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One of the lesser known benefits of our credit cards is Emergency Roadside Assistance. When your car breaks down you may be able to turn to the card in your wallet for help.
Visa Roadside Dispatch
- Towing – up to 5 miles
- Tire Changing – must have good, inflated spare
- Jump Starting – battery boost
- Lockout Service (no key replacement)
- Fuel Delivery – up to 5 gallons (cost of fuel not included)
- Winching (within 100 feet of paved or county maintained road only)
You’ll find these benefits on the Chase Sapphire Preferred but it’ll cost $59.95 per use. The Chase Sapphire Reserve will cover you up to $50 per service event with a maximum of four service events per year.
American Express Premium Roadside Assistance
- Towing up to 10 miles ($3 each additional mile)
- Jump starts
- Flat tire change when Card Member has a workable spare,
- Lockout service when key is in vehicle
- Delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers Premium Roadside Assistance, which you can use up to four times per year.
MasterCard Roadside Assistance will cover towing, tire changes, fuel delivery and jump starts but you’ll have to pay out of pocket for all expenses and the prices are pre-negotiated. Check your MasterCard’s benefits to see if this is available. We’re not a fan of this option since it’s not very useful if you don’t know the costs up front.
Let’s compare with what AAA can offer:
- Tow, up to 5 miles, up to 4 times per year
- Jump start
- Tire service
- Locksmith, up to $50
- Fuel delivery, enough to get to nearest gas station; you pay fuel cost
- Winch (one car/driver per year)
- $73 yearly
- Tow, up to 100 miles, up to 4 times per year
- Jump start
- Tire service
- Locksmith, up to $100
- Fuel delivery at no cost
- Winch (two car/driver per year)
- $120 yearly
If you already own one of the cards above then it’s a no brainer to use the features you’re already paying for. For newer cars where you don’t expect a breakdown then it’s a not a bad idea to rely on a credit card for your roadside assistance benefits. However, if you have an older car that is more prone to breakdowns, a dedicated service like AAA may make sense if there’s a chance you’re going to be calling on them more often.
Don’t forget, your newer car may already include free roadside assistance. Check with your dealer if you’re not sure. Lastly, don’t forget to check with your existing car insurance – you may already be paying for roadside assistance in your policy.
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