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

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

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Whether or not you are an AAA member, the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is an excellent option for your wallet. It provides 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 some competing cashback credit cards provide in similar categories. Though you can get comparable rewards with a better welcome bonus with other rewards credit cards, those offers typically come with annual fees and bonus-requirements that require you to be a high-spender to turn a profit.

This card is good for...

  • Low spenders who want a no annual fee travel credit card
  • People in Bank of America's Preferred Rewards program

This card is bad for...

  • High spenders who can qualify for bonuses on other cards
  • People who want to earn points that are transferrable to airline miles

Review: Our Thoughts on the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a fantastic card, especially if you are part of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards. The cash back this card provides on travel, groceries and gas rivals some of the best credit cards out there. Note that while this card is co-branded with the American Automotive Association (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 - good/excellent credit is required.

The rewards rate on this card will vary depending on the amount of money you have deposited into Bank of America accounts. Even without these extra rewards, however, this card would be considered good. If you factor in the bonus you'd get as a Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier member, this card becomes very hard to beat.

While the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a competitive rewards rate on travel, it fails to keep up as far as bonuses are concerned with other top travel credit cards. These competitors often come equipped with bonuses worth anywhere between $300 and $600. The welcome offer on this card is a $200 statement credit after you spend at least $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. The good news is that it comes with a lower spend threshold than competing cards. Therefore, if you’re a low spender who wouldn’t qualify for bigger bonuses anyway, the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers a great solution.

One other thing worth mentioning is that this card comes with no foreign transaction fees. This is another feature that makes it a good choice for travellers. Whenever you use most cards outside of the United States, you pay a charge with every transaction – roughly 3%. This is entirely waived with the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card.

Bottom Line: The AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card is an excellent everyday card, and solid travel option for low spenders. While the top airline and hotel cards can give you better sign-up bonuses, those often require you to spend thousands of dollars. 

AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card Benefits & Features

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. Those with Preferred Rewards membership can increase their cash back rate, based on the amount of money they have deposited into their Bank of America account. Gold membership gives a 25% bonus, Platinum gives 50%, and Platinum Honors gives 75%. Note: These bonuses are applied to the base earn of 1 point per $1, not the bonus points you get in each category.

Effective Rewards Rate
Preferred Rewards TierCombined BalancesAAA Purchases & TravelGas, Grocery and DrugstoreAll other

None

N/A3.00%2.00%1.00%

Gold

$20,000 - $49,9993.25%2.25%1.25%

Platinum

$50,000 - $99,9993.50%2.50%1.50%

Platinum Honors

$100,000+3.75%2.75%1.75%
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Your tier is based on your qualifying combined balances in your Bank of America® banking and/or Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts.

In addition to the above-mentioned rewards, 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. This is a lower requirement than most no annual fee cash back credit cards. Other offers typically require you to spend twice as much for the same reward. Keep in mind that you need to make purchases to qualify for the bonus. Other types of transactions, such as cash advances or balance transfers, do not count towards the $500.

How Does the AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card Compare to Other Offers?

To better gauge the value 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 to one of its leading competitors below.

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

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has been one of our favorite cash back 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. This touches upon all the major consumer shopping categories, with the exception of travel. An important thing to keep in mind is that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has an annual fee of $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fees). Therefore, you should make sure you can get enough rewards out of it year-to-year, before applying.

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

The information related to AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature® Card and The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express 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.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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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).