$5 Airport Parking Thanks to Costco and AAA

Today I’m going to tell you how to park at the airport for $5 a day in a clean, well-lit, covered parking garage with excellent service. WallyPark has locations in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Denver, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, and their new Premier Garage service is great. They have a rooftop self-parking for $13, covered self-parking for $15, and valet parking for $17. Taxes and port authority fees are on top of that, but I’m going to ignore them for the sake of easy math.

picture of WallyPark gift cardThree other factors work into this deal. If it isn’t obvious yet, get a Costco membership. It costs $55 but you can buy $100 in WallyPark gift cards for only $50, a 50% discount. Second, get a AAA membership. For a lot of the uses I put them to, Costco and AAA discounts are interchangeable. It seems silly to have both memberships, but I am going to try to be more proactive about finding AAA deals. WallyPark gives you a 25% discount that is combinable with other coupons and discounts.

Finally, sign up for the WallyClub loyalty program. You earn 1 point for every dollar spent, and you earn free parking days based on seven days’ worth of accumulated points. By this I mean if you pay for seven days of valet parking, you get enough points for one day of valet parking. Seven days of self-parking gets you enough points for one day of self-parking. But because they are points, you could in theory pay for self-parking and redeem for valet parking or vice versa. The redemption rate would just be a little off. I will assume you pay and redeem for the same parking type, meaning you get one out of every eight days free, a 12.5% discount.

If you add these discounts together, a day of covered self-parking drops from $15 to $11.25 after the AAA discount, to $5.63 after paying with a half-price gift card, and finally to $4.92 after accounting for the free days you rack up. I was paying $8 a day to park at the Thrifty lot outdoors, and even the WallyPark Groupons offered now and then are $7.

For one of the best parking options in Seattle, and I’m sure at their other locations, too, $4.92 per day is a great deal. Now if only they would team up with AboutAirportParking.com!

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Scott created Hack My Trip while traveling on a budget during graduate school and continues to share his thoughts on better travel. He maintains elite status with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hyatt, and Starwood.
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  • HikerT

    Hmm, I posted this deal in your comments the other day with no reply.  Where is the whimper emoticon, lol.  A few more things I would add… You can use these gift cards for other services at the premier garage like oil change, etc. but does require you to use the valet.  It could be worth doing on shorter trips.  Also, you don’t need to buy a costco membership.  Just go to plastic jungle and get costco cash cards for 98% of face value, plus 4% top cash back.  According to gift card granny there are over 300 available to buy at plastic jungle.  You can use cash cards to get in to costco and make purchases.

    • Scottrick

      Would :'( work? Sorry, I overlooked your comment that day, but you’re a good loyal reader; no snub was intended. To be honest, I’d already written most of these Costco articles on Saturday before anyone chimed in with ideas.

      With the savings, I’ve been thinking valet might be worthwhile. A nice little splurge. I haven’t looked into the oil change and car wash prices, as I assume those are overpriced, but hey, I’m saving 50% off already!

      Good tip on not needing a Costco membership. You don’t even need to buy a Costco cash card for the full value of your purchase. A $25 one will do to get you in the door, and then you can pay the balance with a debit or AmEx card.

  • Lawrence

    Not sure how this program works, but we have a card/account with one of the lots here @ BWI. You get credits for each stay etc. I thought that it would deduct your free days once you reached the threshold. But you really had to go online and print out a coupon for the free day. So we had about 3 weeks for free built up, but didn’t know it. Worked out when we went to Hawaii :)

  • Ikonos

    Interesting info Scott. HT to HikerT about Costco Cash Card.

  • playtimemaui

    My costco never even showed having them.. Are you based at Sea Tac and maybe it was a local purchase only?

    • Scottrick

      It might be local. I can guarantee they won’t be in cities that don’t have WallyPark.

  • Michael Paul

    Is there anyway of avoiding the Wallyclub $25 fee ?

    • Scottrick

      Since when does it cost $25? At Seattle they practically beg you to join the club. I had three cards before I finally stopped losing them.

      • Michael Paul

        I clicked on the ” join the wallyclub ” link and then clicked on the LA city link and I got this form ….. https://www.wallypark.com/LAX/WallyClub_Join.php

        Perhaps I misread it ?

        • Scottrick

          No, you didn’t misread it. It seems each facility operates differently, and this one has a fee to join. However, it also promises 1 free day on all 3-day stays without needing a coupon. So in that sense the added cost seems to come with more and easier discounts.

          I think you can still earn that $25 back if you become a regular customer.

          • Michael Paul

            That seems fair enough, personally I wouldn’t use it often enough to reap the benefits.

            Thanks for clarifying.

  • fy

    Can you post the Costco item number so that I can ask my local Costco (SoCal) if they have it in stock? I asked for it by name and they said they didn’t have it, but I can see the representative misspelling the name and not finding it.

    • Scottrick

      I don’t have an item number, and the gift cards I have here are specific to the Seattle location. Your local LAX WallyPark may not be offering them.

  • rossjordan

    Looks like Wallypark Seatac is no longer allowing folks to stack the costco gift cards with any other offers. I’m going to talk to Costco, because gift cards should be treated like case; not a coupon with restrictions.

    • Scottrick

      I believe new gift cards are being sold with some disclaimers included. But I have a stack of old ones with nothing mentioned. It will be interesting to see what they say the next time I try to use one. But usually Costco will accept gift cards for refunds.

  • David Dix

    We are no longer accepting multiple discounts or discounts in combination. One discount per customer per exit. In addition our Costco discount has been discontinued at Costco stores around the country. We will honor any Costco discount cards that have been purchased. If anyone has a question regarding our discounts please email us at losangeles@wallypark.net regarding Los Angeles or seattle@wallypark.net for Seattle discounts. Please remember we have WallyPark locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Denver, Houston, Milwaukie, Orlando, Philadelphia, Newark, Jacksonville and Atlanta. Coming soon…WallyPark Fort Lauderdale.