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Roadside assistance, your credit card’s little-known benefit

In a pinch, this credit card perk can provide the assistance you need

Summary

Roadside assistance can be a valuable credit card perk, but it might not be enough for everyone. Consider how often you’ll use services when deciding if you should invest in extra protections.

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Whether it’s for a flat tire, empty tank or dead battery, no one wants to end up stuck on the side of the road. If you don’t have AAA or a similar roadside assistance service, finding someone to help you out of a tough situation can be incredibly stressful – not to mention expensive.

Luckily, you might have access to roadside dispatch from one of the cards in your wallet. Plenty of credit cards offer the perk just for being a cardholder. Most of these benefits offer 24/7 service and will dispatch the right service to you. You’ll then cover the costs (sometimes a flat fee, sometimes varying by service).

For premium cardholders, you might even have access to roadside assistance services for free a few times per year. Read on to learn which cards offer roadside assistance and what each one covers.

What is roadside assistance?

Roadside assistance – sometimes called roadside dispatch – can refer to a wide variety of services to help drivers out in a pinch. From lockout service to towing, the term serves as an umbrella for any roadside help you might need.

In the case of credit card benefits, roadside dispatch typically refers to a 24/7 customer service line that can serve as a go-between from the customer to the service provider. Rather than leave cardholders to search for a tow company or locksmith themselves, roadside assistance services send out a third-party on behalf of the customer – to save you a step.

Which credit cards offer roadside assistance?

There are a wide range of cards that offer some form of roadside assistance – including all Visa credit cards. Many issuers also have their own policies, so read on to learn more about which cards are covered and what the benefit includes.

Chase cards

Chase offers two different levels of roadside assistance. Most Chase cards qualify for roadside dispatch (you can check your benefits guide to see if you qualify), which can get you set up with the following services – that you’ll pay for on your own:

  • Towing (up to 5 miles)
  • Tire change (must have your own spare)
  • Jump start
  • Lockout service
  • Fuel delivery (max of 5 gallons, you pay fuel price)
  • Winch

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, United MileagePlus Club Card or United℠ Explorer Card, you qualify for roadside assistance. This more premium perk sets cardholders up with the same services as roadside dispatch, but it will cover up to $50 on the service up to four times per year.

Whichever version of Chase roadside assistance you qualify for, you must be driving a vehicle you own or lease and be more than 50 miles from home to be eligible for the benefit. Additionally, vehicles over one ton in gross weight or on an inaccessible road will not be covered. Coverage extends to the U.S. and Canada.

To request roadside dispatch service, call 1-800-847-2896. For roadside assistance, call 1-866-359-5402.

Visa cards

Luckily, anyone with a Visa credit card has access to roadside assistance – no matter the issuer. This is a big plus for those with a card from issuers that don’t have a policy of their own.

To take advantage of Visa roadside assistance, you can call 1-800-847-2869 at any time. For a flat $69.95 fee per service, you can request the following assistance:

  • Towing (up to 5 miles)
  • Tire change (must have your own spare)
  • Jump start
  • Lockout service
  • Fuel delivery (max of 5 gallons, you pay fuel price)
  • Winch

Note that if you need a tow longer than five miles, you’ll need to cover that cost in addition to the flat fee. Additionally, vehicles with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds do not qualify for the benefit.

Final thoughts

If you have a car that breaks down often, you might consider investing in a roadside assistance program with an annual fee – like triple AAA – instead of relying on programs that charge per use. In all other cases, however, the benefit provided by your credit card can be great to use in a pinch – setting you up with the service you need at any time of day.

Plus, some premium cardholders can even get the cost for common roadside services covered as part of their card’s benefits. Be sure to carefully scan your cards benefits guide when you sign up, so you don’t miss out on great coverage like this.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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