After my 1991 VW Vanagon camper ran out of gas late at night in the winter of 1994, and I had to walk four miles in bitterly cold weather to get enough fuel to start it up and drive back to the gas station, I decided to join the American Automobile Association (AAA). Since then, my AAA membership has provided jump-starts when a battery is dead and sent a locksmith when I locked my keys inside a car.
In addition to being a full-time Good Samaritan to members in need, AAA also does a great job of securing discounts on just about everything. Unfortunately, up to this point it's been almost impossible to figure out who offers discounts without referring to AAA's website.
AAA just made life a lot easier for iPhone owners with the new and free AAA DIscounts app (click opens iTunes). The app takes your current location, then displays a map with pins denoting businesses in the immediate area that provide AAA discounts. A tap on a pin brings up details about the discounts available, as well as an address and phone number. Tapping the phone number dials the number for you.
The app displays discount locations either in a list or on a map, and will provide point to point directions or a mapped route. If you're a AAA member, entering your membership number activates a special Roadside Assistance button that will not only call AAA, but provide the responder with your current location.
While this app still has a few bugs that need to be worked out (it kept telling me that it could not validate my membership number), it's a great start and a useful benefit for AAA members.