It's the "other" discounts that will pay for membership, specifically hotel discounts.
For example I recently just started back up with our AAA membership. I immediately went back in and re examined some hotel reservations I had.
One reservation I dropped by $23 per night. We had 2 rooms reserved for one night so that was a savings of $46.
I booked another reservation where I saved $26 per room and again has two room for one night so a savings of $52
Then for an upcoming family trip I saved $15 per night for 4 nights for a savings of $60.
Just off those 3 hotel trips I am saving $158. I paid $104 total for my membership.
And that doesn't include all the other discounts AAA offers. I was just looking through their discount book and seeing discounts as:
Jiffy Lube $5
Adidas outlet store 20% off
30% off dell computers
Multiple airport parking deals
Rental car discounts
taxi cab discounts
Amusement park discounts
auto repair discounts
10% off Napa auto parts
10% off multiple restaurants
discounts on cable and cell phone bills
Its a no brainer to me. If you go on a just a few trips or weekends away you can save money. And hotels will still let you earn reward points while getting a AAA discount!