February 28, 2024

AAA Credit Card Review

AAA Travel Advantage Visa® Information about the AAA Travel Advantage Visa® has been collected independently…

AAA Credit Card Review

AAA Travel Advantage Visa®

Information about the AAA Travel Advantage Visa® has been collected independently by CNBC Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    *You can earn a maximum of $350 in combined cash back each calendar year at gas stations and electric vehicle charging stations, after that purchases earn 1% for the rest of the year.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $100 statement credit when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    19.24% to 33.24%, based on your creditworthiness

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

AAA Daily Advantage Visa®

Information about the AAA Daily Advantage Visa® has been collected independently by CNBC Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    *You can earn a maximum of $500 in combined cash back each calendar year at grocery stores, gas stations and wholesale clubs, after that purchases earn 1% for the rest of the year

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $100 statement credit when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    19.24% to 33.24%, based on your creditworthiness

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

AAA Visa Signature cards review

Welcome bonus

Benefits and perks

How to earn and use cash back

Earning

The AAA Daily Advantage Visa® and AAA Travel Advantage Visa® are both cash-back rewards credit cards, but they earn bonus cash back on different purchases.

The AAA Daily Advantage Visa earns:

  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases
  • 3% cash back on gas and electric vehicle charging stations, wholesale clubs, streaming services, pharmacy and AAA purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Cardholders can earn a maximum of $500 combined from the 5% and 3% bonus categories each calendar year at grocery stores, gas stations and wholesale clubs, after that purchases earn 1% for the rest of the year. So if you use this card exclusively for grocery store purchases, you would earn 5% back on $10,000 in spending.

The AAA Travel Advantage Visa earns:

  • 5% cash back on gas and electric vehicle charging station purchases
  • 3% cash back on grocery stores, restaurants, travel and AAA purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The AAA Travel Advantage card lets you earn a maximum of $350 in combined cash back each calendar year in the 5% bonus category, after that purchases earn 1% back for the rest of the year. That’s the equivalent of spending $7,000 a year at gas stations and electric vehicle charging stations.

Redeeming

You can redeem cash back for a direct deposit or statement credit once you have earned at least $5 in rewards. You can also cash out your rewards for gift cards or merchandise and travel through participating AAA clubs.

Rates and fees

Alternatives to the AAA credit cards

AAA Daily Advantage Visa vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is CNBC Select’s best credit card for groceries. It has a higher rate of return for groceries than the AAA Daily Advantage card on grocery purchases (6% back on the first $6,000 in purchases per year at U.S. supermarkets) and U.S. streaming services (6% back).

It also has a more generous welcome offer and a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (see rates and fees). The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card has better benefits, including return protection, up to $84 a year in Disney Bundle credits ($7 a month with an eligible $9.99 a month Disney Bundle subscription) and up to $120 in annual Equinox credit ($10 a month). These credits can offset the card’s annual fee (see rates and fees), so the decision may come down to how much cash back you’ll earn with each card. The AAA Daily Advantage limits the bonus cash-back categories to $500 in rewards each year before the return drops to 1%. So if you expect to earn more cash back than that, the Blue Cash Preferred could be more lucrative.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    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, 3% cash back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more) and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. 

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.24% – 29.99% variable. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

AAA Travel Advantage Visa vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in combined purchases in a variety of rotating quarterly categories. That’s a potential $75 in bonus cash per quarter or $300 per year. While this is $50 lower than the $350 annual cash-back cap for the AAA Travel Advantage card’s 5% bonus category, it applies to a wider range of purchases and the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Freedom Flex can be much more valuable.

When you pair the Freedom Flex card with a Chase credit card that allows point transfers such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can also transfer the points you’ve earned with your Freedom Flex card. For example, $300 cash back is 30,000 Chase points, which you can transfer to Hyatt to book a standard night award at a Category 7 hotel, like the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa or Park Hyatt Tokyo. A night at these hotels can cost $700+, so having the ability to transfer Chase points dramatically increases the Freedom Flex’s value.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

  • Member FDIC. Terms apply. Information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Are the AAA credit cards right for you?

The AAA Daily Advantage and AAA Travel Advantage cards both have value. They have no annual fees and earn cash back, which is always useful and never complicated. If you want to add a card to your wallet to use exclusively for groceries or gas stations, then these cards are hard to beat. However, the bonus cash-back categories for both cards have an annual limit, so heavy spenders may be better off with a card without limited bonus categories.

Subscribe to the CNBC Select Newsletter!

Money matters — so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Bottom line

Why trust CNBC Select?

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

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.