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AAA Stops Cramming “Optional” Donation Onto Members’ Bills

In April, we spotlighted the American Automobile Association’s practice in some parts of the country of tacking on a one dollar charge to members’ bills as an “optional” contribution to their safety foundation. The trouble was they automatically included that extra dollar in the total “amount due” without the member’s consent. [See original story.]

AAA billClick to enlarge


AAA dollar disclosure

Now comes word from one of the consumers we spoke to for that story that her latest AAA bill no longer has that extra dollar automatically added into the total due.


AAA 2022 bill

The “optional” one dollar donation has been removed from bills at least for members in Massachusetts. [But, see comments about one reader’s experience in Maryland.] At the same time, however, the cost of their annual membership went up by a dollar. (We don’t believe that AAA has simply embedded the contribution into their regular annual fee.)

We asked AAA headquarters whether all regional offices that used to add the “voluntary” one dollar donation to their members’ bills have stopped the practice and why. AAA did not respond to our request for comment.

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4 thoughts on “AAA Stops Cramming “Optional” Donation Onto Members’ Bills”

  1. Mr. Consumer writes: “We don’t believe that AAA has simply embedded the [$1] contribution into their regular annual fee.” If you believe that, Mr. Consumer, I got this bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell to you!

    • I’m holding out hope that Mr. Consumer is correct, and wasn’t engaging in sarcasm. I’m told the deed to that historic span will be emailed to me from Nigeria within the hour. I paid a “princely” sum, but still appeared to be a bargain.

      • Marty… I wasn’t being sarcastic. AAA tends to raise their membership fees by a dollar or two every year or two. You’ll note in the new bill, both the main membership and the supplemental household membership fee went up by a dollar. If just the main membership increased, I might have concluded that they had embedded the old “donation” in the annual fee.

  2. In Aug pd $75, crossed out $1 which said to support foundation and local traffic safety. It did not state “optional”. There was another box that could be checked stating you want to incl. $1 foundation contrib. ea. yr. This is in MD. They had been sending renewal notices months ahead of the Sept 1 due date.

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