AAA Membership: Is It Worth It. Aaa battery replacement benefit

The Guide to Credit Cards with Roadside Assistance

Many credit card issuers offer this service, which can provide help if you have a dead battery or flat tire.

membership, battery, replacement, benefit

Elina Geller Lead Writer | Airline miles, hotel points, travel insurance

Elina Geller is a Lead Travel Writer at NerdWallet specializing in airline and hotel loyalty programs and travel insurance. Her passion for travel rewards began in 2011 when she flew first class to London and Amsterdam on British Airways and used hotel points to stay in both cities. In 2019, Elina founded TheMissMiles, a travel rewards coaching business. Elina’s work has been featured by AwardWallet. She’s a certified public accountant with degrees from the London School of Economics and Fordham University.

Jeanette Margle Lead Assigning Editor

Jeanette Margle leads the home loans content team at NerdWallet, where she has worked since 2019. Previously, she led NerdWallet’s travel rewards content team and spent three years editing for Upgraded Points while self-employed as an editor and writing coach.

Jeanette earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and has a Master of Education from the University of Houston. A lifelong Texan, Jeanette grew up in a small town in the Hill Country and lives in the Houston area with her husband and daughters.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.

Dealing with an emergency, like a flat tire or a dead battery, when you’re on the road can be distressing and expensive to resolve. Even if you don’t have a AAA membership, you may have access to a roadside assistance program if you have a credit card that offers this perk.

Here’s what you need to know about credit cards with roadside assistance.

What is roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance (also known as roadside dispatch) is a service that helps individuals with a roadside emergency such as a dead battery, flat tire, running out of gas, mechanical failure and more. This service is available through motor clubs, like AAA. certain credit cards (i.e. Chase Sapphire Reserve® ) or travel insurance policies, such as from Allianz, and can be used for your own vehicle or on a car rental.

Generally, roadside assistance services available through membership clubs like AAA, are comprehensive than those provided for free on your credit card.

The best credit card with roadside assistance

Credit cards offer differing forms of roadside assistance, ranging from a complimentary benefit to a pay-per-use service. Some travel credit cards with high annual fees include roadside assistance as a complimentary benefit that can be used several times a year. Low-fee or no-fee credit cards may offer roadside dispatch as a service that you pay for each time you need to use it.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula incorporates coverage options, customer experience, customizability, cost and more.

Here are the card’s roadside assistance benefits:

24-hour towing assistance from Chase’s network of over 25,000 service providers across the U.S. and Canada.

24-hour lockout assistance, so if you get locked out of a car, a qualified locksmith will be dispatched to unlock the vehicle. The key replacement cost is not included.

Each incident is covered up to 50 and the benefit can be used four times per year while traveling in the U.S. and Canada. The perk applies to cardholders driving a car or truck (subject to weight limit) but commercial vehicles are excluded. Assistance is available 24/7/365 by calling the Cross Country Motor Club hotline at 866-860-797.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve®. which has an annual fee of 550 has the following welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s 900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. In addition to free roadside assistance, these premium Visa cards have a number of other benefits, making them excellent companions for those who use their services.

How Chase cards work with roadside dispatch

Cardholders of Chase’s low-fee and no-fee Visa credit cards receive these services for an additional fee while traveling in the U.S. and Canada:

Although these benefits aren’t as exhaustive as those provided on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. they can still come in handy if you’re stranded on the side of the road. You will receive coverage on any vehicle as long as its 10,000 pounds or less. Assistance is available 24/7/365 and can be reached by calling 800-847-2869.

Cards providing roadside dispatch:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (annual fee: 95 ): Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s 750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Chase Slate® (annual fee: 0 ): Save with a 0 introductory balance transfer fee and get 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and 0 annual fee. Plus, free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® (annual fee: 0 ): Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to 20,000 spent in the first year). worth up to 300 cash back!

Chase Freedom® (annual fee: 0 ): Earn a 200 Bonus after you spend 500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Chase Freedom® Student (annual fee: 0): Earn 5,000 points after making your first purchase within the first three months. That’s redeemable for 50 cash back.

Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card (annual fee: 0 intro for the first year, then 49 ): N/A

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (annual fee: 0 ): Get a 150 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval.

Credit card offers change periodically, so if you’ve got your eye on a certain credit card, keep track of its welcome offer in case a stronger bonus becomes available.

Non-Chase credit cards with roadside assistance

Bank of America, Capital One and Wells Fargo are some of the other credit card issuers that offer roadside assistance benefits for a fee. In addition, all Visa Signature cards include roadside dispatch service. Refer to each card’s benefits guide or call customer service for a full list of the exact benefits offered.

Capital One offers roadside assistance on all of its Visa and Mastercard products. Our favorite Capital One travel card is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. For a full list, refer to NerdWallet’s guide to all personal and business Capital One cards.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card (annual fee: 95 ): Receive 60,000 online bonus points. a 600 value. after you make at least 4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card (annual fee: 0 ): Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend 1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. that’s a 200 cash redemption value.

Note: AmEx and Citi formerly offered roadside assistance on certain credit cards, however the benefits are no longer available.

Credit card roadside assistance vs. AAA and travel insurance

If you don’t have a credit card that provides roadside assistance/dispatch or your vehicle type is excluded from coverage, you can still receive this service by purchasing a membership with an automobile club, like AAA or a travel insurance policy for when you’re on vacation.

AAA offers several roadside assistance programs with varying levels of coverage for different kinds of cars. AAA’s higher membership levels include increased limits and more coverage options. AAA memberships offer a wide range of perks including discounts on hotels, restaurants and attractions and can be a great option for those who don’t have roadside coverage through their card.

Travel insurance plans can also include roadside assistance benefits, sometimes as part of the policy and at other times as an optional upgrade.

Other benefits for your road trip

If you’re undecided about getting a membership with AAA or a credit card that offers roadside assistance, it’s important to consider the other benefits you may want.

The cards above offer a slew of other perks that can be useful on your road trip. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 3x on points at restaurants and a DashPass subscription, which you can use to save money when ordering food online while you’re traveling within the U.S. Cardholders also have access to the Visa Infinite Concierge Service, which assists with ticket requests to music and sporting events and dinner reservations.

Another example, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card offers 3x points per dollar at gas stations and restaurants (order in or take out).

If you’re considering a credit card with emergency roadside assistance.

Roadside assistance is an important credit card benefit that can help you if you’re stuck on the side of the road. Many credit card issuers offer this perk so you don’t necessarily need a AAA membership to have access to these benefits.

The information related to the Chase Slate®. Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom® Student has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023. including those best for:

AAA Membership: Is It Worth It?

Joining AAA can unlock some decent rewards and savings on certain products, services and travel costs, but is a membership worth it?

In this article, I’ll tell you what you need to know about joining AAA including the price, things to consider to determine whether membership is worth it for your personal situation and how to save money using the service.

Should You Join AAA? Here’s What You Need To Know

AAA stands for the American Automobile Association. Formed in 1902, the group was originally made up of automobile enthusiasts. Now more than a century later, AAA and its affiliated clubs offer a range of services that cater to drivers and travelers.

I’ve been an AAA member for a number of years, and it has saved me money on rental cars and more.

if you’re a new T-Mobile customer, you may be able to qualify for a free one-year membership with AAA. Read the details here.

If you decide to buy an AAA membership, I strongly suggest that you take advantage of the many perks. If not, your subscription could quickly become one of those monthly expenses you hardly ever use, and that’s a waste of money.

membership, battery, replacement, benefit

How Much Does AAA Cost?

An annual AAA membership can cost as little as 37 and as much as 133.

AAA’s pricing depends on where you live and which membership level you select. There are three membership tiers: Classic, Plus and Premier. We’ll get into what each tier offers a bit later.

Mostly, the are governed by where you live and what affiliated club (Auto Club South, Auto Club Northeast, etc.) you belong to, but there are exceptions. I checked the AAA across several cities in February 2022, and here’s what I found.

AAA Membership Prices: 8 Sample Cities

ZIP CodeCity / StateClassicPlusPremier

What Are Some Key Features of AAA Membership?

Aside from roadside assistance, one of the most popular AAA features is access to travel discounts on hotels, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages.

To see the key features that AAA membership offers, it’s beneficial to look at the differences among the three membership tiers: Classic, Plus and Premier.

AAA ClassicAAA PlusAAA Premier

Membership information based on Northeast Club prices.

Travel Discounts

There are also travel discounts that could make a membership worth your while.

  • Best Western: Get a discount of up to 15% on room rates at Best Western Hotels Resorts.
  • Hilton: Members can save 10% or more at Hilton hotels and resorts.
  • Choice: Members can save up to 5% at Choice hotels (Clarion, Quality Inn, Econolodge, etc).
  • MGM Resorts: Save 10% off rates.

Rental Cars

The last time I needed to rent a car, I checked Kayak, Orbitz and Priceline, but AAA’s discount beat them all. I ended up saving 40 with AAA for my Hertz rental car.

Here are some notable AAA discounts on car rentals:

  • Hertz – Up to 20% off on some car rentals
  • Thrifty – Up to 8% off car rentals and 10% off GPS navigation systems
  • Dollar – Up to 10% off car rentals and GPS navigation systems

The club offers discounts on cruises and vacation packages as well. Some of AAA’s cruise ship partners include:

Each of AAA’s cruise partners offers what it calls “exclusive benefits and discounts.” In August 2022, I found that Carnival was offering 30% off.

You also get access to TripTik, a travel tool that includes trip planners and TourBook guides that allow you to map your journey or find gas stations, restaurants and lodging along the way.

membership, battery, replacement, benefit

Other Benefits

AAA’s other services include auto loans and insurance, home insurance, and free identity theft protection via Experian.

You can also get discounted tickets for movies and other entertainment.

Roadside Assistance

By far, AAA’s biggest claim to fame is its roadside assistance. It operates 24 hours a day and covers each member whether they’re a driver or just a passenger.

As a AAA member, money expert Clark Howard says he’s used the service occasionally for towing.

“The big beef with AAA is how long you have to wait for emergency road service, but when it works, it’s great,” Clark says.

How To Save With an AAA Membership

If you buy an AAA membership and want to take immediate advantage of the savings, you can explore the Discounts page to see a list of national retailers that offer products and services to AAA members at reduced prices. Once you sign up, you’ll also be able to access discounts specific to your local area.

Having said all that, you may sign up for a membership and find that you’re not taking full advantage of it or that it’s not meeting your needs.

How To Cancel Your AAA Membership

AAA makes it fairly easy to cancel your membership, but you can’t close your account online. Call the Member Service Center at (800) 222-6424 to speak with a AAA customer service representative.

You can, however, cancel automatic renewal of your membership here.

Conclusion: Is AAA Worth the Money?

I agree with Clark in saying that AAA membership is not for everyone. It largely depends on your lifestyle: how often you travel and whether the other services are things you’ll use.

If you find that you’re not traveling or driving as much as you once were, you may decide that a AAA membership isn’t worth it right now.

On the other hand, you may reason that AAA’s free vehicle towing is a better option for roadside assistance than an alternative such as your insurance company, which typically provides such services only through a policy claim.

Here’s the bottom line: Before you spend any money on AAA, make sure you take a good look at all of the services and compare the benefits of the membership tiers.

Does AAA Replace Batteries? Is It A Good Deal?

If you have AAA and have broken down previously, you might be wondering if AAA will replace a bad battery for you if it is needed. Breaking down can be inconvenient and a safety hazard so it is important to know what services your roadside assistance offers so you can be prepared if the situation ever arises.

Table of Contents

  • History
  • Memberships
  • Classic Plan
  • Plus Plan
  • Premier Plan
  • Is Battery Replacement Free?
  • Insurance
  • Travel
  • Member Discounts
  • Financial

Will AAA replace a dead battery for free?

AAA does replace batteries as part of their membership. A AAA technician will come to your location, test your battery, and then determine the resolution. If you wish to have your battery replaced after it fails a test, then you can buy a new battery from the technician if they have the correct one on hand.

Roadside assistance can be extremely helpful for an individual or family and it is important to know what AAA can do if you or a friend are having trouble. You can now have peace of mind that if needed, you can have your battery replaced by AAA.

The information in this guide has been provided by AAA and ensures that you are receiving accurate information that is up to date about the services provided by AAA.

AAA Overview

AAA is an abbreviation for the American Automobile Association. It is considered a federation of motor clubs that are located all throughout North America. It currently has over 60 million members throughout the United States and Canada. AAA is mainly known for its roadside assistance, but the company also offers other services to its members.

History

AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago, Illinois. At the time, 9 motor clubs joined together to form AAA. It was originally formed due to the lack of roads that were suitable for automobiles and gradually became the AAA organization that is known today.

Not only did the AAA create their first maps in 1905, but they went on to create hotel guides in 1917. Following this, they created a guide for high school teachers to teach driving in 1935 and in 1936 created the first driver’s education curriculum.

In 1966, the AAA helped to draft safety standards for automobiles, tires, and equipment along with setting standards for motor vehicle inspections and registration, motorcycle safety, driver education, driver licensing, traffic courts, construction, maintenance, and the design of highways, and traffic control devices.

recent years have led to the AAA doing a large amount of research and receiving much recognition for their work in traffic safety.

Memberships

AAA offers several different membership options depending on what your needs are and the extent of service you wish to receive.

Classic Plan

The classic plan is the cheapest of the AAA membership options. It offers towing service throughout the United States and Canada. You can receive towage up to 7 miles or unlimited to a service provider as well as 4 service calls per year.

You receive emergency fuel delivery, which includes free delivery and the member will pay the fuel cost. With the classic plan, you will also receive 60 towards locksmith services if you are locked out of your vehicle.

The classic plan also includes battery services if you need your vehicle jumped or the battery tested or replaced and flat tire service is included.

Plus Plan

The AAA plus plan is the middle plan for AAA. It includes towing benefits throughout the United States and Canada, up to 100 miles in towing, and 4 service calls each year.

You will receive free emergency fuel and delivery at no cost to you and 100 towards a locksmith.

membership, battery, replacement, benefit

AAA battery service and jumpstart are included as well as the flat tire service.

Premier Plan

The AAA premier plan is the top of the line membership plan through AAA. The towing benefits include 1 tow per household up to 200 miles and the rest of the tows will be up to 100 miles. You will also receive 4 calls per service year.

Emergency fuel delivery will include free delivery and free fuel and the locksmith service includes up to 150 towards labor and parts if a locksmith is needed.

AAA battery service and jumpstart are also included in the premier plan as well as the flat tire service.

Does AAA Replace Batteries?

All memberships through AAA include their battery and jumpstart service. This entails a mobile battery testing done by a AAA technician if you are broken down. They will come to your location whether that is at your home, place of work, or the location that you have broken down, and test your battery.

If the battery is dead then the technician will attempt to jumpstart your vehicle to see if that will resolve the issue. If your vehicle cannot be jump-started then a tow will be provided to a service location.

In the event that the battery fails the original test and the AAA member would like the battery replaced instead of a jump start or tow, then the technician will replace the battery should they have the correct battery on hand. The batteries come with a 72-month limited warranty and a 36-month replacement period.

Is Battery Replacement Free?

If you elect to have your battery replaced by a AAA technician, it is not free. You will have charges that will apply to the cost of the battery. AAA members will usually get a small discount when purchasing a battery through AAA.

The technician will recycle the old battery at no charge as part of the battery replacement service which can save you the headache of figuring out where to recycle a large car battery.

What Other Services Does AAA Offer?

AAA is most notably known for its roadside assistance, but they also provide a wide range of other services that are available.

Insurance

AAA offers the ability to get quotes on a wide range of insurance. You can speak with someone to get information on life insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, renters insurance, boat insurance, and travel insurance.

Travel

AAA can help you book travel plans from full vacations to parts of your trip. Their services include helping book hotels, rental cars, cruises, flights, and excursions.

You can receive great travel perks including discounts and many perks on rental cars including fees for young drivers and second drivers being waived.

Member Discounts

As a member of AAA, you are eligible for discounts on certain things. These include discounts on restaurants, travel, automotive, home security, moving truck rentals, and even things like movie tickets, theme park tickets, or concert tickets.

Financial

AAA offers a range of financial services designed to help you manage your money and your life better. They offer identity theft protection through Experian with several different options available depending on what level of coverage you want.

You can also apply for a AAA credit card that will allow you to receive perks depending on how you use it. If a credit card does not interest you, there is also a prepaid Visa card that can be used as cash.

Is AAA Worth the Cost?

This blog has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. This site and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. information

When my girlfriend (now lovely wife) and I first started dating, we’d go on various road trips together.

I don’t think it was that long ago but this was before the days of having Waze or Google Maps on your phone. We’d print out Mapquest directions! I’d drive, she’d navigate, periodically changing the directions because “they didn’t feel right,” and then we’d get into arguments. It was lovely. Waze has been a game changer.

One of the adorable things she used to do was go to AAA (American Automobile Association, for those curious what all the As stood for) for maps and trip planning. She would literally drive to a AAA office, talk to someone there, and get a few area maps and a customized “TripTik” booklet that outlined the entire trip. It had sections of the map with the roadways highlighted.

It was a pretty nice service in the days before live maps with traffic information on your phone.

These days, that aspect of AAA’s service is less valuable but there are still reasons why folks have joined.

If you’ve been considering AAA, let’s see if it’s worth the cost.

What is AAA?

AAA isn’t a single national company but a federation of regional clubs. The name, American Automobile Association, hints that it’s structured that way but much like a franchise model, there’s a national organization that sits atop the regional clubs.

It was founded in 1902 when 9 motor clubs joined together to form Triple-A, a common nickname and how I most often refer to the group. As you’d expect from a 100 year organization, it has a rich and storied history of involvement in the community, in government, and many other areas.

Today, AAA consists of 42 individual clubs all across North America. Most clubs have AAA in the name but there are two that don’t, the Automobile Club of Southern California and Auto Club South.

How Much Does AAA Cost?

There are three membership levels but the pricing will vary based on the area.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, an AAA membership costs (as of March 2020):

vary around the country so you’ll want to check yours for the most up to date price.

The three plans are similar in what they cover and it’s just a matter of degree. For example, you get free towing with each plan but the number of miles changes. With the Classic, you get towing of up to 5 miles or back to the responding facility. With Plus the miles jumps to 100 and with Premier they will tow up to 200 miles in one tow (up to 100 miles in four tows).

If you run out of fuel, Classic will get you enough fuel to get to the nearest station at the pump’s price. Plus and Premier will give you that fuel for free.

With each membership, you get a free second household member at the Classic level and 5 off if you sign up for automatic renewal.

AAA Member Benefits

The key benefit of AAA is emergency roadside assistance. Everything from towing your broken down vehicle to unlocking it to changing a flat tire or dead battery, AAA provides this assistance through local private towing companies contracted by the AAA club. All plans get towing, battery service, tire change, out of fuel service, lockout, and even stuck vehicle service.

The second most popular benefit, which I alluded to in the introduction, is trip planning. AAA has an app called AAA Mobile that will help you plan your trip, find the cheapest gas, and even call for roadside assistance.

Finally, as is the case with many large organizations or corporations, AAA has a lot of agreements with various companies for discounts. For example, when you book a hotel online, you will often see a discount available to AAA members and all you need is to provide your membership number. It’s not always the absolute cheapest, given ongoing promotions, but it’ll be cheaper than the advertised rack rate.

Beyond these, there is still a huge list of benefits most people not know about but aren’t frequently used (like travel insurance):

  • Identity theft monitoring: You get ProtectMYID Essential, Premier members get 10,000 of identity theft insurance on top of the monitoring.
  • Trip interruption expense reimbursement: If you’re on a covered trip and your car breaks down, you can get reimbursed for some expenses. Limited to 500 for Classic, 1000 for Plus, and 1500 for Premier members.
  • Legal defense reimbursement: You can get reimbursement for attorney’s fees to defend you against a covered traffic charge/violation. Limited to 1000 for Classic, 1500 for Plus, and 2000 for Premier members.
  • International travel guides maps: Maps are free, guides will cost a small fee (free to Premier).
  • Passport Photos: 7.99 tax to Classic, 2.99 tax to Plus, and free to Premier members.
  • Free battery replacement: Premier members get a free battery once a year if a AAA Mobile Battery Service test indicates you need a replacement
  • Bicycle Coverage: You get roadside assistance on your bicycle if you need it.

(a separate question is whether travel insurance is worth it)

Is AAA Worth It?

It depends on two factors – how important is roadside assistance and whether you already have it through something else.

We don’t do a lot of driving so roadside assistance is not crucial, but it really depends on how much it costs. As it turns out, we can get it for cheap from our auto insurance.

Our auto insurance is through State Farm and they offer 24 hour emergency roadside service. They offer towing, lockout service, gas/oil, battery jumpstart, tire changes, and other emergency repairs.

It’s not unlike what AAA offers and it’s an addition on our policy. We only pay 8.80 per year per car.

If roadside assistance is the biggest reason why you’re getting AAA, you should see if you can get it for less from other places.

As for the discounts, you’ll have to do the math yourself on this one. In the Mid-Atlantic, they claim that AAA members save an average of 86 per year. I suspect that if we had a big trip coming up, with several hotel stays or perhaps a Disney trip somewhere, a AAA membership might give us access to some discounts that’ll pay for the membership.

Many of the discounts are available through other similar memberships, like AARP, and those memberships may be cheaper because there’s no roadside assistance component.

If I pay 8.80 a year to State Farm for roadside assistance and get an AARP membership for 16, that’s just 24.80 a year for a light version of AAA at half the price.

Is AAA worth it? Only you will know!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Should I Delay Taking Social Security?

Are you debating when you should begin collecting Social Security benefits? Have you heard you can get more if you wait past Full Retirement Age? Learn what this means and whether it’s worth it for you.

Raisin (SaveBetter) Review 2023: Is Raisin Legit?

Raisin is a new savings account platform that gathers industry-leading offers from its FDIC-insured banking partners. The savings and CD rates you get through Raisin are often higher than what’s available to the general public. In this Raisin review, I analyze their offers and let you know how good the savings rates are and if the platform is legit.

What Happened to SaveBetter?

SaveBetter is rebranding to its parent company’s name, Raisin, and the SaveBetter brand is going to be retired.

Best 5-Year CD Rates – 4.50% APY (June 2023)

Want to make the most out of your savings without taking any risks? Check out our latest post that features the top 5-year CD rates available in the market. We’ve done the research for you, listing their annual percentage yields (APYs) and minimum deposit requirements. With a 5-year CD, you lock in an interest rate for what you need.

About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard’s Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology. Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here’s my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you’re on track to retire when you want. It’s free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn’t want a second job, it’s diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he’s invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Reader Interactions

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

About the Комментарии и мнения владельцев on this site:

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.

So this is 2019. If I got roadside assistance thru Auto insurance, would they pay to tow vehicle to nearest place or dealer? Ford, Subaru, etc. if you run out of gas, will they bring som in the middle of nowhere? Will your insurance go up if you use them? We have AARP, but I want maps. Etc. places to stop along the way? AARP, do they have any services for this? I don’t have cellular on the road. Only phone. Love to hear some ideas? Does AAA even give you paper maps anymore?

  • Jim Wang says January 31, 2019 at 7:16 am

Hi Lily – you will have to check your insurance provider to see what their roadside assistance will cover. For State Farm, they will tow it to the nearest repair location and will also deliver gas (and oil, battery, and change of tire). We had a battery jump once and our insurance didn’t go up, but that’s a relatively low cost repair. They still give paper maps and TripTiks.

Be careful with using that feature with State Farm. While under the stress of planning our wedding my wife locked herself out of her car three times. At the time I was thrilled to have State Farm’s help, but when it came time to renew our insurance, our rates were raised, because those events were considered blemishes on our record. This was in 2014 in Oregon. Years later I learned that AAA even sells car insurance, so they can handle everything and assistance never hurts our rates!

  • Jim Wang says July 9, 2020 at 9:40 am

Putting a value on AAA Membership is only one way to look at it, I think the more important factor is to consider it more of an insurance plan in case of an unforeseen predicament while traveling. Many new cars today have no spare tire. Even with a new car you may need someone. AAA.

Don’t waste your time with this company. I just got off the phone with them for the 6th time this morning and they can’t add a simple 2000 medical coverage as is needed by my employer. This is the last day that I can add this service before my employee decides to not pay me my reimbursement. AAA told me that they will not be able to add this until next week even-though they have already pulled the payment out of my account. I told them to just refund the money and they said it would take 7-10 business days before they could complete this, but I just don’t have the time for that. I then attempted to call my back and speak with a supervisor to find out if they could stop payment. Again they told me that they could file a claim and that would also take 7-10 days. absolute waste and massive disappointment. AAA SMH.

With AAA I get 10% off my monthly Sprint bill, in addition Sprint pays my yearly basic membership. I think this is worth mentioning.

We’ve been AAA members for over 30 years. I’ve always traveled a lot for business. If my wife or either of my daughters encounters a car issue while I’m away, they can get help right away. Also, the coverage is on each person and is not limited to our vehicles. We rented a Chevy Tahoe for a family trip in August. A tire blew out on an busy interstate highway. AAA had a tow truck on the scene within 20 minutes. The tow driver removed the bad tire and replaced it with the spare (in a Tahoe the spare is mounted underneath the vehicle and is kind of a pain to access). No charge to us. The other benefit is their auto and home insurance. Of course everybody’s rates will be different. I compare the AAA against other companies (State Farm, Progressive, Geico, Allstate, etc.) every few years and AAA always comes out ahead.

I live in Alaska and it gets to 30 below 0. I was in the middle of no where and it was a desolate area. The car broke down from the cold or stopped. At the time we were going to Fairbanks and it likely 50 below 0. We could have froze to death it was that cold in the middle of now where. Call AAA and there was someone to help us in a 1 hr. which is very fast for this neck of the woods. If they were there then it would have led to hypothermia. It was a pretty new suv. I have had other vehicles through the years and it was so cold my door handles were frozen. This year alone the keys were left in the car by myself or my nephews. So 5 times last year they were Johnnie on the spot. I am grateful they were able to find someone in a desolate area that is 350 miles to Fairbanks. New Ford Explorer and so it was just the cold where your exhaust can freeze. The price you pay is a pittance living in the cold. I think it is worth every penny for them to be there for me. You should have AAA no matter where you live, if you are wise.

That’s nice of them, but you didn’t ‘have’ to have AAA to get someone out to help you. The only thing AAA did was save you from having to look up local numbers yourself. This might have been a service before everyone had google in their. but now?…. Just making sure that credit is given where appropriate, and this isn’t necessarily the case.

I enjoied the article; howeve, please keep in mind that State Fram Ins. may have roadside assistance and it may be nominal; however, if you use the roadside assistance service it is considered a claim. I have been insured with StateFarm for over 20 years and have paid for roadside assistance although, I never used the service. The roadside assistance issue was brought to my attention by StateFram insured who did use the Statefarm roadside assistance and quickly found out his rates went up due to claims, which turned out to be the use of roadside assistance for his teenage daughter! I’ve since canceled the StateFarm Roadside Assistance and have opted for AAA.

One consideration about AAA compared to roadside assistance on an insurance plan is that the AAA roadside service is with the member and not the car. The member could be in any car and call AAA for service, such as on a trip with friends. This happened to me when my husband and I were on a trip with friends in their vehicle. The engine caught on fire and burned. I used my membership to get us help, towing, and a ride. On the other hand, my experience is that roadside assistance with your car insurance is only on the vehicles that are insured on that plan. For me, this is an important difference, although it may not be for everyone.

  • Jim Wang says October 20, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Leave a Comment