Some Associate Degrees are actually very useful by themselves like Nursing, HVAC, Criminal Justice and some business fields but most are just stepping stones to get to a Bachelors degree.
MANY credits actually WILL transfer to a 4-year college. But this largely depends on which college you plan on going to. Obviously a top ivy league school or something close to that will be more selective but if your just looking for a decent/good college to finish your Bachelors Degree then you will be fine.
Maria spent her first two years in Community College and then transferred to a 4 year college to finish off her degree and now has half as much debt as most of her graduating class at her 4-year school with the same degree