Roadside assistance is something you never think about—until you need it. Having one of these credit cards in your wallet will ensure you're never caught off guard. Use this guide to choose the option that's right for your spending habits and needs.
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Add “roadside assistance” to the list that includes a plunger, first-aid kit and a screwdriver small enough to fix your sunglasses: “Things you don’t realize you need, until you need them.” But this credit card perk can feel like you won the lottery when you’re stranded on the highway during a good ol’ Canadian snowstorm or on a steaming hot long weekend on the road to cottage country. That’s why we rounded up the best credit cards with free roadside assistance.
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You likely know credit cards can earn you travel points or cash back, but roadside assistance is an underrated perk. It’s worth looking at when when considering which credit card you want in your wallet. Roadside assistance could cost $75 or more a year, if you pay directly for a membership from Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) or another provider. Depending on where you live, the price of a tow can vary, but without a membership plan, some Canadians have been gouged $4,000 in fees for a single tow. When you have roadside assistance built in as a perk on your credit card, you can get emergency towing, gasoline delivery when you’ve stuck, your dead battery revived, your flat tires fixed, access to your car when you’ve locked the keys inside, and much more. The value of those emergency services makes the annual fee on the credit card worth paying, plus some cards waive that cost the first year, so it’s a win-win for this kind of perk.
Best credit cards with roadside assistance
Roadside Assistance Credit Card
Best cash back card
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite
Best instant-approval card
Triangle World Elite Mastercard
• Triangle Mastercard • BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
Best cash back credit card for roadside assistance
You might not expect a bank to offer roadside assistance with its credit card, but TD does through AXA Asistance. Its Deluxe Auto Club membership comes along with the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite credit card. Roadside assistance coverage is 24/7, and the service calls are unlimited (to personal use only, of course). The max towing distance is up to 200 kilometres to the nearest appropriate service centre. Also included are emergency tire changes, battery boost, lost key lockout assistance, emergency fuel delivery (five litres), and even stolen vehicle emergency services and claims (accommodations, transportation, personal necessities, etc.). Get up to $200 in meals and/or accommodation reimbursement when you’re stranded due to an auto incident. And, if you’re in need of legal advice for an automotive incident, in certain circumstances, you can receive up to $300 toward the fees you paid. Travel planning and emergency car rental reimbursement are also part of the package.
Annual fee: $139 (rebated for the first year—conditions apply to qualify.)
Welcome bonus:earn up to $500 in value, including 10% in Cash Back Dollars in the first 3 months on Bonus Eligible Purchases up to a total spend of $3,500. Conditions apply. Account must be approved by March 4, 2024.
Earn rate: 3% cash back on gas, grocery and recurring bill payments; 1% on all other purchases
Annual income requirement: $60,000 for an individual, or $100,000 as a household
Additional benefits: Deluxe TD Auto Club membership; some travel medical insurance
Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
Best instant-approval credit card with free roadside assistance
Triangle World Elite Mastercard
The Triangle World Elite Mastercard includes a Roadside Assistance Gold Plan that is worth $115 (65 for a secondary member) annually. The program includes towing for distances up to 200 kilometres per service call, with a flatbed or specialty equipment, and unlimited tows to Canadian Tire locations. Plus you get battery boosts, flat-tire changes, lockout service, fuel delivery (up to $5 of gas) and, should you get stuck in a ditch, extrication and winching. You’ll also have 24/7 service . This package is perfect for frequent road-trippers and people with long commutes. The rewards are tailored to regular Canadian Tire shoppers, but they work at other stores such as Sport Chek, Mark’s, Party City, Atmosphere, and seven other retailers. Purchases at these retailers will earn you 4% back in Canadian Tire (CT) Money. Plus, shop at grocers, excluding Costco and Walmart, to get 3% back in CT Money. Fuel spends at Gas+ and participating Husky locations have a return of $0.05 to $0.07 on the litre. (In 2024, it will also include Petro-Canada stations, too.) Your accumulated CT Money can be redeemed at Canadian Tire and participating retailers. Plus, cardholders receive exclusive discounts and offers on oil changes, car washes, entertainment, shopping, travel, hotels, attractions and more. You can apply online for instant credit and find out if you’re approved right away. Also, if you’re making a big purchase, you can also take advantage of its no fee, no interest financing on equal monthly payments for qualifying $150 minimum purchases at any of our participating retailers $150.
Annual fee: $0
Welcome bonus: None
Earn rate: 3% in CT Money on the first $12,000 annually at grocery stores, excluding Walmart and Costco; 4% in CT Money on qualifying purchases at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s/L’Équipeur, Atmosphere, Party City, Sports Rousseau, Hockey Experts, L’Entrepôt du Hockey and participating Sports Experts stores; and 1% on everything else; As for gas, earn $0.07 per litre in CT Money on premium fuel, and $0.05 per litre on all other fuel types at Gas+/Essence+ locations and participating Husky stations,
If you buy your wipers and oil at Canadian Tire and fill up your tank regularly at Gas+ stations, then you might as well reward yourself with gas rewards and the coverage of road side assistance with the Triangle Mastercard. One of the nice perks, is the Gold Member Plan from Canadian Tire, which has an annual value of $115. You can use it if you’re the driver or passenger of a car. You’re covered for towing distance up to 200 kilometres per service call to the destination of your choice. And when you use this card at Gas+ stations, you earn $0.05 per litre in CT Money rewards.
Annual fee: $0
Welcome bonus: No welcome offer at this time.
Earn rate: 4% in CT Money on purchases at Canadian Tire and partner stores, and 1.5% on the first $12,000 spent on groceries per calendar year (excluding Costco and Walmart); 0.5% on everything else
Annual income requirement: None
Additional benefits: Personalized offers and exclusive bonuses; member-only events
Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances, 22.99% on balance transfers
With the BMO CashBack World Elite credit card, you get basic coverage access to the roadside assistance program with Dominion Automobile Association (DAA) for free—it costs $99 annually on its own. Coverage is 24/7, and you get up to four service calls per year. The maximum distance for towing is 10 kilometres. The service includes emergency tire changes, winching, battery boost, lost key lockout assistance and emergency fuel delivery. Coverage is free for additional cardholders.
Welcome bonus: earn up to 10% cash back in your first three months and have the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
Earn rate:Earn 5% cash back on grocery purchases, 4% on transit, 3% on gas, 2% on recurring bill payments and 1% on everything else
Additional benefits: Car rental accident insurance; Mastercard travel rewards program; purchase protection and extended warranty, up to 25% off car rentals at Alamo and Avis
Annual income requirement: $80,000 for an individual or $150,000 as a household
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