Possible fee-free Visa Gift Cards at AAA (very YMMV)


AAA is reportedly offering fee-free Visa Gift Cards at some locations. In the past, this promotion has been available at “Mid-Atlantic AAA” locations — though that the name doesn’t necessarily reflect the georgraphy (e.g. Mid-Atlantic AAA includes Kansas). See below for a list of areas included in that grouping, though it’s possible that this could be available in other areas.

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The Deal

  • Possible fee-free Visa Gift Cards at certain AAA locations (unconfirmed which locations are participating, but Doctor of Credit reports that the sale is on again in some locations, and this typically comes around at this time of year)

Key Terms

  • Some clubs limit you to a single gift card
  • AAA sells $500 Visa Gift Cards
  • Must be a AAA member to purchase
  • There have been reports of shut downs for buying more than $1K per day even when they are charging the activation fee (the cards are registered to your name and address, so Metabank will block you from purchasing from AAA in the future if shut down)

Quick Thoughts

This deal is very much YMMV. Doctor of Credit reported it and did not have a list of participating clubs, though in the past it’s been quite hit-or-miss anyway. Usually, it’s the Mid-Atlantic AAA that runs these fee-free promotions. Keep in mind that AAA is pretty fragmented and the names of the club networks don’t really correspond with what you would geographically expect. For example, if you go to the Mid-Atlantic AAA site (you’ll need to enter a Mid-Atlantic zip code — I used 21201), it says that their clubs service the following regions:

  • Blue Grass Region
  • Connecticut/Greater Hartford Area
  • Delaware: Entire State; all counties
  • Kansas
  • Maryland: Entire State; all counties
  • New Jersey: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren Counties
  • Ohio/Cincinnati Tri-State Area
  • Ohio/Greater Dayton Area
  • Ohio/Northwest Region
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania: Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Delaware, Luzerne, Montgomery, Philadelphia and Schuylkill Counties
  • Virginia (parts)
  • South Dakota
  • Southern West Virginia
  • Washington D.C.: Entire Region

Delaware sounds pretty mid-Atlantic to me. South Dakota doesn’t. The moral of the story is that it might be worth calling your local AAA office if you are going to be passing by to see if perhaps they sell Visa Gift Cards. If they do, you next need to decide how much your time is worth as I’ve always read that it is very hit-or-miss as to whether or not the clerk you get will be versed in ringing up the cards (and AAA will register the card to your name and address, so there is some data entry time required). I think it’s equally likely that clerks may not know whether or not their location is participating. It’s worth calling to ask, but I wouldn’t be confident in the answer unless it’s a “yes”.

If you do find a club that is participating, let us know in the comments so we can try to piece together which areas have this promo available. As noted above, Metabank does shut people down on these. This post from the Free-quent Flyer notes one such case, with some linked material about purchase limits, etc. Still, this might be attractive for picking up an easy five hundred / thousand dollars in spend since the cards are PIN-enabled. I do not believe the purchase will trigger any category bonuses.

H/T: Doctor of Credit

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Nice to see you caught my comment re. mid-atlantic AAA being something other/more than “Mid-Atlantic.” I smiled too at Kansas being listed as “mid-Atlantic.” Yet even your nice break out listing is subject to further qualification — as there apparently are rival AAA clubs operating within the very counties you note… (For example, there’s a separate Pottsville HQ’d AAA for Schuylkill County, PA)

Yet to the reason why we care here, so far, I’ve only seen one DoC poster indicating that her local (North Carolina — as in non Mid-Atlantic) AAA offices are apparently offering the fee-free VGC’s this year.

As you suggest, it will be great to hear from other readers who can confirm more local AAA participating offices. (again, we’re talking about the visa gift cards being offered without the usual fees) Have a working hunch that there will be very few. (from several calls to mid-atlantic hq in Delaware and local Virginia offices last Thursday) Will be very happy to learn differently this week.