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AAA Discounts iPhone app reaches 500K downloads

August 25, 2009

aaaA sign that saving money is more important than ever, AAA’s free Apple iPhone application AAA Discounts, has surpassed one-half-million downloads in only three months.

The free, GPS-based app displays AAA’s partners near consumers’ location. IPhone users can find their way to AAA member businesses to get savings, and users have viewed more than 1 million offers since late April.

“The strategy behind the launch of AAA’s Discounts iPhone app was to illustrate one of the benefits of AAA membership to consumers, helping AAA members easily locate and enjoy the member discounts,” said Heather Hunter, Heathrow, FL-based public relations manager at AAA. “The primary audience we want to reach is AAA members who own iPhones.

“The secondary audience is iPhone users who may join AAA because of the discounts, in addition to roadside service and travel information,” she said. “The app includes discounts at more than 110,000 AAA Show Your Card & Save retail locations in North America, including Hertz, hotels, restaurants, theme parks, entertainment venues, home services and retail merchants like LensCrafters, and Payless Shoes.

“This is a free app to benefit AAA members, although we may offset costs in future releases by including some Navteq ads.”

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services.

AAA claims that its Show Your Card & Save program is the largest member discount program in the world, offering more than 164,000 locations for savings worldwide, including 110,000 retail locations in North America and online retailers such as,, The UPS Store, and Lens Crafters more.

The AAA Discounts iPhone app acquires the user’s location automatically, displays nearby AAA Show Your Card & Save locations and lets consumers pan and zoom on a regional map.

It also displays key information, including the name, address, phone, distance from location and a summary of the discount details.

Users can filter listings by category and have one-click access to a route map and narrative directions.

The AAA Discounts app works on the iPod touch as well when the user has access to WiFi.

The first in a series of AAA applications planned for the iPhone, AAA Discounts is available in the App Store.

The application uses components of AAA’s TripTik Travel Planner in combination with the iPhone’s GPS capabilities.

While all users can view locations offering discounts, only members can take advantage of savings and access response-based AAA roadside assistance.

When members use the iPhone to place a call to AAA, their GPS location is transmitted along with the call.

More than 2,000 roadside assistance requests have been made since the app was launched. Non-members also can apply for membership via the AAA Discounts app.

AAA has promoted the app through a news release and media outreach, and social media outreach.
Local AAA clubs are promoting the app on their Web sites and in their email newsletters.

“Posts highlighting the app have appeared on the AAA travel blog at, and we also used social media including Twitter and Facebook,” Ms. Heathrow said.

“The AAA Discount app has almost continually remained in the Top 20 free apps in the Lifestyle category of the App Store since launch,” she said.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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