Sounds familiar. We've just received our Gold membership renewal notice too. This year the AA are asking for £183.50. That's for joint cover, Roadside and Relay. 28 years loyalty for some flashy looking gold card?
We rarely call them out. Last time I called was 2-3 years ago when the oil pressure light came on my V6 Amtrak locomotive and it beeped (also known by Audi fans as the three chimes of doom). I was towing too, so pulled in to the side of the road. AA were quoting 4 hours minimum as it was a Saturday and I wasn't classed as a priority. I waited an hour and a half then cancelled the call as I reckoned it was an oil sensor. I've serviced my cars for years, so knew the engine oil level was fine. A trick if anyone finds themselves in a similar position is to check the camshaft under the oil filler cap which should be wet with oil if you briefly turn-over the ignition. If it really is low oil pressure - you could seize the engine, so not completely fail-safe.
We challenged the premium last year when the renewal came in and they reduced the price and added Relay free-of-charge. This was meant to be for the life of the policy, but I see they've added it again as an additional cost. We called and threatened to switch provider as our loyalty has seen prices increase and the incentives go to entice new members.
I'm planning to shop around and see what's available. I did a little research and the AA does cover the car and trailer if I'm towing, so that's worthwhile and something I'd want to know is still covered if switching.
I live in rural Aberdeenshire so seeing a Green Flag van here would be a bit of a novelty. I also travel to the west coast of Scotland, so on the rare occasion I've had to call them out, it's not always the AA, but an affiliated garage. Can't complain, they've always been very good. Think the RAC have less coverage in terms of technicians, but I like the AA so fairly sure I can strike a deal.
My advice is to do your research. These premiums are not set in stone and can be negotiated down.