Choosing a Camping Membership or Discount Card That's Right

Choosing a Camping Membership or Discount Card That's Right

Reposted from the KOA blog: 

Do You Need a Camping Membership?

If you’re a camping aficionado, then you have probably looked into purchasing a camping membership. A members-only campground is exclusive and open only to those who pay their regular dues. Membership campgrounds tend to be clean and include lots of amenities — which make seem perfect for those who go camping regularly. Before jumping in and paying a membership fee, though, you need to ask yourself if it’s worth it.

There is an alternative. Many campgrounds, like Kampgrounds of America, offer discount cards or rewards programs. These value cards can also be purchased annually. However, they tend to be less expensive, allow for more variety in your camping options and provide many of the same benefits you enjoy by purchasing a camping membership.

Benefits of Having a Camping Membership or Discount Card

There is a difference between a camping membership and camping discount or rewards programs. Camping memberships are typically members-only campgrounds. Camping rewards programs or discount cards, like what we offer at KOA, provide special benefits to those who join. Unlike camping memberships, KOA campgrounds are open to everyone, with or without joining KOA’s Value Kard Rewards program.

When you’re an avid camper, then your dream vacation is breaking out the tent or gassing up the RV and trekking into the great outdoors. If you go camping more than once or twice a year, then there are many advantages to having a camping membership or discount card, such as:

  • Clean, private campgrounds
  • Special discounts on campsites
  • Access to special rewards with affiliate companies
  • Potential member get-togethers
  • Pays for itself with frequent stays

Considerations When Choosing a Camping Membership or Discount Card

When you’re considering whether to get a camping membership or discount card, be sure you consider the following before signing up:

  • Will you use it: No matter how many benefits a camping membership or discount card have, they’re only a good deal if you end up using them. Especially if you decide to invest in a camping membership, you should figure out your average camping fees every year, and make sure that you plan to stay at these member-only campgrounds often enough for it to be worth the expense. A discount card, on the other hand, requires much less use for it to be a worthwhile deal.
  • Understand any small print: Each camping membership or discount card has its own small print which includes the regular fees attached to them. Some memberships have annual or monthly payments, while others have a one-time fee. Be sure you understand the cancellation policy, and you’ll also want to be comfortable with your contract’s terms before you commit. Discount or rewards cards are usually more straightforward and have fewer terms and conditions.
  • Be familiar with the locations: Camping memberships usually have directories or maps you can check online to see where they’re located. Are they near you or near places you’d like to visit? If not, you may be spending a whole lot of money on camping locales you have no interest in going to. With KOA’s Value Kard Rewards, you can take advantage of the nearly 500 KOA locations found throughout North America.

KOA’s Value Kard Rewards Program

When you camp at KOA, you don’t need a camping membership to enjoy the beautiful campsites and many amenities found at our campgrounds throughout the U.S. However, if you and your family camp a few times a year, the Value Kard Rewards program lets you earn rewards and save money, along with its many other benefits:

  • Get 10% off daily registration rates at any KOA location throughout North America any time of the year.
  • Earn rewards points towards cash off future camping stays.
  • Stay for free during our VKR Appreciation Weekend at participating KOAs.
  • Receive access to thousands of coupons and special deals with KOA and from our partners.
  • And so much more!


Purchase or Renew a Value Kard


Contact KOA to learn more about our Value Kard Rewards program. For only $33 a year, you can take advantage of discounts, rewards points, special partner offers and more.

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