Best credit cards that offer roadside assistance in 2021

Jul 29, 2021

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Need a jump or help with a flat tire? When things go wrong — especially on the road — it can be easy to panic and forget about all the options you have. However, one or more of your credit cards may provide a roadside assistance benefit that can help.

The level of assistance and terms vary widely, though. Some cards cover up to a certain amount per event. But, many only arrange help at a negotiated rate and leave you to pay the bill. So in this guide, I’ll discuss the best credit cards for roadside assistance and describe what type of help you can expect with each.

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In This Post

The best credit cards with roadside assistance in 2021

Comparing the best cards for roadside assistance

Card Sign-up bonus Rewards rate Roadside assistance type Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

3x points on travel and dining

1x points on everything else

Up to $50 for each service event, up to 4 events each year $550
United Explorer Card Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. 2x miles on United purchases, dining and hotel stays when booked with the hotel

1x miles on all other purchases

Up to $50 for each service event, up to 4 events each year $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
Chase Freedom Unlimited $200 bonus cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards

3% cash back on drug store purchases and dining at restaurants

1.5% cash back on other purchases

Provides select services at a flat fee per service call $0
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening 2x miles on every purchase Provides select services at a set price per service call $95
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card 50,000 points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening 2x points on travel and dining purchases

2x points on grocery store purchases through Dec. 31, 2021

1.5x points on all other purchases

Provides select services for a set rate $95

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the best credit cards for roadside assistance.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a roadside assistance benefit. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Based on TPG’s valuations, these bonus points are worth $1,000.

Rewards rate:

Roadside benefit: Roadside assistance benefit covers up to a maximum of $50 per service event, up to four events each year

Annual fee: $550

Even after Amex added some travel protections to select cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has remained my pick for the best travel rewards card. After all, the travel and shopping protections offered by the card are solid. And earning 3x points on travel and dining results in an effective 6% return based on TPG’s valuations.

You likely won’t sign up for the Sapphire Reserve solely due to its roadside assistance benefit. But, it’s one more reason to consider getting the card if you travel at least semi-frequently. For more information, check out the full Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review.

Apply here: Chase Sapphire Reserve

United Explorer Card

Woman looking at her wallet with cards
United Explorer cardholders may get coverage for up to $50 per roadside service event. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus United MileagePlus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Based on TPG’s valuations, the total 40,000-mile bonus is worth $520.

Rewards rate:

  • 2x United MileagePlus miles on United purchases, dining and hotel stays when booked with the hotel
  • 1x miles on all other purchases

Roadside benefit: Roadside assistance benefit covers up to a maximum of $50 per service event, up to four events each year

Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

The United Explorer Card has the lowest annual fee of the cards that provide complimentary roadside assistance of up to $50 per service event (up to four times each year).

Plus, the United Explorer Card can also help you defeat United’s basic economy fares. After all, you’ll get priority boarding and the first checked bag free on United-operated flights for you and one companion on the same reservation when you use your card for the flight purchase. So, the United Explorer Card can make financial sense even if you usually only pay to check a bag a few times each year on United flights. For more information, see the United Explorer credit card review.

Apply here: United Explorer Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited card
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one Chase card that provides a roadside dispatch benefit. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Plus, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Rewards rate:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants
  • 1.5% cash back on everything else

Roadside benefit: Roadside dispatch benefit provides access to select roadside services at a flat fee per service call

Annual fee: None

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is an excellent starter card and one of the top cards for everyday spending. And, it can become one of the most rewarding cards in your wallet if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card — such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — or plan to get one of these cards in the future.

After all, you can turn your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points if you also have a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. Based on TPG’s valuation of Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, you can get about double the return when you redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel instead of cash back. For more information, check out the full Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card review.

Apply here: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture card provides a roadside dispatch benefit. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus Capital One miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth $1,020.

Rewards rate:

  • 2x Capital One miles on all purchases

Roadside benefit: Roadside dispatch benefit provides access to select roadside services at a set price per service call. Benefit only available to accounts approved for the Visa Signature card. Terms apply.

Annual fee: $95

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a popular credit card that earns miles that can be redeemed at a fixed rate or transferred to travel partners. And all purchases earn 2x miles, so you don’t have to worry about determining whether a purchase will earn bonus rewards. For more information, see the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card review.

Apply here: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card can provide excellent value to select Bank of America customers. (Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Rewards rate:

  • 2x points on travel and dining
  • 2x points on grocery store purchases through Dec. 31, 2021
  • 1.5x points on all other purchases

Roadside benefit: Roadside dispatch benefit provides access to select roadside services at a set price per service call

Annual fee: $95

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is one of the highest-earning cash back credit cards if you belong to the highest tier — Platinum Honors — of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. At this tier, which requires you to maintain a three-month combined average daily balance of $100,000 or more in qualifying Bank of America and Merrill investment accounts, you’ll get a 75% rewards bonus on the points earned by the Premium Rewards card. So, as a Platinum Honors member, you’d earn 3.5 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 2.625 points per dollar spent on everything else.

Check out the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card review for more information.

Apply here: Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Roadside assistance with select Chase cards

Exploring Lanai's Garden of the Gods
if you lock yourself out of your vehicle at a viewpoint, some cards may cover lockout services. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and United Explorer Card provide roadside assistance when you’re stranded away from home in the U.S. or Canada with a roadside emergency. Call the number on the back of your card and they’ll arrange assistance. You’ll be covered up to $50 per service event (up to four events each year) when using this assistance.

These Chase cards offer coverage when you are traveling away from home and driving a vehicle you own, lease, or furnished to you by the owner. Although the guide to benefits for both cards note that you must be “away from home,” no minimum distance away from home is defined in the most recent guides to benefits, found here:

Coverage includes battery boost, flat tire service (if you have an inflated spare), fuel delivery (up to two gallons), towing (up to $50) and locksmith services (up to $50). Self-propelled, four-wheel vehicles designed, licensed and used for private on-road transportation — as well as trucks with a carrying capacity of up to 2,000 pounds — are covered. However, commercial vehicles aren’t covered.

Related: Chase Sapphire showdown: Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve

Roadside dispatch provided by all Visa credit cards

All Visa cardholders have access to roadside dispatch by calling 1-800-847-2869. This assistance gets you the following services for a set rate per service call (currently $69.95):

  • Standard towing (up to five miles included for vehicles that weigh 10,000 lbs. or less)
  • Tire changing (if you have a good, inflated spare)
  • Jump starting
  • Lockout service (no key replacement)
  • Fuel delivery (up to five gallons, you must pay the cost of fuel)
  • Standard winching (only within 100 feet of a paved or county-maintained road)

Even Visa credit cards with no annual fee include this type of protection.

Related: How to choose the best Visa card for you

Roadside benefits provided by other credit cards

Black luxury car in the country
Check to see if one of your cards offers roadside assistance before you need it. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Although roadside assistance is no longer a benefit on most Citi and American Express cards, some other cards still offer roadside assistance as a benefit. However, many only help with arranging services that you then need to pay for yourself. This benefit can still be valuable since it saves you from searching for a provider on your own. But, you might end up with a hefty bill.

To determine whether your card provides roadside benefits, check your guide to benefits or call the number on the back of your card.

Related: The 9 best credit cards with travel insurance

How does credit card roadside assistance compare to AAA?

I keep a AAA membership for the discounts and benefits, especially at hotels and amusement parks. So, I typically call AAA if I need roadside assistance. But suppose you only maintain your AAA membership for roadside assistance. In that case, it may not be as necessary as you’d previously assumed if you have a credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the United Explorer Card. After all, these cards offer complimentary roadside assistance up to $50 four times each year.

Some other credit cards — including all Visa cards — provide paid access to roadside assistance. This access may be adequate if you don’t utilize the benefit too frequently. Just remember that the roadside assistance benefit supplied by some credit cards technically requires you to be traveling away from home. So, the benefit might not apply if your car battery goes dead in your driveway.

Related: 7 mistakes every road tripper makes at least once

Bottom line

Roadside assistance, like travel insurance, is a benefit that’s easy to forget about because it’s one you hope never to need. You likely won’t apply for new cards solely based on their roadside benefits. But, it’s worth figuring out if any of your current cards offer roadside assistance benefits. After all, it’s always good to know who to call for the cheapest and fastest fix if you need roadside assistance.

Featured photo by PeopleImages/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.