Best credit cards that offer roadside assistance

Mar 19, 2020

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new card details and information. 

Need a jump or help changing a flat tire? One or more of your credit cards may provide a roadside assistance benefit that can help. The level of assistance and terms vary widely. Some cards cover assistance up to a certain amount per event while others simply arrange for the help. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of roadside assistance provided by select credit cards.

In This Post

The best credit cards with roadside assistance in 2020

Comparison of the best cards offering roadside assistance

Card Sign-up bonus Rewards rate Roadside assistance type Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months 3x points on travel and dining

1x points on everything else

Covers up to $50 for each service event, up to four events each year $550
United Explorer Card 40,000 United miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months 2x miles on purchases with United, at restaurants and on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel

1x miles on everything else

Covers up to $50 for each service event, up to four events each year $95 (waived first year)
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months 1.5% cash back on everything Select services for a set rate $0
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months 2x miles on everything Select services for a set rate $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 2x points on travel and dining purchases

1.5x points on all other purchases

Select services for a set rate $95

Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months

Rewards rate: Three points per dollar spent on travel and dining; one point per dollar spent on everything else

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

Annual fee: $550

Even though American Express recently added some travel protections to select cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is still my pick for best travel rewards card. The travel and shopping protections offered by the card are solid. And though the card’s annual fee has increased, you are getting added Lyft and DoorDash benefits in exchange. Earning three points per dollar spent on travel and dining results in an effective 6% return based on TPG’s valuation of Ultimate Rewards points at two cents each. 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.

Further reading:

Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

United Explorer Card

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Rewards rate: Two miles per dollar spent on purchases with United, at restaurants and on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel; one mile per dollar spent on everything else

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

Annual fee: $95 (waived first year)

The United Explorer Card is the lowest annual-fee card to provide complimentary roadside assistance of up to $50 per service event, up to four times each year. But, the United Explorer Card can also help you defeat United basic economy. This is because you can get priority boarding and the first checked bag free on United-operated flights for you and one companion on the same reservation when you purchase the flight with your card. The United Explorer Card can make financial sense even if you only check a few bags each year on United flights.

Further reading:

Apply here for the United Explorer Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn $150 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months

Rewards rate: 1.5% cash back on everything

Roadside dispatch benefit: Access to select roadside services at a set price

Annual fee: None

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is an excellent starter card, especially if you plan to get a Chase Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in the future. This is because although the Freedom Unlimited earns cash back, you can save your cash back until you get a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points — at which point you can turn your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points. Based on TPG’s valuation of Ultimate Rewards points at two cents each, you can get about double the return when you redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel instead of cash back.

Further reading:

Apply here for the Chase Freedom Unlimited

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months

Rewards rate: Two miles per dollar spent on everything

Roadside dispatch benefit: Access to select roadside services at a set price

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 of one cent per miles or transferred to travel partners. Based on the value that you can get from transferring your miles to travel partners, TPG values Capital One miles at 1.4 cents each. All purchases earn two miles per dollar spent, so you don’t have to worry about determining whether a purchase will earn bonus points.

Further reading:

Apply here for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The information for the Venture Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.          

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

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

Rewards rate: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining (2-3.5% return); 1.5 points per dollar spent on everything else

Roadside dispatch benefit: Access to select roadside services at a set price

Annual fee: $95

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is one of the highest-earning cash back credit cards — but only if you belong to the highest tier of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. At this tier, which requires you to maintain a three-month average 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. This means you’d earn 3.5 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, as well as 2.625 points per dollar spent on everything else.

Further reading:

Apply here for the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Roadside assistance provided by premium Chase cards

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

The Chase Sapphire Reserve, United Club Card 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. 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.

Related: My experience using my credit card’s roadside assistance benefit

These premium Chase cards offer coverage when you as a cardholder are traveling away from home and driving a vehicle you own, lease or that is furnished to you by the owner. Although the guide to benefits for each card notes that you must be “away from home,” no minimum distance away from home is defined in the most recent guide to benefits for each card, 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, although commercial vehicles are not.

Two additional Chase cards — the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card and the United Presidential Plus Card — also offer this type of roadside assistance but are no longer available to new cardholders.

Related: Maximize your wallet with the perfect quartet of Chase cards

Roadside dispatch provided by all Visa credit cards

Photo by Goluba Photo/Shutterstock
(Photo by Goluba Photo/Shutterstock)

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

  • Standard towing (up to five 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 five gallons; you pay the cost of fuel)
  • Standard winching (within 100 feet of paved or county maintained road only)

Even Visa credit cards with no annual fee, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom, include this type of protection.

Related: The best Visa credit cards

Protection provided by other credit cards

(Photo by RawPixel/Unsplash)

Although roadside assistance is no longer a benefit on most Citi and American Express cards, some other cards do 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 needing to find a provider on your own — especially when you’re traveling. But, this could leave you with a large bill.

Related: The 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 it provides, especially at hotels and amusement parks, so I’ll usually call AAA if I need roadside assistance. But, if you only maintain your AAA membership for roadside assistance, it may not be as necessary as you’d previously assumed if you have a credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the United Explorer Card that offers complimentary roadside assistance up to $50 four times each year.

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

Related guides

Featured photo by Maradon 333/Shutterstock.

2019 TPG Award Winner: Premium Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

SIGN-UP BONUS: 50,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,000

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on all travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.99%-23.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

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.