Last Updated on September 9, 2020 by Jody
While camping is a budget-friendly way to travel, camping fees can add up quickly – especially if you are in an RV site at a campground with a lot of amenities.
Most hotel travelers are familiar with rewards programs and use them to earn points towards free hotel stays and other perks. KOA (Kampgrounds of America) offers similar benefits for frequent campers.
What is the KOA Rewards Program?
KOA's Value Card Rewards program (known as VKR) is a great way to save money on camping, earn free nights, and access discounts and exclusive offers from companies that partner with KOA.
You can join KOA Value Card Rewards easily when you make your first reservation at a KOA campground.
Is it Free to Earn KOA Rewards?
KOA Value Card Rewards has an annual fee. It’s pretty easy to calculate whether the savings will outweigh the cost of the card. Before you sign up, you want to do some math to see if the VKR will save you money in the long. Your experience will vary based on how often you go camping, and what type of camping you do.
I joined KOA Rewards in 2017 when I was on a four-month-long road trip with my dog. At that time, the annual feel for KOA Rewards was $30 (check current rates here). The average cost of a tent site at a KOA was around $30 and the KOA Rewards discount is 10%. Saving approximately $3 per night, I needed to spend ten nights at a KOA that year to justify the $30 annual fee. If you are RV camping or cabin camping, your 10% discount will pay for the $30 annual fee even faster!
Do good: Your annual fee also includes a $1 donation to KOA Care Camps, a non-profit organization helping kids with cancer who want to go camping.
How Does the KOA Value Card Work?
When you sign up for KOA Rewards, you’ll receive a plastic card (like a credit card) with your rewards number on it. Use this number to log into the KOA website or app and make reservations. Your discount will be figured into your total. You can also present your card when you check in to receive your points and your discount.
You will receive 10% off the daily registration rate at every KOA campground in North America.
What Are Other Perks of KOA Rewards?
In addition to your 10% discount at every KOA campground, you’ll also earn points that you can redeem for money off of future stays at KOA campgrounds. For example, if you spend five nights at an RV site that costs $65, you will earn 1,300 points per night for a total of 6,500 points. You can then redeem 6,500 rewards points for a $10 reward off your next stay at a KOA.
The more often you stay, the faster you can earn rewards.
KOA rewards card members are also invited to a free night of camping at select campgrounds during the annual VKR Appreciation Weekend. If you pay for your Friday night stay, you’ll get Saturday night for free!
Extra benefits include special discounts and offers from KOA partners. You can save money on tires, auto insurance, and a roadside assistance program.
What is KOA VIP Status?
Campers who earn 20,000 points in a year achieve VIP Status through KOA Rewards. VIP campers earn points 25% faster than the base level VKR members, and they have a more lenient cancellation policy. If you are spending more than $60 per night on a campsite, you only need to stay 15 nights in a year to achieve KOA VIP Status.
How Can I Track My KOA Rewards?
You will receive a unique login for your KOA Rewards program, which you can use to access the KOA website to see your reservations, points, and past stays.
Or download the KOA app to keep track of your rewards membership and make reservations while you’re on the go!
How Do I Know if KOA Rewards is Right for Me?
It’s pretty easy to calculate the value of joining the KOA Rewards Program. If you camp often at commercial campgrounds, then you could save quite a bit of money with the program. If you’ve never camped at a KOA, you might want to try one out and then decide if VKR is right for you.
There are over 500 KOA campgrounds in North America, with three different types of KOA campgrounds to choose from.
KOA Journey, KOA Holiday, and KOA Resort locations each have unique features and amenities that cater to different camping styles or lengths of stay. You can earn KOA Value Kard Rewards points and discounts at all of them!
The average US household belongs to 18 different loyalty programs*. If you are a camper, then KOA Rewards should be one of those loyalty programs in your household.
What are some other rewards programs that you use when camping?