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Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

Frequent Contributor

Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

I pay for roadside help with geico. But reading the fine print on the credit card agreement papers (you know those little papers we throw away when we get the cards) i read visa signature offers road side help , world MC as well ., is the amex one any superior that those mentioned above , i could do with a little cut in my insurance rate , and im more than willing to pay amex annual fees if the service is any good 

Message 1 of 14
13 REPLIES
Moderator

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

I can only speak about AAA... for me, they've been FANTASTIC.

 

I've had to use it a few times over the last 20 years (that makes me feel old) and they've always been there.  I know a big part of it is the vendors they choose, but honestly either I've just been really, really lucky with them or they vet their vendors well.

 

I considered later on having my Amex Green upgraded to the PRG specifically for the roadside assistance feature, but I really (really) like having the AAA card in my wallet, so if I do get the PRG that will be 'gravy', but not my primary reason.

 

Other folks will likely have different opinions, possibly even the opposite.  This is just my 2¢.  Smiley Very Happy

Message 2 of 14
Super Contributor

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

You don't have to pay an AF just to get the roadside assistance (which would make little sense vs just paying for AAA if that's your concern). No AF cards also offer the roadside assistance.

 

In general, it's usually regarded that the assistance that comes with CCs is lesser than what you get if you actually paid for AAA. Unsurprising, as AAA's business is well, roadside assistance, whereas credit card issuers are simply hiring an outside service as a fringe benefit.

 

Anyway, the point is that I see no reason to get an Amex card that you don't really need just for the assistance, especially since you are looking to pare down on cards. If roadside assistance that is high quality is really a priority, I recommend just paying for AAA.

Message 3 of 14
Established Contributor

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

AAA all the way for me.

 

A big deciding factor for me was that AAA will cover me on my motorcycle as well as in a car, which the credit card coverages will not do.

 

In addition, AAA comes with a variety of additional perks and discounts (e.g. free additional drivers on rental cars), and their service has been top notch every time I used it. Most recently, I called them for a dead battery and despite my car being one of the most annoying on earth for changing the battery, I was on the road with a fresh battery in under an hour.

 

Starting: EQ 622 (myFICO 7/7/12), EX 696 (TU FAKO 8/14/12), TU 621 (CK TransRisk 7/24/12), Total CL $1k on 2 TLs
Current: EQ 709 (CCT 2/4/15), EX 704 (CCT 2/4/15) , TU 702 (CCT 2/4/15), Total CL $110.3k on 14 TLs Goal: 740+ x3
My Wallet: Amex BCP $30k, Chase United Explorer $16k, Amex SPG $13.5k, Barclaycard Ring MC $12.5k, Chase CSP VS $12.2k, Discover it $10.5k, C1 Venture VS $6.5k, Chase Slate $3.5k, Amex Hilton Surpass $2k, Barclaycard Apple V $2k, Chase Freedom V $1100, BoA Cash Rewards V $500, Citi BestBuy $500
My Loans: Prosper $25k/36mo, Prosper $17k/36mo
My Business: Chase Ink VS $5k, Amex BRG NPSL (> 10k),
Message 4 of 14
Established Contributor

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

The roadside assistance that comes with credit cards typically only make the service call for you. You still have to PAY for the service itself. For example:

 

CITI PRESTIGE

For $68.99 per service call, this dispatch service sends help if you need:

  • Towing and winching (you will be responsible for additional expenses associated with towing beyond 10 miles).
  • Jumpstarts
  • Flat tire change, when a spare is available
  • Lock-out service, when the key is in the vehicle
  • Delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel

AMERICAN EXPRESS

Don't Get Stuck – With Roadside Assistance Hotline you can call us in case of emergency for reliable coordination and assistance service to help get you on your way.
We're Here to Help – Coordination and assistance with obtaining emergency services like towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery are a phone call away and you can use your Card to pay. There are some vehicle exclusions and other important restrictions. 
Service Costs - All third-party service costs associated with Roadside Assistance Hotline are your responsibility. 

 

 

I'm hanging on to my AAA membership.

 

Stealth Contributor / Mortgage Professional
Message 5 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

As others have noted, no credit card service will parallel the service provided by AAA. I have AAA Plus membership, and it is worth every penny I pay for it. I have had to use roadside assistance twice in one month in June, and one of the times it wasn't even my car. They came out and took care of business. Forget credit cards, even most other insurance company road side assistance programs can't match AAA's membership.

Message 6 of 14
Moderator

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

Wow, I was afraid I would be an 'outlier' with my praise of AAA on a credit card forum... I am thrilled to say, "Boy, was I wrong!"

 

I've been a AAA member since 1995, and a 'Plus' member for most of those.  I've used it several times over the years, a few of those were also not in my car (I love the fact that the card is for the person, not the vehicle).  Once I needed a tow, and I was very pleased with the response time, but apparently they missed an internal metric... out of the blue, I got a personalized letter (not form letter) in the mail from the state office, apologizing for the "delay" I had experienced - this was days after I had even been bragging about how fast they had been!

 

In most organizations there is some room for improvement - and there might be at AAA as well - but honestly I've not found it yet.  I hope it's a while before I need their services again, but when it does eventually happen, I already know not to panic, they really do have my back.

 

To the OP's original question, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I've read on here that some folks use the Amex PRG for roadside (since there's no distance requirement on it) but I've never read how an actual roadside experience went for anybody who used it.  Also, Onstar raises an excellent point about the Amex roadside merely arranging the assistance, but requiring the cardholder to pay for it.  My AAA 'Plus' will tow my car back home for free up to 100 miles to any garage I request, and this doesn't even count jumping off the battery, lock-outs, out of gas, etc. 

 

If anybody knows of a credit card that comes close to this, please let us all know.  I suspect they will all fall a bit short of AAA, though, since AAA's primary reason for existing is roadside assistance, and with the credit cards roadside is strictly an added 'perk'.

Message 7 of 14
New Member

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!

I have used my AMEX PRG card for roadside assistance twice this year.  They will jump the vehicle, tow up to 10 miles, change a tire, deliver gas, etc. for free up to 4 times a year.  If you want it towed more than 10 miles, it costs so much per extra mile.  I don't have AAA currently, but had them in the past and the AMEX PRG service seems just as good to me.

Message 8 of 14
Valued Contributor

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!


kimkim6887 wrote:

I have used my AMEX PRG card for roadside assistance twice this year.  They will jump the vehicle, tow up to 10 miles, change a tire, deliver gas, etc. for free up to 4 times a year.  If you want it towed more than 10 miles, it costs so much per extra mile.  I don't have AAA currently, but had them in the past and the AMEX PRG service seems just as good to me.


Good to know. Does the PRG's coverage extend to a vehicle that isn't yours (nor rented by you)?

Message 9 of 14
Established Contributor

Re: Amex roadside help VS Visa , MasterCard , AAA or even Geico ?!


kimkim6887 wrote:

I have used my AMEX PRG card for roadside assistance twice this year.  They will jump the vehicle, tow up to 10 miles, change a tire, deliver gas, etc. for free up to 4 times a year.  If you want it towed more than 10 miles, it costs so much per extra mile.  I don't have AAA currently, but had them in the past and the AMEX PRG service seems just as good to me.


Same here. I've used the Amex Plat's Roadside Assistance (I think it's the same as PRG) 4 times last year. All 4 times were used for tows (yes I need a new car, lol). Since each tow was at 10 miles or less, it has been 100% free all 4 times. Each time whoever Amex contracted with arrived within 10-20 minutes! I can't compare it to anything else, so that is all I can tell ya. I wouldn't get an Amex card purely for RA, but if there are other perks that come along with it that you like then it is just awesome icing on the cake.

     
Message 10 of 14