I’ve been thinking a lot about Amex lately (little do they know, ha ha), because I’m anticipating their next super-limited-time sign-up bonus offer. Last year, Josh and I earned a total of 175,000 Membership Rewards points by signing up for just 1 card apiece – for us, it was definitely the best bonus offer of 2014!
Now that I have a Platinum card, I love it, because it’s packed with benefits that I use frequently. It’s definitely a keeper for me at this point. One of the card’s unexpected perks that I have used in the past year is the Roadside Assistance program. Do you know about this feature? It’s pretty similar to AAA coverage, and it comes as a benefit on a selection of Amex cards.
Amex personal cards featuring Roadside Assistance
While several Amex credit cards offer limited roadside assistance, the following American Express cards offer the full roadside assistance package detailed in this post:
- Delta Reserve
- Mercedes Benz Platinum
- Premier Rewards Gold
- Business Gold
Are you paying for double Roadside Assistance? I was.
When I first got the Platinum card, I also had AAA. However, after I compared the coverage of both programs, I realized that I now had too much roadside assistance – and that I was paying for it! So I decided to cancel my AAA membership. This saved me $57.
American Express Roadside Assistance details
I had a surprisingly hard time locating this info online or in any of my cardmember agreements from Amex, so I finally called the Roadside Service department to get the lowdown. Here’s what I learned:
- The benefit covers lock-outs (when you leave your car key is in the vehicle), jump starts, fuel delivery (up to 2 gallons), winches, and tire changes (if you have a spare).
- Amex will also pay for towing of up to 10 miles. (After that, the charge is $3/mile.)
- You can use the service for any car you designate – as long as you are with the car (for example, your friend’s car, or your spouse’s car). The exception is that the service does not extend to rental cars.
- You can only use this service once per every 7 days, with a calendar-year limit of 4 times. After 4 incidents, the service converts to a “pay per use” service.
- If more than one thing happens at the same time (for example, you run out of gas, you lock your keys in the car, and you need a tow), the total only counts for one incident.
- You are covered while driving 4-wheel vehicles and trucks with a carrying capacity of up to 2 tons.
- The policy only covers emergency situations, and does not cover unlicensed, illegally parked, or impounded vehicles.
- The policy won’t pay for the actual repairs (parts, labor, etc), just the tow.
- Coverage applies to the entire US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
To use Roadside Assistance, simply call the number on the back of your Amex card. Or, you can dial direct: 800 333 2639.
AAA benefits details:
For comparison purposes, I have included the AAA benefits chart.
I’m glad that I decided to cancel my AAA membership. It definitely wasn’t worth it to me to have double coverage. When I used the Amex Roadside Assistance program last year, it was definitely a positive experience (if you can call needing a tow a “positive experience”). For me, this benefit is yet another way that the big annual fee of the Platinum card is majorly offset by its benefits.
Do you have double coverage? Or did you also choose to go with Amex Roadside Assistance?