There are many types of membership models, but gym memberships are probably the most popular type of membership. As most of you know, gyms often sell (or give) away many more memberships than the gym can actually hold. Membership companies love to sell to people who they know either won’t use it, won’t show up, or just plain forget that they have the membership. In doing my research, here are five membership ideas that can really save you money without breaking your wallet.
- AAA- (aaa.com) AAA is a membership that has been around for a long time. Most consumers think about AAA as the ‘car’ company. You buy a AAA membership in case you have a flat tire, battery dies, you need a tow, or you get locked out of your car. What most people don’t think about are the hundreds of discounts that the AAA card offers. One of the biggest ones that I have used over the years is the AAA discount on hotels. Whenever you book a hotel online with a big chain such as Hilton, you can save anywhere from $20 to $40 a night using the AAA discount.
- AARP- (aarp.com) When someone turns the age of 50, ultimately they receive the dreaded AARP packet in the mail. What most people don’t know is that AAPR has a membership card that costs only $16. With this card, you can receive 50 different travel benefits, but what is really great is that you can get over 100 every day discounts on the card. One of the really fantastic services on this card, is the AARP car buying service. When you don’t feel like hassling with going to the dealerships anymore, AARP will do the shopping for you.
- Founders Card (founderscard.com) If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, the founders card may be just the card for you. It is a little bit more expensive at $395 a year, but you get access to exclusive networking events all across the country with other entrepreneurs. You also get great day to day discounts on services for your business and access to some really exclusive programs. For example, you get enrolled in the Diamond Total Rewards program with Caeser’s all across the country which can give you access to things such as the Foundation Room.
- Amazon- (amazon.com)- For just $99 a year, Amazon Prime is still one of the best memberships around. You get FREE shipping in two days which can be especially good for those who live in a rural area (one day shipping in some areas). You also get access to movies, music, videos, and even discounts on Amazon Family.
- Birchbox (birchbox.com)- This unique membership started by two female Harvard grads has become a popular subscription for women. At just $110 for 12 months, you get five different beauty samples in the mail each month that includes fragrances, makeup, skincare products, and more. Not only does this membership allow you to try different products before you splurge on buying a full size portion, but you might actually spend less on beauty products just by having the variety each month.
Do you need a new membership in your wallet this year? If you have an existing membership already with another vendor, make sure you look at all of the benefits you get from the membership. It might just be that you are missing out on all of the benefits.
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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.