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Saving With Credit Card Roadside Assistance — Reader Success Story

March 21, 2018
4 min read
Side view of driver attaching car tire with equipment on tow truck
Saving With Credit Card Roadside Assistance — Reader Success Story
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Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Gabrielle, whose son was able to take advantage of her Amex Platinum's roadside assistance benefit. Here's what she had to say:

My 20-year-old son recently purchased his first car, and we decided it would be best for him to get his own insurance policy. Approximately one month after having his car on the road, all five of the studs on his front tire snapped and his tire came off of the car. Unfortunately, he did not have roadside assistance on his policy, and having the car towed home was going to cost him $85. However, since he is an authorized user on my Amex Platinum Card, he was able to use the roadside assistance benefit, which covers towing for up to 10 miles. The accident occurred only five miles from home, so he did not have to pay out of pocket for his service.

I know this may not appear to be a huge success story, but for me it reinforced that the card is worth the annual fee. We travel often as a family and we fully utilize the card's travel benefits (like lounge access and elite status). We do not utilize the card's other benefits (such as roadside assistance, purchase protection and extended warranty protection) as often, but it is great that they are available to us. I will be paying the increased annual fee of $550(See Rates & Fees) for the first time when my card renews this year, but I have no issues with it. The card more than pays for itself.

Many credit cards offer roadside assistance, but the terms vary widely between them. The Amex Platinum benefit is among the best, since you're fully covered for most basic services — in comparison, coverage on the Chase Sapphire Reserve (and others) is capped at $50 per event, so you're on the hook for any amount above that. Amex limits complimentary towing to 10 miles, which should get you to a garage in most urban areas, or you can pay $3 per mile for any additional distance.

I know some cardholders who forego AAA or other roadside assistance and lean on credit card coverage instead, but like all benefits, it's important to understand the limitations: For example, some cards don't cover rentals, or only cover services when you're far from home. Make sure you're familiar with the terms and conditions beforehand, so you don't get stuck without coverage you thought you had.

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Gabrielle's story is a good example of why adding authorized users on the Platinum Card is a great value. The only benefits that don't apply to authorized users are the $200 airline fee credit and the $200 Uber credit. Otherwise, additional cardholders get the same perks as primary cardholders, including a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit, Centurion Lounge access and Priority Pass membership, SPG and Hilton elite status, and of course roadside assistance. I think that's an easy win given that the fee for adding up to three authorized users is $175 total.

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! To thank Gabrielle for sharing her experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending her a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, please click here.

Featured image by Getty Images/Maskot
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.