Whether you’re driving around your hometown or renting a car while traveling, it’s nice to know that you have a roadside assistance service that can help you if your car breaks down. These services usually cover things like flat tires, dead batteries, running out of gas or locking your keys in your car. And if you need more than roadside assistance, these plans can offer a free tow of up to 10 miles, and discounted rates beyond that.
However, you have to be careful to distinguish “roadside dispatch” benefits from true “roadside assistance” services. Roadside dispatch is a very common benefit, but all it does is call for help. You’ll be responsible for paying for any services you receive. On the other hand, roadside assistance will cover the cost of services, within limits. Usually, these cards offer up to four services per year.
Here’s an insider tip: Your car doesn’t actually need to be disabled to use the free towing service. In the past, I’ve used these services to have my car conveniently delivered to a mechanic, or returned, without having to take up my time and that of an extra driver.
These Are the Best Credit Cards for Roadside Assistance
The Platinum Card® from American Express
This card comes with American Express’s Premium Roadside assistance plan, which is one of the best offered. It the following services, where eligible, at no charge, up to four times per calendar year: towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change (when you have a workable spare), lockout service (when key is in the vehicle) and delivery of up to two gallons of fuel.
This is just one of numerous travel insurance and shopping protection benefits offered by this card, not to mention its myriad of travel benefits. There’s a $550 annual fee for this card. (See rates and fees)
American Express® Gold Card
This card offers the same Premium Roadside assistance plan as the Platinum card, but it only has a $250 annual fee. (See rates and fees)
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express
Like the personal version, the Business Platinum card comes with American Express’s Premium Roadside assistance plan that you and your employee authorized cardholders can use up to four times per year. This card has a $595 annual fee. (See rates and fees)
This card also offers American Express’s Premium Roadside assistance plan along with numerous benefits when traveling on Delta. It has a $450 annual fee, which becomes $550 if your application is received on or after January 30, 2020.
The Plum Card® from American Express
This small business card also includes American Express’s Premium Roadside assistance plan along with the option of receiving cash back or extended financing on all of your purchases. It has an annual fee of $250, which is waived the first year. (See rates and fees)
American Express® Business Gold Card
This small business card also comes with American Express’s Premium Roadside assistance plan along with bonus rewards for common business purchases. There's a $295 annual fee for this card. (See rates and fees)