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Need a jump or help changing a flat tire? It’s likely that one or more of your credit cards provides a roadside assistance benefit that can help. The level of assistance and terms vary widely across cards — some completely cover most basic services, while others provide assistance up to a certain amount per event or simply arrange the assistance.

Here’s what you need to know about the different types of roadside assistance provided by select credit cards.

Blondhaired woman changing a car tire.
Photo by Guido Mieth/Getty Images

American Express Premium Roadside Assistance

Some American Express cards come with a Premium Roadside Assistance benefit. Card members of the cards listed below can call 1-855-431-1156 up to four times per year to arrange assistance. When card members call, American Express will arrange assistance and pay for eligible third-party charges related to towing less than 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change when you have a workable spare, lockout service or delivery of up to two gallons of fuel. If towing exceeds 10 miles, the cardmember will be charged $3 per mile.

The following cards, including authorized user cards, offer this Premium Roadside Assistance benefit:

The Premium Roadside Assistance benefit is only available when the card member is present with an eligible vehicle and is traveling in the US, the District of Columbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Vehicles must be self-propelled, have four wheels and be designed, licensed and used for private on-road transportation — although trucks up to 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight are also eligible. Some vehicles are excluded including rental vehicles, motorcycles, taxicabs, unlicensed vehicles, tractors and trucks over 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight. See the Roadside Assistance terms and conditions for all American Express cards here.

Premium Chase Credit Cards

Some of Chase’s premium credit cards provide roadside assistance that can help when you’re stranded away from home in the US or Canada with a roadside emergency. Call the number on the back of your card and they’ll arrange assistance. When using this assistance, you’ll be covered up to a maximum of $50 for each service event, up to four events each year. Assistance will only be provided for one service event for the same cause during any consecutive seven-day period.

The following Chase cards offer this coverage when you as a cardholder are traveling away from home and driving any vehicle you own, lease or is furnished to you by the owner:

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 for lockouts. Self-propelled, four-wheel vehicles designed, licensed and used for private on-road transportation — as well as trucks limited to a carrying capacity of up to 2,000 pounds — are covered, although commercial vehicles aren’t covered.

Photo by Goluba Photo/Shutterstock
Photo by Goluba Photo/Shutterstock

Premium Citi Credit Cards

Citi offers two credit cards — the Citi Prestige Card and the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard — that provide roadside assistance when you call the dispatch service at 1-866-506-5222. The following services are offered at no charge when you’re in the US, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands:

  • Towing (covered up to 10 miles)
  • Winching
  • Jump starts
  • Flat tire changes (when a workable spare is available)
  • Lockout service (when the key is in the vehicle)
  • Delivery of up to two gallons of fuel

The dispatcher will contact a third-party service, such as a tow truck or locksmith, and arrange for help to be sent your way. To take advantage of this benefit, you must be with the vehicle and in a regularly traveled area (not off-road) that’s accessible to ordinary tow trucks. Assistance isn’t available for motorcycles, recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles, campers, in-tow vehicles and trailers with capacity greater than one ton.

Visa Credit Cards

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

  • Standard towing (up to 5 miles included for vehicles that weight 10,000 pounds or less, a secondary unit towed behind is not included but can be accommodated for an additional fee)
  • Tire changing (must have good, inflated spare)
  • Jump starting
  • Lockout service (no key replacement)
  • Fuel delivery (up to 5 gallons, you pay for the cost of fuel)
  • Standard winching (within 100 feet of paved or county maintained road only)
Photo by RawPixel/Unsplash

Other Credit Cards

Many other credit cards — including seemingly all American Express cards that don’t offer Premium Roadside Assistance — offer a roadside assistance benefit. However, these benefits usually only help with arranging services that you then need to pay for yourself. This benefit can still be valuable since it saves you from needing to find a provider on your own — especially when you’re traveling. But, this could leave you with a large bill.

Bottom Line

Although you may want to keep a AAA membership for the discounts it provides — especially at hotels and amusement parks — it might not be as necessary as you’d previously assumed for roadside assistance. Many credit cards — including all Visa cards — provide access to roadside assistance that might be adequate if you don’t utilize the benefit too frequently.

Remember that the roadside assistance benefit for some cards requires you to be traveling away from home — so you might not be eligible for assistance if you have a dead battery or flat tire at or near home. I’d recommend taking a look through your wallet to figure out which card will provide the best roadside benefits. This way you’ll know who to call if you ever need these benefits.

Featured photo by Maradon 333/Shutterstock

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