The AMEX Platinum card Premium Roadside Assistance is way better than I thought. A sweet card member perk!

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my dead van

It’s kinda funny when you look at who are non-Delta AMEX Platinum personal card as well as the non-Delta AMEX Platinum business card holders. Most make a ton of money and my guess is they are driving either new or nearly new cars. I am also guessing they have little use for things like the Premium Roadside Assistance perk (including towing).

Notice, in part, just what is included with the above cards:

“Premium Roadside Assistance provides the following services at no additional cost up to 4 times per calendar year when Card Member is present with the eligible vehicle: towing up to 10 miles, winching, jump starts, flat tire change when Card Member has a workable spare, lockout service when key is in vehicle and delivery of up to 2 gallons of fuel. Card Member will be charged for the costs of towing in excess of 10 miles and any other additional services.”

Now I have to tell you I have never used this card perk and this despite the fact that I have held either the personal or business non-Delta AMEX Platinum card for years now. I just have never had a need. I don’t run out of gas. I keep my tires well maintained and I don’t lock my keys in my car. However my van is now 10 years old (ok almost 11 years old) but I have never had an issue with it other than brakes and tires etc. Then the other day, well, things did not go so well!

I was sitting in the Sky Club getting ready to board my fun run positioning flight when my wife calls. Ruh roh! The van just died. She had a van full of groceries and had to get home fast. Double ruh roh! I thought my CNB Visa, including add-on users, had some kind of roadside assistance. Well, no, not really I found out. My wife does NOT have a non-Delta AMEX Platinum card as she is just an add-on user. I was not sure if the coverage was extended to her card and, at the time, getting a deal was not primary in my wife’s voice. Got it. I called and had a truck there very quickly.

But once I was home, well, I wanted to see if I could save some money getting my van from from where I live to my mechanic 12 miles away. I called AMEX and was really impressed with what I was told. Check this out.

Unlike the $65 I had to pay for the short tow to my home, this one was covered for the 10 miles free and then I paid $7.62 for the extra 2 miles. Sweet.

I then asked if my wife would have been covered as an add-on user. I was told that did not matter as all the cars I owned (excluding some vehicles) were covered. Despite what it says in the T&C above, I was told I did not have to be in the car but if there was an issue I would have to make the call. Anyone could be driving my car that I authorized and if they broke down they could get a tow (up to 4 a year). Again, really sweet.

The only downside of this experience was it did take a while to get help. The AMEX rep took about 20 minutes to even find a partner willing to take the job. Then, it took over 2 hours for the truck to show up. Other than the time delay, all good and simple and the extra $7.62 was billed to my AMEX card.

I also got a text with all the info about the towing company as well as two follow up calls from AMEX to make sure the company did in fact show up. The first time the automated system called the truck was still on its way but AMEX called them to make sure they were near by. The second automated call I verified the tow was either in progress or completed. Nice.

As I talked about yesterday, the changes to the AMEX business card bonus points is a real bummer for most of us. However, I hold the non-Delta AMEX Platinum business card long term for all the perks like Centurion Lounge access, GoGo passes that work on international Delta flights and so much more that it affords me and now this little incident has just helped save me even more of this year’s card fee! – René

 

PS – Be sure to check back after lunch for this week’s SWAG Saturday!

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

 

 

11 comments

  1. Rene, I have used this benefit twice in the past few years. My daughters both drive older cars with over 100K miles. Once I was there with the car, another time I made the call but wasn’t there. My daughters both have an authorized user card. The AMEX Premier Rewards Gold also has the same benefit, defined as PREMIUM Roadside Assistance. I just switched us all to that card when I canceled my Platinum. I had previously had roadside assistance from my car insurance provider and it was a higher cost and worse service. We had used it a couple times, once being stranded in south Georgia for over 3 hours.

  2. @Rich – Txs very much for the confirmation on not needing to be in the car. I think this is really an unpublished perk of the card. Nice on PRG card as well!

  3. Big problem is that most people that hold credit cards (me included) don’t know all the details of what is included in the agreement. We all have so many credit cards that unless you put a spreadsheet together it is impossible to keep track of the perks. As for Roadside Assistance most car insurances offer that included in the overall premium you pay or for a very small charge.

  4. Rene, would you use this Plat bene as a proxy for AAA?
    Santastico is right. I’ve long lost track of all of the perks and benefits that accrue to so many cards. Except lounge benes:)

  5. Rene, Do you have to register the cars you own with Amex ahead of time? Or, can they determine ownership when you call them?

  6. Rene thanks for the great reminder! Although I hope to never need this service I must admit my problem free pickup is getting up there in years. If only it would cover detailing!

  7. @Geof- lounge access is usually not a side “bennie”, it’s often a large factor in holding the card in the first place.
    B) I don’t see this as so much more compelling than AAA. If you do ever plan on using a benefit like this (that the average CSR has no clue how to handle), expect it to take lots of time. Your average platinum card holder does not have time for this. (Neither do I, and I’m not exactly a millionaire, although I do hold a platinum card or two.) It’s not such an exclusive benefit either. I’m not sure who gets else it, but definitely the PRG does. The platinum card isn’t such an exclusive card either. The main criteria for approval is signing up. You don’t need a large income, a good credit score, or a solid job. People that hold it like to think of it as exclusive and to flash it, but it really makes them look quite silly. There are many cards with much stricter approval standards that you should go for if you want wallet candy. The platinum card has one of the most compelling packages for the AF in terms of status and lounge access, but it’s open to anyone willing to pay the AF, and to some that are not.

  8. unfortunately I’ve had to use in the last couple years about 4 times. works well – but i agree with the time it takes – from experience a lot slower in “getting a tow truck proivder to be on route to your location” – it seems from talking with the driver upon arrival a lot of tow truck companies just don’t want to deal with these services (its not just Amex, its other insurance companies, credit cards, etc that outsource). Think doctors opting out of insurance.

    AAA doesnt have this problem as they don’t tolerate that and will boot you out of their network if you don’t take their requests. Consumers looks for that “AAA seal of approval” so it matters.

    That being said, I don’t have AAA anymore and this perk does the trick for me, albeit a bit frustrating. I called after the fact as a recent experience took over 2 hours and $31 in towing costs (above 10 miles). They refunded the $31 without question and credited me back the 1/4 calendar year events.

  9. AAA was a very bad experience !! amex plat tookkkkk sooooooo long to get to us… and lots of time on the phone but it worked!!!!

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