Premium credit card roadside assistance can become a valuable asset when you least expect it. And most of the time that’s the general idea.
Whether it’s a flat tire, a fuel emergency, or your engine won’t start, this kind of roadside assistance is a quality alternative to similar annual services like AAA.
It’s also a solid way of getting extra mileage out of the annual fee premium cards command.
In this article I will examine and compare the credit card roadside assistance offerings of Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express.
I carry both of these cards for different reasons, but they both offer direct access to coordinated roadside assistance. Both are just a phone call away.
For this comparison, it’s important to note that both cards offer roadside assistance in the form of towing services (up to 10 miles with Amex Platinum, up to $50 per incident with Chase Sapphire Reserve) fuel delivered, and jump starts, among other services. These services are complimentary to cardholders up to 4 times per year.
I ran into some of issues with my car a couple of years ago. Across two separate occasions, I enlisted the services of Chase and American Express. Here’s what these credit card roadside assistance experiences were like.
Making a call for service
Calling the phone line on the back of my Platinum Card and speaking with an agent is noticeably easy to do with fast connection times. I’m thankful for that quality, especially in situations where roadside help is needed.
Once connected I told the agent I needed tow services for my car, and they walked me through the process of what it would require.
My car is all wheel drive, so a flatbed “rollback” truck would be necessary to complete the service.
In this case didn’t tell the agent about this specific, because I didn’t have to. They mentioned and noted the need when going through a quick checklist of questions before dispatching the service.
I waited for the tow truck driver to arrive, and when he did, confirmed I needed service and showed where my car was located.
Not long after that I got an automated phone call from American Express, asking me to confirm whether the service person had arrived yet. I answered yes and the service recorded my input.
From there the process was mostly quick and smooth. They loaded my car and then drove it and me to a local auto shop.
Since the service was prepaid through American Express (and covered through the roadside assistance terms) I had no question or confusion about payment.
About 20 to 25 minutes after the completed service call, I received another automated call from American Express inquiring how my service was going, and if it had been completed. I answered yes again. The service recorded my response, then thanked me for calling American Express and the call ended.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Making a call for service
On another occasion when I needed a tow service, I didn’t call the number on the back of my Chase Sapphire Reserve, but rather the special toll free number for premium roadside assistance (1-866-860-7978). This is necessary to receive service. The process takes a little longer as the call goes through automated menu prompts. These collect information about the service needed before the call transfers to an agent.
But in my case, at least on this call, I had to repeat all of the information to the agent that I had just spent time delivering through the automated menu. It was a minor setback, but unnecessary.
Once the call was complete and a service member was on their way, I received a text message alert from Chase. It confirmed that I was expecting roadside assistance, and that I should indicate with a certain text reply when service had arrived.
The service driver arrived, I indicated through the text service they had arrived, and they proceeded to tow my car.
At the conclusion of the tow, the driver asked me how I was paying for the service that day. I explained that I ordered the service through a roadside assistance line and that it was prepaid.
The driver then made a note of the payment type, wished me well, and left.
It wasn’t long after this I received another text message from Chase, asking if the tow service had been completed. I responded with yes, and the automated text service didn’t message me again.
Credit card roadside assistance conclusions
Both cards deliver nearly identical services, and offer them a limited number of times per year to the primary cardholder. It’s a good value overall.
Calling the American Express for roadside assistance was certainly the faster experience. I spoke with an agent who was reassuring and confident, ready to dispatch services to my need.
Calling the Chase roadside assistance line took longer, but the automated text messages was a nice touch.
Finally, communication between American Express and the tow services was on point. There was no confusion about services needed or payment.
Communication between Chase and the tow services in that case could have been better for my situation. But there were no discrepancies in the end.
I believe the American Express Platinum Card roadside assistance services bested their Chase counterparts overall across four aspects. Those were initial contact, understanding of the services needed on the scene, and confirmation that the services were in progress and completed in a timely manner.
What do you think about the credit card roadside assistance services of the Amex Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Featured image courtesy of eberhardgross via Pexels.