3 Best Credit Cards With Free Roadside Assistance (Oct 2022)

September 12, 2022
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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 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

  1. BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard: Best for comprehensive insurance and travel perks
  2. Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard: Best for no annual fee and cash back at CT stores
  3. TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card: Best for access to Visa Infinite services

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

Great for high promotional earn rate for the first three months and high cash back on groceries
  • Annual Fee
    $120 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    20.99% on purchases, 23.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    $200
  • Rec. Credit Score
    760+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn $200 in cash back after spending $2,000 in your first 3 months
    • Complimentary Mastercard Airport Experiences membership
    • Complimentary Roadside Assistance Program
    • Mastercard Travel Rewards membership and access to cash back offers when travelling abroad
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high promotional earn rate for the first three months and high cash back on groceries

    Pros

    • Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months
    • 5% cash back on groceries
    • First year's fee is completely waived
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Access to a comlimentary road assistance program
    • Purchase ProtectionPlus insurance for stolen or damaged items

    Cons

    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
    • Relatively high annual fee
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The annual fee for the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is $120 (waived for the first year). It comes with one of the best promotional cash back rates of 10% for the first three months, and you can redeem your cash back for as little as $1 at any time. You can also set up automatic deposits and get your cash back sent to your BMO chequing or savings account, your InverstorLine account, or use it directly as credit in your monthly statement.

    Perks and Benefits

    The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard offers many ways to earn cash back. For the first three months, you will get 10% cash back on all categories. After the promotional period, you will still earn a substantial amount of cash back on eligible categories: groceries (5% cash back), transit (4% cash back, including taxis and public transportation), gas and EV charging (3% cash back), recurring payments and subscriptions (2% cash back), and 1% on all other purchases.

    Additional benefits include a Mastercard Airport Experiences complimentary membership and access to exclusive Mastercard Travel Reward offers when travelling and shopping outside Canada.

    Insurance

    The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard lives up to its name and offers comprehensive travel and medical insurance, including:

    • Baggage delay and loss insurance
    • Flight delay insurance
    • Car rental insurance
    • Travel accident insurance
    • Medical emergency insurance
    • Roadside Assistance program

Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard

Great for high earn rate on Canadian Tire stores
  • Annual Fee
    $0
  • Interest Rate
    19.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    $50
  • Rec. Credit Score
    760+
  • Features & Benefits

    • 4% back at Canadian Tire stores, including Mark's Work Wearhouse, SportChek, and Atmosphere,
    • 3% back at grocery stores (up to $12,000 per year),
    • 7 cents per litre of fuel at Canadian Gas+ and Husky locations
    • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for high earn rate on Canadian Tire stores

    Pros

    • Earn 4% back on Canadian Tire, SportChek, and Atmosphere stores
    • Earn 3% back on groceries, and 1% back on all other purchases
    • Earn 7 cents per litre at Canadian Gas+ and Essence+ gas stations
    • No annual fee
    • Concierge service
    • Complimentary membership to the Roadside Assistance Gold Plan

    Cons

    • Rewards are paid in CT money
    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $80,000
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard doesn’t charge annual fees, but it has an $80,000 annual income or a combined $150,000 household income, and it has an estimated 760 credit score minimum.

    Rewards

    Rewards are paid out in CT Money, which is equivalent to Canadian dollars 1:1 and can be redeemed on qualifying purchases at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, and Atmosphere, among other partner stores. Earn rates at those partner stores yields 4%, also paid out in CT Money.

    Grocery store purchases earn 3%, capped at $12,000 per year, and all other purchases qualify for 1% back.

    Perks and Benefits

    • Purchases over $150 at participating stores qualify for no fee, no interest financing
    • 5-7 cents back in CT Money when refilling at Gas+ or Essence+ gas stations

    Insurance

    The Canadian Tire Triangle World Elite Mastercard has very basic insurance coverage that includes warranty and purchase protection and very basic rental car damage coverage.

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

Great for promotional cash back rate, plus medical and travel insurance
  • Annual Fee
    $120 (1st year free)
  • Interest Rate
    20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances
  • Welcome Bonus
    $200
  • Rec. Credit Score
    725+
  • Features & Benefits

    • Earn $200 cash back bonus as a welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months
    • Earn $210 cash back bonus as a welcome bonus after spending $3,500 on groceries and gas within the first 3 months
    • No annual fee for the first year
    • Emergency Road Services plus complimentary TD Auto Club membership
    • Access to Visa Infinite Concierge service
  • Pros & Cons

    Why we like it

    Great for promotional cash back rate, plus medical and travel insurance

    Pros

    • $200 bonus
    • Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months
    • 3% cash back on grocery, gas, and bill payments
    • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
    • Link your TD card to your Starbucks account and earn 50% more Stars on all purchases
    • Complimentary Concierge service

    Cons

    • Requires a minimum yearly income of $60,000
    • High annual fee ($120)
  • More Details

    Bonuses and fees

    The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card lives up to its name and is tied with some of Canada's best cash back cards in terms of rewards. It offers a 10% promotional cash back bonus on all purchases for the first three months, and it completely waives the first-year $120 fee. You can spend a maximum of $2,000 during the promotional period for a total of $200 cash back.

    Rewards

    After the three-month period or whenever you reach the $2,000 cap, you will start earning:

    • 3% cash back on groceries, gas, and recurring bill payments like subscriptions
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases

    Your points will never expire as long as your account is in good standing..

    Perks and Benefits 

    Some additional benefits of this card include:

    • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge services
    • Access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
    • Access to the Visa Infinite Dining and Wine program

    Insurance

    This card includes comprehensive medical and travel insurance. Here are the categories:

    • Auto rental collision insurance
    • Trip delay or cancellation insurance
    • Flight delay and lost or stolen baggage insurance
    • Travel Emergency Medical Insurance
    • Travel accident protection

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.

Vehicle Owner

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.

Price

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

Age

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.

Residency Status

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 a 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 score

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.

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