No. of Recommendations: 4
I always ask for the AARP discount even though I don't belong to AARP (anymore). I usually get it. It is quite obvious that we are old enough to belong. Only a couple of times have we been asked for proof, and I just say, "We are travelling and I don't carry that paperwork with me."

Some ask for it. Some don't. Some will not provide the discount unless you show the card - same for AAA. Some will give you discounts even if you admit you are not a member. (I've seen it happen with people in front of me in line).

Typically I don't bring up either AAA or AARP or any hotel points card when I first ask the rate for a room. My next question is, "Do you have any cheaper rooms or better rates available?". Many times I get a significant discount just for asking that question. Sometimes the answer is that they have a AAA rate or AARP rate. And sometimes they offer one of those rates without even asking to see a card. But often they mention the rate if you can show a card.

I should mention that in addition to the motel camping in no-name motels in remote areas, I also travel all over the world as a volunteer for an international engineering professional organization. While much of that travel is reimbursed (ie. costs me nothing) I tend to stay for a week or two beyond the meetings in large 4-star hotels on those trips. They too often offer AARP or AAA discounts. But they also tend to require you show them a membership card to get it.

The counter clerks don't really care, they just click the check-box for the affinity rate and read off the room rate.

Yeah . . . Sometimes the hotel clerk is a member of the family that lives in and runs the hotel. They tend to be the pickiest. Also, sometimes hotel clerks do care. Some larger, upscale hotels have pretty specific rigid policies that they expect clerks to follow, and if you happen to be checking in when there are multiple clerks behind the desk, you might get a different experience than you get when there is only one part-time worker who is up all night making money to pay for classes.

AAA and AARP do conduct audits on hotels apparently. I have been to hotels that got caught and are currently required to provide membership numbers off of the cards to get the discount. But sure . . . you can definitely con your way into a discount sometimes.
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