Roadside assistance is useful if you have a mechanical issue, a flat tire, or need towing services while on the road. The service typically applies to cars your own or lease, and not rent. Be sure to check your card's benefit guide for specific terms.
What is Roadside Assistance?
Roadside assistance is a 24-hour dispatch hotline that can send a tow operator or a locksmith to assist in an emergency situation. While the hotline is available at no additional charge, the included services provided may vary depending on the credit card you have.
Typically, the tow operator or locksmith can assist with towing up to a certain limit, winching, jump starts, flat tire change, lockout service when the key is in the vehicle, and fuel delivery up to two gallons.
All of the credit cards that offer roadside assistance have an annual fee.
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Credit Cards with Roadside Assistance
American Express cards like the Amex Platinum, Amex PRG, and the Amex Delta Reserve offer roadside assistance. You can use the service up to 4 times a year, and once every 7 days. Roadside assistance provides towing assistance up to 10 miles, and they will help with flat tires.
If you run out of gas, they will deliver up to 2 gallons of gas. Roadside assistance also provides battery boost and lockout assistance.
Variations of the Amex Platinum card like the Charles Schwab and Ameriprise also offer the same roadside assistance services.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you access to roadside assistance, but the services are not complimentary.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve roadside assitance allows you to use the service up to 4 times a year, once every 7 days. Chase will pay for up to $50 in towing, and you are responsible for the remainder. Roadside assistance will also help with flat tires, fuel delivery, battery boost, and lockout assistance.
Other premium Chase cards like the Chase Ritz-Carlton, the United Explorer, and the United Club offer roadside assistance up to 4 times a year, once every 7 days. However, these cards only offer access to services if you are at least 50 miles away from your home.
The Citi Prestige offers similar roadside assistance services, but the interesting thing is that there is not a limit on how many times you can use the service stated in the benefits guide.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card does not offer roadside assistance. We included it to illustrate the point that not all $450 credit cards are created equal.