The AAA Dollars Mastercard is best for AAA members who can make the most of its rewards redemption options, which favor AAA loyalists. In fact, this card is only for AAA members—you must be a member to apply. Because the AAA Dollars Mastercard offers a modest 1% cash back on purchases, it’s hard to say who would benefit from this card over other cash-back rewards credit cards. This is true whether or not you’re a AAA member.
The AAA Dollars Mastercard’s good introductory 0% interest promotion could be a reason to apply, but some other cash-back credit cards offer the same promotional period and better rewards rates.
The AAA Dollars Mastercard is available only to AAA members of Auto Club Group, the second-largest AAA club in the U.S. ACG is like an umbrella for AAA club members in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. ACG also covers most of Illinois, a portion of Indiana, and most of Minnesota.
Bonus value when you redeem rewards for AAA Rewards Cards
Long introductory 0% interest promotion
Lower ongoing interest rate
Low base rewards rate
Membership required and limited
- Bonus value when you redeem rewards for AAA Rewards Cards: With most redemption options, each AAA Dollar you earn is worth 1 cent. But if you redeem them for a AAA Rewards Card, the redemption value gets bumped up to 1.2 to 1.4 cents per Dollar, depending on how many you redeem. That’s less than a 1.5% cash-back credit card, but it does elevate the AAA Dollars Mastercard above other 1% cards.
- Long introductory 0% interest promotion: You’ll get an introductory 0% interest rate on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. While that’s not the longest promotion on the market, and you can get better rewards rates and similar terms with other cards, it is among the better 0% interest rate promotions available.
- Lower ongoing interest rate: This credit card could be a keeper even after the introductory period expires due to its competitive interest rate, which is on the lower end of the interest spectrum. Your ongoing APR could be as low as 12.99%.
- Low base rewards rate: You can get up to a 1.4% rewards rate if you redeem your Dollars for a AAA Rewards Card, but the default rate is just 1% on everything, which is easy to beat. But you could get a higher flat-rate rewards card without worrying about trying to maximize the value of your rewards as you do with this card.
- Membership required and limited: Most AAA club regions don’t offer this card, as it’s offered by Auto Club Group (the second-largest AAA club in America) to its members. ACG’s geographic range is limited. And while the card itself doesn’t charge an annual fee, the annual AAA membership fee could run as high as $131 per year or more, depending on your membership type and location.
- Rewards expire: Unused rewards expire roughly five years after you earn them. With some other cash-back credit cards your rewards won’t expire as long as your account is open.
The card offers a flat 1% cash back on every purchase you make. You cannot earn AAA Dollars on business transactions and activities, so use a different card for business-related travel.
ACG offers two different AAA Dollars programs:
- AAA Dollars is a free loyalty program to earn rewards on AAA and participating partner transactions, which are then applied toward the next membership renewal.
- AAA Dollars Mastercard is a separate credit card program. Although also called AAA Dollars, the rewards don’t combine with or otherwise interact with the AAA Dollars loyalty program.
You can redeem Dollars to get a statement credit buy gift cards or merchandise, or make a charitable donation, or redeem for an AAA Rewards Card. You’ll call or log in online to do so.
Most redemption options will give you a value of 1 cent per Dollar. But if you use your AAA credit card Dollars to get a AAA Rewards Card, you’ll get 20%-40% more value. Here are the conversion tiers:
- 50 AAA Dollars converts to a $60 AAA Rewards Card
- 100 AAA Dollars converts to a $120 AAA Rewards Card
- 200 AAA Dollars converts to a $250 AAA Rewards Card
- 500 AAA Dollars converts to a $700 AAA Rewards Card
To qualify for the 40% bonus on AAA Rewards Card redemptions, you need to redeem 500 AAA Dollars, and to get to earn that much, you’ll need to spend $50,000 on the card. Your AAA Dollars rewards expire if not redeemed within five years of earning them.
Once you have a AAA Rewards Card, you can use it at participating AAA Clubs to pay your AAA membership dues, or use it to buy other products and services, including travel, cruise, and tour packages, gift cards, attraction tickets, and more.
How to Get the Most out of This Card
The best way to get the best value is to take advantage of its bonus and redeem AAA Dollars for a AAA Rewards Card. Just keep in mind that you need to spend at least $50,000 on the card to get the top redemption bonus. If you’re not a big spender, you could end up losing your rewards before you meet that threshold.
Also, take advantage of the card’s introductory 0% interest rate by making a large purchase or transferring a balance and paying it off before the promotional period ends. You must transfer the balance within 30 days of opening the account. Depending on how much you finance with the card, you could save hundreds of dollars on interest.
While the card is branded as a AAA credit card, the association doesn’t issue or service the account. Instead, the card’s issuer is ACG Card Services, which is a subsidiary of U.S. Bank. ACG Card Services wasn’t included among the top national issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. U.S. Bank was ranked next to last in the 2020 survey.
The card issuer provides 24/7 customer service via phone, which is standard among credit card issuers. You can manage your account online, but there is no mobile app, which is unusual considering most major credit cards have them. However, you can set up account, security, and fraud alerts to your mobile number or e-mail address, through the online portal.
The AAA Dollars Mastercard’s security features are standard for the credit card industry, including zero liability for fraudulent purchases.
For the most part, the AAA Dollars Mastercard’s fees are on par with industry standards. One exception is its foreign transaction fee, which is 2%, instead of the usual 3% that many other cards charge.