Anyone who has experienced the stress of being stranded due to a breakdown or flat tire knows what an unpleasant and even dangerous experience it can be. Even the best of us aren't immune to locking our keys in the car or running out of gas on a long lonely stretch, and driving a new car is still not a complete guarantee against unexpected breakdowns.

Roadside assistance can take a lot of the worry out of car travel by giving you the security of knowing that a helping hand is always available. Auto clubs offer these services for a fee, but there is a good chance that your credit card already gives you complimentary roadside assistance.

For example some top-tier American Express cards offer a roadside assistance benefit that you can use up to 4 times per calendar year. This generally includes flat tire change if you have your own spare, free towing up to 10 miles (you pay $3 per additional mile), jump starts, winching, delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel and a lockout service.

Visa offers a Roadside Dispatch® service which lets you access a 24/7 roadside dispatch service by phone (by calling 1-800-VISA-TOW). You will have to pay $59.95 per dispatch, which includes towing of up to 5 miles, tire changing if you have your own good spare, jump starting, lockout services, up to 5 gallons of fuel delivery (you pay for the fuel) and winching if you are near a paved road (or a non-paved but county maintained road). It doesn't quite compare with the American Express service that you can get as a complimentary benefit 4 times a year, but if you are in an emergency, $59.95 is a pretty small price to pay to get back on the road.

Almost all credit card roadside services are limited to the US, Canada, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. You will usually have to cover third party costs like workshop repairs or the cost of towing above a certain distance, but most auto clubs have similar limitations. If you do most of your driving within 5-10 miles of a large town then the roadside assistance provided by your credit card is probably all you need.

Here is our pick of credit cards that come with roadside assistance:

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least liket_cc_credit_requiredRelated links
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Our Rating:
  • Our Rating:
  • 4.38/5
  • Your Rating:
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  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a calendar year for baggage fees at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, when available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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N/A

N/A

Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195.

Why we like it
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Excellent Credit
The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express
  • Our Rating:
  • Our Rating:
  • 4.30/5
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

N/A

N/A

$550

Why we like it
  • Rewards program.
  • Platinum benefits.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
We least like
  • Annual fee.
Excellent/Good
Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup>

Chase Freedom®

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Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup>
  • Our Rating:
  • Our Rating:
  • 4.85/5
  • User Rating:
  • 3.00/5
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  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

15.99%-24.74% Variable

$0

Why we like it
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
We least like
  • 5% cash back on combined purchases in bonus categories capped at $1,500 per quarter.
  • Has foreign transaction fees.
Excellent/Good