There are a few good credit cards that offer complimentary roadside assistance, but some stand out above the rest for their additional perks and benefits. I constantly keep up with the latest promo rates and policy changes and make my recommendations below based on years of experience.
I recommend the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard as the #1 credit card with free roadside assistance in Canada. It is one of the most flexible cards, with comprehensive insurance, solid cash back rates, and up to 4 free annual emergency calls, refreshed every year.
What Is A Roadside Assistance Credit Card?
Credit cards that offer free roadside assistance are a very select group of credit cards that are partnered with garages and mechanics across Canada (or even retail businesses like Canadian Tire) to provide timely roadside assistance. These credit cards offer between 4-6 calls each year and cover services like emergency fuel delivery, towing, flat tires, and battery boosts.
Roadside assistance benefits are usually reserved for premium credit cards, with an average annual fee ranging from $100-$120. Even at this price, these cards can be considerably cheaper than organizations like the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), after accounting for the additional benefits like cash back, welcome bonuses, and insurance. Credit cards that offer roadside assistance require very good to excellent credit scores (at least 725).
Without further ado, here are the best credit cards with free roadside assistance Canada has to offer:
The Best Credit Cards With Roadside Assistance In Canada
- BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard: Best for comprehensive insurance and travel perks.
- Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard: Best for no annual fee and cash back at CT stores.
- TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card: Best for access to Visa Infinite services.
How Do Credit Cards With Roadside Assistance Work?
Consumer-based organizations like the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) offer roadside assistance in Canada. CAA, in particular, has annual fees ranging from $75 to $149 per year (depending on the subscription you choose) and covers all the essentials, like battery replacement, flat tire service, and emergency fuel delivery.
However, there are credit cards out there that offer roadside benefits as well, for a much lower annual fee. That means you’re likely missing out on a lot of benefits and perks if you choose a CAA subscription over a credit card with roadside assistance. For example, the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard offers comprehensive roadside assistance plus one of Canada's best cash back rates for just $120/year.
What Do Credit Card With Roadside Assistance Offer?
Credit cards that offer roadside assistance work by partnering with companies like Dominion Automobile Association (DAA) or Canadian Tire Roadside Assistance (CTRA) to provide roadside services to their cardholders.
Roadside service providers have garages across Canada and are available 24/7. Here are some of the services they offer:
- Towing services.
- Accidental lockout service.
- Emergency fuel delivery service.
- Flat tire change service.
- Battery boost service.
- Extrication and winching services.
Keep in mind that depending on the card, you may have a limited number of yearly emergency calls.
Pros & Cons Of A Credit Card With Roadside Assistance
Pros: Why a credit card with roadside assistance may be worth it
- More cost-effective than individual roadside assistance programs
- You can earn cash back rewards and travel perks when you use your card to make purchases
- 4-6 emergency calls per year
- Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
- Peace of mind, if there’s an emergency, you know you are covered
Cons: Why a credit card with roadside assistance may not be worth it
- Requires a high credit score to apply (725+)
- In case you need towing, some cards have a maximum distance from the closest garage (10-20km)
How To Choose A Credit Card With Roadside Assistance In Canada
When choosing a credit card that offers roadside assistance, you should consider some factors.
Age And Size Of The Vehicle
Statistically, the older your car, the more likely it is to break down. That means that if your car is very old, you should prioritize a credit card that offers towing, like the Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard, which offers unlimited tows (within certain areas), as established in their terms of service.
If you were to use a different roadside assistance program, you’d have to pay more based on the size of your car.
Most credit cards with roadside assistance offer coverage even if you’re not in your own vehicle. Rented cars are also covered, just keep in mind it will count towards your yearly limit, depending on your card. Make sure to choose a card that offers enough yearly calls.
The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard offers four yearly calls anywhere in Canada or the US and includes fuel delivery, plus battery and flat tire change, among other services.
Commuting And Travel
If you drive to work every day and you have a particularly long commute or travel a lot, you are more likely to have an emergency. In that case, it’s reasonable to spend a little more for a more complete assistance program that will protect you in case of an emergency abroad.
Depending on your priorities, you can use a credit card that offers basic roadside assistance and doesn’t charge annual fees, like the Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard. If you’re looking for more generous rewards like higher cash back rates, medical insurance, and travel perks, a premium credit card with an annual fee will be more beneficial for you in the long run.
How To Apply For A Credit Card With Roadside Assistance
In Canada, the minimum age to request a credit card is the age of the majority. Teens under that age can’t get approved for credit cards but can be added as authorized users to one of their parent’s credit cards. For reference, the age of the majority in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan is 18 years old. In all other provinces, the age of the majority is 19.
Canadian credit cards are available to residents and non-permanent residents. However, most cash premium cards require you to be a Canadian resident. For other card types like prepaid, store, and secured credit cards, you don’t even need a credit history. At the end of the day, residency requirements will depend on the specific credit card issuer.
Credit cards with roadside assistance require a good-to-excellent credit score, averaging a minimum score of 725. The higher your credit score, the more likely your application is going to be accepted, and the cards with the higher requirements usually have the best intro bonuses, rewards, and general benefits.
Personal Or Household Income Requirements
Roadside assistance credit cards also have high-income requirements, starting at $60,000 and going as high as $80,000. This is in line with the requirements for premium credit cards. Make sure you meet the requirements before applying for any of the credit cards we recommend.
Road Assistance Credit Card FAQs
Are Credit Cards With Roadside Assistance Worth It?
When cards with roadside assistance might be worth it for you:
- If you spend a lot of time every year commuting
- If you have an old car that is likely to break down or have issues
- If you don’t have enough mechanical experience to change a tire or don’t want to rely on good samaritans to help you out
- If you travel a lot or take long road trips frequently
- If you rent or borrow cars from friends and family
When cards with roadside assistance might not be worth it for you
- If you have a new car that is unlikely to break down and you have some basic mechanical knowledge
- If you are already subscribed to a service like CAA
- If you don’t often travel by car
What Is The Best Free Card With Roadside Assistance In Canada?
The best free roadside assistance credit card in Canada is the Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard. It comes with complimentary membership to the Roadside Assistance Gold Plan plus cash back at participating stores.
Can I Get Roadside Assistance For Any Car I’m Driving?
Yes – all credit cards listed here offer roadside assistance services for any car you’re driving in or are a passenger of. However, some offers are seasonal – make sure to read the small print and confirm if the credit card issuer offers a vehicle plan (which covers particular cars) or a member plan (which covers any car you are driving or are a passenger of).
When Does My Roadside Assistance Coverage Start?
Roadside assistance coverage starts as soon as you apply and are approved for a credit that offers the service. Coverage lasts until your account is closed or until you use up all your emergency calls for the year (usually between 4-6). Your annual emergency calls are renewed every year.