AAA Dollars Mastercard Review

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The AAA Dollars Mastercard, issued by ACG Card Services, doesn’t provide a lot of benefits that set it apart from other cash-back rewards credit cards. Its flat rewards rate is lower than the standard among major credit card issuers. While you can get bonus value if you redeem your rewards for a AAA Rewards Card, it still doesn’t beat the flexibility and value of most of the top cash-back credit cards on the market.

AAA Dollars® Mastercard®

overall rating
3.4
AAA Dollars® Mastercard®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1% cash back on everyday purchases
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Billing Cycles
Foreign transaction fee (%) 2%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.9
for Fees
1.9
for Rewards
4.7
for Credit
2.2

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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    Savvy Saver

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. 

Pros
  • Bonus value when you redeem rewards for AAA Rewards Cards

  • Long introductory 0% interest promotion

Cons
  • Low base rewards rate

  • No sign-up bonus

  • AAA membership requirement

  • Rewards expire

Pros Explained

  • 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 still less than what you’ll earn with 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. After that, you’ll pay the card’s variable interest rate. 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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.
  • No sign-up bonus: Although the card comes with an upfront incentive on its interest rate, there’s no cash sign-up bonus, which is unheard of among the best cash-back rewards credit cards.
  • AAA membership requirement: You need to be a member of a participating AAA club to apply for the card. For example, clubs in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah don’t offer it to their members. Also note that while the card itself doesn’t charge an annual fee, there is an annual AAA membership fee.
  • Rewards expire: Unused rewards expire roughly five years after you earn them. With some other cash-back credit cards, you can get a better rewards rate and your rewards won’t expire as long as your account is open.

There are two versions of the card: the AAA Dollars World Mastercard and the AAA Dollars Platinum Mastercard. When you apply, you’ll first be considered for the World version, and then the Platinum version if you don’t qualify for the World. The World version offers lower interest rates and cardholder benefits that you may not get with the Platinum version.

Earning Rewards

The card offers a flat 1% cash back on every purchase you make. Even if your credit isn’t in great shape, you’ll have an easy time finding a card that offers a better rate. Even if you can only qualify for another 1% card, you won’t have to worry about jumping through hoops to apply and maximize the value of your rewards as you do with this card.

Redeeming Rewards

You have several redemption options with the AAA Dollars Mastercard. You can redeem Dollars to get a statement credit or a AAA Rewards Card, buy gift cards or merchandise, or make a charitable donation. 

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.

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.

You can redeem your rewards by logging into your online account or by calling.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

The best way to get as much value out of the card as possible is to take advantage of its bonus when you 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. Depending on how much you finance with the card, you could save hundreds of dollars on interest.

If you’re planning to transfer a balance from another credit card account, note that the AAA Dollars Mastercard charges a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transfer amount, with a $10 minimum. Plus, there’s no sign-up bonus to help offset that cost.

Customer Experience

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 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. But U.S. Bank was rated about average across all categories the market research firm considered.

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.

Security Features

The AAA Dollars Mastercard’s security features are standard for the credit card industry, including zero liability for fraudulent purchases.

AAA Dollars Plus Mastercard Fees

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.

For AAA Dollars® Mastercard®
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CURRENT CARD
AAA Dollars® Mastercard®
overall rating
3.4
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.49% - 25.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 1% cash back on everyday purchases
Our Methodology
  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.