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Ever been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire? Locked your keys in your car? Run out of fuel? Having access to roadside assistance when you have mechanical issues can be a lifesaver.
No matter which state you’re traveling in, one quick call can put you in touch with a roadside assistance dispatch center which will keep you on the phone while organizing the help you need. And the best part? If you hold one of the credit cards listed below, you can use this service up to four times a year free of charge!
Rewards Cards That Offer Complimentary Roadside Assistance
There are plenty of rewards cards offering roadside assistance as one of the listed benefits, but just a handful of those cards offer the service free of charge. Most provide a 24/7 dispatch service, but you pay for the services you use. For example, if you lock your keys in your car, you can call the dispatch service and ask the customer service rep to find a locksmith. The dispatch service organizes the locksmith free of charge, but you’ll pay the locksmith for the service provided.
The list of rewards cards we’ve put together below all offer complimentary roadside assistance. You call the dispatch center, they organize the service technician, and provided it’s an issue covered by your card’s policy, the tow operator, mechanic or locksmith will attend the incident at no cost to you. You can access this complimentary roadside assistance up to 4 times per year, although you cannot use the benefits offered through Chase cards more than once in a 7-day period for the same issue.
American Express Premium Roadside Assistance
American Express cards offering free roadside assistance include:
- American Express® Gold Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Business Gold Card
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
Amex will cover you for:
- Towing up to 10 miles (towing is to the nearest authorized facility. You can request hauling to a different facility, but if the towing exceeds 10 miles you’ll be charged $3 for each additional mile)
- Jump starts
- Flat tire change when you have a workable spare
- Lockout service when key is in vehicle (lockout service may be unavailable for vehicles with transponder keys)
- Delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel
To be eligible for free roadside assistance, services must be arranged through Amex Premium Roadside Assistance (call 1-855-431-1156 or the number on the back of your card). The cardmember must be present at the time the vehicle is attended, and you must be in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Canada, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Coverage is for non-commercial, road-going vehicles used for private transportation and doesn’t cover rental cars, motorcycles, taxicabs, unlicensed vehicles, tractors and trucks over 10,000 lbs gross vehicle weight.
Chase Roadside Assistance
Unlike the Amex policy, which only restricts the nature of events covered, Chase limits each service event to the value of $50, and you can only claim one service event for the same cause during any consecutive 7-day period. Chase cards providing free roadside assistance include:
- United℠ Explorer Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- United MileagePlus® Club Card
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
- United℠ Explorer Business Card
- United MileagePlus® Club Business Card
While all the cards above charge an annual fee, note that Chase provides complimentary roadside assistance on the United Explorer Card and the United Business Card. This is the same full-service roadside assistance that is ordinarily offered on premium cards costing hundreds of dollars per year. Both cards waive the annual fee for the first year, and charge just $95 per year to hold for the long term.
Chase Roadside Assistance will cover you for:
- Battery Boost if your vehicle won’t start due to a dead or weak battery
- Flat Tire Service if you have a flat tire, they'll install your inflated spare
- Fuel Delivery if you run out of gas, an emergency supply will be delivered to you. The cost of fuel is covered for up to 2 gallons.
- 24 Hour Towing Assistance in the event of a vehicle breakdown that requires a tow. The representative will arrange to transport the vehicle to the nearest repair facility or location of the motorist’s choice. Services will be covered up to $50 for each event
- 24 Hour Lockout Assistance should you accidentally lock yourself out of your vehicle; a qualified locksmith will be dispatched to remedy the situation, up to $50 value for each event. (Replacement key costs are the responsibility of the Cardholder.)
To be eligible for the coverage you must be driving a vehicle you own or lease, or a car furnished to you by the owner (no rentals), and services must be arranged through Cross Country Motor Club at 1-866-860-7978. The policy only covers private on-road transportation, with trucks limited to a carrying capacity of up to 2,000 pounds, and no commercial vehicles. Coverage is valid only when traveling in the U.S. and Canada.
Citi Roadside Assistance Dispatch Service
Citi doesn’t place a monetary restriction on its roadside assistance outside of the tow-distance policy, and only one card in the Citi lineup offers the service at no additional cost.
Citi will cover you for:
- Towing and winching (you will be responsible for expenses associated with towing beyond 10 miles)
- Jump starts
- Flat tire changes (when a spare is available)
- Lock-out service (when the key is in the vehicle)
- Delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel
To take advantage of the Citi coverage, you need to stay with the vehicle and ensure it's a regularly traveled road (no off-road tracks) with access for a tow or support vehicle. Citi won’t cover you if the vehicle is a motorcycle, RV, or commercial, or if it’s a camper, in-tow, or a trailer with a capacity greater than one ton. Call 1-866-506-5222 for assistance and have your Citi card available when talking to the operator.
Complimentary roadside assistance is one of the hidden benefits of credit cards that many cardholders may not realize they can claim. There is no need to buy anything or make a specific purchase with your card to qualify for free roadside assistance. You receive the benefit free of charge merely for being a cardholder of any of the rewards cards listed above. If you’re looking for free roadside coverage without paying a premium card annual fee, it’s hard to go past the United Explorer Card, which offers complimentary roadside assistance with the lowest annual fee on the list!
Ever used the roadside assistance offered with your credit card? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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