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Best Credit Cards With Roadside Assistance of 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card details updated Nov. 3, 2021.

When you see the warning light come on in your car, it’s never a welcome sign. Or you may get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere or notice you’re running near empty without a gas station in sight — all panic-inducing situations.  Your credit card may be able to help as a select few offer roadside assistance benefits.

Sometimes referred to as roadside dispatch or roadside assistance, these services provided by your credit card are typically a premium service that you won’t find with store cards or cards for bad credit, and a few issuers have removed this benefit over the past few years.

However, because it’s a premium service, it may not be free. Eligible services covered through your credit card often come with a fee. But if you’re not a member of an auto program like AAA, then your credit card’s roadside assistance can really come in handy.

How roadside assistance works

Roadside assistance benefits are typically pay per use — which means you only pay when you utilize the benefit. The fee varies by issuer — Visa® or Mastercard® — and not all disclose the cost online.

However, Visa states it charges $69.95 per eligible service call. This is a one-time fee each time you use the service, unlike auto programs such as AAA that require you to pay an annual membership fee, regardless if you use the benefit or not.

If you constantly experience flat tires, battery burnouts or other issues, using a credit card’s pay-per-use roadside assistance benefit will add up. You’d probably be better off using an auto program that charges a flat rate year-round and covers various issues. If you bought or lease a brand new car, the roadside assistance provided by your credit card should be sufficient since your card shouldn’t have many issues. But you never know with cars, so ultimately the decision to join an auto program is up to you.

What roadside assistance is worth

While the cost for auto issues like towing, jump-starts and lockouts vary by vehicle and mechanic, the cost for using your credit card’s roadside assistance is often pre-negotiated. You’ll pay the same flat fee for all eligible services (and maybe more if you require fuel, a new key or long-distance towing).

However, you may wonder if you’re overpaying for basic services. To put things in perspective, we’ve researched the average prices for some common services provided by credit card roadside assistance programs as well as AAA. We’ll compare them with Visa’s $69.95 pay per use fee. Fees mentioned below are accurate as of the date of publishing.

Independent roadside assistance costs:

  • Standard towing (up to 5 miles): $35-$125
  • Tire change (must have good, inflated spare): $50-$120
  • Jump-starting: $50-$120
  • Lockout service: $85-$175

Compared with the prices listed above, Visa’s $69.95 fee per use is fairly reasonable when used occasionally. You can always compare prices when you need assistance and see if the quote a mechanic gives you is less or more than the flat fee provided by your credit card’s roadside assistance and make your decision that way.

Now, let’s take a look at how your credit card’s roadside assistance stacks up against an auto program like AAA. Note: Prices vary by region, so we used Northeast prices below:

  • AAA Basic: $59
    • Includes: Towing up to 3 miles, free fuel delivery at pump price, flat tire service, battery boost, vehicle lockout service up to $50
  • AAA Plus: $89
    • Includes: Towing up to 100 miles, free fuel delivery, flat tire service, battery boost, vehicle lockout service up to $100
  • AAA Premier: $119
    • Includes: Towing up to 200 miles, free fuel delivery, flat tire service, battery boost, vehicle lockout service up to $100, car rental reimbursement, travel concierge and home lockout service

It’s clear that AAA may have more value than your credit card’s roadside assistance program, but again, that’s in exchange of an annual fee.

The Basic AAA level is cheaper than Visa’s $69.95 fee per use and provides more coverage — you receive a free flat-tire change, battery boost and towing up to 3 miles for $59, compared with each Visa towing request costing $69.95 for up to 5 miles. If your car is older and often breaks down, you’re probably better off using a formal roadside assistance program like AAA. And, even if you don’t think you’ll ever need roadside assistance, $59 a year really isn’t going to break the bank — and it’ll be cheaper in the long run if issues do arise.

Credit card issuers that offer roadside assistance

We’ve listed the major credit card issuers, the roadside assistance benefits they offer cardholders and some card recommendations. Discover and Barclays don’t currently offer roadside assistance for its branded cards.

American Express

American Express discontinued roadside assistance beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Bank of America

All Visa-branded Bank of America cards, including the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, have pay-per-use roadside dispatch, currently $69.95 per service call, that provides emergency roadside assistance, towing and locksmith services.

Disclosures |
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
on Bank of America's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% variable
$95
2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and
  • Receive 50,000 online bonus points - a $500 value - after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening 
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases 
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 3.5 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases.
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire 
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill® accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center 
  • Get up to $100 in Airline Incidental Statement Credits annually and TSA Pre✓®/Global Entry Statement Credits of up to $100, every four years  
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees 
  • Low $95 annual fee 
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
680 850

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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Capital One

Capital One cardholders who have Visa Platinum or Signature cards have access to pay-per-use Roadside Dispatch® through Visa. Similarly, Capital One cardholders who have a Platinum, World or World Elite Mastercard have access to the Master RoadAssist® Service through Mastercard, which is also pay per use. For both Visa and Mastercard’s roadside benefits, the rates for standard service calls are set by Visa or Mastercard, respectively, not by Capital One. The rates for Visa are currently $59.95, but Mastercard doesn’t disclose its rates prior to requesting service.

Disclosures |
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
on Capital One's secure site
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Non-rewards Card
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
520 679

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Chase

All Chase Visa credit cards offer roadside dispatch for anything from a tow or jumpstart to a tire change, lockout service, winching or gas delivery. Cardholders pay a pre-negotiated rate when contacting Chase for service. All Chase Mastercards offer roadside assistance and the rates vary by service provider (there’s no set rate).

There’s also added roadside assistance coverage for select cards: the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®. With these cards, if you have a roadside emergency, you can call for a tow, jump-start, tire change, locksmith or gas delivery and you’re covered up to $50 per incident four times a year.

Disclosures |
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
on Chase's secure site
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels
  • 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. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 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
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Disclosures |
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
on Chase's secure site
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
14.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining
  • $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99% - 24.74%.
  • No annual fee.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Citi

Citi discontinued several benefits across its card portfolio in September 2019, including roadside assistance.

Wells Fargo

All Wells Fargo consumer credit cards have access to 24-hour roadside assistance or dispatch, which is a pay-per-use program. The benefit varies slightly between Wells Fargo Visa and Amex credit cards. For Wells Fargo Visa cards, the set price for a standard service call is currently $69.95 and covers standard towing (up to 5 miles), flat tire changes, jump-starts, winching, lockout service and delivery for up to 5 gallons of fuel. For Wells Fargo Amex cards, the fee is currently $59.95 and covers delivery of fuel or other standard fluids (up to 5 miles), jump-starts, lockout service and tire changes. Additional terms apply.

The information related to The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.