of a statement credit, check or electronic deposit into a Bank of America® checking or savings account, or for credit to a qualifying Cash Management Account® with Merrill.
  • AAA purchases and vouchers: The best way to redeem your card rewards is for AAA purchases and vouchers. AAA rewards are redeemable anywhere that AAA is authorized to process a consumer's credit card transactions — in other words, places like hotels, car rental services and travel agencies.

In order to redeem your points for AAA purchases, you’ll need to call the number on the back of the card. You can also use your points to purchase an AAA voucher, redeemable for AAA purchases. Both these options allow you to maximize your points, for up to 40% more value than cash back.

The redemption value depends on the number of points redeemed:

  • 5,000 to 19,999 = 20% more value
  • 20,000 to 49,999 = 25% more value
  • 50,000-plus = 40% more value

For example, 5,000 points can be redeemed for a $60 AAA purchase compared to $50 in cash rewards, or 50,000 points can be redeemed for a $700 AAA voucher compared to $500 in cash rewards.

Security features

The AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card comes with a host of security features in order to keep cardmembers safe.

These include the following:

  • $0 liability guarantee for fraudulent transactions: Bank of America blocks potential fraud if abnormal patterns are detected and lets you know if fraud is suspected.
  • Contactless payment: Simply tap to pay when you see the contactless symbol for secure, easy payment.
  • Optional overdraft protection: This optional service can help prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your Bank of America checking account to your credit card.
  • Paperless statement options: Paperless credit card statements increase security and reduce paper waste.
  • Digital wallet capabilities: Add this card to your digital wallet and pay via Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay
  • Online and mobile banking: Access your accounts anytime, from anywhere, quickly and securely.
  • Account alerts: Set up alerts for payment due dates and security alerts.
  • Free FICO Score: Bank of America updates your FICO Score monthly and allows you to check it for free using the app.

Other benefits

This feature is especially beneficial for frequent international travelers, as it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in international fees. Most credit cards, when used outside of the United States, charge a fee of around 3% with every transaction — and though it may not seem like much, it can add up quickly.

This card offers an intro APR of 0% for 12 months on balance transfers, then 13.99%-23.99%. This applies to any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. While this is a nice perk, the intro period is on the shorter side compared to what some other cards offer.

Drawbacks

  • Limited redemption options: With this card, you can only redeem your rewards for cashback options and AAA purchases (for greater value). These few options can be limiting for those who would prefer to maximize their rewards by transferring them to airline rewards programs.
  • No intro APR on purchases: While this card does offer an intro APR offer on balance transfers, it does not include an intro APR offer for purchases. Interest-free offers can be enticing for cardmembers seeking to pay off large purchases over time. Unfortunately, this offer isn’t included with this Bank of America AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card.

How Does the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card Compare to other offers?

To better gauge the value of the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card, it’s best to compare it to other available offers. We took a look at how this card stacks up against a couple of its leading competitors.

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a stellar travel card. While this card offers 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day to the AAA Member Rewards’ 3X points for travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with a couple of valuable travel perks that help it to surpass the competition:

  • The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s sign-up bonus blows the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card out of the water: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel. These points can be redeemed for a wide variety of travel purchases and transferred to 15-plus travel loyalty programs.
  • AAA has no annual fee, while the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card charges an annual fee of $95; however, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card does offer a $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck to offset it.

While both cards appear to be comparable on the surface, it’s clear that frequent travelers will get greater value from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is among our favorite cashback cards, and for good reason. The card gives users an outstanding 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. (Rewards can be redeemed as statement credits toward your purchases.)

With this card, consumers will earn rewards in nearly every major shopping category besides travel. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

The card offers double the cash back and in more categories than the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card — this makes the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express the better option.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card vs. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Higher earnings on gas and groceries

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a $0-annual-fee card that lets you earn unlimited 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023. You’ll also Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

While the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card comes out ahead of the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card with a higher earning rate on gas, groceries and its other bonus categories, the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card still takes the lead for travel and AAA purchases. However, though the two cards offer comparable sign-up bonuses, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card requires you to spend half as much to earn the bonus, making this the better deal.

In choosing between these two cards, you’ll have to consider which categories you tend to spend the most in to find the card that will offer you the most value. However, generally, we feel that the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the better option overall.

Is the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card worth it?

Yes, we feel the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is worth it if you like to travel, prefer to earn your rewards in cash back and don’t typically spend enough on your credit card to be able to earn the higher sign-up bonuses of competing cards. With no annual fee and an easily attainable sign-up bonus, this card can be a great option if you’re looking for a solid everyday credit card. However, if you don’t feel like this card would be a good fit, there are plenty of alternative cash back cards to choose from.

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card FAQs

What are AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card points worth?

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card points are worth $1 per point, and can be redeemed as cash back or AAA purchases. If you redeem your AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card points for AAA purchases, they can be worth up to 40% more than if redeemed for cash back.

What are the benefits of an AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card?

There’s no shortage of AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card benefits, including things like no annual fee, $0 foreign transaction fees, a valuable sign-up bonus, a strong rewards rate and more. One of the best AAA perks that come with this card is that redemptions for AAA purchases are worth up to 40% more value than cash back redemptions.

What bank is the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card issued by?

The AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is issued by Bank of America. In fact, Bank of America Preferred Rewards members will earn 25% to 75% more points on every purchase than non-Preferred Rewards members.

Is Visa Signature a good card?

Yes, we believe the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a good card. It has lots of valuable benefits that don’t come at a high cost. Especially if you’re a frequent traveler who loves earning cash back on their purchases, this can be an extremely good card.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

The information related to AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These 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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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).