Full Review of AAA Member Rewards Visa
No annual fee
Introductory offer on balance transfers
Earn higher cash back at wholesale clubs
No introductory APR on purchases
Doesn’t waive the balance transfer fee for new cardholders
Limits on points earned through AAA purchases
- No Annual Fee: The AAA Member Rewards Visa doesn’t have an annual fee. This is in line with some other cash back cards, like Blue Cash Everyday from American Express and SavorOne Rewards from Capital One, that charge no annual fee and offer a 3% cash back category. This card also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, making it a potential choice for international travel.
- One-Time Offer: Cardholders receive a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
- Introductory Offer on Balance Transfers: On top of the bonus, there is also a balance transfer offer with a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles. Balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days of account opening, and a balance transfer fee applies.
- Earn Higher Cash Back at Wholesale Clubs: The AAA Member Rewards Visa features 2% cash back at wholesale clubs. This is a slightly different approach from other cards. Many other cards, like the Blue Cash Everyday, offer a higher cash back earning at grocery stores but don’t include wholesale clubs as part of that. With this card, it's possible to earn 2% cash back on grocery store purchases as well as on wholesale club purchases.
- No Introductory APR on Purchases: While there is an introductory APR on balance transfers with this credit card, the AAA Member Rewards Visa doesn’t have a 0% APR offer on purchases.
- Doesn't Waive the Balance Transfer Fee for New Cardholders: There's a 3% balance transfer fee—and this applies to transfers made under the introductory offer. Some credit cards, like the Amex EveryDay card, waive the balance transfer fee for new cardholders.
- Limits on Points Earned Through AAA Purchases: This card offers 3% cash back on AAA purchases, but there are restrictions on which purchases are eligible. For example, if a cardholder buys an insurance policy through a AAA club, but it isn’t underwritten by an AAA-owned affiliate or company, that purchase won’t count toward the extra cash back. As a result of these restrictions, some cardholders who make purchases through AAA might be disappointed to discover that they aren’t earning the higher 3% cash back rate.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
The AAA Member Rewards Visa might be best for people who want a no-annual-fee card that pays a higher rate of cash back on travel.
Some credit cards that focus on travel, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, charge an annual fee. Others, like the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, charge no annual fee but don't offer a higher earning level for travel. The Bank of America card, for example, pays a flat 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases.
In addition, this card offers opportunities for 2% earning on everyday purchases like groceries, gas, and drugstore items. It could be especially useful for people who do a lot of their shopping at wholesale clubs. Cards like the Capital One SavorOne offer 2% cash back on grocery purchases, but wholesale clubs are excluded from that.
AAA Member Rewards Visa Bonus
New cardholders can receive a statement credit of $200 after spending $1,000 on the card within the first 90 days of opening their account.
Rewards Earning Details
This card offers tiered rewards:
- 3% cash back on eligible AAA and travel purchases
- 2% cash back on qualified grocery, gas, drugstore, and wholesale club purchases
- 1% cash back on other purchases
Bank of America expresses the earnings as cash back, but the rewards are technically paid in the form of points. So, with the 3% cash back, cardholders receive 3 points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases.
Rewards Redemption Details
It’s possible to redeem points for travel, cash back, AAA rewards vouchers, and gift cards. Cash back rewards can be in the form of a check, statement credit, or a deposit into a Bank of America account, including a Merrill Edge investment account. The cash back and deposit rewards have a value of one cent per point. Redemption values for other rewards vary according to the type of reward.
There are minimums to begin redeeming rewards. For example, airfare redemptions start at 2,500 points, while gift card redemptions start at 3,500. In order to get cash back rewards or receive AAA vouchers, cardholders must have at least 5,000 points.
It's important to note that points expire five years after the month in which they were earned, so it's possible to lose points if you don’t redeem them in time.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
One way to maximize rewards is to use the AAA Member Rewards Visa in conjunction with other no-annual-fee credit cards. Because this card offers 3% cash back on travel, it can work well with cards that provide higher cash back in other categories. For example, the Capital One SavorOne offers 3% cash back on dining and entertainment and the Amex Blue Cash Everyday offers 3% cash back on groceries.
The AAA Member Rewards card also offers 2% cash back at wholesale clubs, which could be an advantage if you often shop at one. In addition, this card might be useful as a backup for another card that imposes a limit on earnings. For example, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card pays 3% cash back only on up to $6,000 in grocery purchases during a year; after that, it pays just 1% cash back on groceries. Once that threshold is met, switching to the AAA card, which pays 2% on groceries, could be a smart move.
- $0 liability on fraudulent purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
- Supplemental rental collision insurance
Bank of America, which issues the AAA Member Rewards Visa, came in seventh out of 11 national credit card issuers in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. Its score was 798 out of 1,000, while the national average score was 806.
It's possible to manage an account from the Bank of America app, which has a 4.8 rating (out of 5) in the Apple Store and a 4.7 rating (also out of 5) on Google Play.
Bank of America offers customer service through the app as well as by phone. Customer service hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Cardholders aren’t held accountable for fraudulent purchases. Bank of America also offers access to a monthly FICO score, so cardholders can monitor their credit and take action if something appears suspicious. Cardholders can also opt in to receive account alerts by text or email.
The AAA Member Rewards Visa offers relatively competitive travel rewards while charging no annual fee. It is also one of the few cash back cards to include wholesale clubs in a higher rewards earning tier. When used in conjunction with other cash back cards, like the Amex Blue Cash Everyday or the Capital One SavorOne, this card could be a worthy addition to any wallet.