A little over a week ago I explained how to have your credit card company cover your expenses when your flight is delayed or cancelled. Thanks to your credit card roadside assistance is available, too.
Sherman asked for a rundown of credit card roadside assistance benefits.
Credit Card Roadside Assistance Benefits
You probably have free or reduced cost roadside assistance available to you, even if you don’t realize it.
Some insurance companies offer it. Car manufacturers do too, especially with luxury brands. Most importantly, credit card roadside assistance is very common.
Now, I have a AAA membership for the hotel discounts. Over the course of a year I definitely save much more than the membership cost by booking AAA rates. And I do pay for membership even though I could easily get away with not doing so.
If I didn’t have AAA membership, which would be my go-to for roadside assistance, I’d look in my wallet for credit card roadside assistance benefits.
What Each Card Network Offers
Visa offers Roadside Dispatch. Not all Visa cards come with it, whether a given card does depends on the issuer. Generally Visa Signature cards will come with it, or will have enhanced benefits as well.
The basic benefit, accessible with a call to 1-800-VISA-TOW, costs $59.95.
- Towing (up to five miles included)
- Tire changing (must have good, inflated spare).
- Jump-starting (battery boost).
- Lockout service (no key replacement).
- Fuel delivery (up to five gallons and the cost of fuel not included).
- Winching (within 100 feet of paved or county maintained road only).
Discover Card‘s Roadside Dispatch is similar, but $10 more at $69.95.
MasterCard has a similar program although details vary by card.
American Express has roadside assistance but it’s at your cost — unless your card comes with premium roadside assistance.
Premium Roadside Assistance provides (free of charge, up to 4 times per year in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands):
- towing up to 10 miles
- jump starts
- flat tire change (must have workable spare)
- lockout service when key is in vehicle
- delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel.
Two cards in my wallet offer American Express’ premium credit card roadside assistance: The Platinum Card from American Express comes with this premium version. However, it doesn’t cover rental cars, motorcycles, taxis, unlicensed vahicles, or tractors and trucks over 10,000 pounds. The American Express Premier Rewards Gold card has this premium coverage as well. I have the Starwood Amex as well, but that only offers the basic package (your cost).
I wouldn’t choose to get a card because of credit card roadside assistance but it’s worth knowing that you probably have a card that has it, and also to check whether the specific cards you carry come with premium versions where assistance is free or basic versions where you pay. It might save you hassle and money the next time you have trouble with a car, and it might save you from paying for another membership like AAA.
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