Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Whether you’re a working road warrior or a parent who needs to ensure that everyone in the family gets where they need to be, you depend on your vehicle to reach your destination.
The same is true when you’re on a vacation road trip or rushing to make that special business meeting. Getting to your destination is always important, and it’s always frustrating if you become stranded due to a breakdown.
Roadside assistance, an often-forgotten credit card benefit, is a handy perk that can help in times of need. This benefit comes complimentary on a lot of travel rewards credit cards.
Not all roadside assistance benefits are created equal, however — some are simply referral services that can help you reach a service provider.
Other roadside assistance benefits (referred to as premium roadside assistance) can actually provide the services for free or provide a specified dollar amount of coverage to the cardholder to offset the cost of a roadside service call.
Today we’re focusing on premium roadside assistance and the travel rewards cards that offer this benefit. It’s possible you may have coverage on one of the cards in your wallet right now!
Let’s find out how premium roadside assistance can save you time and money and which cards carry this useful benefit.
Roadside assistance (or roadside dispatch, as it can commonly be referred to) usually means you’ll have a dedicated phone line to call for referral services when you have a vehicle roadside emergency.
Services can include towing, tire changes, emergency fuel, and other related vehicle breakdown-related services. Basic roadside assistance coverage comes complimentary on a lot of credit cards.
Although the referral service itself is complimentary, the cardholder is responsible for the cost of any actual services provided. For example, if you were to have a flat tire and call the roadside assistance line, a service provider could be summoned to come change your tire, but you would be responsible for paying the service provider.
Hot Tip: Some basic roadside assistance coverage can also include a preferred pre-negotiated flat rate that is charged to the cardholder, such as $59 per service call.
Premium roadside assistance is a step up from roadside dispatch, as the services are provided either at no cost or include a specific maximum benefit amount (such as $50 per service call).
For example, services like towing, lockout service, fixing a flat tire, or providing a small amount of fuel might be provided at no charge, or the cardholder might pay any amount exceeding the maximum benefit limit.
Premium roadside assistance is also a complimentary benefit that is included on several credit cards. Knowing which type of roadside assistance coverage you have can save you plenty if you’re stranded and need help.
Let’s take a look at some of the best credit cards that currently come with this premium roadside assistance benefit.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Benefits for Roadside Assistance Coverage|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||
||Premium roadside assistance (complimentary up to $50 per service call, up to 4 events per calendar year):
|United℠ Explorer Card||
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||
||Basic roadside assistance (flat fee applies):
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.
The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options. Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.
Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!
Our top-shelf winner in this space of credit cards with roadside assistance is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Currently, this credit card offers up to 10x Ultimate Rewards points on purchases:
Other transportation-related perks on top of premium roadside assistance include elite status and/or discounts with Avis, National, and Audi on demand, as well as other travel protection perks.
You can utilize the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s $300 annual travel credit, complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, a 50% redemption bonus when using points on bookings made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS application fee credit, and access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
Lastly, you’ll get purchase protection, extended warranty, and no foreign transaction fees whenever you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
We painstakingly track how much different points and miles are worth — and we believe Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 2 cents each, which means you can earn a return on spending of up to 20% with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card!
Furthermore, there are other, reduced-value ways to use your points, including travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, gift cards, statement credits, charitable donations, and online shopping.
With priority boarding privileges, no foreign transaction fees and more, MileagePlus members will definitely enjoy their partnered card.
You travel United all the time, but you have heard that there could be ways to make your travel experiences even better, including priority boarding, free bags, and more miles.
You should consider the United℠ Explorer Card, because this card does all that and more!
The United Explorer card is one of the few credit cards offering premium roadside assistance, which means it’s in the exclusive company of cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
And for a credit card with such a mild annual fee, this benefit sets it apart from all other credit cards in the category, at least in the context of premium roadside assistance.
To start off, the welcome bonus is substantial and the earning categories are abundant:
But what you’ll probably fall in love with is the long list of benefits that United loyalists find useful:
General travel benefits include a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS application fee credit, no foreign transaction fees, travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, and no foreign transaction fees.
United MileagePlus miles are worth around 1.3 cents each. If you earn 2x miles on certain purchases, you’ll get a return on spending of around 2.6%.
To squeeze even more value from your United miles, save your miles for redemptions in international business or first class flights on partner airlines like Lufthansa and ANA.
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
Don’t forget too, there’s 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
The Freedom Unlimited card is one of our favorite credit cards for everyday purchases, and it just so happens to be one of the best credit cards that offers access to basic roadside assistance.
Although you may get a welcome bonus from time to time, you’d want to keep this card open for the long-term benefits, which include the following rewards tiering:
Even better, the rewards earned from the Freedom Unlimited card can easily be converted to Ultimate Rewards points at a 1%-to-1x ratio if you have an eligible Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
By converting your points, your 5%, 3%, and 1.5% cash-back can transform into a higher ROI of 10%, 6%, and 3%, respectively.
The Freedom Unlimited card even comes with a 0% introductory APR benefit, as well as purchase protection, extended warranty, secondary car rental insurance, fraud protection, and authorized users for no additional annual fee.
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
As our only Capital One credit card option in this guide, the Capital One Venture X card is a fabulous pick, whether or not you’re looking for basic roadside assistance coverage.
Right now, the welcome bonus is fantastic, and that’s not even taking into account the earnings of up to 10x Capital One miles:
There’s also a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, access to Plaza Premium Lounges, an account anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles, an up to $300 annual Capital One Travel credit, and travel insurance that includes primary rental car coverage.
Capital One miles are worth 1.8 cents each in our books, making the one of the most valuable currencies out there. Earning 10x miles would be worth an approximate return on spending of 18%.
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
The last personal credit card we’ll discuss is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which is one of the most famous credit cards out there. And at the moment, it offers basic roadside assistance.
Despite having a low annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns a whopping 5x Ultimate Rewards points on select purchases:
Also, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a unique benefit that provides cardholders a 10% rewards bonus after every cardmember anniversary.
Get an annual credit of $50 towards prepaid hotel stays booked through the Chase travel portal, too.
Chase is one of the only business card issuers to offer a premium level of roadside assistance. Let’s take a look at our favorite options.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Benefits for Roadside Assistance Coverage|
|United℠ Business Card||
||Premium roadside assistance (complimentary up to $50 per service call, up to 4 events per calendar year):
|United Club℠ Business Card||
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||
||Basic roadside assistance (flat fee applies):
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card||
The United Club Business card is a great option for frequent United flyers looking for United Club access.
The United Club℠ Business Card is a premium card option for dedicated United loyalists seeking a card that offers complimentary United Club access, helps them earn and retain status, and doesn’t skip on the benefits.
From free checked bags to upgrades on award tickets and the ability to earn Premier qualifying points, there is plenty to the United Club Business card that United flyers are sure to love.
Our favorite business credit card for roadside assistance is the United Business card, which is a match made in heaven for business owners that frequently fly on United.
In addition to the large welcome bonus, you can access premium roadside assistance, which is exceptionally rare for a business credit card.
This is on top of the 2x United miles earned per dollar spent:
If you happen to pair your United Business card with a personal United credit card like the United Explorer card above, you’ll get a better-together bonus of 5,000 miles after every cardmember anniversary.
The United benefits are similar to those on the United Explorer card:
Unsurprisingly, the United Business card also offers access to the Chase Luxury Hotels & Resort Collection, travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fees, and employee cards for no additional annual fee.
The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.
Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.
Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.
The runner-up credit card is arguably our favorite Chase business credit card: the Ink Business Preferred card. It offers a generous welcome bonus, incredible rewards categories, and access to basic roadside assistance.
To start off, this business credit card earns 3x points per dollar spent on purchases in the following categories (capped at the first $150,000 in combined purchases every anniversary year):
It also offers 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1x points.
Overall, earning 5x, 3x, or 1x Ultimate Rewards points is equivalent to a 10%, 6%, or 2% return on spending.
This impressive credit card has some incredible cell phone protection coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fees, and fee-free employee cards.
Southwest frequent flyers will love the upgraded boarding positions, inflight Wi-Fi credits, and bonus points on each cardmember anniversary.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is a phenomenal option for business owners who are Southwest frequent flyers. It helps you earn more points on all of your business expenses, offers upgraded boarding certificates and Wi-Fi credits, and helps you reach higher levels of Southwest elite status.
The Southwest Performance Business card is the most premium credit card product from Chase’s partnership with Southwest Airlines. Right now, the credit card has basic roadside assistance and a fantastic welcome bonus, as well as a seemingly endless list of benefits when flying Southwest.
With this credit card, you can earn up to 4x Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent:
Every year, holders of this card will get a cardmember anniversary bonus of 9,000 Rapid Rewards points.
Get closer to A-List elite status by spending $10,000 in purchases to earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) with no limits on how many TQPs you can earn. There are also 4 Upgraded Boardings every year when available, a $500 fee credit for points transfers per anniversary year, inflight Wi-Fi credits, and a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
To round out the benefits on this card, enjoy purchase protection, extended warranty, travel insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and fee-free employee cards.
Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth approximately 1.4 cents each, though the exact value can fluctuate in small amounts. You won’t get any outsized value from your rewards far beyond what their standard value is because Rapid Rewards points are a fixed-value currency.
The good news is that your redemption value is consistently between 1.3 and 1.5 cents per point, but the bad news is that there’s no way to get double or triple the value on your redemptions.
A business card from Chase for United loyalists with benefits such as free checked bags and discounts on inflight purchases.
The United Business card is a compelling option for traveling business owners that are also frequent United flyers. Not only will the card help you earn more United miles, but it also offers great perks such as free checked bags, priority boarding, a discount on inflight purchases, and much more.
The final credit card in this guide is the United Club Business card, which happens to be the ultra-premium credit card product offered to business owners loyal to United Airlines. At the moment, it offers premium roadside assistance, though the annual fee on this card is substantial. You’d really only want to get this credit card if you needed United Club access included with your card.
The good news is that the welcome bonus is massive, and the earning structure is streamlined:
Even better, you’ll get better United perks with the United Club Business card than you would with the United Business card:
The benefits also include access to the Avis President’s Club, access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection from Chase, travel insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and employee cards for no additional annual fees.
When you’re stranded with a dead battery, flat tire, or even a mechanical breakdown, Chase’s roadside assistance can help you get back on the road quickly.
On eligible cards, Chase provides either premium roadside assistance or basic roadside assistance.
Premium roadside assistance — included with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, United Explorer card, United Business card, and United Club Business card — covers traveling in the U.S. and Canada, up to a limit of $50 per service call, for up to 4 events each calendar year. Cardholders are covered when driving a vehicle they own, a leased vehicle, or a vehicle furnished by the owner.
The following services are provided under Chase’s premium roadside assistance coverage:
Any service charges in excess of $50 will be charged to the cardholder’s Chase credit card.
Only cardholders and authorized users are covered for roadside assistance, regardless of which Chase credit card you have.
Premium roadside assistance is available 24/7 by calling 888-860-7978. When you call, you’ll need to provide your name, address, vehicle identification number (or make/model/year of the car), the location of the vehicle, and a phone number where you can be reached.
Services are provided on a “sign and drive” basis, which means you do not need to pay the service provider when you receive service. Any excess over the $50 benefit limit, if applicable, will be charged to your Chase credit card.
Hot Tip: Basic roadside assistance for Chase cardholders is available at a different phone number (800-847-2869) and is subject to a pre-negotiated, per service fee that covers standard towing of up to 5 miles, tire changing, jump start, lockout, fuel delivery of up to 5 gallons plus fuel costs, and standard winching.
Emergency road service is not available in “off-road” areas. The service is meant for ordinary vehicles only — so campers, vehicles in tow, commercial vehicles, and trucks with over 1-ton capacity are excluded.
Service is limited to 1 event for the same cause within a 7-day period.
Several of the cards we’ve profiled, including the Freedom Unlimited card, Capital One Venture X card, Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Ink Business Preferred card, and Southwest Performance Business card, come with Visa’s basic roadside assistance.
To use basic roadside assistance, just call 800-847-2869. This service has a set, pre-negotiated price per service call, which covers:
At the moment, the current fee for a standard service call is $69.95.
If you require a tow for more than 5 miles, you must pay additional costs beyond 5 miles.
If there’s a secondary unit being towed, it may be accommodated for an extra fee.
Towing rates apply to vehicles with up to 1 ton of gross vehicle weight.
Standard winching also applies only within 100 feet of paved or county-maintained road only.
Hot Tip: If you happen to have a Mastercard that offers Master RoadAssist Roadside Service, this basic roadside assistance benefit can be used by calling 800-MASTERCARD.
While premium roadside assistance coverage is not a primary reason alone to select a travel rewards card, if you have a lot of credit cards in your wallet, it’s good to know which ones carry this benefit.
In addition, you may be paying for AAA or other roadside assistance programs, but not need the full array of coverage offered with such a membership. If the premium roadside assistance on your credit card is adequate and matches the scope of your driving activity, you may be paying for excess coverage you don’t need. Chase cards that offer this coverage require you to be away from home, have a cap of 4 uses per year, and limit the coverage to $50 per service call.
It’s important to note that the credit card with the best roadside assistance may not be the best credit card for you overall. There are far more important benefits to consider when selecting a travel rewards card that is going to be the best fit for your situation.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
Enrollment required through Capital One website or mobile app. Upon enrollment, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through December 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at Hertz.com) will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply.
The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Premium roadside assistance provides a no-cost service call to the cardholder or provides coverage of a specific dollar amount toward a service call.
The cardholder will have a dedicated phone number to call 24/7 in the event of a breakdown. A service provider will then be dispatched to the scene.
Any service received in excess of the allotted coverage, such as towing over 10 miles, is billed to the member’s credit card.
The best credit card for roadside assistance is the one that provides a no-cost service call, does not limit how far from your primary residence you need to be to use the service, does not limit the number of times per year you can use it, and does not limit the cost of the service call it covers.
However, if you rarely use roadside assistance, a limit of 4 times a year may not matter to you.
Also, the best card for roadside assistance may not be the best overall credit card for you personally. There are other more important benefits to evaluate when selecting the best rewards-earning card.
For personal credit cards, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, United Explorer card, Freedom Unlimited card, Capital One Venture X card, and Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
For business credit cards, we recommend the United Business card, Ink Business Preferred card, Southwest Performance Business card, and United Club Business card.
Many credit cards come with a complimentary roadside assistance hotline that will help you find a service provider if you have a roadside breakdown.
This basic roadside assistance coverage can be useful, but the cardholder must pay for all services received.
Some cards come with a premium level of roadside assistance that provides a service call at no cost to the cardholder. Services provided can include tire changing, delivery of a small amount of fuel, jump starts, lockout service, and limited towing.
Other cards offer premium roadside assistance service but cap the amount at a specified cost limit. The cardholder is responsible for any expense incurred beyond that.
Chase does not specifically exclude rental cars. The terms and conditions state that covered vehicles include “any vehicle you own or lease, and when you drive a vehicle that is furnished to you by the owner, while traveling away from home.”
It’s always a good rule to call the rental car company first whenever you have a breakdown with a rental car as they will be best equipped to expedite the service and provide a replacement car if needed.
As of January 1, 2020, American Express no longer offers Premium Roadside Assistance on any of its cards.
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